No Exquisite Sin Greater Than Central Air

This week’s guest writer is Heather O’Brien Webb of The Destiny Manifest. Heather has a wonderful way with words. She shares simplicity and the joy of life through small moments and experiences. Heather embraces simplified living and reminds her readers that happiness comes from within, not from acquisitions. Read what Heather is sharing at Naked Girl today and then go discover (or re-discover) this great writer on her site.


In a scene from the 1999 fantasy comedy Dogma, the demon Azrael, played by Jason Lee, maneuvers his way into a woman’s suburban home just so that he can take advantage of her central air conditioning. “No pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater, than central air,” he intones while cooling off under the A/C vent.

I’m afraid I have to agree with Azrael on this particular point.

This week, as we reach the midway point of our summer vacation, our family is reminded of how fortunate we are to be alive in the world of modern conveniences. It is true that our family has no need of an espresso machine, a flat-screen television or a satellite dish. We even manage to get by without an X-box, iPhones or a washer and dryer. We don’t mind hanging out our laundry to dry, toasting our bread in the oven, or washing our dishes by hand.

However, I draw the line at going without air conditioning.

Our beloved wall unit A/C died last week, and we miss her greatly. We have two electric fans, but they don’t hold a candle to the air conditioning, with its deliciously refrigerated air. I miss the cold breeze that washes over my face when I step in from the heat of the day. I miss sleeping without sweat rolling off my body.

I understand and appreciate the potential evils of air conditioning and the damage that it does to the global environment. I consider our family to be more eco-conscious than the average family. We recycle and carry our reusable handmade cotton bags to the grocery store. We buy locally grown food and maintain a garden to supplement our grocery budget. We try not to do things that we know are detrimental to the world that we live in.

However, in the oppressive heat of summer in the southern United States, air conditioning really feels like a necessity. The heat and humidity make us feel sluggish and tired, even after a full night’s sleep. We all walk around with our tongues hanging out, panting like wild animals in the zoo. We had thought that we’d do just fine without having to fix the air conditioner. We would be brave, strong, tough it out like pioneers. Now, we’re thinking that we can’t get this unit repaired or replaced fast enough.

It’s becoming a matter of Mother versus Mother Nature.

The irony is that in the cold of winter, we huddle together for warmth and dream of the summer days to come. Our apartment is cold and drafty from November through February, and during those months we sorely miss the heat of summer. In the winter, we can always put on more clothes or throw another blanket on the bed. No matter how hot it gets in the summer, there is only so much we can take off, and then we just have to sweat it out.

This week, the children are begging to go outside because it is cooler out in the yard than in the house. The cats are lying in shady spots on the porch and get up only to take quick drinks of water. We’re trying to think of places we can go, friends we can go visit, and our only criteria is whether or not the place has air conditioning. We feel like a band of cold air junkies, twitching for our next fix.

Oh Mrs. Landlady… can we come in and soak up some of your cold air, please?

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