A Chill in the Air?

It’s already starting, and it’s still summer.

My wife Sally is wearing sweatshirts, closing windows, using the car heater…I’m still wearing shorts. We’re getting ready for one of the biggest battles that occur in many homes—and our four year old is watching.


Men and Women–there are differences and there are DIFFERENCES.

This one is big. It’s bigger than PC vs. Mac, Ford vs. Chevy, Leprechauns vs. Elves, and it leads to the classic showdown: HOT versus COLD.

Chances are, your wife feels cold before you do. And she’s cold more often. Fans, air conditioners, thermostats, car heaters—even heated seats are all instruments of division in your marriage. It’s chills versus sweat. Bring it.


Sally is always cold. A cloudy day makes her cold. Thoughts of being cold = cold. Pictures of anything cold (snow, glacier, frozen pork chop) = “Now I’m cold.”

She eats ice cream wearing enough clothing to survive a week on Mt. Everest. Then, she breaks out “cold noises.” Forget something simple like “Brrrrrr,” she has 100’s of them, from the “Car alarm” to one that sounds like a penguin being hit by lightning.

Before I was married, I had ONE comforter on my bed.

Now, our bed is taller than most state capitol buildings. It’s basically a blanket warehouse with a pillow on top.

Here the cycle many men can relate to: She gets cold and turns up any heater within reach. Then I become hot. Or, I’m hot so I open windows or turn on fans, then she gets cold.

In the winter, she turns up the car heater to 1,000 degrees. Real fire is almost coming out. By the time we’ve driven 10 minutes, I’ve shrunk to the size of a turnip.


For some wives, “Being Cozy” is a year round goal. Life is all about being warm—or simply avoiding cold.

Fuzzy socks pop up in every room. An extra hoodie is always near. Space heaters become regular room décor. And “throw blankets” are on every piece of furniture. What are those anyway? No single guy owns a throw blanket. They were invented by women to achieve the cozy goal.

Of course, there are exceptions. Sally’s dad loves heat. When we visit for Christmas I dress like I’m living on the surface of the sun. I have literally stood outside during a snowstorm to cool off. And I have a sister in law whose house is so cold it could be a hotel for polar bears.


I can laugh about my wife. We’ve accepted our differences. But now my four year old makes “cold noises.” He’s tells me he is cold and needs a blanket. I’m stuck.

  • “He is just a boy—a whopping 32 pounds–and really being cold isn’t a big deal.”
  • “Hmmmm…will he be the kid everyone is laughing at on the playground?”
  • “My job is to care for him. Get him a blanket.”
  • “Wait, what about learning to be tough? Maybe we need to spend a week outdoors in loin cloths, foraging for food…On second thought, I wouldn’t even want to do that.”
  • “I come from ‘Frozen Tundra’ country. We’re supposed to like the cold! Is it OK if he doesn’t?”


My son is watching, and apparently he’s adopting his mom’s approach to any temperature under 80 degrees. But here’s what I hope he really sees.

  • I hope he sees a dad who loves his mommy, even when he is showing signs of heat exhaustion (OK, it’s never THAT bad).
  • He sees a marriage where give and take is practiced, the little differences don’t matter, and compromise is common.
  • He sees the times I set aside my own comfort and accept blazing car heaters or electric blankets in order to care for my wife. It’s a little sacrifice, but shows that she is the priority. This is what men do.
  • And someday, he’ll see that there’s something awesome about cold air stinging your face and making you sniffle. But if he doesn’t, I’ll love him anyway.

I just wish I didn’t have to think about all of this when I’m still doing yard work and wearing short sleeves!