The Pajama Game (Without Doris Day)

I’ve never been one for frilly lingerie. Lace itches. Rayon makes me break out. Satin spots if you drool. Cat claws make pulls in silk. And I don’t really see the point in nightwear that you put on with the intention of ripping off moments later.

Let me tell you about flannel.(1) Flannel is my friend. When I was in my late teens, my mother found a pattern for a nightgown that I just adored. Very simple. It covered everything, right down to the ground. It was perfect.

I asked her to make me one in every color of flannel she could find. Pale solid yellow. Blue and red paisley. Camouflage. My father wanted to know if I would like to buy some more fashionable pajamas before I went off to the college dorms. To his everlasting amusement, I replied, “I’ve got my flannel nightgowns.”(2)

I’ve gone through phases in nightwear – au naturel to undies and a t-shirt and now to real, authentic things one is supposed to sleep in.

In the winter this means I’m back to my old favorite flannel – not floor-length nightgowns this time, but “Sheldon pajamas.”(3) Two-piece pajama sets of plaid flannel. Although Sheldon would freak out. I don’t have the matching robe and slippers for each set and I sometimes mismatch tops and bottoms. Shopping tip: Men’s pjs usually cost less than women’s, so I guess technically you could say I cross-dress between the sheets. Not that anyone ever has.

But spring is here (though you wouldn’t know it to look out the windows), so away with the Sheldon flannels and back to the stores for nightshirts. I don’t want ones with risqué sayings(4) or Pokemon characters or ones that look like hospital johnnies, only with a backside(5). This limits my choices.

Once again I head to the men’s department to find XXXL Big & Tall men’s t-shirts. Now I have Captain America and Batman(6) nightshirts, and this new favorite:

Kittens...in...space!
Kittens…in…space!

I also have a CPAP mask, a neat accessory for this nightshirt at least, because it makes my breathing sound like Darth Vader. I am a veritable bedtime fashionista.

Except I sleep with my mouth open, which makes me drool. And one of my medications also makes me drool. A lot.

Good thing I’m not sleeping with anyone I’m trying to impress.

(1) Super bonus points if you get this reference.
(2) Whenever he told this story – and it was often – he delivered the final line in a drawn-out Beverly Hillbillies-style drawl. It peeved me, but I never said so. Until now.
(3) A TBBT reference, as my initial-happy friends would put it.
(4) I was permanently scarred as a young teen when my mother bought me Garfield underpants that said “I feel frisky.” I was mortally afraid I’d get hit by a bus and the ER personnel would have a field day.
(5) Unless it’s made of that soft, brushed cotton that feels like the spring version of flannel. Okay, I bought one. It even has a pocket, if very inconveniently placed.
(6) Why are comic book characters acceptable, but not Pokemon or, say, Care Bears? I actually like Batman and Captain America and am not embarrassed to be seen in them. By my husband, I mean. And anyone who looks in my study window, I guess. Yes, I spend 90 percent of my life in pajamas. That’s the joy of working at home. The pajamas, not the peepers.

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