Fun and Pampering in YYC

I’ve been reading a lot of self-care blogs during the pandemic and the most recent one advised that it’s important to set at least one daily goal. With this in mind, my goal is to get comfy. I’ll do this by ordering a new pair of pajamas.

Since I’m planning on sleeping a lot until I’m eligible for my vaccine or summer arrives, whichever comes first, I need cozy pajamas. What I have now is worn out, of an uncomfortable polyester material, and not warm. My goal is comfortable pajamas made with the softest cotton flannel.
I go to my closet and start a pajamas donation pile. Anything that has holes in it, is faded, is the wrong material, or is sleeveless goes in the pile. This leaves me with a pair of old yoga pants and a tattered T-shirt which I’ll wear until my new pj’s arrive. I spot my dressy clothes, sitting collecting dust, waiting to be taken out.

I begin adding to the pajamas pile clothes that no longer work. These include the skinny jeans that bind at my calves. Never again! I add other clothes that are too tight now after too many times in the dryer or perhaps, more likely, too tight after so much sourdough bread and chocolate chip cookie pandemic baking. Now that I’ve embraced spandex, Lycra, and elasticized waistbands, I won’t go back to anything that won’t stretch. It took the pandemic for me to realize I was living life in discomfort.

I make a cup of coffee and congratulate myself on what I’ve done so far today. I sip my morning coffee and eat the fresh banana bread I made and contemplate my next step—it’s time to order the new pair of pajamas. The stores are closed here because of the pandemic, so I power up the computer. Ordering clothes online hasn’t worked that well for me in the past because of ordering the wrong size. Exchanging items isn’t easy when clothes are bought online.

I google the lingerie store in my local mall. I miss the mall. I miss the window shopping, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and cinnamon buns as you walk in the main mall doors. Also, I miss the normality of spending a few hours passing the time at the mall. Pre-pandemic, I’d sometimes aimlessly wonder the halls and window shop, then have lunch at the food court. I’d do this while watching the senior citizen mall walkers who meet there, walk the halls in twos or in small groups, then have an A&W breakfast at the food court while reading their newspapers. I think about them in their jewel- toned velour leisure outfits and hope they’re coping. Their form of dressing is in now.
Really, they were ahead of their time.

I think about these things as I click on the lingerie shop’s pajamas section and scroll down to see their flannels in soft greys, pinks, creams, reds, and blues. Doing this reminds me of when I was a kid and how fun it was to peruse the Sears catalogue. I remember going through that catalogue one particular spring and pining for a lavender polyester jump suit that had huge bell bottoms and a big front zipper. My mom ordered it for me for Easter. That jumpsuit made me feel so glamorous, just like Julie from The Mod Squad.

I put a pair of 100 per cent flannel blue and white flannel pjs with snowflakes in my shopping cart. I add a pair of fuzzy purple slippers. I check out. The order confirmation arrives in my inbox. Done!

A few days later, I receive an “It’s on its way” email with a warning that there could be a delivery delay of several days due to the pandemic. The extra days of waiting just add anticipation to the delivery. It’s exciting to know a treat is on its way for me in the mail.
Every afternoon, I look on the front porch for the delivery. But the days pass and there isn’t one. For the first time, though, I notice the routine around my neighborhood. I notice the blue woodpecker on the tree outside who visits to peck wood every day, rain or shine, at
mid-afternoon from the tree branch. Then, usually not long after the daily woodpecker visit, the postman arrives in his little red and blue postal truck. If it weren’t for the pandemic, and waiting for my package delivery, chances are I wouldn’t even know we have a constant visitor in the woodpecker. And I’d never have been able to recognize our postman.

Now, right after the woodpecker leaves, I check to see if the postman had put anything in our mailbox. I notice the postman comes every day around 3:30 p.m. so I keep my eye out for him. He parks his truck out front and delivers up and down the street. I think the first time I said hi to the postman I startled him, but he did say hi back. Now if I’m out walking the dog, we say hello.
“Nothing for you today,” he says.

But this afternoon, when I was expecting the usual “Nothing for you today” from the postman, he smiled and said, “Good afternoon. I’ve got a package for you.”

I immediately went in the house and opened my package with great anticipation. And, there, wrapped in cellophane and with a huge light blue bow around them, were my new pajamas and fuzzy purple slippers. I opened up the cellophane wrapping and removed the cardboard from inside the slippers and tried them on. This is my first success with online shopping, I thought. They fit perfectly. They’re snug but not too snug and beyond comfortable. They’re fuzzy and go halfway to the calf. I tried the pajamas on and they also fit perfectly. I folded them and put them on a shelf in my closet, anxious now for the day to be over and evening to come so I could wear them for the first time.

At 7:30 p.m., I asked myself an important question: “Is it too early to get ready for bed?” I went into my closet to get my new, neatly folded pajamas. While I was doing this, my eye caught my dressy clothes, waiting for the pandemic to end to be taken out and worn to ballets, plays, operas, drinks and dinners with friends. But for tonight that’s not to be.

I’m happy where I am tonight: watching Netflix, staying warm near the fireplace, drinking hot chocolate. I look good for the occasion wearing my blue and white snowflake flannel pajamas.

March 1, 2021