I wasn’t sure if I should bother mentioning this because it is possibly a regional dilemma, and not all of the readers of this blog reside in the Southeast part of the country. Since Orlando is heavily frequented by tourists, I decided to go ahead with the post, as a warning of sorts for those of you not accustomed to such a high level of tom foolery. I was in Walmart (well, how else am I supposed to start a post about foolishness?) when I saw a woman in a pair of Budweiser pajama pants and flip flops, donning a black satin nightcap on her head. Not having even walked fifteen feet, I encountered another woman, with sagging denim shorts, a men’s tank top (with armholes so large, her entire bra would have been visible if she had bothered to wear one), and a black satin nightcap on her head. Her friend was slightly more appropriately dressed in what may have been either a jersey nightgown, or a sundress that strongly resembled a nightgown, black satin nightcap also in place. I tried to chalk the whole nightcap thing up as a coincidence, and don’t even get me started on the pajamas as outerwear.
I stopped in Publix afterwards and saw yet another woman in a black satin night cap. At least she was wearing jeans and a t shirt. Yes, Publix, my beloved Publix has fallen victim to the black satin night cap. Now if I didn’t know any better, I would assume that these similarities could only mean one thing: gang activity. There was clearly a gang of women who identified themselves with one key item of clothing. Not unlike the Bloods street gang, whose preference for the color red distinguishes them as a unit, these women had chosen this hideous black bonnet, similar to a shower cap in its appearance, as their symbol of unity. This “family” however, does not appear to have violent tendencies. They go shopping without causing too much of an uproar, and seem to function like other people would. What kind of gang activity were they involved in, then? After witnessing one woman snatch her cap off hurriedly when she thought no one was looking to stuff a stray braid that had escaped, I understood: these were women who were opposed to combing their hair. After forming this hypothesis, I carefully studied every bonnet-topped head I came across for clues. One contained hair rollers underneath. A pink foam roller at the nape of the woman’s neck managed to escape captivity and stood out freely, unbeknownst to its owner. I was in awe; I had no idea pink foam rollers still existed! This was getting interesting.
There was another element to consider, though; the presence of pajamas in conjunction with the bonnet. What did this combination mean? Maybe these were silent protestors, opposing the treatment of workers in facilities where apparel was manufactured by refusing to wear normal apparel. There was definitely some sort of uprising going on, and I was determined to put the puzzle together. As I saw more and more of these women, I began to piece together the mystery. Apparently, it was not a gang at all. Somehow, these women, who likely didn’t even know one another, managed to synchronize this unappealing ensemble by deciding it was no longer necessary to comb their hair, or get dressed prior to coming outside. I can’t see the draw behind this phenomenon, but apparently women all over Orlando have given up on being ladies, attempting to beautify themselves. An act of extreme feminism, perhaps? Possibly. Although I like to consider myself a feminist to a certain extent, that is one bandwagon I won’t be jumping on. Ever. Back when I was growing up, a woman took pride in the way she looked. Even if it meant putting her hair into a neat ponytail, she was sure to look presentable. Pajama pants were reserved for the home. Sure, we all have our moments where getting dressed in our best just isn’t something we feel like doing. And if you are a mother who is racing to the grocery store at 11:00 at night because you forgot it was your child’s turn to bring the class snack the next day, your pajama pants and sweatshirt are perfectly acceptable. But in the middle of the day, let’s not wear nightclothes outdoors. No, not even to fetch the newspaper from the end of your driveway. As for the hideous satin bonnets, I can’t even agree to allow those in the bed at night, unless you happen to be single.