The Rockwood Files: Put some pants on

rockwoodfiles2-205x300By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

I’m beginning to question that old saying about how we all “put our pants on one leg at a time.” Because lately, I’m noticing plenty of people who have stopped putting pants on at all.

This weekend Tom and I went to a Laundromat to wash a king-size comforter in one of those high-capacity washing machines. While we were there, I saw a man sitting on the back of his pick-up truck. He was staring down into his smartphone’s screen and he was wearing a white t-shirt and pajama pants with the Harley Davidson logo printed all over them. It seemed a little strange, but I figured he was probably washing his real pants and wasn’t too worried about appearances during the spin cycle at the Laundromat.

Later that day I ran by Wal-Mart to pick up milk, bread and other essentials. In the parking lot I noticed a woman about my age walking ahead of me, and she, too, was sporting the “just rolled out of bed” look – even though it was two in the afternoon. She was wearing a t-shirt and a pair of pink Hello Kitty pajama pants – in public.

Let me go on record as saying I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with pajama pants. I love ‘em. If you show up at my house unannounced, there is a 99 percent chance you will see me wearing mine. I hope they bury me in them one day. There’s nothing more comfortable on the planet.

That being said, I always thought pajama pants were a home-base type of apparel. They’re for watching movies on the sofa. They’re for slipping into after a big dinner at home when your jeans feel too tight. Maybe you could wear them out to the end of the driveway to check the mail or put the garbage cans out.

But Hello Kitty pajama pants in Wal-Mart? Murphy’s Law dictates that the minute you go to Wal-Mart with no make-up on and your hair a mess while wearing your oldest, ratty t-shirt, you will definitely run into several people you know who will all be looking awesome that day. I’ve tested this theory and been burned every single time. So I can’t even imagine how I’d feel if I were caught in the dairy aisle wearing my fuzzy pajama pants. I’d want to crawl into the frozen pizza section and die.

As odd as it is to see people in stores, restaurants and other public places wearing their jammies, I suppose we should be glad they’re at least covered. At my favorite breakfast diner, the cook told me a story a few weeks ago about a customer who called in an order for waffles to go. Ten minutes later, she called to see if her order was ready and the cook said it was on the counter waiting for her. But the customer said she couldn’t come inside to pick it up and asked if it could be brought out to her car in the parking lot, even though this diner doesn’t offer “curbside service.”

Though the request was odd, the cook agreed and walked the order out to the customer’s car, assuming that perhaps the woman was injured and couldn’t walk easily. But when she looked into the car, she found the waffle lover behind the wheel wearing a t-shirt but no pants. As in, none. She explained to the cook that she’d had to drive her husband to work and didn’t stop to put on pants first. Then on her way home, she decided she wanted waffles.

WHAT? I’ve been in a hurry before and I’ve been hungry for waffles plenty of times, but I have never once left the house without my pants on. There are some lines that just shouldn’t be crossed. If that makes me a conservative prude, then so be it. Perhaps those signs that say “no shoes, no shirt, no service” should be amended to include a note that says, “And P.S.: Put some pants on.”

gwen rockwoodGwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s new book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Author Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography



  1. Oh my goodness this is the best one yet! John and I during the snow last Christmas without electricity stayed at the Best Wesrern and yes we saw it “pajamas at the breakfast buffet”. It is one of my pet peeves. I am happy to join the club of “conservative prude” Blessings, Mrs. Patricia

    • Thanks, Mrs. Patricia! I am very happy to be in any club with you. Maybe we should call it the “Wear Your Pants” club. 🙂 –gwen

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