The Pajama Radius

At the monthly storytelling event that I attend I was introduced to a unit of measure that I didn’t know existed up to this point. It’s called the Pajama Radius. Basically, it’s how far you’re willing to go in your pajamas.

I immediately rushed home and Googled it. Much to my amusement, it is, indeed, a thing. It’s gotten quite a bit of discussion on line, particularly in blogs, so I’ll just be adding to the overall murmur, but I had to write about it because for some reason it just makes me happy that someone has come up with this concept.

I’m guessing that the average pajama radius extends out to one’s mailbox, or at least to the sidewalk to pick up the morning paper. (Remember those?) Heaven knows my neighbors have seen my jammies.

There isn’t much to see. In the winter I usually wear sweat pants and a sweatshirt. People who see me probably think I’m about to go out for a jog. (Ha! How little they know me.)

But I will posit the theory that if your Pajama Radius begins to increase and you find yourself going to the convenience store down the street, the grocery store a few blocks away, or dropping the kids off at school in your footie pajamas with the trap door in the back, then you might want to seriously contemplate your level of depression or your level of laziness.

But there’s something else to contemplate here. Why does anyone care? Why are pajamas supposed to be hidden from view? If I’m wearing a flannel ensemble with pink bunnies all over it, I’m still covered. My taste might be questionable, but my dignity should remain intact, more or less. And yet, it seems to be a point of shame or scandal.

I suppose it’s because pajamas in public are a symbol that you’ve given up. You’ve stopped caring. By not bothering to put on your “outside clothes”, you’re admitting to a lack of energy that society has decided is below the norm.

Am I the only one who sees how silly and arbitrary this is? Maybe that’s because I don’t sleep in anything that could even remotely be considered lingerie, and haven’t felt the need for a bathrobe in decades. I better watch out. I may be perched at the top of a slippery slope.

[Image credit:]

10 thoughts on “The Pajama Radius

  1. Elaine Lorefield

    A principal of an English school recently wrote a letter berating parents for wearing PJs when dropping their children off at the school. She thought they should show the children how to properly dress to be in public. Now, I agree with what you say. If you are decent and covered, who says what is “proper” for outside the house wear. I want to know more about that princpal. Is she a parent trying to hustle 2 or 3 or more children/spouse out the door in the morning? Did the parent she speaks regarding provide a warm breakfast and tidy clothing for the children, in lieu of “properly” dressing themselves?
    For me, my radius is to the mailbox or garbage can. I would head to the grocery in decent PJs in an emergency run for some necessary drug or foodstuff. I don’t even look at what other people are wearing, so what difference does it really make?

  2. lyn sutton

    My bathrobe is a hooded floor length sweat shirt that complements my sweats…that’s how you know I’m dressed for bed and not a jog. Most my clothes double as jammies. 🙂

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