Tom Ross: Sleepwear mistakenly sent — what would you do? |

Tom Ross: Sleepwear mistakenly sent — what would you do?

Pajamas misplaced beneath pounds of packing peanuts

You’ll all be thrilled to know that Aunt Reggie is happy with the set of flannel pajamas we sent her for Christmas. They’re keeping her warm and toasty in Buffalo, N.Y., this winter. The only problem is, we never intended to send sleepwear to Reggie.

We can’t be certain yet, but we think this is another socially embarrassing case of a gift being lost in the packing peanuts. Has this ever happened to you?

If you’re like me, you haven’t yet finished returning the house to normal after the holidays. Oh, sure, I took the tree down Jan. 2. But there are still twinkling lights on the crabapple tree out front. Just yesterday, I found some red and blue Christmas tree ornaments that hadn’t been packed away, and there’s still a stack of cardboard boxes, most of them half full of packing peanuts, which need to be disposed of. Packing peanuts! How many gifts have been overlooked by their intended recipients because they remained out of sight beneath a mound of S-shaped Styrofoam nuggets?

Here’s the deal. My wife calls her father, Eddy G. to chat, and he mentions that his sister is pleased with the warm sleepwear we sent her for Christmas (My wife Judy’s father, Eddy G., and his sister, Reggie, are both single and share a house. The name Reggie is short for Regina). “What pajamas?” my wife asks.

“The ones in the bottom of the box. The ones we nearly overlooked,” Eddy G. replies.

“But we didn’t send her any pajamas!”

“Well, she likes them anyway,” Eddy G. responds in his signature baritone.


There are several possibilities to be considered in the case of the misplaced P.J.’s.

One is that Eddy G. and Reggie actually received the pajamas from someone else and are confused about the situation. But they insist the pajamas in question were in the box of gifts that arrived from Steamboat, which raises the question: Were the pajamas wrapped? And if so, didn’t they have a gift tag attached to them — something along the lines of “Merry Christmas Judy from your sister Bunny”? Eddy G. could not provide the answers to that important clue in the unraveling of the pajama mystery. But if that were the case, it would lead to the next possibility. Someone sent the pajamas to my wife. We unpacked the box and put the gifts it contained under the tree. All but the pajamas, that is. Then, because we were behind in shipping our gifts to distant relatives (like we always are), we hastily turned that box right around and sent it to that gleaming city by the shores of Lake Erie, Buffalo, N.Y.

My wife would like to think that some mail order house accidentally included it in our order, so naturally, we weren’t looking for them when we unpacked the box. It sounds farfetched to me. Besides, she did all of her holiday shopping locally this year.

One intriguing possibility is that someone sent the pajamas to her as a gift for Christmas 2003, or even 2002. The relative who sent them has either forgotten they ever sent them or is still resentful that they were never acknowledged.

My favorite explanation is that Reggie and Eddy G. sent the pajamas to Judy as a gift this year. She failed to find them and accidentally sent the P.J.’s back to Buffalo with gifts for her father and her aunt. The two octagenarians figured out what had happened and now, they’re messing with her.

My wife is trying to figure out if it is her obligation to telephone all of her other relatives and thank them for the sleepwear, which she has never seen. Or perhaps that’s too socially awkward, and it’s best to preserve the mystery.

In truth, all I really want to know is, are they plaid flannel P.J.’s? Or, are they sexy flannel P.J.’s?

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