I’m My Wife’s Hype Man

Patrick Coleman originally posted this article on Fatherly.

Our boys walk into the kitchen with empty hands. My wife shoots them a look and says, “Hey, I need you to put your dinner dishes in the dishwasher.”

“Get your dishes!,” I say, turning briefly from rummaging for beer in the fridge.

They whine, but relent, plodding back into the kitchen a minute later with dirty plates. Both head straight for the washer before my wife stops them again. “Scrape your plate into the trash,” she says.

“Scrape ‘em!” I say, cracking open a bottle.

The boys debate who will use the trash can first. My wife clasps their shoulders and says firmly, “You need to take turns. Now clean your plates and put them in the dishwasher.”

“Did you hear what she said?” I ask.

This is what I do. It’s not everything I do, but it’s part of what I do. I serve as my wife’s hype man. When she says something, I parrot it. When she asks for something, I demand it. Basically, I do crowd work. I’m Flavor Flav to her way more intimidating Chuck D. I’m Puff Daddy to her Notorious B.I.G. I encourage and I echo because I’ve realized that I’m ultimately a member of her crew. This isn’t what I had planned—I want the spotlight as much as the next guy-—but it’s the way things turned out and owning that role, learning to pursue it with gusto, has changed the way I think about my family life and my wife, who is the badest emcee I know.

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