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Informal poll about hot vs. cold reveals a tie

May 24, 2023

With much of the world in the midst of a heatwave, it seems our default setting is to complain.

There's no disputing it's hot right now. According to a recent story in USA Today, at least 45 states and more than 100 million Americans were dealt temperatures of 90 degrees or higher in the past week.

It's a true hardship for many, and I certainly don't mean to make light of what's a serious situation in other places. But for those of us who've lived in Florida for any length of time, a sweltering summer is a given.

I live here because of the heat, not despite it. I'll take hot over cold any day. I love visiting the cold, but I don't want it coming to see me.

Walking around the quaint shops near snowy Lake Tahoe in February a few years back was lovely, but it didn't take long for me to tire of taking off the hat scarf and gloves, putting on the hat scarf and gloves. Oops! Where did I drop the other glove? Outside was biting cold. Inside was stuffy hot.

Plus, I never want to scrape my icy windshield with my debit card again.

There's been a lot of discussion among my friends about the merits of hot vs. cold, so I decided to take an unofficial poll on Facebook to see what others prefer.

Turns out, with more than 200 responses, it's a tie.

"Hot," said Marcus Darnell, a Chicago native who moved to the Space Coast for college and never went back. "I'm in Florida for a reason. Winter is for Penguins. I am not a penguin."

"Give me the cold," said Jamey Thompson, a local chef who grew up in Rockledge. "You can only take off so many clothes (legally). At least in the cold you can always layer."

His wife, Myesha Thompson, disagrees.

"Hot," she said. "The heat is miserable but the cold hurts."

Carol Ellis is another Florida native who's not a fan of heat.

"Cold," she said. "I hate it when my arms are stuck to my sides."

The non-natives don't seem to mind.

"I didn't move to Florida to wear a parka," said Gregg Wiggins, who formerly lived in the D.C. area.

Not so for Scott Kingston of Grant-Valkaria.

"Rather be cold because I can always build a fire," he said. "If it's super-hot, I can't make an air conditioning. Also highly doubt anyone wants me shedding more clothes."

For Shannon Mulvaney of Melbourne, it's got to be hot.

"I love it," she said. "I can always cool off by enjoying a pool or the ocean or AC. There's so much more you can enjoy outside when it's hot."

My cousin, Carl Lytle from Birmingham, Alabama, on the other hand, likes doing things outside when the temperatures drop.

"I like the cold," he said. "Being hot drags me down and makes me lethargic. Cold motivates me to move more so I can possibly get warm."

Former FLORIDA TODAY cartoonist Jeff Parker is a true Florida man.

"I hate temps below 70 and live in a Polartec from mid-November to mid-March," he said. "Also, it freaks out loved ones that our AC is set to 78 (and I still get a little cold sometimes and cut off the paddle fan). My motto is: If you can't wear shorts and a t-shirt, what's the point?"

Same goes for local artist Eric Lamarr: "Cold! Well, 75 and sunny."

Brevard attorney Tami Nicholls asked for the legal parameters of my hot or cold question:

"Are we talking about looks and emotions? Thus, me being a hot looking individual with a cold heart, or temperature wise? Temperature wise, 75 degrees please."

And my former colleague Keith Magill in Louisiana took the weather out of the equation entirely.

"I would rather be called hot than cold," he said.

But the person who really nailed it? Former FLORIDA TODAY reporter Kimberly Moore, who now lives in Lakeland.

"Goldilocks here would like to be juuuuuust right," she said.

Me, too, Kimberly. Me, too.

Suzy Fleming Leonard is a features journalist with more than three decades of experience. Reach her at [email protected]. Find her on Facebook: @SuzyFlemingLeonard or on Instagram: @SuzyLeonard.

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