I used to jump out of bed at the sound of the alarm, rush through a shower, and then get dressed and start the day. This has pretty much been the pattern of my life for as long as I can remember. Up and at it. Rise and shine.
But then I became a “writer.” I am sure I am not the only person with literary leanings that has trouble getting dressed in the morning. Perhaps it comes with the territory, but I am still a little ashamed of the fact that there are days when I look at the clock, and realize that it is long past noon, and I am still wearing bedclothes.
I like to think that I have joined a sorority of literary women who also write in their pajamas. I imagine Nora Ephron typing hilarious things while wearing a flannel nightshirt. I cherish the fantasy that Erma Bombeck sometimes dashed off one of her columns while wearing a nightie. There is no doubt in my mind that Julie Powell wrote her famous blog without getting completely dressed.
However, I am sure that not all writers would agree about the pajamas. Ayn Rand probably wrote her revolutionary prose wearing a business suit, or at least man- tailored slacks. I know that Emily Dickinson was always in a proper peplum. Jane Austen would have been scandalized to see me at my desk wearing coffee stained boxer shorts and an old Metallica T-shirt.
I know my Mom would be horrified at my creative writing uniform. This is a woman who never let the sun rise on her nightgowns. She wore tube tops and pedal pushers, but she was always DRESSED. She always, as I recall, wore shoes as well. Her opinion of people in pajamas after waking was that they must be either unwell or oversexed. I feel a little guilty when I think about this, but then I console myself that my mother came from a different age, and that the fact that I am writing this while wearing the Metallica T-shirt is really ok.
So I sit here, shoeless and attired in what would shock my Mom, “writing.” It is quarter to three. Soon, I will have to think about what to make for dinner. In just a little while, I will go upstairs, comb my hair and get some regular clothes on. Although I “write,” I still have some standards. I have never served dinner to my family while wearing pajamas.
But there is a first time for everything…