Fahrenheit What the Frak?


It’s almost summer. While I love the freedom that comes with a break from the school schedule, I am not a fan of the sweltering temperatures that run rampant in Texas this time of year. A direct result of the rising mercury is a shortening of my fuse. I tend to be a little cranky to start with and by the end of the hottest part of the year, I am in full volcanic eruption mode when it comes to my temper. I’ve tried to learn to live with it, but after 25 years of trying I must admit defeat.

In the Northern regions of the continent, many residents suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Those with SAD contend with bouts of depression during the shorter days winter brings. While anti-depressants are sometimes prescribed, one of the most common solutions is to provide the afflicted with a lamp that simulates sunshine. Most patients respond well to the light treatments and require no other intervention. As long as they have access to a power source, they retain their sunny dispositions.

I spent a significant portion of my younger years living in Alaska. At that time SAD was just starting to be recognized and treated. While I knew people that experienced depression triggered by lack of sunlight, I actually really enjoyed the shorter days of winter. After all, it meant that we had long summer nights too. I reveled in the variety. It is one of the things I miss most about Alaska.

So this Alaskan girl followed some boy to Texas after being promised we would only be here a few years. 25 years later, here I sit, still in Texas. And I still hate the hot weather. I have decided that if lack of sunlight can bring on depression, too much sun can cause one to be impatient and irritable. As such, I have come up with my own disorder: Heat Induced Just Can’t Even (HIJCE).

Wondering if you may suffer from HIJCE? Allow me to provide you with a quick list of possible symptoms:

  • You refuse to go outside because it requires three layers of sunscreen be applied first.
  • You avoid the pool because it’s like climbing into a hot tub.
  • You stand in front of the open refrigerator door just to feel the cool breeze.
  • You’ve contemplated sleeping in the garage dwelling chest freezer.
  • You scream like a banshee when anyone takes too long coming into or out of the house.
  • You are willing to sell a kidney to pay for the exorbitant electricity bill that comes with maintaining a 68° ambient temperature in your home.
  • Your front lawn looks like a jungle because you refuse to mow it in the heat.
  • There’s no such thing as a hot meal when the outdoor thermometer reads above 85°.
  • Ice cream becomes your only source of calories.
  • Your friends accuse you of living like a mole person because the blinds and curtains are glued shut.
  • You need an industrial sized ice machine for drinks, baths, etc.
  • Your children run for cover when the weather report comes on the news before they become the outlet for your rage over the never-ending list of 3 digit temps on the TV screen.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the symptoms of HIJCE, just some of the most common. Sadly, beyond moving north, there is no known cure for HIJCE. If you suffer from it, I recommend seclusion in a mountain cabin (preferably in Alaska) from June-September. If you know someone that suffers from it avoid him or her at all costs.

I hope you find this helpful in identifying those that suffer from HIJCE. Please try to understand that people who suffer from it don’t mean to be hurtful; their crankiness is really beyond their control. They Just Can’t Even handle the heat.

Please consider this both a warning and an advance apology for my behavior in the next few months.

**Heat Induced Just Can’t Even should not be confused with other forms of Just Can’t Even. Such as Lack of Coffee J Can’t Even, Dog Hair Induced Just Can’t Even, Teenage Induced Just Can’t Even…

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