Death by frostbite

Fasten your seatbelts, blogreaders, for an unnerving tale of personal suffering and almost horrendous consequences on an innocent life. Let me regale you a tale of how I almost lost zero limbs to actual frostbite, and instead just got really really cold because I’m a weirdo. With a love for clickbait titles. Obviously.

So. All throughout my life I have always had immense respect for people who excel at being comfortable pretty much anywhere. The kings and queens of sleepovers. The rulers of spontaneity. The wizards of camping, and couch-surfing and housesitting. The fearless, the daring, the uncaring-for-having-to-have-things-a-certain-way-ers. Gods among us mere mortals with stuck routines and unbendable rules. The people for whom ‘mi casa es su casa’ is actually something they can work with, instead of an empty saying.

I. am not like that.

Feeling at home anywhere you are is a quality that you’re either born with, or aren’t, if you ask me. It’s not something you learn or that grows on you, and it’s certainly not something that’s ever changed (for me, anyway). I don’t feel at home in places very often. Hell, I even sometimes don’t feel at home in my own home when I find myself behind a computer wondering how fast I’d be out on the streets if I got sick or lost my job or something else happened that’d cost me my income. Very. Fast. So home, even as it is, always feels precarious. Possibly fleeting.

Which means that when I’m at places-that-are-not-home, I’m even MORE out of place than usual. And my usual response to feeling (and/or being) out of place is to minimalize my presence. It’s a habit I’ve developed for as long as I remember, and, I suppose, in a way makes me a really nice houseguest. Because I will NOT be a bother in any way shape or form when I’m at your house. I eat whatever you deem me worthy of being fed. I’ll drink whatever’s on offer. I’ll sit, sleep and play in whatever place I’m assigned and I’ll sooner go hungry, thirsty and cold than inconvenience you by asking for something. That’s me in unfamiliar locales. (Put me at comfortable locations and I’m very different, obviously, but new places? I’m a gem.)

This means that when, this morning, my new lover abandoned me at his house while he headed off to work (leaving me there to work from home from his house as the IT-girl that I am) – I activated ‘barely there’ mode. Aka: Must. Not. Aggravate. Houseowner. During. Absence.

I am very particular about a whole lot of things. Meaning that I like things to be a certain way, or in certain places in my house, at certain times and in certain frequencies, amounts or capacities. A creature of habit, I am. And because I AM such a creature of habit, I always assume other people are, as well. Which, in this case is especially true, because I KNOW this guy is exactly the same in a great many ways (which is obviously why we connect so awesomely).

Following the notion that people ARE creatures of habit – it quickly leads to me feeling a very distinctive need to not disturb any of these set patterns, settings or other unwritten rules of the houses I am in. I aim to be invisible when I’m left alone in strange places. Putting things back exactly (and I seriously mean EXACTLY) like I found them. Not perusing or snooping through cabinets out of fear of messing up deliberate placements. Not binging on cupboard contents for fear of omnomnomming things I wasn’t allowed to. Man, I’ll barely even look at pictures in frames because it just feels wrong, somehow. And, as was the case today: You won’t find me messing with things like climate control, computers, heating and tv-settings, for instance.

So, left alone in a strange house, I take a very careful approach to existing all of a sudden:

As I carefully created a nook to work from on a strange desk, careful not to disturb any present cables, piles of paper and other wirey contraptions – I quickly got lost in work. Until, at some point, I noticed a tingling sensation in my socked feet that were already going numb from extreme chilliness. This house. Was. Cold. Like seriously only 17 degrees cold, because the man in question had a set program which made sure the house isn’t heated when he’s absent (smart!).

Sadly, this morning, he didn’t take poor little abandoned me into account. Neither did the thermostat. And since he hadn’t had the lightbulb moment that I might require actual warmth to function in, and I didn’t have the balls to change the temperature – frostbite was starting to set in halfway through the morning.
I’m no Elsa, and no matter how hard I chimed along the ‘THE COLD NEVER BOTHERED ME ANYWAY‘ to the tune of ‘let if go’….the cold hella bothered me.

Now. I’m a brave soul, so I grabbed myself a blanket that I’d previously been allowed access to, so was comfortable with acquiring and soldiered on for a good two more hours before my own teeth chattering was distracting my frozen-solid brain from working (slight exaggeration, but fuck, I WAS cold).

I’d just made my way downstairs to longingly look at the thermostat display-I-wasn’t-allowed-to-touch (and that horrendous 17 degree number reminding me of my freezing fate), pondering on how much more I should appreciate hot summer days – when my phone bleeped and I opened a message from him, asking if I’d put the heat on yet. OH GLORIOUS DAY. You’ve never seen someone figure out a thermostat they’re unfamiliar with as fast as me, let me tell you. I was friggin Dobby who was handed a sock. MASTER HAS GRANTED ME WARMTH!!!!

The next hour was spent cuddling a radiator and evaluating my own weirdness. Because I full well realize that had he NOT sent me that message, I would not have touched that panel. I would not have changed the program. I would not have turned on the heat. Nope. I probably would’ve actually got frostbite. Cause su casa is never mi casa, in my head.


29 thoughts on “Death by frostbite

  1. I try to be a good houseguest and not disturb or touch or change things that don’t need my hands on them. I have friends that encourage me to “make myself at home” and sometimes I do, but I was brought up to be respectful, so… However, when it comes to heat, I will never hesitate to turn it up in someone else’s home if they have left me to die in the cold. I hate being cold. Hate it. Glad you were able to rectify it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG you’re hilarious! I am the same way, I am never comfortable in other peoples houses, I would rather be in a hotel. Glad you got the “turn the thermostat up go ahead” or finding a frozen body in his house could have been awkward to say the least!

    Like

  3. When I came to the bit where the guy texted you and asked if you’d turned on the heat yet, I was like THANK GOD! It was like I was actually there with you feeling the extreme cold haha. I’m a lot like you in that I loathe being a houseguest because I very rarely feel at home anywhere aside from my actual home. I hate feeling like I’m a burden and that’s ALWAYS how I feel when I stay over someone’s house. It’s been a while since I was anyone’s houseguest and I don’t think I’ll ever put myself in that position again. It’s just not for me, y’know? I know you know.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m not good with thermostats, even in my own house. In hotels, forget it. I can never get them to work. I’m convinced they’re just there to mess with the guests, to make us think we can actually change the room temperature 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You had me at “weirdo.”

    But yeah,
    I would probably have done much the same.

    For some reason, it reminds me of the night before mum’s funeral, when I came home after a couple of drinks and a talk with a friend, looking forward to making myself a sandwich with the bread and butter that I knew would be over by the bread maker (I was big into baking bread back then for some reason).

    The butter would neither cut nor spread and, given the mixed emotions I was understandably feeling at the time, I overreacted.

    I had forgotten all about this until recently, when one of my relatives told me it was his fault, ten years ago, that I stood in the kitchen yelling:

    “Who put the butter in the ****ing fridge?”

    (I was practically on the floor laughing when he told me. So was he).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel like having you over for a pyjama party and keep you all cosy and warm. My clucky motherclucker hen nature loves caring for others but would easily wring her own neck if possible. Sorry, I’m like blunt force trauma to the head at times 😅
    Sharon 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s amazing to me how adaptable humans can be to temperature. For example, going on holiday somewhere very hot… you very quickly get used to it (though being near a pool or the sea helps!)

    And recently I’ve been intrigued by Wim Hof, the ice man, and his advocacy of intentionally subjecting ourselves to extremes of cold in order to build our physiological tolerance and (potentially) boost our immune systems.

    Like… how did people cope over a hundred years ago, without decent in-home heating? I guess we just got used to it.

    I’m pretty frugal with heating myself. So often I’ll try not to put the heating on until 4 or 5 pm, even if I’m really cold. That’s why I have jumpers/hoodies, slippers, warm hats and thick socks! And lots of hot drinks!

    Sometimes, I also quite like finishing a shower with a cold blast of 30-60 seconds. I like the psychology of proving to myself that I can face a little bit of discomfort. Wim Hof has had an influence on me.

    It made me chuckle that 17 degrees was cold for you. Our house is quite old, and overnight it can drop to 14 or 15 quite easily. And when we put the heating on, it’s usually only on 18… or maybe 20 if we’re splashing out.

    Having said that, we also have a wood burner in our lounge. We don’t use it that often, but when we do it gets super warm.

    I’m glad you didn’t freeze to death.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I “soldiered on for a good two more hours before my own teeth chattering was distracting my frozen-solid brain from working” … brilliantly found. LOL 😂

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  9. I’m definitely like that, you can leave me in the corner of your room for hours and I won’t move or touch a single thing. I call it my fear of infringing 🙇 something about being in other people’s space makes me hypercautious and a little apprehensive so I can emphasize with you.

    Liked by 1 person

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