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Pajama People

My Grandad John is an interesting mix of curmudgeonly (he tends to grunt rather than speak) and sentimental (he wore sunglasses to our weddings to hide his tears); I think he tended to be a softie when it came to his grandchildren. Nevertheless, all of us – my siblings and cousins – have our own story of The Time Grandad Yelled At Me. (My brother probably has more than one, actually, since, as the boy, he was required to work on the farm with Grandad and therefore was more often in his proximity.) My sisters’ stories have to do with vehicle mishaps, I believe – either getting stuck in the mud or locking keys within. For me, it was pajamas.

One Christmas, when I was 10 or 11, my parents went on a trip and left us all with our grandparents. (I think I was in 6th grade, in fact, because I’d gotten my first Walkman for Christmas. My other grandparents took me and Jana to see Yentl, which I despised, and then shopping at the mall, and I bought my very first cassette tape. Not the Yentl soundtrack, for I did not care whether Papa could hear her, but Air Supply. I wore out that tape.)

Anyway – while at Grandma and Grandad’s house, we spent the day doing a lot of nothing – playing games, reading, golfing. One day during this idyll Grandad came home for lunch, looked me up and down, and said: “Krista, why are you still in your pajamas? What’s the matter with you? Be a person, go put some clothes on.”

I was crushed – crushed! – by this criticism. I slunk off to the bedroom to change, fuming in the way only an 11-year-old girl can fume. Who cared if I was still in my pajamas? What did it matter that I hadn’t gotten dressed yet, even though it was close to noon? It’s not like we were going anywhere or doing anything important. And hadn’t I helped Grandma clear the table after breakfast and gather up laundry to wash, all in my pajamas? Wearing pajamas had nothing to do with being a person! Grandad was so mean!

Silly to have gotten so upset over it, of course, but I was, and it stuck with me. Not, perhaps, in the way that Grandad would have liked. To this day I have a reluctance to change out of my pajamas unless absolutely necessary; nor do I suggest to my children that they should change out of their pajamas unless we’re leaving the house. (Why muck up another outfit, for one thing?) Phoebe, being a fashionista, will usually change first thing in the morning (and then at various points throughout the day), but Mallory is content to stay pajama-ed until we go out for dinner. On weekends, if I do change, it’s usually into something pajama-esque. (Once Chris watched me change out of my pink pajama top and grey knit pajama pants into a pink sweatshirt and grey yoga pants and said: “And the point of that was…?”)

All this I do for comfort, of course, and out of pure laziness. But I do it with a little flash of defiance, too. I’m a pajama person, and I’m proud of it.


aimee said…
That is hilarious. He actually said, be a person?

I'm glad you are blogging again. :)
Chris said…
Huh. And here I was feeling guilty if I let the girls stay in their pajamas all day; I confess on a lot of days I make them change into real clothes right before you get home from work, lest you think I'm slack with them. Guess I know now you don't care! Good to know! :)
Karen said…
I think taht he told one of your cousins to be a person also and she stayed mad at him for, like, 10 years!

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