Jewish World Review March 26, 2003 / 22 Adar II, 5763

David Grimes

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Consumer Reports

Pajamas make high school less stressful | In a fashion trend that I like to think I had something to do with but almost assuredly did not, more and more high school students are showing up for class in their pajamas.

As I've said many times in the past, one of the best things about working at home is that you can roll out of bed anytime that you wish (noon thirty) and get right to work without having to bother with such conventional social niceties as, say, pants.

If this is not an image that you wish to dwell on without several cups of opium-laced coffee under your belt, be advised that I seldom, if ever, take this fashion statement outdoors unless it's extremely hot or I forget. That apparently is not the case, however, with some teens who have made cartoon pajamas and fuzzy bunny slippers the latest high school fashion craze.

"At 7:30 in the morning, I don't feel like putting out any more effort that I have to," said Fort Lauderdale high school student Lai-Yan Tang. "School is sitting in a chair for seven hours, and my goal is to make it as comfortable as possible."

A local high school teacher who requested anonymity on the grounds that she is my wife confided that she has also observed students bringing blankets to school, suggesting that public schools may be able to overcome their budget shortfalls by charging the same rates as a Holiday Inn. (The earliest wakeup call would be scheduled for noon thirty.)

While many school districts have dress codes, few specifically address the issue of pajama-wearing. (Administrators apparently felt that students who routinely dye their hair blue and pierce their belly buttons would never in a million years have the bad judgment to wear jammies to school.)

The big question, of course, is how many teachers and principals have enough energy left at this point to actually give a fig what students choose to wear to school, up to and including Bugs Bunny pajamas. My guess is precious few, which may be depressing if you're of the us-vs.-them mentality regarding teen fashion, but on the other hand pretty much guarantees that the pajama fad will be short-lived and soon replaced by something far worse. (Attention, teens: We adults really, really hate the coat-and-tie look so don't even think about wearing something like that to school.)

In my opinion the pajama controversy is hardly the biggest problem facing our public school system (that would be Mystery Meat Thursdays) and when you think about it, it's not all that different than wearing a warm-up suit to school, except your pants are decorated with little cartoon images of Speedy Gonzales.

In these troubled times, it's a challenge to just get out of bed, let alone pay a great deal of attention to the fact that we never got around to changing out of our PJs. There may even come a time when pajamas are acceptable office wear.

They've been fine around my house for years.

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JWR contributor David Grimes is a columnist for The Sarasota Herald Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


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