The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

I’m always ready for bed, actually.

No-one is suggesting we should return to the 1950s where you had your full pleated skirt, face and lipstick done before 7.30am as well as having cooked your husband a three course breakfast, but I do think getting dressed and ready for the breakfast shift would be a pleasant thing to do for the family, if not for yourself. Keeping your pyjamas not only out of public view, but firmly in the bedroom would probably be nicer for everyone.

I want to not care about this, I want to say “ohoho, storm in a teacup, oh Gisborne, bless.” But irritatingly, I have Feelings about this issue.

Because, don’t forget ladies, everything you do, you should do for your family. Never mind that you don’t feel like getting dressed/have been vomited on a lot/have not slept at all. Looking nice for your family is your job and don’t you forget it.

Actually, don’t forget, as women, it’s our job to look nice/presentable/fuckable, everywhere we go. The comments on this issue, despite the Herald using a picture of Jeff Bridges, seem to be largely aimed at women. Because it’s women who are slobs, lazy, disgusting, if they haven’t dressed up to go to the supermarket.

When I was in the throes of depression, there were days when getting up and getting dressed seemed like the hardest thing in the world. Where showering was close to impossible. And I am lucky enough that those days were rare. For many people, they aren’t. And throwing your coat on over your pyjamas to walk to the dairy to get milk is completely acceptable.

And of course, there’s a class/race issue here – lazy people, who can swan around in their pyjamas during the day must be poor. Therefore, they’re undesirable. To anonymous Herald commenters, at least: “Tacky, lazy – very much like the personalities of those layabouts that can’t be bothered getting dressed like the rest of society.” Oh, and of course, they smell.

But mostly, here’s the thing, Gisborne. IT’S NOT ANY OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS WHAT SOMEONE ELSE IS WEARING. It’s not a matter of it being “nicer for everyone.” It’s not your business. Are these people clothed? Yes. Are they wearing offensive slogans, bedazzled, or God forbid, a really short skirt. It doesn’t seem so. Are they behaving in some way badly other than wearing something “society” has deemed is only “for the bedroom*”? Not as far as any of the reporting I have seen. As has been discussed on this website before, you can’t tell anything about a person by what they are wearing. Not whether they’re a slob, are depressed, can’t buy clothes, need to do washing, or just really like their comfortable flannel jammies. And by judging them, you say more about yourself than you do about them.

* And I bet you can guess my views on where society can go with what else it thinks belongs in the bedroom.


8 responses to “I’m always ready for bed, actually.

  1. Stuffed Olive August 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I love you right now, nearly as much as I love my flannel pjs. And that’s a lot.

  2. Katherine August 21, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    How about the fact that some people need to eat as soon as they get up to actually be able to function? And I’m not talking about coffee either, but food. I went through a period where I would feel faint if I tried to do anything prior to having breakfast most days.

  3. Isabel August 21, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Where do we draw the line as to what is or isn’t PJs anyhow? Some pyjamas look like trackies, some casual pants look lke pyjama bottoms. Sometimes I wear old clothes to sleep in – is it ok to wear them to the shops if only I know I slept in them?

  4. Julia Burns August 22, 2012 at 3:17 am

    I let my 4 year old son go to playschool in a pyjama top the other day. He really, really wanted to wear it and I found I couldn’t justify to him why he shouldn’t. It was clean, it looked pretty much just like any other top he owns, so who the hell really cares whether it was bought in one section of a shop or another?

    That quote really annoys me. I dislike the way it uses “breakfast shift” to make it seem like cooking is just another part of a woman’s job. And the juxtaposition makes it look like you’d be getting off pretty lightly just having to dress and make breakfast for your whole family – after all, you don’t have to make three courses or put on lipstick, what are you complaining about?

    • Tamara August 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      My daughter has a couple of items of nightwear she loves so much she prefers to wear them to school as daywear. Once you put a long sleeved tee and leggings under a nightie (she does her own styling) it looks a lot like a dress.

      One thing about Dita’s columns is that they are all about her and her viewpoint and she appears not to address any others. Since she is a freelancer who is the primary parent she views the breakfast shift as part of her job. She may well just be extrapolating that to everyone.

  5. Catt August 29, 2012 at 4:12 am

    I think there is probably a limit to everything, because getting up and remaining in your pyjamas for the quick dash to collect the post from outside your front door is perfectly acceptable, provided you are suitably covered. Ahem. I do think though, if you are doing the 30 minute there-and-back trip to the store for some bread and milk, possibly taking the dog with you at least requires a quick comb through the hair.

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  7. Mindy September 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I wonder what she would think of my family, adults and kids, wandering around the house nude? No pyjamas to be concerned about at least.

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