Things that happen when I get dressed

By Mir
December 8, 2008

On a typical day, I don’t get dressed until lunchtime. I could tell you that I’m more creative in my pajamas, or that I set a certain amount of work I feel I must complete before I’ve “earned” a shower, but the reality is that I’m lazy. And my pajamas are cozy and warm.

I’ve seen more than one person giving “advice” to freelancers insisting that you should get up and shower and dress and PUT ON SHOES to begin your day, to give yourself some structure and take yourself seriously and stuff, and I have to say that I think that’s absolute crap. If you can’t get any work done unless you’re fully dressed, you’re ill-suited for working for yourself, anyway. And I don’t get health insurance, a 401k, or paid vacation—if I want to spend half my day in flannel pajamas, BY GOD, I am going to exercise that ONE perk of my situation without remorse.

But sometimes I do have to get up and make myself presentable. Alas.

Today I had an appointment bright and early to meet a local student for an interview. I would love to tell you that I went to great pains to make myself look awesome and professional, but when you spend most of your days in your pajamas, just getting dressed feels pretty fancy, already. So I did my regular morning stuff, today—got up, checked email, got the kids fed and packed off to school, did a little work—and then I got myself cleaned up and headed out.

This morning’s prep was made significantly simpler by virtue of the fact that I didn’t need to wash my hair. See, I know that no one with straight hair appreciates the AMAZING GIFT that it grants, in that you can sleep on it and it still looks good the next day, but I straightened my hair this weekend and that means that I wear it straight for three days. Because, for one thing, it takes forfuckingever to straighten it (and I can only justify that time if I can mentally amortize it over several days), and for another, being able to get up, brush my hair and go is a delightful novelty. (When I wear my hair curly, sleeping on it means that the next morning half of it is in knots and the other half is plastered to my head. Then I have to wash it again and start over.) So other than the additional time it takes for me to carefully arrange a shower cap on my head, morning prep is greatly expedited by having my hair already done….

My first stop this morning was at my bank’s drive-through, which is kind enough to open at the crack of dawn. That’s good news if you want to go take care of your banking bright and early, but it would appear that not everyone has their coffee before availing themselves of this option. The person in front of me completed their transaction and then sat there… counting money? Painting toenails? Making a phone call? It wasn’t clear. But just when I’d finally become annoyed enough to honk, they glanced in the rearview mirror and realized I was waiting patiently behind them. And then they left in a hurry. Ooooookay.

From there I proceeded to the coffee shop where I was set to meet this student, and I was all excited to see peppermint mochas on the menu. I have no idea why; I rarely get fancy coffee and most of the time I’m not a huge peppermint fan. But for whatever reason, it just sounded really good. So I ordered my peppermint mocha and went and set up my computer so that I could do a little work before my meeting. My coffee came up and I grabbed it and sat back down. I took a big sip…

… only to discover that I’d been given a COCONUT mocha, rather than a peppermint one.

My initial reaction was revulsion—getting a mouthful of coconut when you’re expecting peppermint is a little jarring—and I tried to decide if I wanted to go up and get them to make me a new one. Then I replayed the ordering in my head; had I mumbled? Did the barista maybe have a hearing problem? In the end, I decided I was too lazy to care very much, and I drank it. It was still weird, but basically okay.

The interview was fun and I stayed and did a little more work, afterward, and then went on to the Post Office. Because there is absolutely NOTHING like the Post Office 1) after 16 ounces of caffeine and 2) in December. Wooooooooo!

I tend to become very Zen at the Post Office. Getting aggravated absolutely does not help, and it’s a fascinating place to people-watch if you can refrain from becoming annoyed. Plus, it’s a whole ‘nother sort of way to become thankful, as you stand in line and thank the good lord that you don’t work there and don’t have to deal with all of these crazy people!

Anyway. I try not to be judgmental about other people’s parenting. Sometimes kids are brats. Sometimes people have bad days. Etc. But I am just going to go right on out on a limb here and say this: Sorry, I believe that allowing your child to lay down on the Post Office floor and pinwheel around in circles like a snow angel on crack WITH A LOLLIPOP IN HIS MOUTH is bad parenting. There. My name is Judgy McJudgerson, fine. All I could think while watching that was:
1) Ewwww, germs on the floor.
2) Someone is going to trip on that kid.
4) That stick is going down the esophagus in 3, 2, 1….

Honestly. Either at least make him spit out the lollipop, or—I don’t know, I guess this is just crazy talk—try suggesting that perhaps we don’t flail around on the floor in public places. This kid wasn’t have a tantrum, either; he was just entertaining himself. And his mother completely ignored him.

And while I’m at it: Stamps come 20 to a book. Every book. 20 stamps. Yes, that one too. You need 60 stamps? That’s three books. Yes, really.

Also: Passports are $100. Yes, really. No, you can’t get one online (!!).

I’m SO glad I got dressed today.


  1. Aimee

    Ew. Post office floor. That’s gross. I kept expecting this to end with the story of how someone had to do an emergency tracheotomy on the kid with a handy letter opener or something.

    I have a say, Peppermint Mocha sounds good. Coconut Mocha? Not so much.

    And I totally agree about the pajamas. When I get to the point where I can be at home screenwriting full time, you can bet your ASS that I will be in pajamas as much as possible. Otherwise, what’s the point?

  2. Megan

    Comment in bullets:

    – When I worked as an independent contractor I wore my warm cozy jammies until the afternoon every single day I didn’t have meetings. Every last one. Since I often worked from 6 am until mumblemumblemumble LATE in the evening I figure I earned those jammies. However, it’s a little weird that I changed INTO jammies since I generally sleep in something else.

    – Love peppermint, don’t like coconut much a’tall, can’t bear the thought of either with coffee. However am MUCH to wimpy to complain over little stuff – and the living ghost of Child 1 who works at a bookstore Starbucks would haunt me with great wailing and shaking of cardboard coffee cup sleeves.

    – I work the Zen hard this time of year, in particular at Costco and Target. Since I ended up at Target THREE times this weekend my Zen might have been getting a leetle frayed at the edges by the end.

    – Some of that fraying was done by bratling child LICKING the checkout counter while it’s mother chatted on her phone. LICKING it I tell you. I am shuddering right this minute at the thought.

  3. Burgh Baby

    I want some of that straight hair where you get to skip a day or two washing/styling it. My ruler-straight hair suddenly takes on all sorts of kinky angles (and not the good kind of kinky) any time I sleep for more than three minutes. I was all good when the Toddler was a newborn, but now I’m back to looking like Amy Winehouse when I wake up. Except, in my case, a shower actually helps.

  4. Mara

    Sometimes on weekends, my dog is the only thing standing between me and a pajamas-all-weekend party. She needs to be walked, alas, every morning, and I doubt the neighbors would appreciate me wandering around in my jammies. (Or maybe they would, but I wouldn’t care for their appreciation in that case.)

  5. laurie

    love me some pjs — all day long. even to walk the dog!

  6. Patricia

    When I have to go to the Post Office (and thank you — I try to avoid it at all costs), I pray for Zen for the worker bees. Seriously, I had one postal worker yell at my son for being loud. Um, he was talking in the ECHO chamber we call a post office — TO ME. I was paying attention and with all the other noise in the room, how the postal worker decided that my son put it over the top, I’ve no idea. But as we walked away, the boy looked up at me and said (LOUDLY), “What’s that guy’s problem?” I said, “I think he’s having a employment crisis.” We’ve not been back.
    And, seriously — you can sleep on your hair once straightened? REALLY? I have that hair that can’t decide, it isn’t straight OR curly — but I can’t sleep on it ever — no matter what I do to it….well, unless my stylist does it — then it lasts three days. I think he uses magic.

  7. Tatiana

    I worked in the back room of a post office and let me tell you, the workers there are apeshit insane regardless of whether or not they actually have to deal with customers. At least, my supervisors were. These people can get away with anything because they’re unionized and seem to feel like it gives them protection from being disciplined. I haaaaaated every second of it!

    Also, my PJ pants are the most comfortable thing ever, and since my alternative right now is a pair of maternity jeans….. PJ pants it is.

  8. Kath

    Mir, at least you have children giving you some right to be Judgy McJudgerson. You saw the danger of the germs (ewwwww) and the lollipop. I have no children and feel guilty when I have an evil thought about feral children.

  9. Jill W.

    Funny- when you were talking a couple of days ago about how wierd you can get working at home, I almost commented about living in my jammies so much that I have lost all concept of how normal people dress out in the world. I have to really think about what is acceptable to wear when I am heading out when a sweatsuit is a step up from what I usually wear to work. And if I go so far as to put on jeans and a nice top, and even jewelry, my 4yo daughter gets a little wide eyed with panic and says, “Where are you going, Mommy?”

    I have curly hair and I don’t wansh it every day– I just spritz it with water and then scrunch it to get the curls to behave on the days I don’t wash it. I love the way it looks when I straighten it, but it does NOT look pretty the next morning– I get worse bedhead with it straight.

  10. exile on mom street

    I want magic hair! I can’t sleep on mine & then subject the public to it without washing EVER.

    And Post Office germs, well those just strike me as scarier and more virulent than say Bloomingdale’s germs, but I’m probably wrong about that.

    Also, no amount of mumbling will make peppermint sound like coconut, unless you’re speaking a language other than English…

  11. Scottsdale Girl

    I have the stickeststraightsostraight hair you have evah seen and I cannot go without washing it. Know why? It tangles and sticks up weirdly and also smashes where I sweated? Drooled? on it. Yeah straight hair is NOT GOOD.

  12. Holly

    Mmmmmmm, peppermint mochas. Alright, in defence of that women. If she has children that are of the age that lay on the floor and flail(is that a word…?) she’s probably tired and or irritated and doesn’t even notice her child is even on the floor because she’s busy dreaming of a time when she didn’t have to tote around a thirty pound kid everywhere she freakin goes…Big breath. Can you tell I’M at that stage-with TWO of them? Cut her some slack…

  13. coolteamblt

    I was home on IV therapy during the beginning of this pregnancy, and my dog freaked out every time I put pants on. I guess wandering my house in a tank top and my husband’s boxers for two weeks made her convinced I was never getting dressed again!

  14. ~annie

    Bad parenting? Really? That mother was just helping out! Making sure that Postal Patrons would have a clean floor and keep coming back. Also that the laundry detergent and washing machine makers can sell more of their products. Lets not forget that her pediatrician and the lawyer of whoever trips on the kid will be kept in business. All of that’s good for the economy, no?

  15. Kim

    This time of year I make a concerted effort to use the Click-N-Ship available from the Postal Service. Seal box, weigh (we have a digital scale) and affix postage at home and then drop off at the post office. I really LOVE the amazed looks on people’s faces as I walk up to the side of the counter, drop off my postage-paid box and walk back to my car, having spent no time in line at all. :)

  16. Brandy

    One Christmas I was hefting many packages to the Post Office to ship and had my 12 year old and 5 year old with me. It was packed and the 5 year old decided to play with the stamp machine. He hit some odd combination of buttons that made that thing spit out money like it was a slot machine! I started wondering if my kids were going to see their mom arrested! But, at least he wasn’t rolling all over the floor, ugh!

  17. Summer

    Actually, nowadays the State Department does want you to fill out your passport application online using their Passport Wizard; it creates a barcoded application. I think you can still submit a handwritten application if you want standard-speed service, but if you want your application to be hand-carried in by a visa & passport service, it has to be filled out online. But you’re right, the process isn’t totally online, you still have to submit a paper form, photos, your current passport or birth certificate, and a bucket of money.

    P.S. Get your passports now, people! Starting in early 2009 you’ll need a passport EVERY time you leave the country, even if you are traveling by land or sea. Even if you are WALKING over the border. Passport. Get one.

    P.P.S. Hey, can you guess what industry I’m in?

  18. the planet of janet

    some people *ahem*14-year-olddaughter*coughcough* think it’s acceptable to wear your jammies any place you want to.

    it’s a fashion statement.

    um. yeah. not.

  19. juliness

    I hear you loud and clear on the hair. My sister and I once bet to see who could go the longest between washes while still ENJOYING the straight hair. It’s 4 days by the way – you MUST wash it on the 5th. Maybe the evening of the 5th day if you wear it up…


  20. Little Bird

    Apparently I have magic hair. It is neither straight nor curly, but wavy. I can’t go three days though. It gets gross. Please don’t hate me for this trick of nature, I have SOOO many other things that are a pain in my rear. It’s a balance of sorts I guess.
    Never fear on the judging of others parenting. I have no kids, but when I see kids doing stuff like the one you saw, it takes every ounce of willpower not to say something to the parent(?) with the kid. My usual course of action is to turn to my mother and say “You would NEVER have allowed me to do that!”. Zen is easer to accomplish when accompanied by a healthy dose of snark.
    Also? PJs rule!

  21. Lori

    The Post Office is the gateway to hell. And no, I don’t think that is an exaggeration AT ALL. Thank God for print & ship labels!

    BTW, I cut off 10″ of hair for Locks of Love last summer and now have a short pixie do. I totally second your bedhead woes! Short hair makes for some crazy bedhead.

  22. Chuck

    I have to renew my passport. $100? Yikes. Oh well.

  23. Headless Mom

    I got dressed and went to the post office today too. Only 2 children, neither one on the floor. And the bonus? The post office workers had a running dialogue about what certain services are called-parcel post vs. ground, priority vs. overnight. It was pretty funny!

  24. Lo

    Thanks for the laugh — several, in fact. I have bedhead no matter what I do. And bedface and bedbutt…..

  25. beaux kyle

    I love my pajama’s! I have numerous pairs because I live in them when I’m at home on my days off, and therefore they have to be washed quite frequently because otherwise they just wear out.
    The pinwheeling free for all, that’s just bad parenting like you say.
    And you are absolutely right, getting dressed does feel fancy.

  26. Robin

    I never knew it but I guess I have easy hair. Loose curls/wavy and long. I don’t have to do much at all to look presentable, though most times a ponytail will do in a pinch. I can get away with washing it twice a week. Heck, my hair is still wet the day after I wash it if it’s in a ponytail.

    However, I am so depressed at the thought of how high-maintenance curly hair is. I had absolutely no idea. My 10-month-old has a head full of ringlets and tons of curly snarls no matter how much I condition/comb/pull them apart…I honestly thought he was going to outgrow this. I never knew adults had this problem too.

  27. Lori N

    Am I a bad mother because I didn’t stop my daughter from wearing her plaid flannel pj bottoms to school today as pants? Or am I super mom for restraining myself and letting my child make her own choices? Or is she just preparing to follow her parents in their work from home careers?

    I’ll be contemplating that one over ANOTHER peppermint mocha tomorrow. (Love this time of year!)

  28. Keyona

    Wheew, maybe you should stick to the pj’s. :o)

  29. The Other Leanne

    My own straight/stubborn hair presents me each morning with the image of…
    Sideshow Bob.
    Are you going somewhere with that passport?

  30. Celeste

    On the subject of kids wearing pj bottoms to school…

    I prefer to pick my battles. Pj bottoms? There are worse things they could want to wear. At least they aren’t skin tight. They’re not super short. They cover adequately.

    Now, on the other hand, wearing slippers… that is just taking it TOO far. I have seen grown women in the store wearing fuzzy slippers.

  31. mama speak

    I share the same hair gene as you Mir. Only I push it to 4 days (I know kinda gross, but Dude! Strait Hair!)

    PJs rule no matter what. Can’t slippers count as dressed to your shoes? What about Uggs? Cause I pretty much wear my Uggs everywhere this time of year.

    I have a friend *ahem* who was a teenager in the 80s and would wear her long underwear bottoms as pants/leggings. She was cold! She was a cheerleader & told she had to wear her uniform in full on game days and she was cold! The next year the team voted to get sweats. At least that’s what she told me *ahem*.

  32. Tammy

    I don’t know if I could struggle throught the enormous amount of time it would take to straighten my hair…even if it meant being able to brush & go for 3 days. However, maybe if my stylist did it for me…there’s a thought!

    I agree with your assessment of the apparent snow-angel-on-crack situation. My first reaction would have been “eeww germs!” Laying on the floor and touching garbage cans are two things that my little people do that are like nails on the chalkboard for me. Blech!

  33. crockpot lady

    I change back into my jammy pants the second I get home from whatever it was I needed to get out of them for.
    I love them.

  34. Giyen

    Oh, I was in my pjs till around 4 yesterday. It was great and I am glad cause it’s a cold, cold world outside. Both literally and figuratively.

  35. Heather

    I have worked in retail almost 20 years (yes I am insane – 20 Christmases)and I never fail to be amazed at what I see in regards to parents and their children. Children eating displays, playing with sharp objects (I work in a kitchen store), yelling, running and do not even get me started on those roller skate shoes – and the majority of the time the parents do not notice and if you point it out they are quite angry even when their children might be endangering themselves. When I am not working I take the loud observational approach while shopping – pointing out to my husband the kid that has climbed in a window display, throwing items on the floor etc. Do not get me wrong – I have a very active 23 month old and I can sympathize. However, I get plenty of stares for the fact I strap my child in the cart at the grocery store,Target, Costco and in her stroller at the mall and she does not like it – very loudly. Online shopping is the way to go or grocery shop at 11pm.

  36. Heidi

    SHOES? Oh, the line gets crossed at working at home and having to wear shoes in the process.

  37. momzen

    First I have to say… You people working in your ‘jammas are BRILLIANT. I just got my first pair in October. I LURVE them to pieces. (Maybe I ought to get another pair, hmmm?)

    Anyway, in defence of the mommy in the post office… maybe she had more than one (or two or three) kids altogether, and has learned that “what doesn’t kill them, makes them stronger.” My rules – Are you DAMAGING anything? Are you ACTUALLY hurting yourself? And most importantly, has your brother done it already and survived?

    But who knows…

  38. momzen

    In defense, not defence. oops.

  39. kathy

    I totally *get* your USPS comments and all the commenters comments, but I so wish we had a postal system. Well, we do have one, MexPost, but no-one uses it. Even CFE (electric company) delivers their bills by hand. Athough we did receive a catalog once. Took 5 months, but we did get it.

    I really do miss having a postal system that actually carries mail.

  40. MomCat

    I agree wholeheartedly with the freelancing comment. Dress codes are not for me!

    Aw, c’mon, don’t you ever let your kids crawl around on the floor or lick the bottom of a shoe? Builds up the immune system! ;)

  41. tammy

    I washed my hands of setting foot inside the post office around Christmas the year somebody walked in the door and barfed all over the floor.

    Most wonderful time of the year, my #@$%!.

  42. The FringeGirl

    You made me chuckle. I think pajamas are just fine till noon. I do it all the time. I also know exactly what you mean about curly hair. I sympathize. I wanted to straighten mine so badly today, but just couldn’t muster enough ambition. Now I’ve got to face the nasty monster of a head in the morning. Ugh!

    I don’t think you were judgemental with the kid on the floor. Some things are just too much.

  43. sheila

    Holy shit, I needed to Purell myself just from READING this post! YUCK!!!!!!!!!!! What was wrong with that mother????

    And, btw, I work at home too. In m’ jammies. Don’t do my (poker straight) hair unless I really am feeling festive and I don’t give a damn. lol. Life is good.

    Now…where I did put that Purell? (shiver)

  44. Dawn

    Actually, the post office is not the gateway to hell. It is the tenth circle of Hell Dante dared not tell us about.

    That may just be the Canadian post office, however.

    This post reminded me that Starbucks must have their pumpkin spice lattes for sale again. Must remember to go get one…

  45. nil zed

    I dunno, kids wash. I’ve certainly had days when my kid quietly rolling on the post office floor while I waaaaaaait and waaaaaait and waaaaait in line might be the best option.

  46. rjwilliams

    Yuck and gross to the child pin-wheeling on the public floor!

    I’ve had those ‘stay in my pj’s all day-days,’ and I absolutely love every lazy bit of it! Besides, I find the whole idea of flannel inspiring.

  47. Laura GF

    I always thought stamps came 20 to a book too, until I got a call from my husband out buying nutcracker stamps for me. It turns out they are sold 18 to a book. Why, USPS, why? Anyway, I immediately thought of this post and wanted to tell you, maybe this is why your fellow patron was confused. Small comfort, I know.

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