I am no stranger to hot weather. I have spent my fair share of time in temps that hover in the hundreds. And when I started telling people I was moving to Austin, their first comment was often something related to how on earth I was going to contend with the heat.
Same thing with my talking to strangers immediately post-move; once they found out I was a newbie – and that I’d arrived right at the beginning of the steamiest season – most folks would drop some small talk about how if I could make it through my first summer in Austin unscathed, I’d be fine. (This was then frequently followed by a quip about how I certainly wouldn’t miss Chicago winters.)[SIDENOTE: I WAS EQUALLY COMPLICIT IN MAKING THIS INANE CONVERSATION. I CAN’T HELP BEING THE ACTUAL WORST.]
So, it was hot this summer. People tell me it was a particularly bad one. To me it just felt… hot. But certainly not like a completely new circle of hell.
Really, the thing that surprised me most about the climate here, and something nobody told me about: HOW COLD I’D BE ALL THE TIME.
Texas, your A/C is aggressive. Everywhere.
I found myself seeking out restaurants and coffee shops that had misters and fans instead of sub-70-degree air conditioning on full blast. The sweatshirt section of my closet was regularly in the laundry, and I perfected the dinosaur foot socks-with-sandals technique. (Don’t worry, I only resorted to this when I was safely in my apartment building. Most of the time.)
Granted, I live with a person whose resting body temperature runs at about 150 degrees. And, truth be told, I love being dressed in a lot of layers. But home life aside, this summer I was often in long sleeves and long pants, LIKE A RUBE, because everywhere I went was so G.D. cold. Of course, during the brief interstitial times I actually had to be outside, I was dressed completely inappropriately and felt it, but come on. I’m an indoor kid. And that air conditioning on blast all summer made me feel like I was in Anchorage, not Austin.
Here’s a picture of me enjoying a nap on the couch. In July. In Texas.
I understand that even in mid-September, I have a solid month of summer ahead of me down here.
I just hope I have enough sweatpants to get through it.