Fifth period continued. John’s empty seat was soon occupied by a student named Charlie. His story will be forthcoming. Today, however, I would like to articulate some of my thoughts on pajamas.
I am irrationally emotionally attached to the clothing in which I sleep. Much like a young child who requires a specific stuffed animal or security blanket, my ability to fall asleep depends largely on the pants that I wear to bed. My unreasonable affinity toward my pajamas began just prior to the Fall Semester of 2001. As I prepared to make the trek halfway across the country and attend a semester in Nauvoo, Illinois, I was shopping at Kohl’s for some last minute necessities. Megan was with me. I don’t remember what I was actually shopping for, but I do remember stumbling across the most amazing pajama pants on the clearance rack for $2. (Yes, I do remember the price of the pajamas that I purchased over 9 years ago.) These were magical pants. They were made out of a blue crushed velour fabric that was decorated with white clouds and yellow moons and stars, some of the shooting variety. The pants were remarkably soft, and they were definitely not my size. I’m not normally an impulse shopper, but with some encouragement from Megan I decided that I must have the pants, and took my extra-large clearance find to the register.
I packed my magic pants and headed to Nauvoo where putting on my pajamas became a highly anticipated part of the day. The fit was ridiculous. I had to tighten the drawstring to the point that less than half of it remained around my waist, and they covered my feet entirely, but I loved those pants. After the Nauvoo semester, I took the pants with me back to Provo and continued to love them. In 2003 I took the magic pants with me as I served a mission in Pennsylvania. In December 2004, on the last day of my mission, the mission president’s wife took my magic pants and threw them away. She said that they were worn out to the point of being immodest. As I looked at the nearly sheer seat of my magic pants I decided that she probably had a point, and offered only mild protest.
For the next 2 years I wore a pair of good fitting pants made out of striped purple cotton. I developed no connection to these pants. They were not magical in anyway. This is when I decided that there are three essential elements to attachment-worthy pajamas:
1. The most simple requirement of amazing pajamas is that they must be soft. Some animals are easily distracted by shiny objects. My attention is easily captivated by soft things. And, despite the fact that I know better, I am always tricked into thinking that I am warmer when I am clad in something soft.
2. The pajamas must be way too big. This makes them very comfortable, and keeps my feet warm when I get out of bed. It also makes them a novelty. Appropriately tailored pants are practical and are to be worn during the day when I have to look at least moderately professional and mind my limited manners. Extra-large pants are fun and are to be put on at night time when I no longer have to be presentable.
3. Very closely related to element 2, incredible pajamas must be made out of awesome fabric. Awesome pajama fabric is any design that is really cute, but not suitable for regular clothing. No one in their right mind would be seen in public wearing blue crushed velour with moons and stars on it, but sew it into a pair of pajama pants and suddenly it’s acceptable. This is probably at least partly due to the fact that most people are not seen in public wearing their pajamas.
Basically, pajamas that are way too big and made out of awesome soft fabric are so completely different from normal daily clothing that they are very fun to wear. Putting on such a pair of pants is the physical incarnation of the "my day is over and now it is time to rest" sentiment.
My boring pajama spell was finally broken on Christmas in 2006 with a gift from Heather. She gave me pajamas made out of white flannel with multicolored polka-dots and a striped drawstring. These pants make me happy. The Texan refers to these as my nun pants. I’m not sure why he calls them that. There is nothing about ill-fitting flannel polka dots that reminds me of nuns. Nonetheless, that’s what he calls them. They have made it through several years without reaching the extremely tattered state of the magic pants because I alternate their use with another pair of pants that I acquired in March of 2007 while visiting Washington DC. After hearing the National Symphony Orchestra perform Dvorak’s 9th symphony (which, incidentally, is an excellent piece of music frequently referred to as the New World Symphony) I was perusing the gift shop at the Kennedy Center and discovered the music pants. Much more appropriately named than the nun pants, they are made out of a white knit and are covered in musical notes and symbols. At first I was quite dismayed to find that the only size apparently available was a medium. Not willing to purchase anything smaller than an extra-large, but really wanting to have awesome pajamas as a souvenir from the nation’s capital, I located a clerk who was able to find the appropriate size for me. Someday the nun pants and the music pants will meet the same fate as the magic pants, but I think that they still have a few good years left in them.