My dad used to say, “Well, if you live long enough, you are bound to see everything.”
I know I haven’t seen “everything” yet, but the more I observe our culture, the more amazed I am by some of the things I see and hear about.
Many of these in years past would have been extraordinary but today have somehow become “normal.”
The other day I was at my favorite superstore when I saw a grown man wearing his pajama bottoms. Like me, he was leisurely shopping, pushing his cart and checking off items on his list.
I followed him for a bit (yes, I can be known to stalk if the person warrants a stalking) and saw he was buying regular items similar to things I was purchasing. I estimated him to be in his late 40s, and from the waist up, he looked completely “normal.”
I wondered how his morning routine went. Did he have a cup of coffee, make his list and then begin to get dressed when he stopped himself and said, “What is the point of wearing pants? I am just going to come back home and put these back on.”
What part of his life told him this was OK? Obviously, he wasn’t married, or if he was, she must have been at work.
There is no way a woman would let a man out of the house if he were wearing his pajama bottoms instead of pants.
I also noted that nobody else in the store seemed particularly bothered by his attire.
My friend who is a cashier at the store laughed when I told her about it. “You have no idea the things we see on a daily basis,” she said.
I remember when this pajamas-out-in-public thing began a few years ago. I believe the popular lingerie chain that puts words on the bottom portion of its sweat pants was instrumental in popularizing this trend.
Of course, teenagers and young girls were the first to jump on that bandwagon. While I may not think it the best choice of clothing to wear in public, they are, after all, teenagers.
Having a good bit of experience with that particular animal, I’m rarely shocked by what they do and wear.
But adults? Really?
I certainly don’t don my Sunday best when I go shopping (wait … you can wear flip-flops to church now), but at least I change out of my pajamas before leaving the house. Workout clothes are fine in my mind, but not obvious pajamas.
On that note, do you remember when flying on an airplane required you to dress up?
I realize it used to be a much bigger deal to board a plane back in the day, and I’m all for wearing comfortable clothes when you travel, but really, so many people have sunk to an all-time low with what they wear on an airplane.
Perhaps the pajama pants man was an artist. Maybe he was up all night working on a painting and he just absent mindedly forgot he still had his pajama pants on as he dashed out of the house to do some shopping.
Or maybe he had been up all night with his baby or grandbaby and was sleep deprived.
When our youngest was a baby, I had sleep deprivation so bad I did all sorts of silly things. I never did wear my pajamas out in public, but I did discover my shirt was inside out once, and mismatched socks were commonplace.
What are your thoughts about the culture’s current dress policy or lack thereof?
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.