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.