The Little Things: The Nightgown
August 6th, 2010

So far this week I’ve regaled you with my affections for scalloped tomatoes (yes, I made my fourth batch in two weeks on Wednesday night) and TV reruns.  I’ve also discovered that these two things are made even better when enjoyed at the same time – you really should try it.  Perhaps tonight while GAP is out at a business dinner I will really gild the lily and add this third component to the mix for a moment of perfect Gale bliss.

The nightgown.  I hadn’t worn one since I was at least eight years old.  In my mind they were either stuffy, puritan affairs or tiny and tawdry.  For years, unaware that there was any kind of middle ground, I opted for two-piece pajamas.  Some of them were darling matched sets.  But many others were shameful combinations of old t-shirts and boxer shorts.  Not so pretty.

Further, as a matter of practicality, I frequently got into fights with my pajama bottoms in the middle of the night.  I would roll.  They would twist.  I would right them.  They would twist again.  It was an ongoing, maddening battle that I resented for interrupting my precious REM cycles (or something, I really don’t know anything about sleep biology).    

So, recently I decided it was time for a bit of overhaul in the sleepwear department.  Time to bring the words beauty sleep to life.  Time to end the day wearing something that would see me through to morning without incident. 

Enter: the nightgown.  (Actually, nightgowns. Plural.)

They are flirty and feminine without being racy or raunchy.  Sweet but not twee.  Delicate but not dainty.  They make me feel like a lady, which is a lovely way to feel, especially at the end of a long day.  They make me brush my hair one last time before getting into bed.  I’ve even reintroduced two long-forsaken skincare steps (toner and eye cream) back into my nightly toilette. 

And nightgowns are comfortable – oh so comfortable.  They don’t spiral around me and wake me up.  The cotton is soft and breezy.  They are cool on warm summer nights.  Perhaps it is psychosomatic, but I sleep so much better in nightgowns than pajamas.  If sleep like this means mental trickery, sign me up.  I’m game.   

A good night’s sleep really isn’t such a little thing.  It should be.  It should be easy.  Sleep is delicious, and healthy, and free.  We should be tired when we go to bed and rested when we wake in the morning.  Sleep should be the easiest decision we make all day, yet so many of us get so little of it. 

Nightgowns, like all of the little things I’ve written about this week, add up to something bigger.  A perfect simple supper is comforting and nourishing and whole.  Our favorite reruns on television bring a combination of pleasant surprise and predictable calm.  And a nightgown helps us log the eight or nine hours of uninterrupted sleep that help us feel (if not actually become) really on top of things.

These little things are small on their own.  But they extrapolate out to much greater levels of meaning.  This is why the idea of “the little things” is such a cliché.  There is truth in it that we can’t afford to overlook.

PS – As I contemplated my posts this week there were several other little things that I considered: good pens, text messaging, going to movies alone, Zappos.com, and countless others.  Our lives are full of little things that we neglect to consider very often.

3 Responses to “The Little Things: The Nightgown”

  1. Anne Says:

    I’m so inspired! I just got into a fight with my pajama bottoms last night…perhaps I should follow your lead.

  2. BigLittleWolf Says:

    I love this! It’s so French of you!

    I think there’s something to be said for feeling our femininity, and that’s what a lovely (not trashy) piece of lingerie or sleepware can do. We spend so much time rushing around, getting things done, and simple pleasures get lost in the mix.

    A lovely nightgown is a treat we give ourselves (to be enjoyed with those tomatoes and reruns, if no one else is home?) – and I’m all for it.

    Now about those pens… that’s pretty French, too. They adore their pens and papers. It’s delish and tactile.

  3. Gale Says:

    BLW – French? That’s the nicest compliment I’ve gotten all week. The French have such lovely taste in, well, everything.