Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ties that Bind

I was reading in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that the trade association that represents manufacturers of men’s ties is closing because so few men are still wearing ties. The story quoted a Gallup poll showing only 6% of men wore ties everyday to work. I myself finally stopped wearing them sometime in the last couple of years, after close to thirty years of knotting my neck every day to go to work, no matter how schmucky the job. Waiter, desk clerk, professional-whatever-it-is-I-am all had one thing in common: ties. And now that I’ve stopped wearing them I don’t want everyone else to run free, too. My Liberty is only precious in direct correlation to how much everyone else has to suffer. Waiter, a round of schadenfreude, please.

Over the years of neck bondage, R Man has loaded me up with a wardrobe of beautiful, beautiful ties. They are, after all the only pretty fabrics a man not of the tranny persuasion gets to wear. Sulfur yellow ties from the early 80’s, cobalt blue to go with black suits, psycho-delic paisley in hot pink and orange, I’m set. I just don’t wear them.

And then this morning on the subway I saw a tiny earnest young man struggling grimly to knot one. It was a monster, wide as something from the Jimmy Carter administration and that stiff ribbed silk that makes a big honkin knot but that’s murder to work with. I watched in condescending sympathy, since I long since mastered both the four-in-hand and the windsor (full and half) knots to the point where I could knock them off in the dark while carrying on a conversation and this guy seemed to really be having a hard time of it. My sympathy turned to amazement when he got up and it turned out to be a wee little lesbian doing boy accountant drag. I don’t know if that counts towards the 6% or not.


  1. "A wee little lesbian?"

    Did she trick you into looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

    But I digress with bad jokes.

    Aaaaaaaaaaanyway, I have to wear a tie every day myself. So I'm keeping the 6 percent going.

    I hate it.
    Once I took pride in them, now they're all a bit bedraggled. In fairness our women have to wear panty hose....but sometimes go commando. Doesn't seem fair.

  2. For years, I would have occaisional nightmares where I would be strangled by my tie.

    I don't understand pantyhose. You can see through them, and yet women cling to them as a source of modesty.

  3. Miss J would be terribly sad to see the demise of the tie. And here is why:

    "They are, after all the only pretty fabrics a man not of the tranny persuasion gets to wear."

    Since MIss J works at an investment firm, she will be seeing them for a long time, she thinks. Investors will always need something nearby to hang themselves with.

  4. Pantyhose are the WORST. Miss J knows several women who refuse to work where they are required.

    Miss J will wear opaque tights in winter but only because they are less constrictive than pantyhose.

    Miss J wore ties when she waited tables. She'd much prefer wearing atie everyday to wearing pantyhose.

  5. mrpeenee is all sympathy. The last time he wore pantyhose, he wound up taking them off in the bathroom and leaving them wadded up in the trash can.

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  7. (Yikes - deleted the above for the atrocious spelling - must be another one of my pinstrokes)...

    It's 120+ degrees in the shade in these parts, and I have to wear a tie. It's criminal.

    Perhaps, when ties finally are extinct, men's shirts will be made of more interesting fabrics (although I trust neither sulphur nor cobalt will feature too prominently)?

  8. I haven't worn a tie since the skinny ones of the late 70s/early 80s!

    One doesn't see very many suits or ties here in Portlandia, and when one does, the person wearing it is eyed with sympathy, distrust, and finally disgust. At least by me.

  9. I love ties. It's kind of a fetish. Tie shopping is an erotic experience for me. I'll never stop wearing them. Luckily, it's required at work.


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