An ad for a matchmaking company shows two attractive young people, successfully joined by modern technology, pledging their love to one another. As her ultimate promise of lasting devotion, the woman looks into her partner’s eyes and says earnestly “I vow never to wear a flannel nightgown.”
I still wince when I think of it. What kind of made-for-Hulu deal is that?
Clearly, this ad was written by someone who has never owned good, well-worn sleepwear – someone too buttoned up to admit that loose fitting sock monkey jammies are the key to better creativity and world peace.
I’m sure we all agree that the feel-good powers of sock monkeys need no discussion. Sock monkeys are the universal symbol for ‘shut up and love your life.’ Unless you have a neurotic fear of things made from socks, (a very real condition suffered by my late friend Betsy), sock monkeys can only make you smile. If you ask me, they are the very best decoration for pajamas. Happily, sock monkeys are very much in style right now, so you should have no trouble finding them on pajamas in many sizes and styles. In fact, it’s a good time to stock up, unless you believe like I do that one set will last you a lifetime.
So, for novices like our ad writers, how do you pick a creativity-accelerating pajama set?
First, pajamas should be loose and soft and noise-free. This rules out cheap polyesters and satin. Slipping and sliding and shining may feel elegant for a few minutes, but before you know it, you’re using brain cells to strategize the best position to keep your legs crossed without them sliding away from each other. Shiny fabrics are designed to be slipped out of, which is, of course, the whole point behind the flannel nightgown pledge.
Pajamas and flannel nightgowns, sock-monkey clad or otherwise, should have nothing anywhere to remind you that you have a body with nerve endings. If your pajamas are truly comfortable, an innocent tag on the back of your neck will be a major annoyance. Remove tags at the roots, with a seam ripper. Merely snipping them off might just create a shorter, more stubbly, irritant.
Finally, remember that in pajamas, size matters. If someone can guess your weight within 20 pounds, your pajamas are too small. If the elastic on your waistband actually stretches, instead of sitting unemployed on your hips, it is too tight. Pajamas are only too large if you trip over them or the sleeves fall into your coffee cup. And even then . . .
Once you get the right sized pajamas and get them worn into submission, you will own the keys to a state of bliss . . . a portal to a state of relaxation that God never meant to be reserved just for sleep time. Add sock monkeys, and the relaxed molecules of your pajamas are ready to dance the Macarena, fly kites, and write software code – all at the same time.
Your perfectly customized sock monkey pajamas will be a cross between a suit of armor and a muse. They will drape around you like chain mail, making you feel sovereign and protected. You will know you can go anywhere, do anything: fight dragons, rule kingdoms, even drink coffee past noon. The ideas that have been waiting just below the surface of your stress-encased consciousness will break from their shackles, kick their self-doubt in the teeth and stampede boldly into the land of “let’s do this!”
When you say to people “I stayed in my jammies all day,” they will be a little envious, but mostly they will be scared.
The source of sock monkey pajama powers may be rooted in the mysteries of alchemy or a complex algorithm, or it may rest in the simple reality that sock monkey pajamas are not appropriate to wear in public or during sex, thereby keeping the wearer home and undistracted with his or her creative work. Either way, the powers are real, and there is no patent or treaty or religion keeping you from accessing them. I’m committed to sharing the secrets that will help people tap their creative potential, and this is one I’m excited to unleash on the world.
So why did we start this exploration by talking about the flannel nightgown? There is no dispute among the experts in the field that the flannel nightgown was the immediate predecessor of the sock monkey pajama, the powers and political implications of which are apparent (don’t make me spell it out.) We can’t be sure, but it is believed that the somebody’s grandma who had the world-changing notion to make a monkey out of work socks was likely wearing a flannel nightgown when she got the idea. One thing is for sure: she would never have promised anyone, in love or otherwise, that she would never wear one.