Life’s a Romp – My Life in a Romper!

“Christian, don’t you think that title’s a little redundant?” – Graham Bowling

“NO.” – The Public

This fall has been a total romp. Alright, already. And by total romp, I mean I wore a powder blue, men’s jumper to Lebanon’s 35th Annual Country Applefest. Was that smart? Nope. Did I lose a bet? Yep.

It all started when former roommate, Carly Mungovan, rolled in from Seattle for a “world famous” Christian Jaekle dinner party.

*Record scratch*

. . . You lived with a GIRL??

It’s true – and she only saw me in my underwear ONCE.

After everyone sat for an uncomfortably long time without leaving, Carly asked if she bought me a romper, would I wear it? Two-glasses-of-wine-in Jaekle said, “You bet!” It didn’t really hit that all this was really going to happen until it showed up next day via Amazon Prime. Those nerds are FAST. 

I guess that’s it.  I can’t afford to pay her back. So it was time to strap in. Verbs are powerful!

When I rolled into town for Applefest, I quickly realized we weren’t in OTR anymore – we were in Lebanon, Ohio – and no one here is getting lifted up on anyone’s shoulders for dressing like a toolbag.


Hark! The Millenial center for cultural arts. 🏝


Hark! 4-H was here. 🍀

I parked my car and refreshed Instagram every 5 seconds for 15 minutes – half trying to muster up confidence, half trying to remember fun.

*Inner turmoil!*

I hid there until the lovely and talented Cassie Lucente agreed to meet me a short 10 blocks away from my Kia. I parked in Japan.  So we could walk the next 10 blocks to the Warren County Fairgrounds pretending like nothing was wrong. You heard it here first: oozing confidence while wearing a diaper disguised as a turtleneck is not easy. And things were not about to get any better.

BOOM, Baby.

Upon entry, I attempted to shift focus away from my nooks ‘n crannies by asserting my testosterone over anyone within sneezing distance. Cool! This manifested itself by eating as much bird leg as humanly possible – in defiance! Classic Defiance.

Nice legs, losers!

Pro tip: Turkey legs are the worst. Dipping your toe into the Viking pond isn’t worth chewing around all those tendons! I hope you’re not eating, sorry.

Here’s something fun: When you hit a small town festival centered around the fruit that may have caused ORIGINAL SIN, you don’t expect to see everyone you’ve ever worked with in your entire life.

While waiting in line for apple dumplings prepared by the Boy Scouts #BoysCanBake, I see Account Executive Weston Wolf out of the corner of my eye with his posse.

Rare footage of Weston and I between meetings.

In that moment, I made a crucial game-time decision: jump out of line and into his arms.


Weston: Yeah, man. Nice seeing ya!

Me: *Internally* Killed it.

Next, I saw Strategic Planner Samantha Carr. I asked my buds if we could hide behind a stack of hay for a second because I saw someone I worked with. If you’re reading this, sorry.

Actually, you’re welcome.

Between crafts and crying inside, I grew an innate sense of paranoia. That manifested itself in spinning around really fast trying to catch people laughing or pointing. It worked! But, also made me realize that I was so caught up in being embarrassed I wasn’t having ANY fun. Was most of that due to the fact I was at a festival for fruit? Yes. Was the other 10% because I care too much about what other people think of me? You betcha. The upside: being with my buddies made me realize they love me no matter what I’m not wearing – and when I wasn’t throwing my head around trying to catch GAWKERS – I could have an awesome time getting spit on by alpacas and sniffing candles with them.

Okay, I’m being a jerk. It’s a great family function if your entire family is one, giant grandma.

Did I learn something from this experience? More than I thought!

Key takeaways:

Not everything’s about me. You dirtbag!

Wear whatever you want, when you want, how you want.

Build an awesome community that loves you and wants to spend time with you no matter what. And if you don’t have that, hit me up. Cause I’d love to connect you to mine!

Buy a medium.

Don’t forget your Jaekle Jam 👇

Homegirl got pipes.



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