Monthly Archives: April 2014

Would You Wear Pajamas in Public?

There has been a lot of commotion in the press lately about the practice of wearing pajamas in public. Celebrities are wearing their pjs around town. School boards are worried about high school students wearing pajama pants to school. School officials are also in a dither about parents wearing pajamas to school when they drop students off. Wow! Who would have imagined that this would ever have been topic of discussion a decade or two ago.

So… what do you think? Would you wear pajamas outside of your house? If so, when is it OK? When is it not?

It is not my preference to wear my pajamas all over town. I live in my pjs at home. I wear them all weekend and all evening/night. If I am going to run to the grocery store or to get some dinner, I would throw on a pair of jeans or khakis. I love my pajama pants, but I wouldn’t wear them to a lot of public places. That is just my choice.

But, other people make other choices. I think about my old neighbor Guy. He lived down the block from us in our last house. He was retired. He used to hang out in front of his house and drink his coffee in the morning in his Batman pajama pants. I thought that he was really cool even before I officially met him. (Once I met him, I discovered that he was a very nice man.) It did not offend me in the least that he sat on his front patio in his pajama pants. First, it was his yard. Second, he was retired, so he should be able to do what he wants as long as he was not bothering anyone else. Third, he picked a really cool superhero to wear, so what’s not to like?

I only wear pajama pants outside of the house when I go for long walks by myself. Why? I really don’t like wearing sweatpants. I don’t even own any. Now, if I were twenty, cute and thin, there might be some really attractive sweats out there for me. But, I am not. I am middle aged and need to lose weight. I really think that I am doing my neighbors a favor by wearing my cute cartoon pajama pants to go for walks rather than some unattractive sweats. (If they really don’t want to see me in my pj pants, they can always look away. I also walk on trails that don’t get a lot of traffic. The 2-3 people who see me at a time will probably survive the experience.)

What do I wear for these scandalous excursions? I wear men’s cartoon pajama pants. I love them. I have many pairs including Superman, Charlie Brown, Elvis, and Homer Simpson. (Unfortunately, some of the characters aren’t even made anymore.) I have washed and worn them a zillion times, so I can tell you that they hold up very well.

I can only think of one time that I wore pajama pants in public other than on my walks. Admittedly, it was pretty embarrassing. I had on a pair of khakis and dropped of my kids at a birthday party on a Saturday afternoon. After I dropped them off at the party, I went to the office and loaded my truck up with these giant bags of mail to take them over to the post office. (I suspect this is when the damage occurred.) I later went back to the party where I spent about an hour talking to other parents before leaving with the kids. We later picked up my husband and headed to the movies. As we were walking into the movie theater one of my kids said (as only a small child can say at full volume), Hey mom! Did you know there is a giant hole in the back of your pants? Of course I didn’t know. What sane adult knowingly walks around with a hole in the back of their pants?

When I told the kids that we were going to have to miss the movie due to the ripped pants fiasco, they were crushed. I don’t even remember what the movie was, but it seemed like the end of the world to them. At that point, I was forced to formulate another plan. All four of us headed back out to the parking lot and to our truck. (Of course, I was attempting to strategically cover the hole in my pants with my purse as I left the theater.) In the truck, I did have a few extra clothing items as only mothers miraculously seem to have on hand. One of those items was a pair of Elvis pajama pants. Don’t ask me why they were there, but they were. After a quick change, I was back in business. (The things we do to make our kids happy. They will never fully understand.)

Now that they are older (young teens), my kids seem to have no interest in wearing their jammies outside of the house. When they have specific pajama/spirit days at school they always participate, but they don’t otherwise wear pjs to school.

The other morning my son and I left the house together. It was about 32 degrees outside and insanely windy. (We live in the mountains of northern Arizona. It can be freezing in the morning and beautiful and warm by the afternoon.) What was my son wearing? Shorts. I was freezing in my long pants, but there he was in shorts. He would have been better off in pajama pants. But, he is a teenager and he thinks he knows everything. I am the mother of a teenager and I pick my battles. Right now homework and studying are at the top of my list. I let the shorts slide. If he really wanted to wear pajama pants to school, I would let those slide too. Pajama pants might be a little unusual for school, but it seems like they might be more practical than shorts on a 32 degree day.

I recently discovered that my husband wears his fleece pajama pants outside. He is pretty sly about wearing his pjs out of the house. I actually had no idea that he was doing this until just recently. My husband is a park ranger for the National Park Service in his regular life (soon to be retired), but his real passion is trail running. He runs marathons, half marathons, and many 10Ks during the running season here in Arizona. He is a great runner and wins a lot of awards for his age (what he calls the old guy division).

So what is the deal with the pajama pants? When he goes to races and is getting ready, it is really early in the morning and is pretty cold. He thinks that the fleece pajama pants are perfect for keeping warm without looking too slick like a pair of fancy warm up pants would. (I guess serious trail runners are a relaxed bunch. I am not a trail runner. I don’t profess to know anything about their fashion preferences.) When we do go see my husband’s races, we see him cross the finish line " not getting ready an hour before. So my kids and I did not know that dad was secretly wearing his jammies to warm up before his races.

Fleece Pajama Pants

Fleece Pajama Pants

Who would have guessed it? Not me and we have been married for eighteen years. I guess you never know who is going to turn up in their pajamas in public. (Believe me " my husband does not seem like the type.)

Now you know all of the Murphy family secrets about pajama wearing in public. What are yours? Do you wear your pajamas outside? What do you think about other people wearing their pjs outside? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page. We love hearing from you.

Sweet dreams.


Best Friends and Fuzzy Slippers

There is a line from the beginning of the movie It’s Kind of a Funny Story. The main character remarks that going to high school in New York City isn’t like going to school in any other place in the world. In my experience in the 1980s, that was definitely true. After junior high most of my friends did not go to our neighborhood high school. We took special tests and filled out applications. It was big stuff applying for high school. In my case, I went to an audition. Luckily, I was accepted.

So, in 1984 I started high school in a brand new building behind Lincoln Center. I got to school by taking the subway (three lines) from my family’s home in Queens to the Upper West Side. It took over an hour each way, but it was worth it. When I climbed out of the subway each morning, I knew that I was going somewhere special.

The first few days were pretty crazy. I did know a few girls from my ballet school, but only a handful. But, I was in some pretty intense cultural shock. My neighborhood in Queens was pretty sedate. It was full of pretty Tudor homes with well tended lawns. I had spent a lot of time in the city (aka Manhattan) before, but sitting next to a guy in geometry class with a 12 inch high, spiked Mohawk seemed like something else. My head was spinning.

The dance department was on the eighth floor of our school. Now, that was home. That was where I met most of my best friends in high school, including Stephanie. Today, you would call a friend like Stephanie a BFF (best friends forever). I am not sure if anyone had coined the term at the time. She and I were best friends. We did everything together. My oldest sister said that we even started looking like each other. (I never thought so, but we probably dressed alike and wore our hair the same way.)

Both of my older sisters were away at college when I was in high school. I thought that it was pretty great to have the top floor of our house to myself. But, every weekend I had company. Stephanie came over and slept in my sister’s twin bed every Saturday night. I bet she slept in that bed more nights than my sister did for a few years.

Sometime during this period, my oldest sister gave me a pair of fuzzy slippers as a gift. I am almost positive that it was for Christmas, although it is possible that is was for my birthday. They were big bear paw slippers. They looked a lot like the grizzly bear paw slippers that I sell today. I loved those goofy slippers and wore them all the time. I had them for years.

Grizzly Bear Paw Slippers for Women and Men

Fuzzy Slippers

Stephanie also had some big goofy slippers. Hers looked like giant tomatoes. Once we discovered that we both had giant slippers we would make sure to wear them together on Saturday nights. The term coach potato had just become a big thing and microwave popcorn had been invented not too long before. We took advantage of both of these 1980s phenomena. We would have been really embarrassed if anyone at school knew about the fuzzy slipper thing, so we kept it just between us.

Stephanie and I stayed great friends all throughout high school. I thought that we would be friends forever. Then, I guess, life happens.

I went to Fordham for college and then started working after graduation and went to NYU at night for grad school. I stayed in the city and ended up in Brooklyn for a while where I met my husband.

Stephanie went to SUNY Purchase and eventually moved to Greenwich, CT and then worked for some stock brokers in Manhattan.

The last time I saw Stephanie was in Greenwich. I was about to move to Arizona to be with the man who is now my husband. If only I knew that it was going to be the last time that I was going to see her, I would have told her how much those years of friendship meant to me.

A mutual friend mentioned through Facebook that she ran into Stephanie a few years ago. Our friend danced in Broadway road shows and Stephanie came back stage to say hello. Apparently Stephanie moved to Texas, got married, and had a few kids. That seemed crazy at first, but I guess I moved to Arizona, got married, and had two kids. Even crazier, I sell fuzzy slippers for a living. You never know where life is going to take you.

Savor those innocent moments of best friends and fuzzy slippers. They are priceless.

And, Stephanie if you ever find me, get in touch. I would love to hear from you. I now own a whole warehouse full of fuzzy slippers. I am sure that at least one pair has your name on them.


Melissa Canepa Murphy

Bedtime Full of Comfort and Fun for Kids

Yesterday we had a great debate in our office. Someone mentioned that kids find bedtime a scary time. I was surprised by this. I personally don’t remember ever thinking that bedtime was scary and my kids never seemed scared at bedtime. (They didn’t always want to go to bed, but that is a whole other thing.) Also, I have been selling pajamas for fourteen years and have read probably thousands of emails of happy stories about children in their pajamas.

We conducted an informal poll of our staff and found that most of us were not scared of bedtime, but a few of us had children who were afraid of the dark. (Our staff is a mix of moms and college-age, young adults.)

Since I spend many, many hours of my life thinking about pajamas, bedtime and the like, I decided that I would share a few stories with you. Hopefully they will be helpful to some parents out there. Many of these stories were not funny at the time that they happened, but seem very funny to me years later.

I am not a doctor or sleep expert. I am just a mom of two kids who are now teenagers. (Since they have made it to be teenagers they are therefore experts on sleep.) I sell sleepwear for a living, so have heard from many parents over the years and look forward to hearing from many more to come.

Here are a few stories from my own childhood.

I spent my early childhood in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York. It was a neighborhood of old, wooden Victorian houses, big families, children playing kickball in the street, and the J train rumbling in the distance. New York City in the 1970s was rougher around the edges than it is today, but it was a happy time for families like mine and a fun time to be a kid.

We lived in a three story, yellow Victorian house that always needed painting. It had a lot of little bedrooms and a nursery off of the master bedroom. My crib was in that nursery. I guess my mom kept me in my crib for quite a while. One of my earliest memories was demanding to sleep in another bed. Why? Well, there is a bit of a story behind my request.

I was the youngest of three sisters. As the youngest, I was frequently tormented by my two sisters who were four and five years older than me. As a child, my middle sister had flaming red hair and a bit of mischief about her.

One day she told me that an ape lived under my crib. She and my dad were fans of the Planet of the Apes movies, which were big stuff at the time. So, I am sure that she meant for me to picture one of those apes living under my crib. I actually pictured something more like Magilla Gorilla. (A classic, Hanna Barbera cartoon character for those of you who are too young to remember.) Regardless, I wanted no part of sleeping in that crib once I thought that an ape (or Magilla Gorilla) lived underneath it.

So, I moved into the other twin bed in her room and happily slept in her room for years. (I foiled my sister by moving on from the ape trauma quickly.)

Years later my parents painted what had always been our playroom on the third floor of our house a beautiful shade of robin’s egg blue. They were making into a special bedroom for my redheaded sister so she wouldn’t have to share a room with me anymore. She slept up there for one night. Then I overheard my mom asking her why she wouldn’t sleep up there anymore. She said, Because there are monsters up there. So she went back to sharing a room with me.

Well, I thought that was crazy. Give up a lovely robin’s egg blue bedroom of her own just because she was afraid of a few imaginary monsters? So, we struck a deal. At the ripe old age of seven, I switched rooms with her and took the third floor room for myself. I might have let her scare me out of my crib, but by seven I was tough enough to sleep on the third floor by myself. Plus, I was armed with my blankey! (My mother was afraid I was going to take that ratty old thing away to college with me. That did not happen.) Having my own room was well worth it.

One pajama-related thing that I remember from that house was my redheaded sister and I dancing up and down the second floor hall singing, Feety pajamas! Feety pajamas! Putting on our footed pajamas for the first time each year was a joyous event. They were fun pajamas for us and we liked the way that they looked. I am sure that they were practical for my mom as the house was old and drafty. (I think that it was built before real insulation was invented.)

We moved out of that house on my eighth birthday, which was also the last day of second grade. It had a lot of great memories and I was sad to go.

So what is all of this supposed to mean or teach us now that we are all grown up? I hope now that I have my own kids I can try to keep my son from torturing his younger sister, especially at bedtime. (I said try. I can’t promise any miracles.)

Don’t forget to let your kids have their fifteen minutes of Feety pajamas! singing and dancing time before they go to bed. Who knows? They may still remember it fondly forty years later just like I do.