Monday, November 12, 2012

My Panda Pants

So I’ve got these Panda Pants…

[I figured I would go direct with this one, because, let’s be honest here—the words “So I’ve got these Panda Pants” are rarely uttered into the blogosphere. Also I didn’t know how to start this blog.]

But anyway…my Panda Pants. And yep, the capitalization of Panda Pants is necessary. The capitalization is necessary because these pants are not just ordinary pants--not quite the Sisterhood of the Traveling variety, they’re pajama bottoms, but still-- these pajama bottoms are special.  I’ll explain, so bear with me. (Corny Pun Count: 1).

For one, I must reiterate that these pajama pants have freakin’ pandas on them. And not just a few cartoon pandas here and there—these pants have, like, 50 pandas, all smiling at me against a sky-blue cotton tapestry that match their sky-blue panda eyes, which I don’t think is anatomically accurate but whatever.

For another, these fifty-something, anatomically-inaccurate blue-eyed pandas are so joyful, jumping with their yellow daisy flowers and four panda paws spread high and wide, like “You can do it, Lindsay! Today is your day!” And they are just happy to be frolicking on the fabric that constitutes my pajama bottoms: My Left-Knee Panda, my Lower-Ankle Panda, my Calf-Panda. All just happy to be there.

These are happy pandas. These are my Happy Panda Pants.

There are two more things you need to know about my Panda Pants:

First, they weren’t always called Panda Pants (capital P’s necessary). Actually, they didn’t have a name at all, since they were just regular old pajama pants. But if they did have a name prior to Panda Pants, it would have been The Pajama Pants I Kept At My Parent’s House and Wore When I Came Home Some Weekends in College and Had Forgotten to Bring My Normal Pajama Pants.

Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as easily as Panda Pants.

My mom was the one who gave these precious pajama bottoms their moniker. In doing so, she simultaneously gave me a wake-up call. A wake up call I guess I needed.

Last fall, I had already finished classes on campus at CMU, but still needed to finish my thesis so I could graduate that December. While at home, plugging away at the research, I had gotten in a sort of…funk. I was frustrated with the research process, worried I wouldn’t graduate, and concerned about the next steps of my life. And so, as a subconscious result, I picked up the habit of wearing my pajama pants with the cartoon pandas on them….often.

So often, in fact, that one morning while rocking the Pants and working on my thesis downstairs, I looked up and noticed my mom looking at me awkwardly. Or rather, looking at my legs awkwardly. She was eyeing up the pandas.

“What?” I asked her, annoyed, my eyebrows raised.

“Lindsay,” my mom said in a tone that suggested an important life lesson would follow after it. She stood up from the kitchen table, her brown coffee cup in one hand and a concerned look on her face. “Get out of those panda pants.”

“What do you mean, ‘Get out of those panda pants’? I replied, looking down at the pandas’ friendly faces, then back up at my mother. “Mom, these pants are comfortable.”

“They’re old,” my mom replied, walking over to the coffee pot and pouring herself a cup. She has taken her coffee the same way my entire life: Black, caffeinated, Folger’s. No sugar, no cream. When it comes to coffee, my mom is hardcore.

“I am sick of you wearing them every day,” she continued in an almost amused tone. “They are almost half-your age.”

“They are…um…not,” I said, looking down.

My mom was laughing now. “Yes, they are! And you don’t need to wear them. Wear your Victoria’s Secret pajama pants, those PINK ones, or better yet, wear jeans.”

Which brings my to the second detail you need to know about these pajama pants:

I may or may not—OK, I may-- have purchased these pajama bottoms in seventh grade. When I was 12. [The 1999 Version of Lindsay, all metal-mouthed/head-geared, strawberry Lip-Smackered and boy-crazy.]  Which would make these pajama pants 13-years-old, one year older than the age I was one I first bought them.
There's me, in all of my 7th-grade glory, wearing the Panda Pants.
I remember being bummed my dad was blinking in this photo. All well.

“But they pandas…they’re telling me today is my day…” I replied, to my mom, looking sorrowfully down at Right-Knee Panda, who was grinning and leaping and holding it’s yellow daisy flower.

“Honey,” my mom looked at me wistfully as she walked upstairs. “They’re pajama pants; they aren’t telling you it’s your day. If anything, your panda pals should be telling you “Goodnight.” Because they are pajamas, which are items of clothing that you should wear at night. But it’s not night; it’s 1:03 p.m. in the afternoon. And you are 24-years-old. Work on your thesis, do great things. The Panda Pants have gotta go.” She went into the bathroom, closed the door.

I sighed. My mom always knew how to make a point. Some people eat chocolate for comfort. Others work out.

Apparently I, a then 24-years-old woman, wear pajamas with cartoon pandas I first purchased when I was 12.

So that day, I got out of my Panda Pants. Sometimes only your mom can say the thing that gives you an even louder wake-up call then that annoying “Eeeh, eeh, eeh” sound every alarm clock makes.

I will admit, however, that much to my mother’s dismay, I did not—though I tried; the pants were in the Goodwill box for awhile—get rid of the Panda Pants. It has now become a joke between my mom and I, those silly Panda Pants. I still wear them. But I don’t need them for comfort like I did.  Or think I did.

Long live the Panda Pants.  I’m crossing my fingers Panda Claus will reward me. (Corny Pun Count: 2).