Deb Kelly writes anywhere she can wear pajama pants

Hello loyal readers! My name is Kelly, and I’ll be your Wednesday Debutante. I recommend the soup.

I am thrilled to be here with my fellow 2013 Debs, a crowd so wild, so wonderful, that I am willing to give you the KELLY WIMMER™ guarantee* that this is going to be a fabulously epic year for The Debutante Ball. It’s humbling to be coming into a tradition of debutante bloggers that has included such canonical authors as Saul Bellow, Jonathan Franzen, Toni Morrison, and Eleanor Brown. What’s that you say? Toni Morrison wasn’t a Deb? Well. Maybe next year, Toni.

Now, I am faced with the obligation—nay, the privilege—of blogging every Wednesday for your edification, entertainment, and general enlightenment on the weekly topic, which has been chosen by a committee of great minds in a process that falls, in intricacy, somewhere between choosing a location for the next Olympics and picking the next pope.** And this week’s topic? WHERE WE WRITE.

I am pretty sure this topic was created with the idea that we would all be posting pictures of beautiful serene all-white offices with Aeron chairs and pops of color coming from Real Simple Brand organizational supplies. (If you are a person who has a full set of matching Real Simple Brand organizational supplies, available at your local Bed Bath and Beyond, please go away.)

Cover of Alisa Kwitney's novel ON THE COUCH
I’m going to attempt to find covers from novels I love to match up with every week’s post. Wish me luck with that.

Here’s the thing. I don’t have an office in my house. I don’t even have a desk shoved in the living room corner. I write on the couch. Sometimes I write on a loud upholstered chair near the couch. Sometimes I write in bed with one of those as-seen-on-TV computer trays hovering over me. Sometimes I write at the dining table, when, say, the couch is at the shop. But mostly, mostly, I write on the couch.

Further, and I realize that this is most unbecoming of a debutante, I have yet to meet a couch that is improved by the wearing of pants. So I sit on the couch, in BUPs (Big Unflattering Pants), stretch pants, or no pants at all, and tap away at my laptop until either I have one of those weird square laptop burns on my legs or my battery dies, whichever comes first.

But starting in just one week, my beloved little boy (shall be known as BLB henceforth even when he turns 14 and requests legal emancipation) starts toddler school. At toddler school they cover such important issues as “stop taking my truck away from me” and “can I have two trucks?” and “your truck looks cooler than my truck GIVE ME THE TRUCK.” It lasts for two and a half hours a day. During toddler school, due to logistical issues, I will be forced to do my writing at a coffee shop.


Will I be able to write in pants? Will I develop pants-based writer’s block? Will I be arrested for indecent exposure at the local Starbucks?

Keep reading The Debutante Ball to find out.


*You should note that the KELLY WIMMER™ guarantee is not an actual guarantee, per se. I would compare it less to the sort of guarantee you get when you buy, say, a L.L. Bean backpack, and more like the sort of guarantee you might hear from someone with the name John Edward(s). That does not stop me from giving the KELLY WIMMER™ guarantee a lot, particularly before Wisconsin Badger football games.

**Not true. Deb Susan created the topic calendar from whole cloth while I drank wine and ate Cherry Cordial M&Ms.

46 Replies to “Deb Kelly writes anywhere she can wear pajama pants”

  1. Kelly, I think it’s your duty to instill BUP fashion-sense into the hearts, minds, and wardrobes of the peoples of The Starbucks nation! And toddler school sounds awesome. Can I go? I love trucks!

  2. Dear Deb Kelly,

    I love the first entry – cannot wait for your next posting! Per the Starbucks conundrum, may I suggest pants if only to provide a buffer between skin and the scorching hot beverage you will enjoy. The occasional drip happens even to the best of us!

  3. Ha! Kelly, I look forward to your posts this year, be they written with or without pants. But I’d like to know – how often is your couch at the shop? Does it get tune ups every three months? Maybe that comes with toddlers…

    1. Joanne, to get maximum performance from your sofa I recommend following the schedule of maintenance advised in the owner’s manual. Personally, I am hoping to get 200,000 miles out of this baby.

  4. Three cheers for BUPs! The bigger, the better. And, um, can we please discuss these cherry cordial M&Ms? Like Susan, I have neither tried nor heard of them, and I feel the need to change that immediately.

    1. They are only available in February, as near as I can tell. I did a fair bit of hoarding last year. This coming Feb, I say we do a Deb giveaway of m&ms, preceded, of course, by a deb-wide taste test.

  5. Frankly, I am grateful for the writerly uniform of yoga pants, so I can recognize My People when we are out in the wild.

    Now give me your truck.

    Welcome to the Ball!

    1. Eleanor, I love that you think I might be one of your people. If you see my yoga pants, you might understand why I am concerned about the homeless feeling the same way.

      Truck’s in the mail. Thanks for the welcome!

  6. Toddler school IS awesome. At my daughter’s, they also learn how to shout out every sentence like Dora. Fun times.

    And also, I’ve never met a coffee shop where BUPs were banned. They’d go out of business!

    1. Sona, I need to find a better class of coffee shop, clearly. This one seems full of people wearing clothes with waistbands.

      How old is your daughter now, and does she still shout? Tell me there’s an end in sight, please! G is a natural born shouter. I just need to teach him to say “backpack.”

      1. She’s two-and-a-half, and we managed to wean her off the shouting over the summer. But this was her first week back in daycare, so I’m assuming it will return any minute now. Sigh.

        How’s the BLB liking toddler school?

        1. Loving every second, as far as I can tell. This morning at drop off there were some tears but I think they were more about taking off his R2D2 shoes than saying bye bye to mama. The force is strong in this one.

          So glad to have a toddler mama here to talk shop with!

  7. Much love for the KELLY WIMMER GUARANTEE!

    Also for big ugly pants!! I have some of those myself. I love your take on big boy school too. I never was very good at sharing the trucks.

    Looking forward to a great year of blogging with you!!

  8. Hi Deb Kelly! You don’t know me but I know Deb Susan.

    I laughed out loud at several key points in your post, but I absolutely lost it when you wrote “I have yet to meet a couch that is improved by the wearing of pants.” A true statement that one is. And not just for writers. 😉

  9. I’m so sorry you have to enter the world of pants 🙁 Are you sure? I know I live in a hippie college town, but my local Starbucks is pants optional (only bloomers required). Love the first blog!!

    1. Thanks Erin! Madison may be the Austin of the frozen north, but we still cling to the annoying convention of wearing pants around town. Someone has to be the trendsetter, though… stay tuned…

  10. I happen to know you would look fabulous in a muumuu with a crown of orchids. Perhaps you could try on the whole denim overall with a piece of wheat stuck in your mouth;)! Fabulous blogging btw. I am perched on the edge of my couch(with pants on no less) in anticipation of next weeks topic! Until then, enjoy your pumpkin spice!

    1. They are a holiday release, or at least they were last year. So yummy. (I think I’ve single-handledly sold more cherry cordial m&ms than a mars candy marketeer.)

      Anyhoo come back often and I will do a cherry m&ms giveaway when they are back in season!

  11. I think those should be called BCPs – Big Comfy Pants. And they should be required wearing ALL THE TIME that BCSs – Big Comfy Shorts – aren’t in season.

  12. I also own several pair of BUPs, although I didn’t know that’s what they were until just now. They serve me well. I also have to say that I admire your discipline of being able to couch write. I have tried this in the past, and inevitably fall over sideways into somnolence and napfulness. Maybe my couch needs a tune up?

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