I need help. Maybe even therapeutic-level help. For weeks I’ve been plotting and planning to take one day—just one teeny tiny day—all for myself during my Christmas break. I’d heard of the mythical pajama day and decided that might be worth trying. First question: Is there supposed to be a formula or structured non-structure on a pajama day? My fuzzy notion is that the pajama day participator (me), would stay in her pajamas and do as close to nothing as possible. (By nothing I mean nothing productive.) As a pajama-clad lump I would only do things that bring pleasure: watch old movies, graze on comfort foods, and take spontaneous naps. Hygiene is optional, feeling zero guilt is not.
Last night I told my husband today was the day. I’m being lazy and that is that. He gave me his full support, blessings, and hugs, and then asked if I could run to the bank for him. “But I’ll be in my pajamas,” I whined. “Just use the drive-through, they’ll never know. Oh. Did I tell you there’s a chance the service men might come tomorrow afternoon? You should call them in the morning to check.” “But I’ll be in my pajamas,” I whined. No response to that one.
Pajama day has arrived. I snuggled into my pillow and allowed the full richness of my day-off to soak into my being. The quietness was loud and I loved it. Without warning I get a face full of kitten. Pudgy, in full morning wakefulness, spotted my messy ponytailed hair and pounced from the bed’s headboard. She upped her attack by biting hair while kicking my head with her back feet. I pulled her off and pulled the covers over my head. She wasn’t about to let a little thing like that stop her. Circling the pillows with dedication and finesse, Pudgy tried to gain access to my head through any possible blanket opening. Pounce-crouch-pounce-bite. As I’m lying beneath the cotton coffin I hear the phone ringing. The clock shows 8:10. Argh. I get up and shuffle to the kitchen. The phone is silent. No message. Pudgy begins her usual “I haven’t eaten in at least twenty minutes” pleading, so we head to the laundry room where her food and water dishes are. As long as I’m down there I might as well clean her litter box. Okay, done. Whoa! Look at all that laundry. I throw in a load and head back into the kitchen. Booker has heard the house sounds and lets me know it is time for his morning walk by scratching at the living room window. I start the dishwasher before throwing a coat over my pajamas. I pray no one I know spots me. The day is mild and beautiful and I breathe it in. Just as we reach the driveway a neighbor comes driving by and lowers his window. Dang. I offer a half-hearted wave. He engages me in a conversation about Booker, my well-being, and the type of grass we planted in our yard ten years ago. I’ve got nothing much to offer, but do my best to keep his eyes off my pajama bottoms, boots, and Minnesota Gopher jacket.
After I get Booker walked and fed I notice how awful the garage floor looks. The door faces the west and the wind constantly blows dirt, leaves, and other of nature’s refuse inside. There is also ample dog hair. I grab the broom and dustpan and promise I’ll only do a little touch-up. As I’m working I remember I left the step-ladder by the front door when we took the Christmas tree down. Peering around the corner of the garage I see the snow-flattened trail of where we drug the tree-corpse from the front door and into the back yard. Instead of blood, a green trail of needles provides evidence of our nighttime activities. Since I had the broom in my hand anyway, I go to the front door and sweep away piles of needles. Something tells me I’ll be dealing with the vestiges of these needles well into July. I hoist the ladder into the garage and head into the house. It’s almost eleven by now and my pajamas are dirty. Bits of leaves and needles cling to the pant legs. The couch waggles a pillow at me and says, “I thought we had a date. Where have you been?” I sigh loudly. Okay. As soon as I get the wash into the dryer, do my town errands, and call the service department, I’m so on the couch. Somehow I thought pajama days would feel different. Can anyone tell me what I’m doing wrong?