Ok, I'll Admit It: I Kinda Sorta Want A Romper Now

Kickstarter screenshot
Kickstarter screenshot

After 18 months of fatherhood, I can pretty much say that it's been what I expected it to be so far. The Feminist Octobus has been fun, funny, needy, autonomous, precocious, stinky, brilliant, and prone to frequent bouts of baby-ass shit, and the experience of watching her grow has been equal parts thrilling and fulfilling and draining and terrifying. Also, there's no better ego boost than the one that occurs when doing literally anything with her — walking her, talking to her, feeding her wasabi, losing her at the zoo, etc — and receiving an always generous amount of Black Man Being A Parent And Shit points from people who happen to witness it. I'm half convinced we (Black men) have multiple kids just for the low expectation praise bukkake (ht Huny) that comes with it.


This isn't to say that I've predicted everything and been surprised by nothing, but I anticipated fatherhood being surprising and relatively unpredictable, so the surprises that have occurred have fit within my scale of expectation.

That said, I'd be remiss if I didn't admit to one thing that actually does exist outside of that scale. Envy. As I watch the Octopus experiencing the world for the first time — free of many of the anxieties and fears and cynicisms and fatigues that permeate my outlook — I envy her unbridled excitement and enthusiasm. Like, I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever be as happy as she was yesterday, when she was blowing bubbles and one burst on her cheek and she laughed about it for the next eight minutes. That ship has sailed, unfortunately.

Also, I envy her clothes. And by envy I don't mean that I wish I could wear diapers, size one Uggs, and OshKosh B'Gosh jean dresses. I just envy how damn comfortable and practical her clothes are. Pajamas, for instance, are comfortable as fuck. No adult has ever had some pajamas on and thought "I hate these goddamn uncomfortable pajamas! Fuck pajamas, B. Word is bond." This is probably why no one commits crimes while wearing pajamas. But aside from couples on network TV shows and Kappas at 90's parties, adults don't really fuck with pajamas all like that. Even now, when I put pajamas on the Octopus and marvel at how cool and snug and comfortable she looks, I never think to go and get some adult pajamas from the adult pajama store for myself.

She also owns maybe a dozen rompers. All colorful and comfortable looking as fuck. They're also versatile. She runs in them. Watches Elmo's World in them. Drinks milk in them. Does baby yoga in them. Plays peekaboo in them. And after having a 18-month-long first-person study on the utility and adaptability and chic of the romper, I have to say that when the romphim became a thing this week, I wasn't opposed to the idea. In fact, I think I'd rock the fuck out of a romper.

Of course, I'd need to get my body romper ready. Which I'm assuming is a variant of the beach body. (Which I also don't currently possess. But I can't swim, so fuck sand. And water.) And I'd have to get in the proper romper state of mind. If I'm gonna be romping around the city in my romper, I'll need some romp-appropriate emotions and facial expressions instead of the two (bemused and hungry) I currently possess. Perhaps I'll even use my first ever emoji. Also, I'll need a romper crew; a gang of romp-ready niggas down for flash mobbing performance art installations and frequenting feminist strip clubs. And of course I'll need romper accessories. Maybe one of those rose lapel things that millennials rock on t-shirts. And more tattoos. And some Vans. And a dogeared copy of We Are Never Meeting in Real Life in my romper pocket. (Do rompers have pockets???) Or perhaps even a shih tzu named Ralph. (I think I already have romper-ready hair and glasses though, so that's a start!)

Also, I have questions! I was serious about the pocket thing. Do rompers have pockets? Would I buy my romper off the rack, or should I see a tailor? Are there tailors who specialize in romper wear? When wearing a romper, does every activity done in them count as "romping?" (If so, awesome! I need more romping in my life.) When storing the romper, would I place it on a hanger, or fold it and place it in a dresser? Are there public bathrooms specifically devoted to romper-wearers? Can I hoop in a romper? How about a ribfest? Can I attend a ribfest in a romper? Can there only be one romper-wearer per household? Is there a set of unspoken romper rules out there? Also, would I have to remove the romper to piss, or could I just cut in a pisshole? (And why did I just call a zipper a pisshole?)


I have other questions, but asking too many might stand in the way of my romper destiny. Rick Ross wants his niggas rich by summer seventeen. I just want to romp the fuck out of it.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


AKA The Sauce

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