02 Feb
My MIL’s Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

Every time I visit my MIL, I’m freezing. She’s been going through menopause for 15 years and insists that the temperature be kept ridiculously low. It’s not just me. Everyone is cold… my husband, my kids. I pile on the sweaters, but it doesn’t really help. I hate being so physically uncomfortable at her home. What should I do?


Freezing My Bum Off In Indiana


Dear Bum Freezer,

Remember that great Jim Croce song from the 70’s—the one that goes, “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit in the wind. You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and you don’t mess around with Jim”? Well, replace “Jim” with “menopausal mother-in-law” and you’ll know what kind of high-stakes danger we’re dealing with here. Hell hath no fury like a Woman with a Hot Flash, my friend. That’s why you’ll never find me in a Chico’s store in Phoenix in the summer—it’s just too damn risky. I really don’t want to get strangled to death with reasonably priced resort wear.

Now, the answer as to how you can all keep warm at Chez MIL when the thermostat is set at Arctic levels is obvious. Everybody ready? On the count of three, here we go—one, two, three…


Next time you visit, just pull one of those babies out for everyone but her, and she’ll feel like she’s surrounded by a group of crazyass Druids. You can even start chanting “Ice, Ice Baby” for some added fun. (But don’t try to do the Vanilla Ice dance moves when Snuggiefied or you’ll most likely get an internal injury or two.)

If that doesn’t work, you should just delicately and honestly express your concerns. Say that you truly love to see her, but the low temperatures in her house make everyone feel uncomfortable. If your visit is just for a few hours, it shouldn’t be too hard for her to warm it up a little.   If she still won’t, try to come up with reasons for her to visit your house instead during the winter.   That way you’ll be in charge of the all-important thermostat.

So good luck, Bum Freezer. I hope this works out for you and your family. And remember—keep those Snuggies in a safe place because your children are going to need them when it’s your turn to go through menopause. Brrrrr.


Wendi, TMH

Hey, have you heard? BlogHer ’10 is coming to NYC this summer and some of the Mouthy Housewives (together with Aunt Becky!) have put together a proposal for a room, called Dear Abby 2.0: Giving Advice in the Blogosphere. It’s going to be fantastic, but we need your help. Just click here, log on to BlogHer and then click “I would attend this session” (it’s just above the title: Dear Abby 2.0). After you click it it will miraculously say “I would not attend this session.” This means that your vote for the session has been successfully registered. Thank you! And see you in NYC!

4 Responses to “My MIL’s Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!”


Comment by Rachael.

My FIL does this and I hate it. We had to live with them for 2-1/2 months and I was in a constant state of popsicle. I finally just said it had to change. The ceiling fan has to be turned off, the thermostat can not go below 70-72 and if he’s hot then he needs to go upstairs. He had a window unit installed in their bedroom to take a little pressure off of the central ac when it’s 115 outside. Now I pick on him about it when we visit and he knows he has to either suffer with the temp being up a little or suffer with my incessant whining for a week. Usually he picks the temp being raised a degree or two. Since I’ve learned how to change it myself I’ll fiddle with it when he leaves on one of his many clean the car, dry cleaning, go to storage, grocery store errands. When he comes back he always walks in the house acting like he’s going to pass out and croak but he always survives.


Comment by Muirgen.

Oh, you probably shouldn’t come to my house then! Does your MIL live in a cold climate? Because it’s just too stinkin’ expensive to keep a house that warm in the winter where I live. We keep our house at 65 when people are awake and 55 after everyone’s in bed, with a programmable thermostat so it’s warm when we get up. We wear wool sweaters and have wonderful warm fuzzy sheets & blankets. But seriously, I’ve already spent $700 on propaane since Nov, and it’s time to fill the tank again.


Comment by Anna Lefler.

I WISH I had this problem. At my MIL’s, we’re lucky to get any A/C at all because apparently “money doesn’t grow on trees.” Which is immaterial because there aren’t any trees nearby anyway. Have I mentioned that they live in a metal house? And that we visit every July? It’s like a sweat lodge without the feathers and spiritual breakthrough.

Luckily we have the distraction of my MIL dragging her fingers across her polyester slacks to check for hangnails again and again…and again…and again…

[eyelid flutter]


Comment by Marinka, TMH.

Or, you can make sure that your bum is extra padded with protective layers of fat. I heard it really works!

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