It was little over a week ago that my good friend showed up at work with a bee in her bonnet. Apparently, she had encountered just that morning an individual wearing pajamas out in public. Overly baggy sleep pants. A thin, stained shirt that left little to the imagination. Mismatched socks on feet crammed into shuffling flip-flops. Hair a muss. And a continually yawning, rolled-out-of-bed look on her face as she escorted her child into school.
“I would be willing to bet she had not even brushed her teeth,” my disgusted friend proclaimed, and we both agreed that she should have had enough respect for herself not to walk into school like that.
True, it is written in history that Winston Churchill conducted some of his wartime meetings clad in his silk dressing gown, but let’s be honest — a pair of Spongebob pajama pants with busted elastic, a hole in the seat, and a dirty t-shirt aren’t exactly the same thing. And I’m not making that up … that outfit was shopping for Doritos in the Winn Dixie last weekend. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
Before anyone accuses me of being judgmental and getting up in people’s business, please allow me to say this one thing: I have done it myself. I did, on occasion, wear my sleep attire out to drop my kids off at school back in the day. I’m not particularly proud of it. But the difference is … I never intended to get out of the car. Not even to buy Doritos.
That doesn’t make me better than anyone else, and I know that. There are some instances where pajamas may be the only thing a person can and/or has to wear. I am not referring to those people. For the most part, I am talking about the adults who knowingly and willingly choose to wear them out in public, people who can pull on a pair of shorts or jeans, a shirt, and a bra if they took a minute. Yes, I said bra. I’m talking to you, lady I saw in Kmart with the two little children yesterday. If you can afford to buy two cases of beer, I’d be willing to bet you can afford some sort of chest control mechanism to wear under that see-through sleep shirt.
“I can wear what I want to,” you probably are saying. And you would be 100 percent correct … you can wear what you want to. But don’t think your determination to be comfortable is entirely harmless.
It took me a minute to notice why the little girl at the post office was raising her voice to her mother as she stood at the counter going through the mail. She kept asking her to hurry up before anyone saw them. Mama, wearing a blue and white clingy long nightgown over green sweatpants and dirty lavender bedroom shoes, told the little girl to be quiet and if she was embarrassed by the way she looked then she could walk home.
“You shouldn’t care what people think,” the mother said as the little girl slouched sheepishly against the wall looking as though she wanted the floor to open up and swallow her.
As I faced the machine in the corner and waited for my stamps to come out of the slot, I heard the little girl say, “Then why do you tell me and Bo not to be loud because people will look at you and think you’re a bad mama? Isn’t that kind of the same thing?”
Touche, little girl. Touche. You give hope to a new generation who hopefully will keep pajamas out of grocery stores and post offices everywhere.
I sure hope you didn’t have to walk home.
Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.