I’m coming up on a year of marriage next month—Oct. 12, to be exact—and the year has flown by. Like I assume most couples do on the eve of that first year anniversary, we’ve both reflected (together and separately) on our journey into marriage and the year we’ve had. It hasn’t resulted in any grand epiphanies; we’ve been mostly drama-free, aside from the standard-issue relationship quandaries that come with the merging of lives that seem so much more pronounced once you get married even if you’ve lived together for years prior, as we did.
For instance, I’ve long been fairly OCD about my space. Not in a clinical way, but in the way that folks say “you’re OCD as hell,” as I pick things up and put things back and straighten this or that up because my life seems so much more peaceful when things are in their place—EVERYTHING HAS ITS PLACE, PEOPLE!
Well, my wife is not OCD like I am. Or at all, really. This means that WE are not OCD. This has tested me in ways I wasn’t prepared for, which is odd since we lived together for years prior to getting married. Let’s just move on, because that brings me right to one thing that might count as an epiphany in our relationship: My wife has co-opted my flyness for her own social gains.
Oh yes, it’s true.
So, boom. I’m aware of and have been the victim of intra-relationship clothes stealing. I’m a man who has had girlfriends over the course of my life. Some of my favorite clothing items have gone missing, never to be seen again once those relationships perished permanently. Though it annoys me greatly, I decided long ago that it’s easier to accept this as a fact of life than to continuously fight this battle. And it ain’t even so much the taking of clothing—though I’d like to reiterate that it is annoying—it’s the lack of asking. In almost any other circumstance, this is misdemeanor petty larceny, but because I’ve said, “I love you,” it is something I must accept. I’ve heard women say things like, “you should feel special that I like to sleep/wear/take/steal/borrow forever/lose your clothing.” I tend to scoff at such assertions.
That’s me scoffing at such assertions, which brings us to the present day. Recently, on her Instagram, my wife posted to her story that her favorite season—fall—is upon us and this is also “steal her husband’s hoodies season.” Or SZN, if you’re a millennial, I think. I am her husband. She plans to steal my hoodies and is brazenly admitting it for the whole world to see. She doesn’t even care. What this means is that any time you see my wife in a hoodie (should you see her, that is) you should assume she is wearing my apparel. This means that when you see my wife in some dope-ass hoodie with some various black upliftment, empowerment, cool-ment, or any manner of “yo that’s dope”-ment, it is because of me.
You see, I pretty intentionally vet the internets in search of clothing items that are both dope and also not common. I don’t do this solely as a rule, but I try to find rarities (or at least uncommon items) and the like. I shop locally—Washington, D.C. has a treasure trove of dope fashion lines and “yo, where did you cop that” swag stuffs—and look for the exclusive items. My wife knows this because she commonly says things like, “Yo, that’s dope,” and then a few days later, “Yo, folks think I’m so cool because I had on that one shirt of yours…”
Because she spends more time on social media than I do, my clothing spends more time on social media than I do, but instead of me getting all the “You are up on game, Panama” accolades, my wife takes them for her own glory. She will see me wearing an item (that I hopefully had the chance to wear first), like it, jack it, share and parade it, and people will tell her how up on game she is and then see me later with it and be like, “Yo, your wife put you up on game!” MY WIFE DID NOT—but you don’t know that.
For the record, I do believe in the Family Unit Theory of life: If one of us looks bad, we all look bad. If one of us looks fly, we all look fly. However, my fly, the fly that I bring to the family table, has been co-opted and pilfered by my wife, who does this knowingly and willingly and peruses my closet for what she can rock that she knows will get some “Yo...you did it again” acknowledgment.
I love her with my whole heart. She also steals my fly. On purpose. Frequently and with reckless abandon. She has no clothing items for me to jack. If I started rocking her maxi-dresses there would be all sorts of questions. So here we are.
This is marriage.
This is us.