November 20, 2000
Pajama Therapy!


Over the weekend, I accidentally discovered yet another surefire cure for the *End-of-the-Weekend, Worst-Day-of-the-Week, Weepy/Whiney I'll Be Watering That Fudking Dwarf Schleffera Until I'm Seventy-Five (I Just Know It) Sunday Blues.*

My latest miracle cure? Something I call *New Pajama Therapy.*

(Add this one to Nap Therapy, Tobler Chocolate Orange Therapy, Orgasm Therapy and Dishwashing Therapy. Pretty soon we're gonna have enough *therapies* for an entire self-help book!)

Specifically: brand-new pajamas, purchased totally on impulse, by yourself FOR yourself,  for no other reason than because they look comfortable and silly, and because they've got them in your size, and because you can sort-of afford them, and because you want them.  In fact, the sillier-looking the pajamas are, the better. None of this silk-and-lace, plunging-neckline, peek-a-boo/babydoll/froufrou nonsense: save that for the honeymoon. I'm talking big and bold ... tacky and tasteless ... so-ugly-they're cute, in a Grandpa Ted sort of way. You know the sort of pajamas I mean: pajamas you might have worn to Addie Hetherington's slumber party, if only you hadn't gotten into a big stoopid fight over *tetherball protocol* with Addie during lunch recess two days before the party and suddenly found yourself uninvited, along with Darlene Thomas and whichever one of the Orr twins was in your class that year -- Cathleen or Charleen  -- and that weird new girl, Sherry Something, the one who always wore bent paper clips on her teeth and told everybody they were her "braces."

Those are the kind of pajamas I'm talking about.

And by all means, if you can afford more than one pair of new pajamas ... go for it. This weekend I wound up bringing home the zebra stripes, the flannel maroon plaid AND the little teacups-and-saucers.

As we drove back across the bridge from San Francisco to the East Bay, I sat in the front seat of the Subaru and fondled my new pajamas. Just looking at them made me absurdly happy. Smelling them -- that lovely, new-jammies smell -- was like a big happy party in my nose.

(And slipping into a brand-new pair of p.j.'s on a Sunday night? Especially when you've just come home from putting your daughter on an airplane home to TicTac, after a particularly lovely five-day visit, and you're drooping emotionally and physically, just the teensiest bit?  That was sheer, unadulterated, 83% Polyester/17% Cotton bliss.)

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A handful of other *blues-cures* we indulged in over the weekend:

  • Spending money on your kid.

    While you're busy buying pajamas for yourself, don't lose sight of why 
    you're doing battle with the raging hordes at Macy's Department Store on a crowded pre-holiday Saturday afternoon in the first place: namely, buying stuff for your kid.

    Buy her a warm new winter coat for those chilly Seattle nights. Buy her a sturdy new pair of Skecher's. Buy her a couple of turtlenecks and a couple pairs of jeans.

    Buy her a chicken sandwich, while you're at it.

    (Just don't suggest buying her underwear. Or laxatives. Or a Michael Bolton double-CD retrospective. Not even in jest.)

    No, you can't afford it. And yes, you should probably be spending that money on something sensible ... like the power bill, or bleach, or canned tuna.

    But then again  ...  this is precisely why God invented credit cards.

    Calling Joel

  • Barnes & Noble.

    As much as I love the convenience of book-shopping online -- and I do so love the convenience of book-shopping online -- there is still something absolutely intoxicating about walking around in a real-live bookstore ... especially at night ... especially during the holiday season. In fact, I would go so far as to say that bookstores are the only stores I can tolerate during the Christmas-shopping season. You're lots less likely to hear "A Backstreet Boys' Christmas" piped over the intercom in a groovy bookstore, for one thing. And for another thing, bookstores are where I hope Santa is shopping for *me.* I figure if he sees me there, drooling over a beautiful hand-tooled leather diary or a package of vintage Barbie Doll refrigerator magnets, he might get the hint.

    (Which, by the way, is pretty much why you never catch me shopping in a hardware store at Christmastime.)

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  • Sunshine.

    Now that I am properly *UV-protected* (read this: now that I've purchased an actual bottle of actual sunscreen and have begun applying it to my actual face, every morning), I feel better about driving around in sunshine. Or at least I don't feel quite so vulnerable.

    The only problem -- as I was telling a new e-mail pal, the other day -- is that now it feels as though I'm walking around with a thin layer of Crisco on my face all the time.  Worse still, if I try and blot it with pressed powder, it turns into pancake batter.

    But still, now that I know I'm not going to be a mass of wrinkles by the time I'm 38 ... [ahem] ... it's sort of spiritually uplifting, driving around in sunshine in November.

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  • Barbara & The Boys, "Hooty Sapperticker."

    Who can resist a song with deathless lyrics like these:

    Hooty! Hooty! Hooty!
    Hooty! Hooty! Hooty!
    Hooty! Hooty! Hooty!
    Howdy Hooty Sapperticker!

    (Special bonus: playing this song in the car ... repeatedly ... while your teenager is helplessly trapped in the backseat.)

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  • Foccacia bread.

    We were grocery-shopping last week when I saw these big beautiful loaves of foccacia bread on sale in the bakery department of our favorite grocery store. I thought, Wow! Those would be perfect for Jaymi's visit! So I bought one loaf of herb & Parmesan and one tomato & basil, for about three bucks apiece. Ten minutes in a 350º oven ... a little olive oil for dipping ... and that was dinner on Saturday night (and a late-afternoon snack again on Sunday). It wasn't as good as our world-famous (and no doubt annoyingly overhyped) Bed Picnic Bruschetta  --  in fact, I suspect it's one of those things that we could probably make ourselves: that's how we *developed* the bruschetta recipe in the first place, by duplicating something we'd ordered in a North Beach restaurant  --  but it was good. And it was different. And it didn't load us up and make us feel all logy and cranky, the way a Papa Murphy's *If It Used To Walk Around A Barnyard, It's ON THIS PIZZA* special would have.

    You'll be hearing about foccacia bread again. I might even learn how to spell it correctly eventually.

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  • A buttload of e-mail.

    There have been a couple of times this year when having an online journal has gotten me into trouble.  More than once I've been embarrassed or had regrets about something I've written, or felt cripplingly intimidated by other journalers, or felt burdened by the whole process and decided I was going to unplug the damn thing and be done with it.

    But there have also been times this year when I have been profoundly grateful for my journal, not only because of the creative release, or because of the groovy Diarist Awards, or because it's like the world's most INSANELY PERFECT revenge ... 

    ...  but because of the people who read *FootNotes* every day, and who take the time to sit down and write to me about the stuff they read here. This past weekend has been one of those times.

    Thank you to everybody who wrote to me this weekend, about turning down the job offer. (Even the lady who yelled at me to "lighten up.") The avalanche of supportive e-mail has helped turn my outlook around like you wouldn't believe. I may not have a chance to answer everyone right away, but in the meantime please know that I read every e-mail you send me ... I save every e-mail you send me ... and I treasure every e-mail you send me. It's like having my very own bleachers filled with cheering supporters.

    (And almost none of you are throwing rotten food at me.)

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And of course the very best blues-cure of all ... ?

Spending the weekend with the daughter you gave birth to nineteen years ago, just so you would always have someone smarter and prettier and groovier than *you* are to hang around with. Trust me when I tell you she was worth every moment of those four-hundred-sixty-two excruciating hours of labor.

I call it *Tot Therapy* ... and it's better than ALL of the other therapies put together.

throw a rock