My pajama radius

I was watching How I Met Your Mother the other day and they did a joke about Marshall’s “underpants radius.” Ted explained that, “Everyone’s got an underpants radius. For most of us, it’s the distance from the bedroom to the bathroom, but as your self-esteem gets smaller, your underpants radius gets bigger.” Apparently, as Marshall’s unemployment dragged out, his underpants radius increased to laying on the couch, to getting the newspaper, and eventually to going to a restaurant in his underpants.

That got me thinking about my pajama radius.

I live in an apartment building. I also live alone. It used to be that I wore nothing more than underpants between my bedroom and my bathroom, but I covered up to walk to another part of the apartment. Occasionally, as I was getting ready for bed I’d realize I’d forgotten my book or something in the living room. I sleep naked. I used to cover up to get the book, but after a while I just covered my breasts with my arms and ran in, keeping the lights off. Eventually I didn’t bother to cover up or run, but I kept the lights off. Then I’d need to get something in the kitchen after my morning shower but before I’d gotten dressed, and I’d just walk in naked, even during the day. Even with the shades up. But hey, this was all in my apartment and it was my body so it was ok, right? It was also when I was feeling fairly healthy.

A funny thing happened when I got sicker, though. I began to spend a lot of time in my pajamas. They started to feel like “real” clothes. It used to be that when someone came to my door and I was in pjs, I’d throw on a bathrobe or a sweatshirt before I’d answer their knock. Now I don’t bother. Then I started wearing pajama bottoms to take out the trash in the evening. As I felt even worse, I’d just wear full pajamas to take out the trash. At some point, wearing pajamas to check the mail in the lobby seemed ok. I began to have visitors while I was in my pjs. And then last week, I found myself wearing my pajamas as I walked my friend to her car across the street so that I could get back my parking pass.

When did this happen? I know it’s been in the last few years that my pajama radius has spread. It seems to come from two health-related things: quality and quantity. Sure, as my health gets worse I wear my pjs more. But also, the longer this goes on, the less I care. There are more important things in life to worry about than whether a neighbor sees me in my pjs. I don’t care if a neighbor sees my hair messed up or my boobs swinging freely under a pajama top. If I let them see me when my insides feel like crap, why should I care if my outsides look like crap, too? Society says I should care, but society averages towards feeling healthy. I do not.

I suppose the only question is, does this matter? I’m guessing it does. But I just don’t care.

8 Responses to My pajama radius

  1. jacksdavie says:

    If it wasn’t that I have caregivers I would have a pajama radius too. Only because of them that I am able to get up and dressed. Oftentimes they have to pull the duvet of me and kick my butt out of bed. One day last week though, I’d had hydrotherapy and was utterly exhausted so the carer on duty got me in my PJ’s before she finished her shift at 3. It was glorious. I totally get what you are saying about not caring any more. I’m having to push myself much less at the mo and be kinder to myself. The more I have to do that, the less I care about what I miss. Makes me appreciate rare good days like yesterday when I can have a little bit of a life, by seeing a friend for tea and banana loaf in my flat and making a close friend’s party for an hour. Today, I won’t care what state I am in as a consequence… here’s to pajama days!

  2. I love How I Met Your Mother, this article was a great read thank you. I too have an ever increasing pajama-radius I thoroughly enjoyed this post and I’m sure I’ll come back to read it again in the near future!

  3. Reblogged this on Migraine Discussions and commented:
    So interesting how the author connects an episode of How I Met Your Mother to her chronic illness habits.

  4. Tamara Epps says:

    I find that the worse I feel, the more likely I am to stay in my pjs, but it’s not like I can go out when I feel like that anyway – but it doesn’t bother me if the carers or certain friends see me in them. I do try and get dressed most days, as I’ve found that from a mental point of view it helps keep me positive and prevents my depression from pushing me down further. By making the effort on the outside I feel a little better inside (not necessarily more energy, but feeling positive does help) – but you’re right that it doesn’t matter and there are more important things to worry about than whether or not a neighbour sees me in my pjs.

    • chronicrants says:

      Tamara, I know what you mean. There are many days when getting dressed is no problem, and there are other days when it just doesn’t feel like a reasonable option. But then there are the days in between, where it’s easier to stay in pajamas, but I do feel better if I get dressed and go outside, even just for a few minutes. It can be hard to find the motivation on those days, but I’m working on it and it sounds like you are, too.

  5. stuckintexas says:

    I like the pajama radius. I actually see it in my husband, who by all reckoning is healthy.

    I, on the other hand, rarely wear pjs anymore. When I worked I put on pjs after my evening shower and went to bed. They defined day from night. I no longer have those definitions. It’s just about 8am here, I last awoke at about noon yesterday. Another night I may sleep 14 hours.

    This way, should the oxygen guy or some other person come here, I am dressed. Don’t come too close, I may have dressed 48 hours ago, but I’m dressed.

    Pajamas, for me, right now say giving up. And I’m not quite ready to do that yet.

    • chronicrants says:

      Hey Stuck, I’m glad you’ve found a system that’s working for you right now. We all have our own lines we won’t cross, and it’s so important to figure out what they are. For me, the pajama line has shifted a lot lately, but I’m ok with that. I hope you’re ok with yours.

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