The ice cream shops are having a heyday. They’ve waited for this heat all summer. I feel sorry for you if you slave away at Coldstone, Dairy Queen, or Ben and Jerry’s. Minnesota was having a moderate, once-in-a-while hot summer. I bet ice cream shops still had plenty of business even without intense heat.

And now a heat index of 112? Oh, I imagine the long lines and dripping customers seeking refuge and respite in your otherwise quiet, cool store makes you weary, ice cream scoopers. You work hard all summer. Now you are the last resistance to the heat, the only stronghold left standing. When the ice in our lemonade has melted and the a/c cycles, you are our only hope.

Kemp’s strawberry cheesecake has been my ice cream of choice this week. I’m saving money, though it’s tempting to run to Dairy Queen like the rest of the city. I think scooping it myself burns calories.

So. This heat.

Air-conditioning is a blessing. Don’t get me wrong. But to sit day-in, day-out in the a/c does funny things to people. In order to help Mr. A/C function best, certain heat-reducing techniques must be assumed. Thus, the family assume the roles of oven police, hair straightener police, window blinds police, and laptop police. Everyone picks their favorite job, and thus begins constant regulations and accusations.

These heat-reducing techniques, enforced by the family law enforcement, get intense, like the heat itself. Everyone’s general comfort and well-being depends on them.

I WILL confiscate that straightener if you don’t turn it off. 

Look at what you are doing. Seriously. Do you REALLY need to toast that?

No wonder I’m sweating… your laptop has raised the upstairs temperature one degree!

Yes, I am reading a book in the dark. You would do well to follow my example. 

I’m trying to remember what I like about heat. Last night I did this as I tried to burn calories (for real) on a neighborhood walk. At 10 p.m. I was determined. It was like speed-walking through the Sahara, but worse.

As I panted and sweated and looked generally disgusting (it was dark, I didn’t care), I listed words and phrases associated with good heat. Heated blanket. Miami Heat. Specific heat. Heated seats. 

That was that… then here came the words and phrases that were not so positive. Heat stroke. Heat exhaustion. Heat wave. Heat index. 

Beyond literal temperature-related heat, we say turn it up and bring on the heat as, like, the ultimate cheerleaders – in reference to sports, but also in reference to any stressful or high-adrenaline situation. It’s synonymous to “Hit me with your best shot” or “Let’s take this to the next level.” We compare stress to heat.

At it’s best, heat is cozy, comforting, soothing. Who can turn down a heated blanket on a chilly Northern night? At it’s worst, heat is debilitating. It makes us lazy, crabby, and uncomfortable. It’s unwelcome pressure.

Funny, isn’t it, what a double-edged sword this little word is?

The cold front is on it’s way. In the meantime, turn the fans to high, freeze washcloths, and drink plenty of water. Stay inside. Try to be happy.

And tip the Coldstone employees.


One thought on “Heat

  1. Mint Chocolate Chip! Deer Tracks! Peanut Butter Cup! Double Chocolate Almond! Cookie Dough! Cake Batter! Cookies and Cream!…..Sorry, did you not ask us to yell our favorite ice cream flavors? I don’t know what gave me that idea. 🙂 Stay cool!

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