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The wife’s not a fan of the fan

The Picarella Family Report

Posted: July 18, 2008 12:39 a.m.
Updated: September 18, 2008 5:02 a.m.

My wife hates my fan.

It's a little white 2-speed oscillating fan that I use to keep cool at night while I sleep. My little fan helps save energy and money by giving my air conditioner a rest, yet my wife can't stand the thing.

But before I make my wife out to have a red tail and a pitchfork, I should give a little background on the fan. I can't lie. I don't just use my fan to keep cool. I've become addicted to the soothing humming sounds it makes, and therefore I use it each night-even on cold winter nights-for those wonderful sounds.

Those sounds have become a necessary component to my sleep each night, like a lullaby is to babies.

The fan doesn't help my wife sleep at all. In fact, it annoys her. But she doesn't complain - not often anyway - because she took me for better and certainly for worse.

Last winter, my little fan joined forces with my wife and refused to turn on - probably from overuse. I threw a fit. A couple sucker punches to the motor made the thing start up. But it was then that I realized I had a serious problem. I decided that I needed to kick my fan habit - and now.

Quitting was harder than I thought. I tried all sorts of methods to wean myself off the fan, but each night I needed that fan's sweet noise to put me to sleep.

I bought one of those calming rain forest sound effects CDs and looped it all night, hoping that the sounds of crickets and birds in their native habitat would put me to sleep the way my precious little fan's hum did. The only thing those sounds did was kick-start my reflexes to kung fu chop the insects that I thought were attacking me as I tried to sleep.

I tried to quit the fan cold turkey. I asked my wife to hide the thing, and I told her to keep it hidden no matter what I said, no matter how upset I got.

After one night without the fan, I went into withdrawals, experiencing horrible mood swings that would make a mother with the worst postpartum depression look like Mr. Rogers. I needed my fan fix. But I couldn't find my fan. I threatened my wife, telling her that if she didn't find my fan, I'd take her 4-year-old son from her. My wife didn't give in. Instead, she suggested we play music at night to substitute for the fan, even though she knew that I hated music while I tried to sleep.

On our first night as a married couple, my brand new wife asked if playing music at night would bother me.
Still sedated by our "I dos" and wedding cake, I said, "If you wanna play music, please do, my love."

I hated the music. Even the songs I loved became my worst enemies. My ears weren't meant to be a rock star's microphones. I soon learned that ever since my wife was a teenager, she's needed music at night to sleep. I put up with her addiction for two years.

I finally suggested running an oscillating fan to kick the habit. I'd heard that the humming sounds could put anyone to sleep. So we bought a little white 2-speed oscillating fan - the same little fan I can't find now - and in a few nights, my wife didn't need the music anymore. A few nights later, she didn't even need the fan anymore. But that's when I got addicted to the fan.

Today, I'm in more need of that little white fan than ever, especially in these summer months when I have reasons related to my body temperature. Still, my wife won't return my fan.

So I agreed to use music at night to kick my fan habit. After a few torturous nights of that, my wife was good and hooked on music as a sleep agent again.

And then I hid the stereo from her.

Can you believe my wife still won't return my fan?

Michael Picarella is a Valencia resident and a proud husband and father. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal.


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