The bed was made perfectly. I mean perfectly.
"You did that?" I asked.
"Every mornin'," Mac smiled. I can hear his voice now as I write this. By the way, his age: 101.
The bed was tight.
"I could bounce a quarter off that thing. Wasn't that the test?"
"You were in the Army?" he asked.
That, of course, made me laugh and prompted me to start in about my extensive camp experience. It wasn't exactly the military but ... we did have daily inspections, so I knew how to make a mean hospital corner, too.
We chatted about beds and inspections as we sipped some coffee.
On the side of Mac's large bed, there was a shelf. And on that shelf there were a few piles of stacked and folded clothes, also organized neatly by Mac. That's when I saw the pajamas. And that got me to thinking.
First of all, I like that word: "PAJAMA."
Say it with me a few times.
First stop, you guessed it - Wikipedia.
Pajama - if you want to learn more than you really want to know about "pyjamas", check out the history at this link. It's interesting to me how this night sleepwear found its way to our culture.
Anyway, after I realized how much I loved the sound of word and repeated it to myself about 20 times, the next thought rolling into my ever-busy head was this: Do people - not toddlers - I'm talking adults here - do they even wear pajamas any more? I don't think I've owned, let alone worn a pair of PJ's for ... let's see ... about 40 years? That would be about right. It's just something that dropped out of my lifestyle, slowly; I can't pinpoint when it occurred. I mentioned camp before and I think that may have been the last time I wore them. Two or three pair would find their way into my truck, all complete with name tags, of course. August Berkshire Mountain nights were pretty chilly so we needed all the coverage we could find - pajamas + sweatshirts and pants + ten blankets = we were still freezing. It was great. Until we had to step out onto the cold floor after reveille each morning. That wasn't so great.
Writing this out apparently opened up a long-lost brain-file because a very specific image popped up. I remember having this one favorite pair of PJ's, which may very well have been my very last pair, come to think of it. It was a kind of navy blue and white, small checkered pattern pair, with navy trim along the collar and cuffs. It was long sleeved and ... soft? Oh my, yes. It was the kind of soft that emerges in a piece of clothing after it's been washed hundreds of times; that snuggly kind of cotton soft. I loved wearing those pajamas. And they looked good on me - I have to say, I wore them well. Not that that meant a hell of a lot, seeing as the only people who ever saw me in them were my immediate family and closest sleepover friends. (I noticed this pic on the left, the one with the model-boy. It reminded me of that last pair. Of course, I had a head)
But, again - do men wear pajama's any more? I'm curious but not curious enough to do a full-blown mini survey, although I thought about heading down to Macy's or Hall's to interview some sales clerks. I have my research limits, though. I've pretty much figured out that my time is better spent working on my book. Still, it seems to me that PJ's have become somewhat impractical. I mean, most of the time, unless my place is freezing, I figure there's simply no need for what I'd call full nocturnal dress. I'm not going to get too up close and personal here but let's just say I don't see myself heading out to buy a pair of PJ's any time soon.
As I'm jotting this down, it just dawned on me - is this is a non-father's experience talking here? Because if I did have kids, I probably would be "dressing up" more at night. Perhaps my dad friends can let me know.
So, that's that. Enough speculation.
Mac wears 'em ... and folds 'em ... neatly ... every week.
I love that.