Thursday, November 13, 2008

I don't know who decided it was okay to leave the house in pajamas.

Yesterday afternoon I needed to run an errand in Brunswick, and since I was right there, I stopped at Wal-Mart for dog food. I have very mixed feelings about Wal-Mart, and in fact sent my friend Katharine a text right after (to which you have not yet responded, K, if you're reading this) to ask whether shopping at Wal-Mart is immoral. But that's a post for another day, and in the meantime I'm grateful to Wal-Mart for cheap vitamins, 20-lb. bags of dog food, and frozen dinners that only cost a dollar.

Anyway, it was about 4:30 in the afternoon, but by the time I left the store, I wondered whether I'd had some time fugue and lost seven hours.

For one thing, it was dark when I left the store; not twilight, dark. Nighttime dark. This happens every year, right around this time, and it shouldn't surprise me anymore, but it does. Night falls between 4:00 and 4:30. By 5:00, it's as dark as it gets. It'll be this way until March.

But more to the point of today's post, I noticed several people shopping in what appeared to be pajama bottoms. Not fancy Perle Mesta-style hostess pajamas, but flannel trousers with prints of puppies or hearts on them.

When did this become okay? I mean, I understand needing to make a run in the middle of the night or very early in the morning, and not wanting to go to the trouble of putting on a full suit of clothes. But at 4:30 in the afternoon? How lazy do you have to be? How much harder is it to pull on a pair of sweatpants?

See, I'm not a snob about this stuff. I work at home; I wear sweatpants. I leave the house in sweatpants, though I'm not proud of that. But sweatpants, at least, suggest that I might have come from or be going to the gym (don't laugh, it's happened).

Pajamas, on the other hand, say, "I've just gotten out of bed. I'm just about to go back to bed. This is the most extreme case of sleepwalking I've ever suffered."

Maybe it's just gotten too easy to get an Ambien prescription.


Kevin Wignall said...

I don't want to jump to conclusions, but I suspect you wouldn't see people in Saks or Bergdorf Goodman etc. wearing pyjamas. Is it possible that there's a link to the fact that this is a store that sells $1 frozen meals (seriously, how can there be ANYTHING nutritious in there for $1?)?

It's interesting that the working classes used to dress with a certain formality - hats, ties, etc. Of course, most of the old working class has gone but the underclass that was left behind feels able to completely disregard all of societies conventions. In a strange way, I rather admire them for it.

norby said...

Having lived on and around college campuses for so long I've gotten used to the pajama look. Of course, I know wear scrubs everywhere so I'm probably just a step up, although my clothing does at least have a professional attachment to it.

As to the Wal-Mart question, I worked at a Wal-Mart for a year and have sworn to avoid shopping there ever since. I've been fairly successful.

Peggy & Scott said...

I loose time in Walmart too.
On the other issue, the pj thing has been going on for a while. I take comfort in the fact that no matter how bad I look when I go to walmart there will always be people who look worse tham me!

Anonymous said...

I remember a piece on Seinfeld where Elaine mentions that wearing Sweatpants in Public means you have just given up.

Walmart- it is hard not to price shop- Money is tight- sometimes too tight to make a point. I always look in Big Lots first since it is just a mile from my house.


AnswerGirl said...

$1 frozen meals are mostly salt. Salt is cheap. And it doubles as a preservative, to keep me looking youthful.

Anonymous said...

Pajama bottoms at 4:30 in the afternoon at Wal-Mart scream welfare recipient.

Jennifer Lechner said...

The pajamafication of America is something to which I have contributed, though I am not proud of this. There is a fine line between what I wear to sleep in and what I wear to work. Thank God (I am sure my fellow Americans agree) I work from home.

Larry said...

I'm chiming in late, but when I saw these worn to work on casual Friday, I... never mind.

Claire said...

People were not big pajama wearers at McGill (out of necessity, of course--it was cold and only about 500-1000 people actually live ON campus). Still, even on college campuses I have a hard time accepting seems to signal a total lack of involvement in the outside world. Also, you just slept in those. Gross. Take a shower.

I am trying to be a less judgmental person, but I have strong feelings on showering and hygiene.