“They didn’t want to hurt her feelings, and so we all wore our pajamas that night and she was very happy.”

Back in the 1960s, my grandmother wanted to do something fun for all of her grandchildren. And so she decided to make pajamas for everybody in the family for Christmas. This was before this was a thing that people did like they do now. And this was my grandmother deciding to buy — I don’t know — like, a hundred yards of striped flannel. It was the stripes that reminded me of it, and my cousin called since I’d recorded a few minutes ago and that made me think of it.

Anyway, my grandmother made red and white striped nightgowns for my mother, my aunt, and my cousins — the girls, and I. For our fathers — my uncle, my dad, my grandfather and my two cousins that were boys — she made black and white striped flannel pajama pants. And coming out of the box, they looked pretty cute…‘til they all had to put them on and modeled them.

Well, they looked like they were a bunch of convicts from some prison. It was very, very funny. But they didn’t want to hurt her feelings, and so, since we all stayed at my grandmother’s big old farmhouse, we all wore our pajamas that night and she was very happy. My cousins got to go home. But my dad — we had — mom and I had to stay for another few days and so we had to wear our pajamas for a couple more days.

My dad was later bit by the snaps at the waist because my grandmother didn’t squeeze them tight enough and the metal part started to come out. And after a couple of days, my dad decided that as soon as we got home those pajama pants were going to be toast. But actually I think he cut them up into car polishing rags, which he probably got a lot more use out of. But it was pretty funny to see our entire family of 14 people wearing either red and white or black and white striped pajamas in the 1960s. Not something that people did back then.

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