I don't know whether you've read The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann. Mann was a German writer who wrote long, wooly, pre-modernist novels that I used to read when I was much younger and more pretentious than I am now.
The main character in The Magic Mountain was a young man named Hans Castorp. He traveled to the Magic Mountain to visit his cousin, who was a patient at a tubercular sanitarium.
The story takes place when tuberculosis was still a very big deal. In the pre-antibiotics era, what a TB patient needed was Pure Air, and apparently the air in the Magic Mountain was amazingly Pure. The patients sat outside every day--even in the winter, when they wore fur suits that Mann describes with a wealth of detail that obviously made a huge impression on me, because I still remember those passages quite vividly.
Now what does this have to do with anything?
Nothing, really, except for my fur fetish (which I probably owe to having read this book.)
But there are some interesting parallels with my life. Hans is young and susceptible, and when he visits the sanitarium he falls madly in love with an alluring older, more sophisticated and worldly woman.
Well, the connection there is perfectly clear.
There's also the fact that my husband's great uncle started a tuberculosis sanitarium in Los Angeles. It's still there--it's over by Dodger Stadium (which might seem a strange location for a sanitarium, but at the time, in the pre-smog L.A., it was believed that the air there was particularly Pure.)
OK. Then there's the Pure Air mania. My husband suffers from this as well. Look, I like Pure Air as much as the next former Girl Scout, but I would like to lodge a protest.
Because after we go to the trouble of having the space-pack air conditioning retro-fitted to our tiny old-fashioned house, and I decide that it's getting rather warm and very humid, and wouldn't it be nice to turn on the a/c, and my husband agrees with me?
I really, really resent having to go through the entire house closing windows. All of which he opened. And some of which he opened from the bottom up and the top down.
Over 14 windows and three doors needed to be closed so that the air conditioning could do its thing.
I am now a sweaty MESS.
This alluring, worldly, sophisticated older woman is about to head upstairs and kick someone right in his Pure A**.