Wednesday, August 10, 2016

48 hours in August in Texas without AC

The AC at my apartment went out Monday evening around 8pm. The all-purpose, surly maintenance guy at my '70s apartment showed up to take a look around 10pm. He took a look, then disappeared without a word. Reappeared at 11:30pm with the news: He couldn't fix anything. Maybe it would be done by Wednesday. At that time, the temperature in my apartment was up to 85 degrees.

Tuesday morning, I got up for work, tried to get ready, with the temp still 85... I tried taking a cold (actually luke-warm) shower. When I tried to get dressed, even the clothes in my closet were warm. When I tried to blow-dry my hair after showering, the heat from the blow-dryer made me sweat so that the wet hair being dried was immediately countered by the hair being soaked by sweat from the dryer. It was impossible to put on any makeup.

Tuesday evening, I knew what I was in for. I stayed at work for an extra 2 hours for the air-conditioning. When I got home after 7pm, nothing was possible except changing out of work clothes into a tank top and the shortest of shorts and lying on the couch in front of the TV. After an hour of lying there sweating, I finally filled a baggie with ice and put it on my head, alternating between the top of my head and my forehead. Momentarily relieving, but I could not sleep. The TV was giving off too much heat. I eventually moved to my bedroom, fan turned on high, window open (letting in 85-degree non-helpful air), and was able to sleep.

On Wednesday morning, AC still out, I woke up to a 90-degree thermostat reading and tried a different tactic: Took the same luke-warm shower from the day before, but then avoided the blow-dryer altogether, going in to work with still-wet hair and no makeup, closing my office door and doing the personal grooming (brushing, powder, lipstick) to make me look presentable.

Wednesday, I came home at 6pm to find a new AC finally in place. At 10pm as I write this, the temp is finally down to a respectable 78 or so. I'm fine now.

But: What did people in the "olden days" in Texas do without AC? I know there was porch-sitting. I know there were palmetto fans if you were rich enough to have a porch and palmetto fans. I know there were ice-baths if one had to go out and dress after. Otherwise you just SWEAT. Try not to move very much. And SWEAT.

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