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.