Ok, I’ll Admit It: I Kinda Sorta Want A Romper Now » VSB

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

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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

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • miss t-lee

    Rompers ain’t got pockets, so you need a man bag.
    Also, be prepared to get fully undressed if you need to use the facilities
    I’m also not sure which draws y’all would wear with them thangs, so good luck.

    • kingpinenut

      All i hear is Riley…

      • miss t-lee


    • Jennifer

      What lies have you been told? My fave romp is my fave romper because it has pockets. :-)

      • she

        Yep I have tons of rompers…I hate dresses because I can’t get down in them the way I want to and rompers solves the problem of me not having to buy a matching shirt and short.

      • miss t-lee

        I ain’t never seen any with pockets.

        • Lady Legasus

          I refuse to buy a romper without pockets.

          • miss t-lee

            That’s why we have purses.

    • Spicy Kas

      Boxer briefs. I have already thought this through.

      • miss t-lee

        Ya think?

  • KeyBrad

    Rompers are a no for me…I dont want to get all the way naked just to use the restroom

    • Janelle S

      Exactly. And think about what a pain it is to change a diaper for a romper-wearing infant. It looks cute because the one wearing it isn’t doing all the work.

  • miss t-lee

    Also, “can I hoop in a romper?” has me cackling.

  • TheUnsungStoryteller

    Three thoughts on rompers/romphims:

    1. I’ve worn a romper once. I felt like my body was wearing a straight jacket. I don’t get the point of wearing one other than showing off your curves. Just give me a sundress so I can feel the breeze. #SundressGalforLife

    2. With that said, it’s your perogative men, but you have to know how to rock it.

    3. Wasn’t the romphim a thing in the 1970s? I didn’t exist back then, but I’ve watched Good Times and What’s Happening and that god awful VD PSA from that time period in 9th grade Health class (why? I have no idea. I guess they don’t update those videos)

    Oh and because basketball booty shorts were a thing too.

  • Mr. Mooggyy

    Also, if I got crossed up on the court by a ni99a in a romper, I’m immediately quitting the game and walking off the court!

    • TheUnsungStoryteller

      I just busted out laughing at the imagery. That should so be a Dave Chappelle sketch.

      • Mr. Mooggyy

        I just get the image of the Dave Chappelle skit with Prince playing basketball!

      • Shay

        Team Blouses! Team Romphim!

    • she

      Bleachers would be full of women though…just waiting for a rip or tryna catch a print ;-)

    • miss t-lee

      Gotta go to the trunk off that alone.

      • Mr. Mooggyy

        Just like the ni99a off of “White men can’t jump”!

        • miss t-lee


    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      Game. Blouses.

      • SororSalsa

        Or Game….Jammies.

      • Robert Dotson


  • Jennifer

    “OshKosh B’Gosh jean dresses”

    Umm…sign ME up! I’d rock it with a tank top and some Chucks. #summerlook

    • miss t-lee

      I had one back in HS.

  • NonyaB?

    To be honest, the first thing that comes to min when I hear rompers are Vybz Kartel and Spicah whispering “come ina me romping shop” in my ear.

    That said, free yoself, DayMoan and getchu a romper. Doesn’t matter if others will be freeing themselves with laughter; Bey said you know you that b*tch when you cause all this conversation. Which style are you feeling – soft/preppy/edgy?




    • Hugh Akston

      See the weather here is getting better and today was hot so that means it’s time for me to be uncomfortable co workers and other folks I work with walking in with white sun dresses with orange underwear and no I should not be seeing that but it’s loud so what am I supposed to say or do?

      Thought y’all could help but nope all you guys want to discuss is some wedgie pants from jail smh


      • NonyaB?

        CTFU. Speak yo speech, Hugh! Y’all say we VSS could be more supportive towards you freeing yourself, yet you shoot down our efforts like this. *sigh*

        To your hoe-alerting colleagues: Ask them when the HR handbook started allowing bold underwear for casual Fridays because you’ve been meaning to rock your purple speedo. If they ask WTF, just answer innocently that you figured so since they started flashing their flouorescent orange undies but wanted to make sure. …Or if not about that life, then send anonymous note to HR from a throwaway email acct.

  • Nametaken

    Just get some coveralls. They’re technically just rompers with longer legs.

    • kingpinenut

      And some brogans too…at least be prepared to $insert_desired_activity

  • Alessandro De Medici

    At some point, mainstream fashion is going to have to stop stealing ideas from prison:


    • NonyaB?

      Why you gotta come with such a damper on people’s sartorial aspirations?

    • Charles Johnson

      frackin gallows humor

    • SororSalsa

      Like ninjas don’t steal all their best ideas from prison….

      • Robert Dotson

        That’s where they hatch them…

        • Zil Nabu

          Mass incarceration has its upside.

          • Robert Dotson


  • MissRosé

    I still haven’t finished the article – but I would like to add a caveat to my original No.
    Ahem…If you’re 6’7 and 250.. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0ce2b0b251fa0ed0f417dacc0ed5eecd2deb824156f2d8d26d37b04e4e618c68.gif

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