I am a pig when it comes to eating crabs; I don't have any childhood summer eating memories that don't include crabs. So naturally I am a pro at picking them. And eating them (although in this category I have also been called a glutton).
During our most excellent crab feast on the porch last evening (during which I picked for myself as well as the less competent), we found ourselves drifting into several philosophical discussions; the one which interested me most was the one about air conditioning.
I am currently reading Reprieve: A Memoir by Agnes de Mille about the cerebral hemorrhage she suffered in the late 70s after a longtime career as a groundbreaking dancer and choreographer.
While recovering in one of the best hospitals in NYC (and one of only three in the world at the time that had a CAT scan capability), she mentioned the long summer nights in the hospital.
"It was hot I suppose because it was midsummer and no air conditioning was allowed in the hospital but I was high up and there was always a breeze of sorts [through the window]."
The group was appalled. No a/c in a hospital? How did people survive, much less recover? How inhumane! How archaic.
I told the group I don't use air conditioning and haven't since 1993 by choice. Well, if Agnes' situation was appalling, mine was sheer idiocy. The 70s were one thing, but this is the 21st century, they squealed. Why on earth?
Why not? It's green and oh-so economical (more money for crabs). I never claimed to be like other people. And I really do like feeling warm to the bone.
When we got down here and were choosing bedrooms, there was one with twin beds, one with a double and one with a queen. No one wanted the twin bed room except me, which worked out exceedingly well for me.
It's the only room on the ocean side. So I have the windows flung wide open so I can hear the waves and feel the breeze.
But I am obligated to keep the door to my room shut at all times so my warm, humid salt air doesn't dilute the meat-locker temperature in the rest of the cottage. Can do.
Truthfully, the essence of summer in the south for me isn't crab eating (although I'd hate to do without), it's that little trickle of sweat that runs down between my breasts on a hot day.
Just add it to the list of my oddities.