The Dilemma Of Open Windows

Is it… is it gone? Is winter finally over? The trees and flowers are budding, my car is coated in pollen, it’s been in the 60s and 70s for the past week; is spring finally here? Ha ha! Ha ha ha ha! Yes! Finally! Fucking finally! No more cold! No more snow!

Ah, this is great. This is really great. I’m going to open my window up, let a nice cool breeze in, make some tea, sit down, open a new book … yes. This is nice. This is really, really-

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Oh, for fuck’s sakes. Not two minutes in and I can already hear a group of kids screaming at the top of their lungs. Oh, and now there’s a lawn mower. And another one. Sigh.

I love when spring comes. It’s so refreshing after a shitty winter. It’s warmer, trees are looking alive again, the sound of the wind blowing through newly formed leaves and grass is so pleasant; it’s all a genuinely pleasing experience. (Except for allergies. Allergies suck.) It’s nice to just lie in bed on slow, lazy days and have the wind come through the windows and dance around the house. It makes you drift in and out of naps at a refreshing pace.

But I’m not going to lie. The time for open windows has its fair share of problems. First world problems? Yes, but don’t tell me you haven’t been irritated at some point by one of the following cons of open windows.

Dealing with outside noise

As I mentioned above, outside noise can put a serious damper on the open windows experience. Kids scream constantly. I don’t want to be the old guy that tells kids to shut up, but the kids around my block are shouting all the time while they’re playing. Literally shouting at each other. What are these kids screaming about? They’re hanging out in the same driveway playing basketball, or on the same lawn playing baseball. What are the hell are they yelling for? Are they all wearing earphones and just shouting so they can hear each other?

It’s not just kids, though. Sometimes you get adults that feel the need to have a conversation from across the street. Why they just don’t go over and talk to one another is beyond me. Then you’ll get the people in their twenties that rev up their car for ten minutes in their driveways and peel out of the neighborhood, tires screeching, completely unaware that they don’t actually look cool and aren’t really leaving a trail of fire behind them. Then there are lawn mowers, weedwackers, chainsaws, and any other loud lawn care device. There’s never really a good time to use them without pissing people off. Morning, afternoon, or evening, no one like listening to all the noise for an hour. And lucky for us, Saturdays always seem to be perfect for  filling the neighborhood with that commotion all day.

Dealing with inside noise

It’s a two way street. The outside world also has to deal with your crap. Perhaps you’re an “enthusiastic” baseball fan, frequently voicing your opinions about the game with select language in a louder tone. Well, to everyone walking past your house (or even nearby houses with their windows open), you’re a lunatic, and they fear you may be beating your wife. Having a fight with someone? I hope you don’t mind the outside world listening in. Trying to have sex? Better do it quietly, lest some puberty-stricken youth is jacking off to the sound of your love in a nearby bush. Oh, and just because you like to to listen to your favorite movies or music with the volume all the way up, doesn’t mean the rest of the neighborhood does, too.

Humidity

You know what’s obnoxious? When it’s cool outside, but there’s no breeze, so it’s still hot in the house. You know what’s more obnoxious? When it’s humid. It’s gross. The whole house feels sticky. The carpet feels like it’s been recently flooded and still drying out. You feel like you just got out of the shower but are never drying off. Sometimes your clothes stick to you. Posters start to warp (why?). No one likes humidity, but it can’t be denied that even on a cool day, humidity with open windows makes you want to turn the air on for the sole purpose of ventilating the house (or at the very least pull out the fans).

Rain

I don’t particularly mind the rain so much, but when it’s coupled with humidity it can make the house feel even more gross. But I know most people don’t want to open their windows when it’s raining, so I figured I’d mention it anyway. The windowsill gets wet. The carpet gets wet. The curtains get wet. The whole house in general feels wet. Need I go on?

Bugs

I know. After winter, I forgot they existed too. But they’re back, and invading your house. You think you’re safe because of the screen behind the window, but they’re not perfect. Screens break down over time, and chance are there are some decent sized holes in some of your screens, too. Bugs love them, mistaking them for invitations into your home. And even if your screens are fine, they still manage to slip through the cracks between the sides of the window and screen. The ones that bother me most are the stink bugs. They’re big, they appear out of nowhere, and you can’t just squish them.

Trouble sleeping

Unless you live alone or sleep with someone, you probably prefer sleeping in a room with the door shut. After all, no one likes to be watched while they’re sleeping. That being said, it can be difficult to get an effective cross breeze with the door closed. Some nights will be good, of course, but sometimes it’s just going to get a little too hot. You’ll open your window all the way but it doesn’t really get cooler. You’ll take your shirt or pants off, but it’s still too hot. You’ll take off the covers, but still toss and turn as you try to find a comfortable position. After a while, you’ll fall asleep. Your body will cool down, and with the window still wide open, you’ll wake up freezing. Just can’t seem to win on those nights.

The house has different temperatures

Heat rises. It’s going to be hotter upstairs than downstairs. You’ll be in one room and feel fine, but go to another and it’s going to be hot. You’ll spend some time in one of the hot rooms and return downstairs just to find that’s it’s too cold. You may find yourself adjusting how much each specific window in the house is open, and it’s generally a pain in the ass. You may want to open more windows because you’re upstairs, but your downstairs people will complain because it’s cool enough for them. Again, you might be longing for central air conditioning, if only because the whole house will feel the same.

Like I said, I love opening the windows. A fresh breeze feels fantastic, and the sound of the wind is too soothing. I’m glad it’s warm enough to finally open the windows again, but it certainly brings its own set of annoyances.

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