Lee Pitts: Finding a new home for unwanted neckties
May 10, 2016
A person who collects neckties is a grabatologist. I am not one, by the way. In fact, I recently had a cleansing of all the neckties I own. Vowing to never, ever wear a necktie again was a cathartic experience and I feel a new sense of freedom and independence. Never again will I be ridiculed for not knowing how to tie a Windsor, the fact that my tie is out of fashion or made from petroleum distillates.
I struggled with how to dispose of my ties. All three of them. My first thought was to donate them to Goodwill, but the last time I tried to give them some of my apparel they rejected it outright, saying it did not meet their standards.
I don't handle rejection well, so I buried the ties in a mass grave thinking that I'd kill two birds with one stone … or should I say gophers? Not only did I get rid of my ties forever, I figured there's a possibility that the hideous ties might scare away the gophers in our yard.
There was one tie I did not bury because it was a replica of our nation's flag and I didn't know the proper way to dispose of it. So we gave it to a friend we don't like as a birthday present.
I always thought that necktie wearing was a fairly new way to cut off the blood to our brains but I saw a photo of some cowboys sitting around a roundup bonfire in 1890 and a couple of the cowboys were wearing neckties. To gather cows!
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What was the lowlife who invented neckties thinking? Were they invented to cover up the buttons on our shirts, and if so, what's so hideous about buttons that we're ashamed to show them in public? Do men wear ties to fill the gap between the two sides of their sports coats that no longer come together? Were they a government make-work program for silkworms, or perhaps ties were invented as a diversion so people wouldn't look at our ugly Adam's apples?
Besides being a pain to tie and forever dangling in your food and coffee cup, neckties can also be dangerous.
I remember reading about a driver stuck alongside a road who looked under the hood with the motor running who got his tie stuck in the fan belt. Let me just say, that would NOT be my first choice as to how to commit suicide.
I've heard all the silly reasons why a man should start his day by tying a slip-knot around his neck. I've read that a tie can be used as a sling, to hobble your horse, dry the dishes or tie up a calf but I always see politicians and Wall Street types wearing ties and how many horses do they routinely hobble and how many calves do they tie on average in a good day? The only decent excuse I've ever heard for wearing a tie was you'd never starve to death because you could always boil your tie in hot water and make a decent soup
Because I hate neckties, I tried all the alternative types of neckwear. I considered clip-on ties but they went out of fashion with polyester jumpsuits for men. I inherited my Grandpa's extensive collection of bolo ties and many are quite valuable. Grandpa always looked great in them but when I wear one I look like an old west outlaw on the gallows with a noose around my neck.
I've made it a point to never trust a man wearing a bow tie and I really look stupid wearing a wild rag around my neck, even more so than usual. They remind me too much of my mother's scarves and of snobbish British writers lounging in their pajamas, smoking pipes, wearing Ascots and discussing George Bernard Shaw.
I realize that wild rags can be used for a lot of different purposes, but I look like a pregnant peacock when I wear one. Cowboy poets look great in them, but the only time I wore one in public I was giving a speech and was told afterwards that no one could hear me because my pink, purple and gold wild rag was way too loud. ❖