Monkeys are ruining my marriage
Sock monkeys, actually. Dozens of them artfully replicated on aqua flannel pajamas from Target.
For anyone not familiar with sock monkeys, they are hand-crafted folk art toys made from a pair of red heeled work socks. When pieced together, one red heel supplies a pair of huge lips, and the other creates a charmingly vulgar red bum. I still have the one my grandmother made for my father in the 1930s. Just last year I passed the torch to my daughter when we made several of them together using red heeled socks now found only on the internet. Kind of a cracker trash rite of passage.
Anyway, these Nick and Nora pajamas stopped me in my tracks back in October when my daughter and I were shopping. Now I have been obsessed with kitsch from an early age, so when I saw this rack of hilariously tacky flannel sleepwear, my heart soared. Besides the sock monkey pattern, good old Target offered several designs of interest: royal blue with a snow dome pattern (Double hooray for this design, as I have amassed well over 200 tacky plastic souvenir snow domes since 1986 — so this was of particular attraction), a yard gnome pattern, and a really eye-catching presentation of pink flamingos and airstream trailers. It was difficult to choose; of course I wanted them all, but, not one to be greedy, I finally settled on the sock monkeys and snow domes. I hinted to Kate that I would love to have them as a Christmas present. Well, actually, I demanded she allow me to buy them and hide them in her room until Christmas, "to help your dad out with the shopping." She complied, knowing we had hit the mother lode of gifts for her mother of unique tastes. "We'd better get these NOW," I emphasized, shoving them into Kate's basket,"They're sure to be gone if we wait."
Four months later the entire rack of comical pajamas still remains at Target, reduced for clearance. I guess few people share my affection for comfort and whimsy.
At the close of a harried day, nothing makes me happier than to slip into my soft, oversized brushed flannel PJs covered with merry little sock monkeys. The pictures are charming and varied: there are sock monkeys driving cars, sock monkeys bowling, sock monkeys watching television, sock monkeys reclining in hammocks, and — my favorite — a sock monkey slipping on a banana peel.
When I blissfully crawl into bed, my husband usually takes one look at the pajamas and makes a slightly pained face — like he smells something bad but is trying to hide his reaction — to be followed by a heavy sigh. It's simply not possible to find me alluring in my beloved monkey PJs.
Beauty is in the eye of the comfy. Hmmph, I think. Love me, love my monkeys.
But he cannot. So I must find a compromise.
I wonder if Target will ever issue a silky black nightie emblazoned with tiny sock monkeys or snow domes. Judging by the clearance rack, it seems doubtful.