My wife is hot. Really hot.
Attractive, of course, but in this case I mean: She’s sweating, just back from her hot-yoga class, looking vaguely like a championship-winning football coach whose players have just turned over a bucket of sports drink on his head.
And she makes a beeline for the thermostat.
“Seventy-six degrees????” she cries, give or take a question mark, perspiration pooling in her flip-flops. “What’s next? Are you going to plant a cactus in the living room?”
She hits a button and rotates a dial and the air-conditioning unit kicks on.
As she stomps off to the shower, trying to figure out which curse word best applies to her current mood, my mind flashes back to last summer’s electric bills and the crowdfunding campaign I had to start to pay for them.
There’s a simple fix: Without getting up from the couch, I grab my phone and boot up the Nest app, which allows me to peek in on and adjust our Nest thermostat’s settings remotely, over Wi-Fi, not only from inside the house but pretty much from anywhere my phone can get a signal. (And if this sounds like a free ad for Nest, well, it kind of is. Because it’s how I pulled off this next trick.)
“Sixty-eight degrees?” I say to myself, a shiver running down my spine. I can’t see my breath yet, but as they say ad nauseam on “Game of Thrones”: Winter is coming.
So I head it off. A tap here, a swipe there, and – voila – I’ve reached what seems like a good compromise.
Twenty minutes later, my wife comes back out with a towel wrapped around her head. Her eyes narrow into slits, her lips purse, and suddenly, she’s got That Look. The same look she gets when she goes to take her first cookie from the package of 24 she bought at the store, only to discover there are just three left.
She can feel it in the air – in this case, literally. Again, she races over to the thermostat.
“Seventy-four degrees????” she shouts, beads of sweat materializing on her brow. “You turned it back up! Why would you do that?”
I can’t lie to my wife, so I say: “Who, me? I haven’t gotten up from the couch since you got home, I swear!”
Her: “So you’re saying you didn’t touch the thermostat?”
Me, not lying: “No, I promise you, I didn’t touch that thermostat. I’ve just been sitting here on my phone.”
Her: “OK, then can you explain how this thing went from 68 to 74 in the last 20 minutes?”
Me, still not (technically) lying: “I’m sure there’s a logical explanation. But what can I say? I mean, it’s a ‘smart’ thermostat. I’m sure it’s making sensible decisions.”
She mutters something that sounds kinda like “smart my a--” (although there may or may not have been a “my” wedged in there), then: “Uh-huh. Well, I’m burning up right now. So, 68. It’s going on 68.”
The air-conditioning unit springs back to life, another shiver runs down my spine.
I peer around the corner to see my wife heading for the pantry, satisfied she’s not sticking around to spy on me. Then I grab my phone and boot up the Nest app again.
A tap here, a swipe there, and –
Her: “Hey, have you seen those cookies anywhere?”