Those of our friends who have known Ross for a long time know his reputation. They know that he's a friendly guy who loves Jesus, enjoys helping people make smart financial decisions, and eats almost everything except cheese. He also has a reputation for being a little bit of a miser when it comes to the heating bill. Jokes were made when we got engaged last summer; for some reason people assumed that Ross might break his strict 55-degrees year-round mentality. For the sake of his wife, you know.
Fat chance. The man will spend his last dime to send a missionary to Africa. He often picks out classy jewelry for me and surprises me. He never questions the grocery bill, no matter how many odd, exotic foods I've bought. No, Ross is in no way a stingy man. Unless we're talking utilities. The boy is absolutely capable of living without light, other than the glow of the computer screen, and without power, other than the microwave and said computer. I assume the neighbors think he's genuinely nocturnal. Knowing this, and knowing that my marriage would leave me out in the cold, so to speak, I put just one thing on my Christmas list last year.
Mock them as overmarketed blankets if you will, but when I was staying with my dad and stepmum Deana, I absolutely coveted hers. She would sit, bundled up in the living room, managing her eBay website on her laptop while my dad watched The History Channel. She looked enviously comfortable. Ross had just bought me a netbook, and I imagined I'd be "snuggied up" typing my blogs and short stories, sipping a cup of tea (with milk and sugar, thank you) after I cooked him a delicious meal. Oh, it would be heavenly!
It was Deana's mother, in fact, who bought me the Snuggie. I didn't use it right away, as the real chill of winter still lay ahead. In fact, in the excitement of being a newlywed, I forgot about it entirely until about a month after the wedding. That weekend, a magnificently huge blizzard crushed the northeastern United States and draped Pittsburgh in mounds and mounds of velvety, pure white snow. Beautiful. Breathtaking. And very, very nippy.
This was around the time when I realized that Ross was a sheet-thief. He'd unthinkingly rip the covers from me, and I'd be left steadily nudging and whimpering at him until he realized what he'd done and returned a portion of the comforter to my side of the bed. After several nights of this, I got smart and figured that, if I wrapped myself in the Snuggie before I got under the covers, even if he accidentally pulled them off, I'd still be pretty darn warm. While this technique worked well for me personally (also helping me to avoid my hubby's ice-cold hands and feet), Ross's hopes of cuddling were dashed nightly. Apparently, when your wife is tucked tightly into a fleece burrito, romance is very difficult.
When he learned that I would not be relinquishing my Snuggie in favor of him anytime soon, Ross launched a campaign of hatred against it. He called it names. He tried to hide it from me. He told me it ran away. He threatened to cut it up into little pieces with his knife. Then he changed tactics. He requested to wash it for me, and after he'd dried it as well, he reported in a Marlon Brando-esque murmur that he'd just "wanted to put it through da ringer".
Warmer weather, and not my husband's vows of blanket banishment, is what actually unwrapped me from my fleecy new friend. Although, I am pretty certain that, unless we're able to have new, draft-free windows installed this year, the Snuggie will be again keeping me company on cold winter nights - with or without Ross's consent!
Heck, it's cheaper than Equitable gas, anyway.