Mark Twain once said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” The witty quote … the Twainster has 111 … I checked … certainly sums up the gist of a recent Frantz family focus. Our college son, Ricky, has already headed off for a summer internship in Washington, D.C., but getting him ready to actually pack his suitcase was a major project. You see, the lad had little in the way of appropriate attire for an office gig. As naked was NOT an option, Ricky would have to perform one of the duties most detested by Frantz men … shopping. And let us just pile on an entire can of whipped cream with a cherry on top of the sticky situation. Ricky wasn’t all that keen having his mom help pick out his office attire. Yep, and if the truth be told, I was secretly having major palpitations myself. Oh, I have no problemo where hubby is concerned. I’ve been his personal assistant in that little arena for more years than can be counted on my fingers and toes. But geez, what the heck do I know about dressing a young man for a job situation? Pretty much absolutely … not a gosh darn thing. “We’ll get your big sister to help us this weekend. All we have to do is get ourselves organized. It will be fun,” I nervously said out loud, as the two of us held our noses and peeked inside his moldy tennis-shoe infested closet. “Heard I might have to wear a suit a couple of times. Other than that, just slacks and some shirts should work,” Ricky said. The good news was Ricky did have a suit. I think the dude wore it once when he was a junior in high school during confirmation. But there was a big question mark if it still fit. I made a note to check out the suit scene … just in case. “Here’s the plan. Basically, we have two days to get you set up with a reasonable wardrobe that won’t break the piggy bank. You and I will do a little pre-shopping on Friday to figure out what exactly is out there. Then on Saturday, Katie can drive up and we will do our purchasing,” I said, figuring two short shopping trips could be considerably less painful than having a couple of wisdom teeth taken out. When Friday came, I had my little spiral notebook and quackulator in hand. Ricky and I started with a local men’s store. Right away I knew we were in trouble. “We just don’t have any suits close to your son’s size. He is definitely going to need an extra long. There is just not enough fabric for him with a long size,” the salesman said, intimating Ricky’s arms were so long his knuckles dragged the ground when he walked. We didn’t have any luck at the big and tall dude shop, either. I quickly learned the themed shop was for bulky, tall guys, like the Incredible Hulk. And a stroll around the aisles of one of the large department stores at the mall revealed really nice stuff, for older guys, at a seriously ridiculous price. All dejected, that evening I called our oldest daughter with the news that our pre-shopping trip had been a bust. At least we knew where not to go. “Don’t worry. We can get everything we need for Ricky at Banana Republic,” Katie said cheerfully. Geez, I hadn’t thought about Banana Republic. I knew Katie bought clothes there. However, I didn’t realize they sold guy stuff, too. Hmm, if any store could cover Ricky’s monkey arms with fabric, the banana store sounded like our best bet. It was early on Saturday when the three of us landed at the Republic of Banana. We had a nice sales fellow at our disposal and in just a few hours we were done … several bags of trendy, yet appropriate work shirts, slacks, and even a pair of shoes, size 13. We nixed the suit. “Son, how are you and your new wardrobe working out?” I asked Ricky after he had completed his first full week in Washington, D.C. “Fine, only I haven’t found a dry cleaners yet. That is my next project, along with visiting Washington Monument and the Smithsonian,” said Ricky. “Remember son … you gotta clean those clothes at some point. You don’t want to make naked your only option,” I said before saying goodbye. Dixie Frantz is a Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist for the past twelve years. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location