A few months ago I bought three bow ties, they were good ones (said the sales dude) and half-off the already 75% reduction – or about $3 each. I applauded my frugality and kept peeking at the original price tags that showed $40 and how badly I had beaten the man!
Once the heady rush of my retail conquest had faded, a troubling bit of reality wormed its way into my consciousness – tying a bow tie was a man-skill that I lacked. I might just as well have purchased three new slide rules for all the good they were gonna do me. I will turn 48 tomorrow and I have made my peace with the skill set that I possess, why trouble myself with the challenge of learning something that I should have learned long ago when my brain was more learny.
But then I took my meds and googled-up a video how-to on the manly secrets of the bow tie!
BTW; I’ve been in this situation before; when I was a boy my father bought me a bike that I didn’t know how to ride, so I pushed it around the neighborhood for a couple weeks until someone took pity on me and gave me a lesson, and a push. Years later, uncomfortably aware that 25 year old men should know how to drive a stick-shift; I bought a new truck with a manual transmission. Told the salesman that I didn’t need a test drive, signed the papers – and then sat in my new truck at the dealership until it closed and I could clutch, gas, shift… stall, all the way home.
Anywho… couple things I learned about tie tying videos on YouTube. First, it looks like a mirror…it is not! My early attempts at copying what I saw in the videos left me with severe left-brain, right-brain confusion. In the men’s room I tried to unzip my fly and wound up buttoning my jacket…(?) Secondly, most of the videos seem to be made by men with British accents, this triggered my latent IRA and I had flashes that this had all been an elaborate ruse by the Brits to get me to hang myself.
After about an hour of watching the smug countenances of the non-knot impaired, I decided to find a real mirror, and give it try myself, sans laptop! Eight attempts left me with a desire to actually do what the Brits wanted… but then, on the 9th try – success. I looped, wrapped, bowed, pulled through and presto! I bow tie appeared around my neck. Only remaining problem; I have no idea what I did differently on try #9 than I had on numbers 1 thru 8.
A stronger man might have undone the knot and repeated the process until it became a muscle memory – I am not that man. Right now I am a man in a bow tie, proud as any old dog with a new trick! and I deserve a biscuit…