A  massive heat wave is hitting most of us this week. I cannot fathom how the people in India will survive; many of them won’t. Technology has to save us! But in the meantime, I have some hints for those of us who are privileged enough not to worry about dying from the heat.

Stay very still. This comes from my husband. I, frankly, have never found this to be helpful, although I guess you sweat less staying still than bustling around. But sweat is sweat, and having it soak the back of your shirt as you sit very still is just as bad as having it drip down into your bra when you are emptying the dishwasher.

Drink a lot of water. Sure. So you can create more sweat. I know, hydration is key, but having a glass of water isn’t that cooling, unless you pour it over your head.

Old ladies like me know that having a fan (the kind Southern Belles used to flirt with, not a Dyson) in every room at one’s fingertips is a must. It is so helpful, and if you buy fans in bulk from Amazon, this is an easy feat. Get extra, in case you leave one in a restaurant or drop one on your way out of the library.

Popsicles are another must. Grape and cherry are the best flavors. Chloe’s out rank the Popsicle brand by a landslide. A landslide of popsicles. Save the sticks for your craft projects.

If you live in a place with a deep aquifer, as we do in Dayton, you may take three cool showers a day. If you live in California, God be with you.

Don’t forget to water your potted plants out there on your deck or porch. Every damn day. Or else they will die. And it will be on your conscience for the rest of the summer.

Watermelon, watermelon, watermelon.

It is BOTH THE HEAT AND THE HUMIDITY. I have never lived in Arizona, but come on, hot is hot. Humidity makes things worse, but 110 degrees dry seems just as horrible as 89 degrees muggy.

What is the rule? Wear black, or is white better? I can never remember, so I wear white. And spill either coffee or barbecue sauce on my white shirts, and ruin at least three every summer. So maybe black would be better.

Stay in the house! If you have a pool, stay in there! But don’t forget that your nose is very vulnerable to sunburn, while you are enjoying the cool, clear water. Zinc sunscreen and a hat. I can’t swim. The pool is not where I want to die. So I don’t hang out there. I very much admire women my age who like to go swimming. However, there is not a swimsuit that has ever been made that can make a woman over 65, no matter how slender, look good. Crepey skin, cellulite, and general “old person body” cannot be disguised. And old men in swim trunks? Ugh. Let’s not even consider Speedos–there should be a law against any man over 50 wearing one of those.

Don’t make Sun Tea. It harbors bacteria, apparently. This means boiling water, tea bags, and letting it cool enough to put in the refrigerator. Boiling water? Not advisable. Get Snapple.

Fabrics: cotton and linen, even though wearing linen makes you look as if you have slept in your clothes within five minutes of putting on that gorgeous linen shirt you got from the Gap. There is also a sort of “wicking” fabric that is supposed to keep one cool. I got a golf shirt that wicked. It gave me mega hot flashes. I tore it off my body and gave it to my husband.

Bermuda shorts. Remember madras patchwork ones? I loved those. These days, I wear capri pants, because Bemudas make me look a bit clumpy. Flip flops, but get a pedicure, for heaven’s sake! If you wear prescription sunglasses, here’s a tip: have a pair in your purse and one in your car. Men, wear a lanyard, because nobody thinks men in lanyards look like a granny.

That about wraps it up. I am now  going to go get a bag of frozen peas and wear it on my head for a while.


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