How do You Stay Warm?

It's a sad day over here in the Cubicle Castle.
First of all, when I actually exclaimed, out loud, "Kick-ass! This new version of Outlook has multi-colored flags!Ē I immediately had to run to the ladies room and do some barfing. You know. To expel the succubus who clearly had done some body snatching while I was not sleeping last night.

Sarah? I thought you were cool with sleeping again! What happened? How could you go back to stressing out like----
I couldn't sleep because I could see my breath and no amount of playing Little House on the Prairie was comforting me.
Shut-up. You do NOT pretend to be Laura Ingalls Wilder when you are cold and itís time for bed?


It's true?

I have been pretending Little House for like, well... since I was 6 or 7. Finally, at 31, I think the game has lost its charm. Finally, I have realized that my relatives back East, with the heaters and the indoor plumbing might be on to something bigger and better than my romanticized version of homesteading.
And yes, I already know it sucks or I would NEVER have copped to still pretending to be a pioneer, so stop laughing while I explain the game.

Okay, so it's cold out and you're in your flannels and you have like, ALL of your quilts and your down comforter and your cats and sometimes the dog but honestly? The dog doesn't get invited very often due to excessive restlessness and noisy attempts to get me or the cats to play with her.

You need flannels to play this game, or at LEAST long underwear and be fore-warned, okay, it's not like, a fun game.
It's more of a challenge and the way I saw it until last night, playing Little House in the dead of winter was making me a stronger person. You know, I'd be all set for any harsh-conditions reality shows that needed a chubby nerd with a surprisingly cold heart. Or for the Orwellian end of time as I know it and.. ha! Youíre not laughing now, are you? Iíll be PREPARED because I have been pretending to be a frontierswoman for over 20 years.
You should be.
Alright, admittedly, itís not easy to keep telling myself that there is any value in role-playing in order to not feel so pathetic about not meeting the first level in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. But,here's what I do when it's cold out and I live in unheated conditions, or was growing up in the home of a woman whose resting heart is, no shit, 42 bpm. My mother never turned on the heat high enough because she's not 100% human in her physical constitution.

So I put on my silk long underwear shirt, the one with the nail polish stain from 1993, and then my flannel jammies. By the way, MOM, I totally know you read this and I totally am not even going to be subtle. I NEED new flannels - bad. You used to always get these for me, much like Carolyn would have made them Laura. As of today, my collection has dwindled to this sorry inventory:
1. Pair of red bottoms that are RIPPED in an un-mendable location.
2. Purple top that is thinning to the point where a long sleeve tee shirt from U of A is warmer.
Help me momma.
Help me.
Iím cold.

Once I am dressed for bed, I turn off the lights and navigate around my apartment with only a candle. You might think I am making this up but you would be gravely wrong to assume that I do things half-assed. I finally climb into my icy bed and set the candle on the nightstand. After I say my prayers, including remembering to thank my momma in advance for those warm flannel pajamas, I blow out the candle and the cats come running.

Then I try to fall asleep.
But I am totally weighted down by the down comforter and the 4 quilts and the two cats and sometimes the dog that I canít really move, or breathe, in fact.
I canít toss and turn.
This is not homesteading.
Homesteading was CUTE. Laura Ingalls Wilder LOVED it. I am TRYING to pay HOMAGE and to make myself a stronger PERSON but I canít move.
And then I start freaking out a little because I canít move and Iím all trapped by my own trickery.
So I loosen up on the blankets and the cats re-adjust and I look at the clock, which is totally not authentic but I DO have to be at work in 2005 time in the morning.
I look at the clock and I roll over, thinking I can probably pick up where I left off. Yes. There it is. Homesteading. Adventure. Hearty Midwestern girl. Braving the elements. Frontiering. God, why wonít the cats quit grooming themselves already?
ďStop moving Grace! Jay-sus, youíd think my bed was a goddamn hair salon.Ē Wait. No salons on Little House. My bad. At least, I donít think there was but then again, people still had to get their hair cuts. I bet Ma did Mary and Laura and Carrie and Pa fended for himself. Thatís cool.
Oh thank god, Grace stopped moving.
Wait. If I roll over to the other, other side, the cats are going to start up with their moving around.

And so on, mes cherries.
Last night?
I ended up telling myself to fuck off, that the game is over. 25 years of playing Little House on the Prairie whenever I am faced with less than ideal nighttime temperatures is about 24 years too many. I REALLY need to get a grip and when my mom sends me new flannel pjs?

I totally vow to not think with excitement, ďHomesteading tonight is going to ROCK, now that I have THESE!Ē

arizonasarah at 1:13 p.m.

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