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Dear Webby
Baby, it's cold outside


Dear Webby,

My husband turns our thermostat down very low and I am freezing. He blames it on the high gas rates but he always did this only now it's down much lower.

I don't want to always be cold or to get sick so I turn it up. When he sees it he changes it.

Cold and Upset


Dear Cold and Upset,

Webby has received many letters this winter about arguments concerning the temperature. In fact she is also sending a reply to office workers with the same complaint (see ClevelandWomen.com).

Webby has to agree with your husband - the price of heating our homes has gotten way out of line, and most of us have to turn our thermostats down. The problem lies in how far down can we turn it. If, as you say, your husband has always kept it low he should be more realistic and concerned about your needs.

Are you dressing warmly enough; wearing a sweater and winter clothes? Webby only asks this because, believe it or not, one woman wrote saying she likes to go bare-footed and feels better in her sleeveless dresses year round. Webby reminded her that we live up North.

Some people have bought small individual heaters and place them next to their favorite seat while watching television. They are also small enough to carry to other areas. Please be careful with all portable heating devices and do NOT use the stove/oven as a heater. Webby does not want to see the fire department racing to your house.

Webby has brought out her favorite old afghans and wrapped them around her while watching TV or reading. Do you have a heavy quilt for your bed?

But if you are doing your part, you should not have to go around freezing all the time. If finances are so tight that you can't pay the bills, maybe the two of you can work on your budget to free up some funds for reasonable heating.

Ask friends and family what temperature they set their thermostats. This will give you some idea if your husband is really being unreasonable and may even help him realize it if he is way out of line.

Webby admits that some homes are harder to heat due to drafts, insulation and other reasons. You and your husband should check the thermostat together and arrive at a day and night temperature you both can live with and stop playing with it all day.

Webby's mother used to say "if you'd move around more or touch your toes ten times it will warm you up" and it did. You may not want to share this suggestion with your husband though.

Webby is waiting for July when the air conditioners turn on and the battles continue.

Darn these bodies! Why don't we all feel the same at the same temperature? Yes, Webby knows, but wouldn't it be nice.

Webby


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