Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Offensive to the Eye

Readers who know me personally know that high fashion isn’t, shall we say, my thing. I buy most of my clothes on sale after season from Land’s End, LL Bean, and Eddie Bauer, with the occasional visit to JC Penney thrown in to shake things up a bit. When I bother to read the fashion articles in Shape Magazine, I usually spit my mocha on the pages in shock at the prices. Does anyone really pay $1,200 for a skirt? Do you know how many rubber stamps $1,200 will buy? Seriously, where are people’s priorities?

But I digress.

As you can imagine, pajamas are not high on my list of priorities. Early in our marriage, I bought cheap and sexy nightwear, the purpose of which had little to do with sleep or comfort. Then, a few years before my first pregnancy, I purchased two inexpensive, silky nightgowns identical in every way except color: one was dark purple and the other dark green. These perfect, simple, slip-style nighties were slippery and allowed me to roll over in bed without taking covers with me: a critical trait in nightwear for a girl sleeping with a dude who regularly accuses her of being a blanket thief.

The gowns struck that perfect balance between sexy and comfortable, and the fake silk had powers of endurance real silk could never duplicate. They didn’t start showing signs of wear until about two years ago, when the green one developed a hole in one seam of the strap. I kept wearing it. What’s a little hole, anyway?

After all, the only people who see me in my nightgowns are my children, who do not care what I wear, and George, who has seen me naked in all states of non-pregnancy and pregnancy. He even saw parts of me I hope never to see myself when he carelessly glanced over the drape during my emergency C-section after the doctor started cutting. Ew.

When I recently reminded him of this, he said, “Huh. I don’t remember.” I’m not sure if I’m grateful or insulted that my guts are so forgettable.

Once you’ve had a baby, your body changes. If you haven’t gestated, perhaps you don’t know the gravitational consequences of incubating life. Ask your partner to kiss your perky breasts good-bye because post-incubation ta-tas will sag. There’s even a fun little song about this:

Do your boobs hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?

If you answered yes to these questions, you’re probably a mom.

My boobs now hang low, leaving me with the conclusion that trying to recapture my lost perkiness with sexy lingerie is a waste of good stamp money and also sort of pathetic.

In winter, my house contains a climate of frigidity that can best be described as arctic. My darling husband, a.k.a. The Finlander, delights in setting our thermostat at 64 degrees. You read that right. It’s not a typo. I really do mean SIXTY-FOUR DEGREES.

I’m breaking out in goosebumps just thinking about it.

Our friend PJ, upon hearing this little factoid of life in the Raihala household, looked George in the eye and said, “That’s inhuman!” He’s right. Finlanders aren’t human. They are really polar bears enchanted to look like humans.

This frigid atmosphere necessitates a certain level of creativity in the sleepwear department. Silky slips slide pleasingly under the covers but are not warm. Flannel jammies, on the other hand, keep a body warm but adhere to the sheets and make me feel trapped in my own bed. I have a couple of robes, but they have bulky sleeves that make it impossible to stamp while wearing them…and I stamp at night after everyone is in bed.

Whatever is a girl to do?

Layer, of course. My nighttime ensemble last winter consisted of a 12-year-old silky slip under mismatched fleece pajamas topped by a fleece jacket. Oh, let’s not forget the fuzzy pink slippers. The silky slip hung out from under the fleece top and jacket like a long peplum because, you know, tucking it would cause unsightly bulges. I would strip down to nothing but the slip right before crawling into bed and under eight layers of fleece blankets.

I wish I had a picture of this highly versatile ensemble. You, however, are grateful I do not.

One night, George eyed my hobo outfit and said, “That get-up is offensive to the eye.”

I replied, “Bite me.” After all, it's his fault my fingernails are purple all winter; he must accept the consequences.

But then I started thinking my approach to sleepwear probably was a bit, well, cheap and lazy. Perhaps, even though George has seen my forgettable guts and my unforgettable whale-like pregnant self, I should put a bit more effort into my appearance at night.

I delayed until summer, just to show George that he isn’t the boss of me, and then I did what every self-respecting stamper does who would rather buy stamps than clothes: I went to Target. I found a cute little two-piece knit pajama set—very soft and a bit slippery—and a summer-weight robe with no cuffs on the sleeves. The jammies are periwinkle blue and the robe is white, so they coordinate nicely. It’s not exactly sexy, with my boobs hanging low, but it is cute and coordinated and definitely not offensive to the eye.

This winter, I’m going to buy warm—and coordinated—fleece pajamas and a short silky chemise top. That way, I can strip down to the chemise just before crawling into the sheets but still be warm while doing my late-night stamping.

It’s the least I can do to avoid offending my husband’s eye.

The very least.


  1. This is priceless! Your layering habits will come in handy once you approach menopause -- and you may even get to enjoy those now-uncomfortable chilly temps!

  2. You are too funny! Thanks for the laugh.

  3. I got as far as the 'ta-tas and broke out in high guffs of laughter that raced across my house and brought my DH to find out what was so funny... I have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard because I can TRULY relate sistah!!
    You go girl! Thank you for the precious gift of laughter :o)
    Marilyn in Texas

  4. You are sooooo funny. I love the way you write. Theres no way I would survive in such a cold house. What on earth does George do during the summer???

  5. That outfit was probably only "offensive to the eye" because it covered so much of you. Notice how he never complains about your boobs and their shape or size no matter what you might think about their shape or size, lol. That's the beauty of men. Freeze us out with the AC and still expect us to run around with no clothes on, LOL. :)

  6. Get thee a down comforter! Much lighter than eight blankets and yet still very very warm.

    My husband turns the heat way down in the winter, too, but out of frugality (though he is shockingly warm-blooded, something I try to not hold against him). We usually have it around 64 or 65. I'm the queen of flannel, fleece and fuzzy slippers.

  7. My frugal parents always set the thermostat low and I spent most of my childhood with my butt parked in front of the furnace vents, much like homeless people hover over steam grates in the cities. As a child, I begged for an electric blanket for Christmas while other kids asked for bicycles or toys.

    Once I left my parents' house at 18, I never lived there again, and my thermostat has never been set lower than 69.


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!