We were reading “Ramona and Her Mother” last night and I ended up utterly baffled and actually saying “WHAT? WHAT?” in response to some of the things I read aloud.
Ramona wore her pajamas under her clothes to school one day, which makes for an amusing story because she gets way too hot and her teacher thinks she’s sick as a result. Her inspiration for doing this is what got me confused. Ramona was shocked when she learned that firefighters wear their underwear to bed to save time getting dressed if they get called out to a fire in the middle of the night. She wore her pajamas under her clothes to save time getting dressed like the firefighters and when she gets too hot she gets worried about taking off her pajamas because she’s not wearing underwear underneath.
Apparently not wearing underwear under your pajamas is the way it’s done in Ramona’s little world and wearing underwear when you sleep is very very strange.
Um, I’ve never not worn underwear to bed. What? Why isn’t Ramona wearing underwear under her pajamas? Especially when she makes it clear in this book that she wears her pajamas multiple nights in a row. Shouldn’t she be wearing her underwear to cut down on how often her pajamas need to be washed? I don’t understand. Did I have a strange childhood and am somehow a savage in that we always wore underwear under whatever it was we were wearing with the exception of a leotard or swimsuit?
I’m so confused about this. Why wouldn’t the firefighters be wearing their underwear? Of course they’re wearing their underwear? Is this an old time thing? Or is this how they do things in Portland? Or?
I don’t understand.
Elsewhere, half the scenes involve Ramona putting on her “car coat”. WTF is a “car coat”? A good search takes me to a windbreaker. Is this regional language? I asked my mom if it was an older term for it since the book was written in 1979 (the year I was born!). She had never heard of a “car coat”. Is it a regional term? They use it over and over and over again. Why can’t Ramona just be wearing a “coat”. Why is that extra word there? WHY?!
I’m so confused, people. I love these books, but I’m shocked by how many parts of them are making me pause and say “WHAT? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?”
EDIT: A reader has informed me that she and her girls do not wear underwear to bed because that’s how her mother always did it when she was growing up. I’m intrigued. How many of you wear or don’t wear underwear to bed? Here is someone else’s online poll, which could use a bit more data. It looks like MOST people wear underwear to be based on this small sample, but a substantial amount of people do not. Go fill out the poll or answer in the comments here. I’m very curious and who doesn’t love talking about underwear?