Jamie Sullivan, a 36-year-old mother of three, is stepping forward to share her recent harrowing experience after she neglected to change out of her work clothes immediately after returning home.
“I still don’t know how it happened,” Sullivan states, shaking her head. “I’ve gone over it again and again.
“Usually I’m unzipping my pants as soon as I walk in the door, ready to put on my sweats. But the dog had to go out right away, and then the kids were hungry for dinner, and then someone pooped on the floor. It all happened so fast…” she trails off, a dazed look in her eyes.
The pants — a straight leg, poly-cotton blend — along with a leather belt, beige linen blouse, and a relaxed fit blazer, remained on Sullivan, an accountant for a local consulting firm, for an additional three hours after she returned from work.
When asked if there were any warning signs, Sullivan takes a moment to reflect.
“Well, there was a lot of discomfort, certainly. And when my husband came home, he seemed very concerned. He kept asking me if there was an emergency or if someone had died. I guess I should have paid more attention to that, but ever since he asked me not to wear my Pajama Jeans to the grocery store, he knows not to comment on my outfits anymore.”
She adds, “And to be honest with you, I’m pretty much done for the day, mentally, around 11:30 a.m.”
Sullivan continued on with her evening routine, completely unaware of the catastrophe occurring.
“I made dinner, same as always,” she recalls. “But by the end, I was completely drenched in sweat. I could barely finish my own grilled cheese, much less all of the kids’ leftovers.
“Bath time was a disaster,” she continues. “The bending. The kneeling. The reaching. The scrubbing of the two-year-old’s armpits. I still have a mark from the pants waistband digging into my gut.”
She untucks her shirt to briefly display her navel, sending a small shower of crumbs, Gerber Puffs, and one Lego piece falling to the floor. A red indentation mark, though faded, remains visible.
“I could feel myself growing more and more irritable, but I had no idea why. By the time I put the kids to bed, I was in full rage mode.
“After reading The Pout-Pout Fish to my son 13 times in a row, I finally told him that the fish had died. I’m not proud of it, okay? But a shirt tag kept scratching my neck every time I moved and I had just army crawled out of the baby’s room, which was probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do since childbirth.”
When asked to address the rumors that she gave the finger to a giant Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal, Sullivan declines to answer.
As the hours went on, the nightmare continued.
“My husband tried to hide away from me in his office, but I found him, and told him that I was going to throw away all of his socks.” She pauses, jaw clenched. “I mean, why have a sock drawer if you’re just going to leave black freaking socks freaking EVERYWHERE?”
She gives a short laugh, a hollow, frightening sound, and then exhales deeply.
“Everything hurt. My shoulders felt strained. My thighs were in prison. I could barely breathe. It was only when I bent down to start cleaning all of the toys that the button popped off of my work pants and I looked down and finally put it all together.
“I was horrified,” Sullivan recounts. “My entire work outfit was still on. All of it. The pants, the shirt, the jacket. The compression socks. The lanyard.” She struggles with the next sentence. “Even…even the bra.”
She bows her head and takes a moment to compose herself.
“I immediately stripped down right there in the living room. I put on my sweats and ate two bowls of cereal, which helped. But I was still really shaken up by the experience. I never thought this could happen to me.”
Since the incident, Sullivan has been in talks with a tech start-up company to develop an app, tentatively named, “No Blouse in the House,” which will function as a reminder service to remove work clothing as soon as the home is entered.
But until then, she offers one piece of advice:
“Just stay aware,” Sullivan urges. “Please. If you’re at home, don’t let yourself forget for an INSTANT that you’re wearing work pants with an actual zipper and a non-elastic waist. It’s just not worth the pain.”
“Never again,” she whispers vehemently, her brown eyes misting. “Never again.”
Donations to help fund No Blouse in the House can be made on Sullivan’s personal website.
About the Author
Samantha Labriola lives in Toronto with her toddler, husband and an excessive amount of pets for her small apartment. She enjoys thinking about exercising but not doing it, obsessing over nap schedules and working on her Waiting for Guffman-themed motherhood memes, which have not yet taken off. Her work has been published mostly on scrap paper that she enjoys sliding under her neighbors’ doors, like some kind of weird newsletter. Samantha is the Hag behind the humor-based mom blog, Mother Haggard, and can be found on Facebook and Pinterest.