Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Not paying to A/C the Neighborhood

I’m cheap.  Uber cheap.  I’m not even going to sugar-coat it and call myself ‘frugal’ or 'thrifty,' because I crossed those lines years ago.  Example #1: I live in Texas but I purposely bought a car with no air conditioner.  Why?  Because it allowed me to buy a 2004 car with less than 50,000 miles on it for $2,300 cash, and I never use the car’s A/C anyway.  Why don’t I use it?  Because it lowers my car’s fuel efficiency. Gas is expensive, and I am cheap.

Example #2:  I live in a house, but if my electric bill goes over $200, I black out and wake up to find half the appliances’ power cords chewed off.  My husband is pretty much on the same page as I am, but I've had numerous 'discussions' with our friends over it every time the seasons change.  This is how my typical mid-spring air conditioning argument goes with various people (but mostly just Ashley):

“It’s sooo hot!”

“The fan’s on and the windows are open. I don’t know what else you want from me.”

“I may have a seizure.”

“Eat a popsicle.”

“It’s 85 degrees out! Why don’t you turn the air conditioning on??”

“Calm down, drama queen. It's 85 degrees out in Texas during the heat of the day.  That's practically snowing.  Talk to me in August, when its 110 degrees in the shade and the water in the swimming pool is the same temperature as you.”

“You’re crazy. I don’t know how you can stand living in this sauna. I’m gonna pass out.”

“You’ll acclimate.”


“You would if you weren’t so intent on defying God and destroying the planet.  I thought you were supposed to be a dirty hippie liberal.  For shaaaaaaame.”

"There is no environment.  We made it all up.  Now turn the air on.  No one could ever acclimate to these volcano-like temperatures.”

“So what did people do before the air conditioner was invented?  Did people just not live in Texas or Arizona or Africa until the 1960s?  Did the entire human race drop dead of heat exhaustion every time Jesus cranked the heat up?”

“I don’t care.  I will gladly pay $600 a month forever and ever, amen, to keep my house at 60 degrees year-round, because that’s the only temperature I’m ever comfortable at.”

(Laughter inserted here)  “No it’s not, you big fat liar.  You keep the heat at 80 degrees inside during the winter.  You just enjoy flipping Mother Nature the bird.  I, on the other hand, have innumerable things I’d rather spend $600 a month on.”

“It’s like the surface of the sun in here.”

“You were born and raised in a state where summer lasts 400 days a year and winter is defined by the weather dipping briefly into the upper 40s.  I was born in Wisconsin and I can tolerate these mild temperatures better than you can.  You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”

“%$#& you, you cheap %$#&@.  I hate you.”

“You’re grumpy.  Here; have a cookie and an ice cube.  You’ll feel better.”

“I’m going to eat all of your cookies.  Then you’ll have to pry open your wallet to buy more flour, and I think your head might actually explode if you spend an entire dollar on anything.  That'll teach you.”

“Go ahead.  Everything was on sale.  It cost me 13 cents to make 800 cookies.” (A cookie flies my head, which I deftly avoid.)

“%#!& your dirty cheap cookies.  Bring me something expensive.”

“You’re sitting in my house, resting your fat @$$ in my new leather recliners and watching blu-rays on my 65” television, all of which were quite expensive.  All of which I could afford because I didn’t spend $7,200 on electricity last year.  You’re welcome.”

“If I die of heatstroke, I’m coming back from the dead to haunt you.  No, to sue you.  Heck, I'll haunt you, then sue you, then haunt you some more.”



  1. I, too, live in North Texas.
    I, too, have a puppy obsession. (Yes, I inhale. Love that puppy smell.)
    I, too, have a full with Angry Robot.
    I, too, am uncompromisingly cheap.

    Are you my long-lost daughter?

    Here's the thing. I never had a second income stream. I have lived comfortably but not luxuriously. I saved. And saved. And saved some more. I paid off my mortgage last year. I retired in January of this year. I'm 51. And the people who used to ask me why my A/C wasn't on in spring? I smile sweetly at them as they go off each morning to jobs they hate.

    Wanna cover over and clip coupons sometime? :o)

    You're on the right path, girlfriend.

    PS: Sounds like you've come out of last week's slump?

  2. While growing up, my dad would send me dumpster diving for yesterday's newspaper, and my mom had us wash our straws, sandwhich baggies, and disposable utensils so that we could reuse them.

    I don't miss that money at all.

    The most miserable I've ever been is the day it was -30 degress in Colorado, and I had to drive a 5 am bus route with a broken thermostat.

    The second most miserable experience was the four months I lived in Texas (February-May)

  3. oh my god...this is very true about me. i don't care how much it costs, i love the air conditioning and stephen agrees. it exists for a reason and it's like slapping god right in the face when you choose not to use it. there are people living in other far away lands where it's icky, and sticky, and skanky outside, and i promise you that the things they'd do for some good old fashioned ac would destroy your face. ugh. also, i was super nice to everyone today on account of me now living in fear that stephen's going to uproot and leave me sad and alone WITHOUT ac.

  4. Go away, Ashley. You're gonna scare away my readers. ;) lol


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