Monday, December 24, 2007

The Heater and the Voices in My Head

I cannot be the only one who carries their parents around in their head. I mean, come on, there are whole cliches about it: "wear clean underwear in case you have to go to the hospital"- that is someone's mom or grandma talking, right? And don't forget about Freud and his decades of followers and modern pop psychology who have built whole theories and universities around the ideas of how we are our parents and our reactions to our parents. Yes, that is the over simplified version.

Anyway, the moral of the story for now, is that all winter, every winter, I carry my dad around in my head. He is the voice that says "Lauren, don't turn the heater on, it's not that cold." I don't remember what the rule was when we were growing up- was it no heater till December? No heater until it got below 40degrees? No heat at night? No heat during the day? What ever the rule was, I've internalized Dad's voice, and all it says is "No heat." And right now it's stinking cold. Ice on the windshield that takes 3-10 minutes to defrost every day cold. Need a blanket inside cold. Three warm-weather-layers outside and a hat with ears cold. And I can't get rid of Dad's voice. Even though I have this nice heater in my room that only heats my room, so it's not even that expensive. Even though my PG&E bill only hits about $35 each month, so turning on the heat would be affordable, even if it got up to the high high number of $50.

Maybe Dad wanted us to be tough. California tough. Some kids have to go camping and hunting, but we had to slog through the hoarfrost on our floors in Oakland. Maybe Dad doesn't feel acute cold the same way, and has never felt frostbite on his fingers and toes, even while sitting inside. I don't really care at this point, I'd just like to get rid of the voice in my head. Since it's Dad, though, I think I'll have to speak with some Freudians. I'm guessing it's not going to be an easy one to expunge.

The irony? I'm going to Mom and Dad's house tonight, where, so I'm told, the heat is on full blast. I'm going there a day early, partially to get warm.


Anonymous said...

dad sez: what heat? we got no stinkin' heat here...and does the oversight of slow train coming mean that the kalx dj is now on probation?