I could spend every day in my pajamas.
But I don’t.
As a stay-at-home dad, I don’t have to dress up to go to work because I’m already at work and, for most of the years I was the SAHD (not really sad with a Southern accent like it looks), wearing a tie would only give the little dudes something else to grab.
As a freelance writer and editor, I don’t have to change out of my pajamas because most of my work takes place at the computer screen.
Heck, I’ve even seen people wearing pajamas when they’re out shopping or getting the groceries. So wearing pajamas out and about is now a pretty mainstream thing.
I, however, do change out of my pajamas. I do get dressed every morning in clothing different from what I wore the day before. And, no, I’m not expecting a medal for it. I merely wanted to set the scene before I got into this.
I recently read an article on the Huffington Post by Aaron Gouveia. He’s a dad who now is able to work from home instead of going in to an office. And he decided it would be okay to wear his pajamas while walking his kid to the bus stop. The occasion of his column, though, was sparked by having to defend this practice from his wife, who objected thoroughly.
The only ones out at the bus stop are our neighbors on the other side of our duplex. We live on a quiet street with hardly any traffic, so it’s not like I’m setting up shop in Times Square. But even if we did live in a highly trafficked area, I mean — THEY’RE PAJAMAS!!
I told her I work hard, and up until now I’ve had to get up early and get dressed in button-down shirts and slacks with dress shoes to head into the office. The beauty of working from home, I told her, is the ability to just laze around like a bum while I do my work. It doesn’t make sense to me to get dressed just to go out to the bus stop, to impress our neighbors (who don’t care what I look like) and 15 elementary school kids who are too busy talking to notice my Patriots PJs.
Sorry, dude, but you’re wrong. Very, very wrong.
The issue here, to me, is that Aaron is confusing what’s good for him with what’s good for everyone else. He might be able to laze around in his pajamas during the day and that’s great. However, no one else wants to see him in his pajamas.
He might assume that the kids on the bus are too busy talking to notice him standing around in his pajamas, but, allow me to assure you, they notice. And they’re saying they notice to Aaron’s young child.
I’m going to have to agree with Aaron’s wife here. People should take a minimal amount of pride in how they look when they go outside and face the world. Yes, I realize that to many folks who have known me for a while this comes as a shock. What can I say? I’ve managed to mature a bit over the years, despite my best efforts otherwise.
Going outside means you’re interacting with other people. I’m not advocating that women must be fully made up and in pressed clothing or men should always have a clean shave and be wearing a tie. Clearly. However, I do suggest the least you can do when you go outside is wear a shirt and some pants.
You might be perfectly comfortable walking around in pajamas, but I assure you that not everyone you meet is nearly as comfortable. This is what it means to live in a society.
We don’t always get to do what we want. We have to sometimes moderate our behavior or appearance, to think of others’ comfort.
Otherwise, I’d probably be lumbering around in a gorilla suit most days. And no one wants that.