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.

So wrong.

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!

9 Responses to “Clean up in Aisle 4!”

  • I am glad you did the dialogue in your head and tossed the snowflakes for jeans. I’m sure it would have been fine, but like you say, that is just the trip to the store that you run into everyone you know. Oh, how I remember those days…coming home from a long day and the kids are waiting like old dogs at suppertime for a scrap of food. It took every ounce of energy I had to make those trips to the store and then try to make something edible! A very funny post!

  • You’re funny. I don’t leave the house without my eyelashes, woman. The thought of going out of the house in my pjs – and cause traffic accidents and the locust descending on San Francisco. To scary to contemplate. I would have to actually purchase pjs – instead of wearing the David Beckham football jersey.

  • I can’t tell you how many times I wanted this to be me. I love my pjs, but I still can’t do it. Black yoga pants and a tee I can do, but my holey sweats…alas, no. My father used to have this thing about us wearing anything resembling comfortable out of the house. I think I still harbor fear that he will discover me or something. So weird.

    • Laura, maybe that’s from where my hesitation stems! As immigrants, my parents were always worried about what the neighbours would think (tho in my case it was more my mom than my dad!). I remember taking the train by myself for the first time as a 13-year old as my mom made me dress up in a matching skirt and jacket! I looked great but I was going to a cottage for crying out loud!!

  • Astra, I’m sorry but I feel it’s my civic duty to defend the pjs! However, I should clarify that I’m NOT talking about full top and bottom flannel pajamas sporting Betty Boop like the lady in the first photo. I’m talking about pajama pants in solid colors that I like to call “lounge wear.” Seriously, do we have to conform to society’s notions that we have to dress this way and that, and even stop to put on lipstick after an exhausting day of travel? Give me a break. The way we dress is a form of self-expression and your wearing your solid color pajama pants, yoga pants, or whatever pants would have sent your neighbors, coworkers, other parents, etc, the message, “I’m tired, I just got home from a trip, and a don’t give a rat’s ass what you people think of my outfit.” There are days and there are days. I say save the lipstick for when it really matters. And the pajama pants? Be a rebel and wear those just because. No explanations necessary. Okay. Rant over. Soap box back in the corner. And now excuse me while I go apply some lipstick. hee hee! Absolutely loved this post of yours. Even if I wouldn’t have given in and worn the jeans and turtleneck! 🙂

    • Perhaps you are my alter-ego Bella! Of course, yours was the argument I was having with myself while making my mental list! I guess I hesitate because I live in a small community and I ALWAYS see someone I know at the grocery store! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Enjoyed your story and yes I wondered about the pictures. Thanks for clarifying! LOL

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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