The Day The A/C Died

Summertime in Minnesota.  The living’s easy.  Unless your air conditioner breaks during a stretch of 85º, humid weather…with a toddler…and a newborn…and a wife.  Granted, we were operating on borrowed time with this classic 1972 model, built from actual Viking steel, but psychologically I wasn’t ready to bury the ol’ girl.

Air conditioner 1972

I will say that we handled the news fairly well, laughing about how enjoyable it is to buy appliances and discussing whose kidney we got to sell; but the real fun came when we learned no matter what, we were going to have to spend at least four days without cool air coursing through the veins of our house.  Here’s how that went down.

Day 1: We can do this.  It’s only supposed to be 84º today.  We’ll open the windows.  We’ll keep the curtains closed.  We’ll turn on all the box fans we acquired in The Great Flood of 2014.  Things will be alright.

Day 2: 5:30am.  The toddler is awake.  I can’t imagine why, as I peel myself off of the sheets to go to his room and try to get him to go back to sleep.  It doesn’t work.  We exit his room at 7am, after an hour and a half of us both pretending we’re not hot.  Luckily, we practice pretending a lot. He and I prep for the day, head off to work and school, and leave the ladies to deal with the hell hole.  When we return at 5:30pm, the temperature outside resembles the temperature inside the house. When the sun goes down, we lose a few degrees and maintain our sanity.

Day 3: I wake up excited to take a cold shower and drive to work.  I take the long way, simply to stay in the car for an extra seven minutes.  My lovely wife is home all day by herself with the kiddos.  I receive a text that says, “Got a 45min nap from Q.  Shoot me now.” (He usually naps for 2hrs.)  I also learn that the previous owners of our house “randomly” came to our garage sale.  I ask if they brought an air conditioner with them.

Day 4:  It feels like an Easy Bake Oven in the house…even light bulbs are creating a noticeable temperature increase.  I have family in town visiting.  My sister decides to sleep in the car instead of the house.  I always knew she was smart.

Day 5: We start playing with the hose or bathing to cool off.  Cooking is not an option unless you want a salad. No one wants salad.  We’re a hot, hangry mess.  When is this thing arriving?  Four more days?  Great.

Day 6: K is reaching her limit.  She dislikes sweating and has been doing it for six days straight.  (Believe me, I’ve told her “disliking sweating” is not a “thing,”…it’s like disliking breathing…but she insists it’s legit.)  She’s also packing for a trip.  When you’re hot and packing for a trip, you forget things like toothbrushes, shirts with sleeves, and your children’s shoes.

Day 7: Sleeping with the windows open in our underwear.  Don’t give a shit.

Day 8:

Day 9: The temperature drops to the low 70’s the day the A/C is installed.  As a writer, I appreciate the literary device.


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