November 11, 2007

When I was fifteen years old, I had to attend some sort of banquet for which I needed a tie. Up until this time, my father had only shown me how to tie a tie once and that was seven years before this event, and now, with my family divorced and my father vanished, I was left with my mother to help me, and she only could recommend I wear the zipper-tie that she’d bought me years before. That tie was too short, and I didn’t like it. I owned other ties; I wanted to wear other ties.

My uncle is a former banker, and now the founder and president of a national mortgage franchise. He does good works, best I can tell. He’s helped my family. He’s a good Christian man, by all accounts, and bounding with love.

So we call him.

I’m sitting on my queen size water bed, holding the petite receiver of my painter’s palette-modeled phone and collecting step by step instructions for tying a tie. Luckily, my uncle is an efficient man who likes to eliminate redundancies. Where my father had taught me something that I can only assume is a full Windsor knot, or something like it, my uncle taught me what he calls and Overhand knot. It’s like tying shoes, except even simpler. Astounding.

It has taken me years to really perfect this knot. I’ve worn many ties in my day for all the fraternity functions and concerts I’ve been in. However, not until sometime three weeks ago did I pull on a tie and cinch it up in a way that it didn’t look like I was wearing it backwards or that it was leaning to one side quite heavily. I did well. I am proud of myself.

Despite the cost of the long distance call, my mother tells me, she’s awfully glad to have my uncle around.


  1. That’s Funny. I think everybody has their own unique tie tying story.I learned how to tie my first tie the night before at a local pizza hut shop before my first “big” interview. It was a white tie … and by the end of the night it was a grotesque off white color with every grubby grease hand that offered to teach me. Needless to say I had to use my clip on.

    Go Figure…. 🙂

  2. I like this story. I bet your uncle is proud of you, too. Did you call him? You should…

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