Is it ok to wear pyjamas to the grocery store? I really want to know. Will ‘sleepwear as street wear’ become the next fashion passion for all as Lorraine Duffy Merkl of East Side Our Town writes (and I mean not just for teenagers since mine have also decided pj bottoms are de rigeur on the teenage catwalk)?
It was the Tuesday after a long weekend. We’d just returned from a phenomenal long weekend away with my extended family. We ate, we drank, we peed our pants laughing, we pulled a few muscles and strained a few ligaments scaling down mountains, and all the while my mom systematically wrote each one of us out of her last will and testament… you know … typical family weekend.
The Tuesday after a long weekend-back-to-work/back-to-school is always painful. I was tired. I was cranky. The cupboard was bare. One of the dogs had fertilized the white living room carpet – probably the result of his feral weekend at the frat house-for-hounds (aka kennel). Though I was the last one home, the contributions were still there – just the pungent aroma I needed after a long-Tuesday- at-work- after-a-long-weekend. Everyone, including the dogs, was complaining about homework and hunger. “There’s plenty of food in the house,” I shot back “just no more junk food. See?” I yanked open the frig door. They were right. There was no food in the house. The frig was empty. I gave them all a granola bar and told them to hang on … help was on its way.
“Feed the dogs!” I yell, as I run up to change. “Fed them yesterday!” was the reply I got. “Funny, I fed you yesterday too,” I reminded her. “And see? You’re hungry again!” Eyes rolling, she fed the dogs.
As I changed out of my work clothes, making my mental grocery list, I wondered – as I peered over the mountain of dirty laundry – could I get away with going to the grocery store in my pyjamas? IT WOULD BE SO EASY! It was the only thing I really wanted to wear! I thought of all the summertime boaters I’d seen all summer traipsing through the store in their bathing suits. To a few of those, I should have offered my bathrobe. It would have been a sympathetic gesture for all humanity. They wouldn’t care. Or all the trades people I’d seen quickly running in after work in their overall and muddy work boots. They wouldn’t notice. I used to take the boys to the bus stop in my pyjamas when my daughter was still an infant. I was wearing snow pants and a jacket, mind you, but the bus driver didn’t seem care.
I ask you, who would care? My friends would not care. No, it’s not likely they’d drop a jar of pickles at the sight of me in the middle of aisle four. Heck, they’d take one look at me, tuck a carton of dulce de leche Haagen Dazs in my cart and soothe me: “There, there, dear. Don’t worry. It’s a short week! Friday is on its way.” How noticeable would little ol’ me be in my flannel snowflake ensemble with matching slippers? So adorable. So cozy. So tempting.
THAT would be the day I would run into any of my kids’ teachers, and CAS would be on my doorstep the next day.
That would be the day I would run into any one of my husband’s clients, and we’d soon be eating canned ham.
THAT would be the day I run into one of my colleagues, and no one would make eye contact with me the rest of the week.
THAT would be the day, I run into any of my boys’ friends, and they would be the laughing stock of the cafeteria (though I can take comfort in knowing my daughter’s friends would simply assume that grown-ups have pyjama day at work too).
No, that did it. I pulled on my jeans and a turtleneck sweater and marched off to the grocery store in some manner of civility and respect.
Someone else will have to set the next food-shopping fashion fervour!
Author’s note: Just for the record, I am NOT actually pictured anywhere here!