Ties

As a kid, I had to wear a tie almost every Sunday because that’s what a boy needed to do in the Presbyterian Church. Dad taught me how to get the job done. I never really got the hang of the task, however … pulling too tight, I guess, and the result had a strangled look. Oh well. Kids aren’t bankers and executives.

Many years later, I spent a summer backpacking through Rocky Mountain parks. I was a man of the wilderness. In September, I was invited to attend the wedding of an old friend. As the day approached, I had an epiphany: I had forgotten how to tie a tie. I smile now as I remember my fascination around that. It was such a symbol of freedom, of being untethered. I did, however, figure it out before the ceremony.

Many more years later, I looked at my tie job in the mirror and shook my head about the squelched look. The previous man of freedom went online because he wanted to look like guys in fancy clothing commercials. The ties were perfect! I learned that the triangle look was called the Windsor Knot. A video would guide me to the promised land. Boy, it was a lot of twists and turns of fabric but I was determined. And eventually … Voilà! I was a gorgeous dude. My later versions of the Windsor have been less than perfect but still pretty good.

And now there’s today, watching CNN. I have learned that, when making a presentation, handle all the small details so there’s nothing to distract the audience from your message. Anchors and guests were talking about the coronavirus and the racial protests. I was leaning intently into … how their ties looked! Some were crooked, some were too tight, some were big blobs of looseness. And then here comes a fellow sporting a perfect Windsor Knot. I managed to get distracted by his neck as well. (Sigh)

It’s okay, Bruce. Your foibles are showing. I still love you.