January 13

Yesterday Lady Laura and I went to our monthly pot luck dinner for our seniors group. We shared a table with six other people and eventually the conversation turned to the weather - how nice and warm it has been (for a Pennsylvania winter) and how cold it's going to be this week-end (normal January in Pennsylvania weather. COLD!!). One of the women remarked that she liked the sleeveless vest I was wearing.

“Wouldn’t that be perfect for running in and out of stores in the cold?” she said to her husband. “Like sleeping with one leg out.”

I was stunned. Speechless. Here, all this time I thought I was the only one who slept with one leg out.

The lady represented an entire demographic (and one apparently now going public) that sleeps with one leg out. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re not one of us.

We are a set of sleepers who regulate our internal thermostats by throwing one leg out from beneath the covers to keep from overheating.

Some refer to it as the thermostat-control leg.

There are also variations on the theme. There is the thermostat-control arm and the thermostat-control foot for those who can regulate their internal temperature by merely venting a foot or an arm. And special kudos to those who can regulate body temperature by venting only the big toe.

I have always believed it is healthier to be on the cold side rather than the warm side, particularly at night. On occasion, I have said, “Why don’t we just sleep outside?”

“Why don’t we?” Laura chirp. “Our ancestors did.” She wasn't serious ... not with her bug phobia. She claims her ancestors did not sleep outside, but came from a long line of luxury hotel chain magnates that cranked the thermostat to 80 degrees in each and every room.

Naturally, if you have a temperature control appendage, you will marry someone who can never pile bedding high enough, owns thermal underwear and still wears socks to bed.

It is for the our own good that I keep the thermostat set low.

I know for a fact that being chilly makes you more productive than being warm. When you get too warm, you get sleepy. Then you feel lethargic. The next thing you know, you’re cracking your head on the floor because you fell off your computer chair.

When certain family members stop by, they frequently complain about the temperature in the house. Laura cares for a young girl in our home and she often refuses to remove her coat. Laura always convinces her to take her coat off but I know they both feel the same about the temperature I keep the house at.

“My hands are frozen,” Lady Laura will say.

“Put them in this warm dishwater,” I say. “That will fix everything.”

Another time she complains, “My feet are turning to ice.”

“Well, of course they are,” I say. “You need to keep moving. Why don’t you take the laundry downstairs? Then you can run the sweeper and unload the dishwasher. You’ll feel warmer in no time.”

It is reassuring to know that I am not alone in the one leg out routine, my quest for cooler air and productive living.

Maybe we’ll start a support group. We can meet at my place.

Wear a jacket - I'll be the one in the Snuggie!