I've had to wear a tie two days in a row now because I was sitting on an interview panel at work and it is making me more than a little cranky. I am not a tie person. Its status as a symbol of conformity doesn't rest easy with me. And besides, the damned things are like wearing a noose around your neck.
And why do we wear ties? Blame it on the Croatians. Apparently in 1635, a group of Craotian mercenaries came to Paris to give their support to King Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu. And the distinquishing article of clothing that made the Croats stand out amongst the usual dandies of Paris was a scarve around their neck tied in a distinctive "Croatian style" previously unknown in Europe. The fashionable expression, ’a la croate’, soon evolved into a new French word: la cravate. Thus the cravate or necktie was born.
I'm not a Croatian. I'm not in the Court of King Louis XII, yet almost four Centuries later, I'm walking around with a bit of silk around my neck like a dog on a frilly leash.
Well, this dog don't hunt, he just howls.
Other than serving as a personal garrote, the tie really serves no practical purpose than emphasizing your beer belly. And the fashion dictators add insult to injury by varying the width of the tie you should be wearing at any given time. Just before we moved in August, I must have tossed out 50 ties ranging in one to five inches in width.
I suppose wearing a tie is a right of passion all men must endure. After I graduated from clip-on's my father taught me to tie a tie. But that was only after he got tired of tying them for me and slipping them around my neck. Not that my father wore ties very often. He was a foreman in a warehouse and had the blue collar luxury of only donning the yoke of oppression for church and funerals.
But I had to go to college. Every time I think I need to look professional, I button that top button and slip the noose around my neck.
It could have been worse though. The Croatians could have thought it was cool to wear dead fish around their neck and we could have adopted that fashion. The higher you are on the food chain, the bigger fish you'd have to wear.
"Honey, have you seen my Blue Marlin?"
"It's in the closet next to the Mackeral."
Yes, there could have been worse customs we adopted from the Croatians. Though I think I would have looked pretty good wearing a Salmon.