Tag Archives: School Kids

Pajama Party

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.

Share on Facebook

Making The Time To Find The Rhyme

Poetry is only for snobs, right?

Um, no. Not quite. Well, sort of. I mean, not all the time, you know?

It’s possible I might be the slightest bit confused on the role of poetry in society these days, dudes. It is conceivable I need to devote more thought to it, but, honestly, do any of us believe I’m actually going to devote more than the next hour or so to thinking about poetry?

No. No we don’t.

The thing is, I think as school kids, we were given “important” poetry and told that this is a poem and it is good for you and you will like it, but first you need to understand all about rhyme, meter, iambic pentameter and blank verse and. . .

Well, you get my point. Poetry in language arts classes is like a lot of things in language arts classes: It’s had the fun and the juice sucked right out of it and all that’s left is a husk that we feel obligated to consume.

But it really shouldn’t be like that. I mean, how many of you dudes can remember just laughing your head off while rhyming silly word after silly word? Of reading Dr. Seuss and realizing that it’s not only possible, but it’s okay to make up words to fit your rhymes and people will actually tell you, “Good job!”

The thing about poetry that’s different from regular prose, from fiction or non-fiction, is that poetry is an idea stripped down to its bare bones and then painted in gaudy colors. Whereas, comparatively speaking, prose is a giant, stomping around the landscape, leaving footprints and broken trees in her wake.

That is, in a poem, each line — each word — is there only to move forward the central idea. It’s sparse, even if it’s in flowery language. As far as I’m concerned, poetry can be as hard or as easy as you make it.

For instance: Haikus are wonderful. They’re a style of poetry from Japan and consist of three lines. The first line is five syllables, followed by a line with seven syllables, ending with a final line of five syllables. Each line illuminates the central idea. I love ’em because I can write a poem in only three lines.

Poetry, Schmoetry
Haikus? Not easy.
Despite the number of lines
Being only three

See? Fun. My interest in poetry in general and haikus in particular was rekindled on some early morning walks with Buzz, the garbage disposal that walks like a dog. I’d see these shadows full of frosted grass, which were still frozen only because they were not yet exposed to the sun and I tried to think of how to describe them. Which led to the following haiku.

Winter Morning, Buzz
Frozen shadows steam
Edges disappearing quickly
As the sun rises

So what do you dudes and dudettes think? Anyone interested in a haiku-off? Or maybe just a favorite short poem you’d like to share? Join me in the comments and let’s see if language arts class has managed to kill off all interest in poetry.

Share on Facebook

And The Countdown Begins. Again.

by Richard

Well, you dudes have had a good month and a half off from having to hustle out into the cold, cruel world and search for the perfect gift for your wife, girlfriend, partner, significant other. That’s far too long.

So let’s shake things up and we’ll invent something called Valentine’s Day and we’ll make it all about love and then we’ll amp the commercial aspects of this thing and force school kids to send Valentine’s Day cards to all their classmates even if they don’t like them and we’ll make sure you can’t get through this and keep your relationship going without buying something nice and. . .

Okay, I might be exaggerating just a tad there. Maybe.

Still, Valentine’s Day is an interesting beast. Coming as it does in the middle of February, there’s not much around it, thankfully, so it seems as if this holiday got put there just to break up the winter monotony. Sure I could be wrong, but the cynical choice can be depended on to be the right choice a lot of the time. Even when it’s not, it still sounds like you know what you’re talking about so you will do it again and again.

Anyway.

Valentine’s Day is coming up on Feb. 14 and it’s this day, no other, that we’re supposed to celebrate our love for the people with which we’re in a relationship. Never mind the other 354 days in the year, don’t worry about showing your love on those days, no this is the one that counts.

Blow this one and you’re in a ship-load of trouble. A veritable ship-load, I tell you.

So, you know, no pressure.

The traditional gifts are flowers and chocolate. You know you don’t want to make either of those the centerpiece of your gift. You’ll get that polite smile and smek on the cheek, but behind her eyes you’ll see the crushing disappointment, the despair and the sure and certain knowledge that you really don’t understand her and never will, you jerk.

What are you supposed to do, then, if you can’t go with the traditional?

Oddly, I’ve found that one of the best ways to do this is just to ask. Not blatantly, you understand, subtly. Look over mail-order catalogs with her, see what she likes; or force yourself to go window shopping with her.

No matter what you choose, make sure it’s something personal. I mean, she might really need and want a new iron, but that’s not going to get you any points come Valentine’s Day.

Best of luck, dudes!

Share on Facebook