Thursday, September 28, 2006

How long are your sleeves?

Husband and I bickered this morning. Over, believe it or not, the weather. Well, actually, over weather-appropriate clothing. Which is silly because we'll never agree on the subject and we know that already. I guess it was just a booster shot kind of thing to confirm that perceptions had not changed.

Basically, Husband and I live in different weather systems. Strange, I know, given the fact that we live in the same place. And yet. On a day like today, where the temperature is about 66-68° F (so 20°c or something like that), I'm wearing short sleeves and Husband is wearing long sleeves. To a certain extent this could be attributed to physical activity - my days are filled with moving around quite a bit (dropping off the kids, going to get the kids, cleaning, walking to the coffee shop up the street, working not at a desk) and his are spent at a desk or sitting in a courtroom or perhaps driving somewhere to do one of the above. It is also probably attributed to the women who raised us. Husband's mother, who is a wonderful mother-in-law by the way, is nearly always cold. She's forever adjusting collars and suggesting scarves and zipping things all the way to choke level, particularly on her grandchildren. I have come to expect this and pay little attention. She has a sharp phobia of drafts and cool breezes and car air conditioners, believing fervently that they all lead to colds, sore throats, and coughs. My mother, on the other hand, likes a good draft, enjoys cool breezes and frequently uses her air conditioner. Then there's also the cultural thing - the French are very anti-draft in general and are often telling me to put on a scarf or a heavier coat. Americans tend to put on shorts as soon as possible and nearly everyone, except in moderate weathered places like Seattle, has an air conditioner and yet, Americans are no more subject to upper respiritory afflictions than the French.

Anyway, none of this should really cause any problems, and didn't, until we had kids. Now, during interseasonal weather like today's, we rarely agree on what the boys should be wearing. So, as a result of this morning's scene, they went to school with a short-sleeved shirt, topped with a cotton sweater, and a raincoat. Needless to say, when I picked them up for lunch, the raincoats were stuffed in my bag and the sweaters were around their waists. No harm done, but I do like to have the last word.


beth said...

I am glad to see that you haven't changed and enjoy having the last word. I agree with you - shorts and short sleeve shirts are to be worn whenever possible. And, whenever I talk to your mom, she usually is just on her way too or just returning from the ocean where she was enjoying the wonderful ocean air!

zeb said...

There was more than one time Denise and I were on the metro in Paris and I was the only person wearing shorts and every just stares. Tell hubby the French are not as tough as us americans and since the boys are 1/2 american and totally look american they should dress like we did as kids.

Lorraine said...

As long as they get to wear berets. They get to wear berets, right?

charlie said...

As regards clothing and weather, the French sont les namby pambies. Americans are somewhat hardier, but only somewhat. Brits, on the other hand, are T shirt folk even in the depths of winter and therefore win the goosebump contest hands down - both size and colour. They also love bananas, as do chimps, and neither would dream of having last words, especially chimps.

Nicole said...

Lorraine - Only little girls wear berets here. And some old men in mountainous regions. And me, of course.