“Darling! If he doesn’t own a suit, he’s not your man. An Old Navy, plaid, 50 cotton/50 poly blend, no-iron shirt won’t cut it.”
This was a recent conversation I had with my 80-year-old mother. Bless her heart, as she rattled off why dating a man that doesn’t own a suit is a bad idea. “Christina,” she would say, “your Pape and father wore suits every Sunday to church. Your brothers wear a suit Sunday and when money was tight (and it was) we still all had formal outfits for church-related events including funerals, weddings, celebrations, and respecting God’s home.” Which, when I was growing up, “home” was the Catholic Church.
At 80 years old, my mother, LaVerne, has a lot to say about “dating” and men. My parents were married 48+ years before Daddy passed. Here are a few things my Texas Southern mother shared with me on dating a man without a suit:
- Let’s face it, if a man doesn’t own a suit or a suit that fits well, how is he supposed to attend anything with a lady? What if there is an emergency? A funeral, last-minute tickets to the ballet or opera?
- Mother says, “Remember that guy you dated who continued to use his company credit card? Christina, Dad always said stay clear. Honesty is the best practice.”
- Were you wearing that same shirt at dinner last night? Coffee this morning? What? Yes, it’s sad but true that some guys just don’t have good senses that ladies do notice the same shirt the next day or, in some cases, jeans day after day after day…gross!
- Re-Gift. Ladies, if you are dating someone that gifts you with a “promotional item” (Example: a T-shirt from the latest 10K run) you should RUN. Personally, I recently received a Bluetooth speaker. Evidently, record label companies use these to promote their artists…seriously?
- Socks. Yes, I said socks. If you notice someone wearing the same socks with holes in them more than once after you might have mentioned there is a hole, well, unless they are a hobo or unfortunately homeless, holes in socks are a red flag.
- Walking in front of you and not opening doors? Ladies, it’s called chivalry. The Art of Manliness. If he does not open the door or walk behind you when leading you into the room, it could be a glimpse into your future.
- MUSIC! If your non-wearing suit man can’t run the gauntlet with musical genres, it could be an issue. From Chicago to Sting, Sting to Sarah Brightman, Sarah to Beastie Boys, Beastie Boys to Casting Crowns. Mix Tape…good to have one.
- If you dated the quarterback/pitcher, is it difficult to date the “band” guy? Well, I did date the quarterback/pitcher (married him), however I did date the lead singer of the local college band in college – it was a scandal.
- Clean shaven? Save mission trips, mountain climbing, fishing trips, camping, etc., but everyday office? YES! Unless it is Movember, take some pride and have good hygiene. And, for Pete’s sake (who is Pete anyway?), brush your teeth before your morning coffee! Goodness!
- Last, but most important, mother said, “He must know and have a daily relationship with Jesus.”
Many of the things listed are just silly, right? The most important thing is the day in and day out—respect, humility, graciousness, kindness, and love. And a suit, just sayin’ in case of…
Thanks, mom, for your words of wisdom! What advice has your mom given you?