... or sleepwear, as they often called, is that when you put the nightie or PJ's on at night,they feel really, really comfy, but the moment you get into bed, an evil metamorphosis takes place.
Now, I usually wear nighties. Rid your minds this instant of the ruched and rose-sprigged wincyette image from the Damart catalogue. My idea of a nightdress is the long t-shirt type of which I have several, bearing images that range from a snoring zebra (why a zebra? Does anyone know if they snore or is it a growl to deter prowling tigers?), to a slogan that declares' Her Majesty demands her beauty sleep'.
My night-time ritual goes like this. Wash, clean teeth, remove make-up, plaster on moisturiser, then, with nightie hanging loose on body, slink into bed. And that's where the sleepwear demons take over. No sooner am I snuggled under the duvet than a hundred bony fingers start tweaking the nightie this way and that, pulling it tight beneath the armpits, winding it in a corkscrew around my body and hauling it upwards so that my bum is exposed to the chill night air.
I sigh, tug it down, turn over. They cackle, tweak and pull it up again. I toyed with the idea of attaching cords to either side of the hem, which could then be tied around the ankles to keep the thing down, but I knew, just knew, that the sleep demons would end up garroting me with them; either that, or a 3 am sleepy stumble to the loo would end up as a major disaster involving a mop and a change of night attire as I had forgotten about the cords.
So - last night being cold and frosty, I decided to switch to PJ's for the first time in months. Usually I avoid wearing them because there are even more nasty things the sleepwear demons can do with PJ's than with nighties. Now, I had especially bought the pajama bottoms in an XL size, in the hope of outwitting the demons' plan to deliver an impromptu midnight wedgie.
Imagine this. Before getting into bed, I was comfortably attired in a wine-coloured, stretchy, long-sleeved top with a pink star on the front, and unmatching (fiver in a sale) paler wine-coloured PJ bottoms with elasticated waist, trousers that touched the carpet and a crotch that dangled just above my inner knees. What could be cosier and comfier?
Twenty minutes in bed, however, and the sleeves had shrunk up to my elbows and held them tight in a painful vice, the trouser legs had whizzed up to thigh level and had formed themselves into a bulky nappy arrangement (thank God I was still awake or my unconscious mind might have thought I was two years old again!) and the crotch seam had not only performed a pile operation and a clitorectomy, but had, in eyebrow-threading style, painfully robbed me of several pubic hairs.
I sighed, got up, shook everything back down again, got back into bed and... Well, eventually I got to sleep somehow. Tonight it's back to the nightie. With the PJ top worn over it. And knee-length socks. Maybe even knickers. Let's see what the sleepwear demons can do with that lot. I suppose, as a last resort, I shall have to resort to Marilyn Monroe's sleepwear, a dab of Chanel No 5, assisted by a heated duvet, an electric blanket and... oh, to hell with it. A four-poster bed with a fan heater inside. That should do the trick!
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