“It’s not going to be that big of a deal, right?”
“Honestly, I don’t think it will be. I mean, worst case scenario we just open the windows. Plus, it’s only hot, like, three months out of the year. We can make it three months easily.”
That was a general outline of the conversation that my roommate and I had when we decided to live in an apartment without air conditioning. Frankly, we weren’t wrong. It’s really only too hot for about three months out of the year, and even then, if you open the windows, how bad could it be?
Bad. Sleep is non-existent, we can barely hear our TV or music because of the whir of the fans, and turning on the stove or oven only makes it worse. I know what you’re thinking. “Suck it up and get some window AC units, idiot,” as though we hadn’t already thought about that. The problem is, we live on the ground floor, so there are bars on the outside of our windows that won’t allow it.
When you’re put in this position, you have to get creative to stay cool. In the event that you ever find yourself here, this is what I’ve found to work the best.
Use whatever you can find as an ice pack.
It goes without saying that when it’s 88 degrees and humid, I’m going to be walking around my apartment in my underwear. This is probably common practice for some people, and to you I say, “Right on.” However, my roommate is a girl and we’re not quite on “walk around in your skivvies” level yet. Luckily, she wasn’t here over the weekend. Either way, after the backs of my legs got stuck to the leather on our couch while trying to get up, I decided it would probably be a good idea to grab a beer to cool off.
In a totally non-sexual way, I took that can of Modelo, touched it to my neck, and holy shit did it feel great. I tapped it on my chest, on my shoulders… I’ll be honest, I gave it a little press on my crotch over my briefs. It was so incredibly refreshing that I almost didn’t even drink it.
(Note: E, I know you’re probably reading this. I’m sorry I sat on the couch in my underwear, but let’s be honest, I’m pretty sure we both know that worse things have happened there.)
Hook up with someone who has air conditioning.
This is pretty similar to paratrooping—hooking up with someone so that you have lodging for the night. For example, I’ve been seeing this girl for a little while now. She has air conditioning, I had a late night at the office after a longer day. We’re a perfect match. The last thing I wanted to do was sleep in my god forsaken sauna of a bedroom, so I texted her to see if she was free later. I could have easily said, “Hey, how would you feel if I crashed at my place tonight? I don’t have AC and I really don’t want to try to sleep through that,” but instead, I went with the simple, “Long day at work. Bottle of wine at your place tonight?”
Normally, I would think of this as a dick move because the AC issue didn’t come up at all that night. However, it did a few days later after I had crashed at her place twice in four days.
“Wait…have you been using me for my air conditioning this whole week?”
“Uh… 40% yes.”
Do they suck at first? Do they make my balls shrink up to the size of walnuts? Do they make me regret almost every decision I’ve made up until the moment the water hits my skin? The answer to all three of those is a resounding yes. Even during the summer, jumping into a cold shower is eerily reminiscent of taking ice baths during my high school football years. I don’t want to go back to feeling like that. I’m an adult, I shouldn’t have to engulf myself in cold water if I don’t have to.
But after those first few seconds? Damn if they don’t feel like you just jumped into the lake after drinking a few margaritas. I hate to say it, but taking a cold shower might be the most refreshing thing I’ve done over the last seven days. I highly encourage it.
Steer into it.
The problem with taking cold showers is that once you’re out, you’re back into the heat. I jumped out of that bad boy and it was like the water didn’t go anywhere. My forehead had droplets of water on it from the time I left my bathroom until I walked into a diner for lunch that afternoon. They had since transformed into beads of sweat.
That’s the main problem with not having air conditioning: you constantly look greasy. There isn’t a period of time where you come in from the heat and let your body dry off. The moisture is just stagnant, a mosquito’s paradise. To me, that’s completely disgusting, so I found that the best thing to do is to just steer into it.
By owning the fact that you look like a sweaty mess, you could almost pull it off as a look. Tell people you just finished up some lawn work and didn’t have time to take a shower before heading out. Since you’re probably already dehydrated, you could tell people you’ve been outside drinking all day and they won’t think twice about how you look. Or, just drop a shit ton of buttons down and air out your chest a little. That shit feels great.
Not having air conditioning sucks, but hey. It’s only 3 months, right? .
Image via Netflix / Mad Men