We’ve wrapped up another Pajama Week at Local Dilettante Studio. Participation was so great it spilled over into other areas of life. My painting buddy Madelaine was disappointed at the thought of missing it.
“We’re at Susan’s house this week.”
“Oh. I wanted to come in my pajamas. . . I’ll do it anyway.”
“You’re on,” I said.
But I woke up at 3:00 AM worrying that I had planned to get groceries at Ballard Market before I went to Susan’s house. I could pull pants on over the pajama bottoms and wear a long coat, but that would spoil the effect of walking into Susan’s house in pajamas. I wasn’t going to stand at her front door in the cold, peeling off pants. It became quite an issue at 3 in the morning.
There are lots of Susans in my life. I asked the Sue who cleans my house once a month if she thought anyone could tell I was wearing pajamas. She looked at the Scotty dogs billowing out of my Uggs and smirked.
“Oh, go ahead and go,” she said. “You do things like that all the time.”
“What does that mean?”
“You know. You’re sort of Out There.”
“Huh,” I thought as I drove off. “I’m sort of Out There.”
I clomped into Ballard Market trying to make eye contact with everyone I passed, trying not to check the state of affairs near the Uggs. But really, who cared? If I saw someone wandering around Ballard Market in their pajamas I wouldn’t even blink.
Then there’s that whole thing about people not noticing middle-aged women. We’re supposed to be invisible. Or as my non-Susan friend Christina said, “Oh yes, when I turned forty, I could shop-lift freely.”
OK, maybe that wasn’t the best observation to make juxtaposed a story about Ballard Market. Moving on. . .
In case you’re new here, Pajama Week was established mostly to cheer me through the dark days of November. Then I decided the need for cheer was greater in January. Under consideration is a plan to have a bi-annual Pajama Week. Students and their entourage come to lessons in their pajamas, drink hot chocolate and roast marshmallows. It’s a good week to be a younger sibling.
More adult students came in their nightclothes than in years past, and a high school student who has forgotten for three years, remembered. High school-aged boys endearingly sneaked their bathrobes into the house and changed in the bathroom. Chris, the unclassifiable, didn’t make her lesson but both she and Starfire, the Chinook, are expected to be in their pajamas at the next lesson. No one gets out of Pajama Week that easily.
For sheer exuberance, there was nothing like the girls who come on Wednesday. Talia, aged 6, is currently my youngest piano student. She and her little sister, Lalia, spilled out of the car shrieking, “We’re in our pajamas!!” They tumbled into my house like it was Christmas morning.
I watched Talia choose a marshmallow. “Be sure to touch them all,” I said as I handed her the roasting stick.
It was the same with the Frangos. The two girls hovered over the bowl, their fingers delicately crinkling the paper in exquisite deliberation over which of the identical candies would be their choice. How great to be six years old. Everything is new, even Frangos, even those peppermint starburst candy things.
Pajama Week is a restorative. It’s like Days of Misrule when everything is upside down. When I dress for work, I put on PJs. The line between work and the rest of life gets blurrier than it already is for a self-employed person as evidenced by the trip to Ballard Market. I’ll know I am truly Out There when I wear PJs to OK Chorale rehearsals. Pajama Rehearsal. That may be an idea whose time has come.