*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family member, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
There's nothing wrong with wearing a bathrobe around the house, but answering the door wearing your bathrobe is another story. Some people might feel perfectly comfortable signing for a package or letting in the plumber wearing a robe. I am not one of those people.
Neither is my father. He wouldn't dream of answering our front door unless he was fully dressed with his shoes on. That's right. My father won't answer the door without his shoes on. If someone is waiting at the door, they have to continue waiting until my father is properly clothed and shod.
Now that he has Parkinson's disease, he has to wait for my mother or me to put his shoes on for him. Only then is he ready for company.
Before my father's Parkinson's diagnosis, my father was a workaholic. In addition to working as a landscaper and a mason, my father did odds and ends for the neighbors. He was known as the neighborhood handyman. There wasn't a problem he couldn't solve.
One of his regular customers always wore a bathrobe. She was a nice woman who always paid on time, but she made him uncomfortable when she answered the door looking as if she had just stepped out of the shower, every time.
"Doesn't she have any real clothes?" he'd ask my mother.
My mother would simply shrug.
In our society, the idea that a woman should always answer the door wearing something more than just her bathrobe is seen as a sign of respect and politeness. But what if a woman decides not to follow this unwritten rule?
For many women, putting on something else when they open their door can feel like an unnecessary hassle, especially if housekeeping duties have taken up most of the day. Wearing her bathrobe gives her time to take a deep breath and prepare for whoever may be on the other side.
There are also practical considerations for why a woman might always answer the door wearing only her bathrobe. For instance, if she works from home, she might not feel pressured to get all dressed up just to talk to the handyman for two minutes.
Who can blame her?
At the end of the day, we should all respect each other's choices, including those made around answering the door in one's bathrobe. While there are certain expectations of politeness within our society, these do not override an individual's right to make their own decisions without judgment or criticism.
Besides, she was always fully clothed! A bathrobe totally counts, maybe not for church or court but certainly for one's own home.
What do you think? Do you answer the door wearing just a robe, or do you prefer less casual attire? Comments are welcome.
Why would you want to Buy Me a Coffee? I am a full-time writer and a full-time unpaid caregiver to my 82-year-old father, who lives with Parkinson's. Your tip or donation allows me to provide for his care and comfort around the clock while working from home. Thank you.
Comments / 268