When big storms rolled through the midwest on Sunday night, hundreds of thousands of homes were left without power, including my own. Most of the folks without electricity were in for a rude awakening when their furnaces stopped pumping out the warm air -- but not me, I've been training for this day. My good friend Gwynneth and I are in our second winter season of a "No Heat Competition" and we're still going strong, with or without electricity to run our furnaces.
No heat competition? What's that, you ask? Just like what it sounds, the two of us compete all winter long to see who can go the longest before caving in and turning on the heat. We both live in Michigan, which is fondly referred to as "the mitten state" because of the shape of this fine peninsula, and also an all-but-required winter accessory, especially if you're planning to visit either myself or Gwynneth between the months of November and April.
|These stylish mittens might be worth picking up before visiting Molly. Check them out on etsy by clicking here. xoxT|
The no heat competition began last year, at first as a way to save on the heating bill, and continued on out of pure competitive drive. The rules are pretty simple: the first person to turn on her heat loses. But because temperatures here in metro Detroit can fall well below freezing, we've added a safety precaution to ensure our money-saving strategy doesn't end up costing us more in the end. On nights when it looks like the temperature will be below about 28 degrees for an extended period of time, we generally send one another a text message to agree upon "truce heat" which we claim is merely for the pipes, but in reality, it's probably for our own safety as much as the plumbing.
We also set up a few loop holes that allow us to turn on the heat for visitors, specifically "Little Effers" (listeners of Cosmo's Wake Up With Taylor -- tune in week days 7 a.m.-10 a.m. East on Sirius XM Stars Channel 106) and this year we added a small children exception, allowing the heat to go on if either of us have visitors over under the age of 10. We decided that once your age hits double digits, we can expect you to bundle up. And bundle up we do! When I get home from the gym in the evening, you'll find me in more layers than I'd put on to go play in the snow with my almost-4-year-old nephew. I generally wear wool socks, warm slippers, a pair of leggings, at least 1 pair of sweatpants, 2 long sleeve t-shirts, a hoodie, and a giant fluffy bathrobe... all topped off with gloves, a scarf and a black and purple hat with spikes that looks like it belongs on a joker.
I realize all of this sounds a little crazy, and I'm sure I look like an absolute fool to anyone who drives by when my curtains are open, but the energy conserved seems like a pretty good pay off to me. Even more than the dollars saved, at this point to be honest, I'd really hate to lose two years in a row. That's right, Gwynneth won last year. I was forced to turn on my heat the week before Christmas because I was having a dinner party (with no Little Effers on the guest list) and I decided it would be really rude to make them freeze, or ask everyone to show up in 17 layers of clothing. We'll see if I learned my lesson and can make it through this holiday season without doing any entertaining -- until then, I'm slipping my gloves back on and curling up under a few blankets with a nice warm cup of tea!