It was a dark and stormy night. Harsh winds startled the yard ... trees swayed, limbs rattled, rain falling sideways pelted against the windows. I gazed out the window at the ruckus outside. Would it last long? Would it pass over? More importantly, can I put on my pajamas?
It was a question I often ask myself when bouts of bad weather come our way — should I keep on my day clothes or take a chance and pull on something more comfortable, something slouchy and misshapen with room to move around in? Appropriate television-watching-not-doing-much-of-anything-else wear. Not the kind of outfit you’d particularly want the neighbors to see.
But what if we suddenly have to run outside or, God forbid, the media shows up in the front yard to survey the damage and report it to the world? Can’t be caught wearing my favorite pajama pants that I’ve had since my son was in elementary school. (Frame of reference — he’s in college now.) Their once heather grayness is long since dulled, the waistband elastic is shot and held up by only a whisper and a prayer and whenever I wear them now, I have a sneaking feeling that one leg is longer than the other — but I do love them so. Pair them with a Georgia Bulldog sweatshirt circa 1990 and I can turn heads. And not in a good way.
Despite my fear of being caught in bad weather barefoot and looking like I’d crawled out from under a rock, I succumbed to my pajamas the other night. It was a long day and my yoga pants were calling my name. I’ve often wondered, however, if they can legally be called yoga pants if, like mine, they technically have never been to yoga. Nevertheless, I pulled them on and prayed for the weather to pass over and for all in its path to be safe and sound.
There’s something about having all your chickens in one place when bad weather hits that makes a mama feel better. So when I heard bad weather was barreling across the state, my first thought was of our college boy four hours north. Did he need his mama?
He answered on the second ring.
“Oh, good, baby. I got you. Are you in class? Well, anyway ... the weather is going to be bad up there today and I just want you to be careful. Don’t go outside in the rain. Stay indoors. Don’t get wet.”
“Uh ... OK, mom.”
“OK ... really, are you in class? Anyway, just don’t get wet. Call us tonight. I love you.”
If he was not sure before, I have no doubt that that call left no shadow of a doubt in his mind — he thinks his mama is crazy. If he only knew the number of times that I had to physically restrain myself from calling him at college — like when I wanted to warn him that Ramon noodles cooked in the microwave can get very hot and to blow on them before eating them, and to be careful not to let the body wash I got him get in his eyes because I bought the same kind and found out that it really burns. He is an intelligent, perfectly capable of taking care of himself individual. He is not a child. He is not a child. He is not a child ... I have to keep reminding myself.
It’s sad, really. I think I just want any excuse to talk to him. But I will stand by my calling him to warn him about the weather as a perfectly sane, perfectly acceptable thing for a mother to do. Only thing is, I didn’t remind him to keep his shoes and good clothes on until the storm passed. But who am I to tell him that — I swayed from my usual and put on my ratty yoga pants that recent dark and stormy night.
But seriously, can I call them yoga pants?
I know, I’ll call my college boy and see what he thinks ... what can it hurt? He already thinks I’m crazy. I just hope he’s not in class.
Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.