About That Pixar Jacket I’m Always Wearing

“After all, you’re not Kyle without the Pixar jacket.”

I’d just gotten out of a meeting and had left my jacket in the conference room. One of my co-workers alerted me to this fact and pointed out that my jacket had become one of my most prominent features next to, I would imagine, my beard, my glasses, and my crooked nose.

It never gets horribly cold in Northern California, not like it does in Ohio where I spent the first 24 years of my life. There are a few months in the summer when it can be oppressively hot. But during the remainder of the year, I can get away with wearing the same jacket out of the house every day. It’s black and it says “Pixar” on the back.

My wife works at Pixar. She actually bought two jackets, one for each of us, but at this point I’m the one who wears them, both because she owns a variety of other jackets to choose from and because I sometimes misplace one and have to wear the other.

I regularly get asked if I work at Pixar, a legitimate question given the jacket. My response is something like “I don’t; my wife does.”

I have to imagine that most people would stop wearing a jacket that gives people a false impression, and certainly it would make sense for me to wear something else given that I do not, in fact, work at Pixar, or particularly enjoy talking to strangers.

It’s not just that I wear the jacket, it’s that I wear it all the time.

So why?

Sure, it’s an awesome jacket, but there are other awesome jackets out there that won’t cause people to ask me questions the answers to which are unsatisfying to them (most people are very eager to talk about Pixar).

I suppose there’s something to the fact that it’s unique, and thus marks me as a singular person.

But none of that would matter if it weren’t for one simple fact: I’m proud of my wife.

I’m more than happy to tell people that I don’t work at Pixar, just as I always follow up that statement with “my wife does.” Sometimes people ask me more, and I’m happy to answer their questions.

What does she do there?
What’s it like there?
Did she work on X movie?

While nothing I say to them will truly do my wife justice, the fact of the matter is that I’m bragging about her. I’m basically walking around in a jacket that says “ask me how awesome my wife is!”

And that’s come to define me, in a way, and that’s fine. I’ve gotten used to being defined as my son’s father; I have no problems being defined as my wife’s spouse.

The jacket is a daily reminder of how lucky I am.

It is also, if I may be so hyperbolic, a lesson in having a goal and working hard to accomplish it. My wife has known she’s wanted to work in movies since she was a little girl (I think she says she was 10). She now does just that while living in an area where there aren’t a lot of options to work in film. There are a lot of fish that want to swim in that very small pond and she’s one of the few that got in.

So it’s not just a jacket for me. It’s a reminder of what’s important, of what’s good in this world: not just my wife, but all the lessons I can learn from her. And it’s a reminder of just how good I have it.

“After all, you’re not Kyle without the Pixar jacket.”

I really wouldn’t be.