Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bow Ties and Jazz for the World

I went recently to a wedding reception. Everyone there was very dressed up – many little black dresses. All the gentlemen wore sport jackets or suits.

But I was the only one there wearing a necktie. You may think, “Oh, thank God! No more ties,” and, if you do, it is obvious that most of the world is on your side on this.

Personally, I like ties. I wear them a lot – even when I don’t have to. Usually, I wear bow ties.

That really gets them: “Bow tie? And you tie it yourself? No! That must be a clip-on bow tie,” they say. I pull on one end and it comes undone and hangs there looking like Sinatra or Dean Martin at Las Vegas.

My cousin says that ties chafe his neck. I blew him off. At one time we all wore ties and I don’t remember anyone having neck problems.

Here is the real deal: Ties aren’t cool anymore. My cousin, whose neck has become sensitive in his old age, says that ties are for the elite and, while he is elitist down to his toenails, it’s my opinion that he doesn’t want to appear to be elite. So, no ties and he lines up with the elite – the type that attended the wedding. They were all very cool guys – too cool for ties.

Now I especially like bow ties for the following reasons:
  1. They don’t bother my neck. In fact, no tie bothers my neck.
  2. Bow ties don’t get in your soup.
  3. If you wear a bow tie (and a jacket) out into the world, it sometimes, and in strange ways, helps with things like getting a clerk or a nurse to pay attention to you. Maybe that is just my imagination, but I don’t think so.
  4. Bow ties seem to have helped me talk my way out of traffic tickets.
  5. If you are called to jury duty and you show up in a bow tie you are very unlikely to be placed on a jury. A lawyer friend of mine, who happens to be a fellow bow tie wearer, insists that it usually works this way, because they know if you are eccentric enough to show up in a bow tie, you may dominate the jury, and this would be bad.

I have become expert at tying bow ties. I will give a tying lesson to anyone who asks me. I think I am very good at teaching an easy to remember formula that will have you tied up in no time flat.

Here are good bow tie sources:

  • Carrot and Gibbs – Boulder, Colorado. These guys make very classy bow ties, the length of which is controlled by four buttons and corresponding buttonholes at the back of the neck.
  • Beau Ties of Vermont. Their ties are great and Beau Ties of Vermont publishes a monthly catalog that presents excellent photos of their ties.

If you do go for a few bow ties, try turning them upside down. (What?) I mean turn the tie so that the label, which is sewn at the center of the back, is upside down – this before you tie the tie, you know. And the next time, try placing the label inside out, away from the back of your neck. The label, of course, will not show because it is under your shirt collar.

This is all getting pretty complicated. The reason for it is, however, that if you switch a bow tie around all the time, it will last four times as long. If you don’t, you will eventually wear some holes in the fabric right where the knot goes, but probably you won’t live that long.

Another advantage which you might welcome is that bow ties, particularly brightly colored ones, bring forth a host of favorable comments from young women. I can’t tell you why. Maybe bow ties are cool after all.

Come and see me at the Landing. I’ll show you how to tie your new bow ties.

And listen – jazz sounds better when you are there with a date, who will quickly figure out that bow ties make you completely different from all the previous men in her life. Maybe they were too dull for bow ties!

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