my quest for the perfect pajamas

In the immortal words of Roxette, you should get "Dressed for Success."

(If you're familiar with Roxette's lead female vocalist Marie Fredricksson's general steez you might not be that moved, since she dresses like one of Kiefer Sutherland's background vampires in The Lost Boys. But back in the 90s, I loved Roxette with the fire of a thousand puberty suns. I survived an abysmal family summer road trip across Canada by playing Look Sharp over and over and over. Pretending I was on my way to a gig where I could whip a microphone around and high kick to the rafters was way cooler than wrestling gumballs away from my husky younger brother's side of the seat and then chewing so many of them that I wanted to vomit rainbows out the window onto the hot tarmac.)

As a woman in her late thirties, I now have a closet full of clothing that I mostly like. After a year and a half of sweating and kale, I now pull on M instead of XL and do a satisfied three point inspection in front of a finger-printed mirror hanging on our bedroom door. I leave the apartment each day with confidence that I present as a fun time that can also pay my bills on time.

My problem is that humans spend like 2/3 of our lives sleeping, and I do not make acceptable sleep clothing choices. Put very simply, Roxette also has a song called "Sleeping in My Car" that would very accurately describe my pajama style.

If an item of day-to-day clothing pops a seam, develops a stretched out neckline or gets a fat spatter that Sunlight can't handle, instead of fixing it, donating it or just throwing it away, I relegate it to my pajama pile.

If there was a fire alarm in the middle of the night, my first move, before scooping up my child and my laptop, would be to change out of my pajamas. They are that bad.

Swipe through my pajama drawer and you will pull out the following:

Size XXL Superhero t-shirts from my husband's teen years.

A Pepto Bismol pink t-shirt that falls down to my knees featuring a cross-eyed penguin that says "Cute but Psycho!" (This was a Christmas gift that should have made me question how much the giver really liked me.)

Size XL stretched capri tights so generous that me and a man with that swollen testicle disease could both comfortably simultaneously wear them and win a three legged race.

a pile of cotton shame and regret

a pile of cotton shame and regret

I had a bridal shower so I do own "sexy lingerie." Unfortunately the makers of slippery satin sheaths use a pattern that doesn’t take into account my body type. Namely the gaping spots where my A-cups reside, straining to fill the fabric. The overall look is less "sexy" and more "... oh, oh dear."

Now, it’s not like I'm happy with this situation. Every time I go into a clothing store I look at their pajama section. And I balk and judge, and hold items up to myself and slam them back onto the rack and stomp away.

It's crazy. How can one be simultaneously so picky and then settle for something so very grotesque? It’s like wanting a corvette and using a unicycle instead.

Reasons I've stalked away in disgust from perfectly good pajamas that are 1,000% better than what I currently wear:

·      Too tight

·      Too long

·      Too short

·      The pockets are too twee

·      Too seasonal

·      Too matchy-matchy

·      Too Laura Ingalls Wilder

·      Too Cherry Pie video

·      Too much sleeve

·      Too little sleeve

·      Too slippery

·      Too collar-y

·      Too hot

·      Too cold

·      Too expensive

·      Too cheap

I am the Goldilocks of pajamas.

(You know, if Goldilocks had this "thing" about her thighs touching while she sleeps, because the media can yell and be all "down with the pro thigh-gap movement" but every girl whose thighs touch will tell you it is an eternal yearning quest to not have that particular area of her body rub against itself and it has NOTHING to do with vanity. Simply put: it hurts. Dimpled thigh skin to thigh skin touching results in rashes, bumps, fear, Spanx readjustment and endless application of waxy creams that claim to soothe the buzzing burn of your own body touching itself.

It is a super dumb battle I fight all day and every day so you can understand why at night I want NONE OF IT. As I sleep on my side, if I was to just wear a cute nightshirt to bed, the noise of my thighs gently suctioning to each other then separating would be disruptive. Neighbours would prop themselves up on an elbow, sleepily wondering "is there an octopus slowly and sensually dis-attaching each sucker on their tentacles to a rusty boat in the courtyard?"

NOPE. JUST ME AND MY THIGHS. But evidently I'm not allowed to wish they didn't do that.

*Painful slow exhale through nose*)

I could carry on with my sloppy night time shame, but I love the institution and sanctity of sleep too much to keep on disrespecting it with this uniform.

In order for me to dress for even more successful slumbers I need to ditch the sad soft piles of rags. No more "extra in a Saved by the Bell nerd sleepover" steez. No more swimming in rejects. No more.

It's time to dress for the dreams I want.

The dream where I'm back-to-back with Marie belting out "Joyride" in front of a bleached blonde crowd of screaming voices and hot neon lights.

I just have to find a fabric that allows for my inevitable high kicks.


What do you sleep in? If you sleep naked, we have nothing more to discuss; unfortunately you and I can just never be close close friends. However if you have a favourite brand of pajamas, time to give it up.