cheerleader slumber party pants.

I needed new pajama pants. The ones that I had were either too warm for summer or too snug for my post-college bottom. And while I had held on to the too-small pairs long after they became that way, I finally decided that pajama pants that are too tight defeat the purpose of loungewear.

Deciding that I need to buy something means adding it to the mental list of things that I specifically look for at thrift stores and yard sales. In my mind, I pictured the perfect pajama pants. They looked suspiciously like a blue pair that Josh owns which features penguins in their underwear. They're roomy, soft cotton pants, just what I wanted. Also, did I mention the penguins in their penguiny underwear? I borrowed those pants so often that it was really more like stealing them very slowly. I happen to know that Josh is also fond of these pants, and well, I suppose he does have first dibs.

But in my secondhand shopping, I could not find another pair of penguin pants, or even a similar pair of cotton pants with a pattern that I didn't hate. I found a lot of old man stripey pajama pants and a few that were very small and had suggestive words on the butt. Finally, I found a pair of satiny ones with a green pattern that were not too bad. These were sort of a compromise with the Gods of Secondhand. They were not what I wanted, but they were available for $1.39 and they would do until I found what I did want (or until winter, when I could start wearing my fleece ones). I mean, there was nothing wrong with these pants, but they were just a little bit girly. Besides being fake-satin, they had little green bows on the ankles. They were cheerleader slumber party pants, when I was hoping for something that looked as if they had been borrowed from a boyfriend. Basically, they came from the women's side of the Old Navy store, rather than the men's side.

But whatever. They're just pajama pants. I realize that most women would not have a problem with being forced to wear - gasp! - women's clothing. I just have a style, and it ain't ankle bows.

The first time I wore my new used pants, Josh immediately commented positively on them. This made me wonder if he liked women's clothing on his woman, in which case, I suspect he is disappointed by much of my wardrobe.

A few days later, Josh did the laundry, and I noticed that he hung the pants up rather than put them in the dryer. I was pretty sure the tag said "tumble dry low", being your basic mass-produced sleepwear, so I asked about it.

"If you dry them, they get little fabric pills on them. And those are really nice."

"They're not that nice. They're just Old Navy."

"Oh. Well, you're not going to want to pay for another pair of them."

"I'll pay a buck for a pair at Goodwill. They made 15 billion just like them."

This exchange made me wonder whether he thought I got them at some secret Ladies Only store. Did he think they were special pants just for wearing around him? What if I got invited to a cheerleader slumber party?

Only much later did I realize that I should have just shut my fat gob. I should have preserved his illusion that I had fancy nighty things that needed special handling. You know, delicates. And why do I have those things? Because I am delicate. Instead, I trampled on both his illusion and his sweet gesture. I also told him that I bought something that he possibly considered lingerie at Goodwill.

None of this would have happened if I had just stolen his penguin pants.

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