Hello. My name is Damon Young. I have a new wife, a job (a couple, actually), a dog, a car, and a CVS card. Sh*t, I even have an accountant. I also noticed my first gray hair a couple months ago (a lonely, but righteous follicle underneath my beard), I stretch before and after I work out, and I get headaches when the music is too loud at the club.

Basically, I’m a grown-ass man.

So why am I sitting here, in all this grown-ass manness, wearing a pair of $200 basketball sneakers I’ll never, ever, ever play basketball in? And why do I feel so bad…and so good…about it?

To my credit, these aren’t just any basketball sneakers. They’re Wolf Grey retro 3 Air Jordans, and…the fact that I knew exactly what to call them without Google just took away any credit I was trying to get.

Let me try that again.

To my credit, I didn’t buy them myself. My wife bought them for me as a wedding present. Which means, of all the moderately priced gifts she could give to me, she knew the Js would be what I appreciated most. And she was right, which…again, takes away that credit.

Ok. Let me stop worrying about trying to defend myself and just tell my story.

I’m not what you’d call a sneakerhead. I like shoes as just much as the next bougie Black man, but I’ve never been the type — at least not as an adult — to scour Eastbay and the mall for shoes and shoe release dates. And I’m definitely not the guy who, whenever a new pair of Jordans are released, stands in line for hours like I’m waiting for bread and soap in communist Russia. But, several months ago, I saw a pair of Black retro 3s on someone’s feet. Along with acknowledging how cool they looked, I had a flashback to the late 80s, when a pre-teen me actually had those sneakers.

So, for the next few weeks, whenever I happened to be near a mall, I’d saunter into a Champs or Finish Line or Sneaker Villa, asking if they carried them. None did, and each of the dudes working in each of those stores looked at me like “Dude. When Retro 3s are released, they sell out the first day. Sometimes the first hour. What made your dumb ass think you’d be able to just walk up in here and cop a pair? Shouldn’t your old ass be at Jos. A Bank’s or something?”

Undeterred, I googled them to see how much they were going for on eBay. I mean, yeah. They’re expensive shoes. But it’s not like I was choosing between getting these and paying my rent. I could handle it. I’m a grown-ass man, remember?

And then I saw some of the prices…

$300. $325. $450. $475. $500.

…and I was all the way good on that.

Unless Michael Jordan was going to personally fly — not in a plane, but with actual human wings — to my house every morning and personally place the shoes on my feet, aint no way I was paying four hundred dollars for a pair of sneakers. So I forgot about them. But, apparently I talked about them enough in that three week window of Jordan infatuation that my then-fiancee picked up on it.

Flash-forward to our honeymoon. We were in Nassau, on our way to the best fish fry that has ever fried fish before, and we stopped in a couple stores. One of these stories was a shoe store. And in that shoe store was a pair of Wolf Grey retro 3s. Apparently they’d just been re-released, and just made it to the Bahamas that day. I checked the price. $200. Definitely not $500, but still out of the range of what I was willing to spend on some sneakers.

My wife (btw, it still feels funny calling my wife “my wife”) asked: “Are those the Jordans you wanted?”


“You still want them?”

“Nah, not really. Don’t really need them. And they’re too expensive.”

“You sure?” (At this point I thought she was playing games.)

“Yes. Why?”

“Because I know you wanted them, and I planned on getting a pair for you as a wedding present.”


And that’s how I ended up a CVS card, a dog, a gray hair, and a pair of expensive basketball sneaker I’ll never play basketball in.

Do I feel a little ridiculous in them, like the a-bit-too-old-for-the-club cat daddy, reeking of Polo Sport and trying to do the Shmurda dance? Yes, I do.

But I like them. They look great on my feet, and they make me believe I can fly. And my wife wanted me to have them.

Now, I just need to email my accountant to see if they fit in my budget.

I am a grown-ass man, remember?