Tying up loose ends

For years I wore a suit and tie to work. For all intents and purposes, it was my uniform. I kept to simple black and blue suits, a gray one if I was really trying to go crazy, and the ties tended to range from simple power colors for important meetings, crazy black and purple ones, red flowered ones. The ties changed to match my schedule and mood.

My dress changed over time. First my company moved to more business casual and then the pandemic hit, bringing on a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde look, with a nice business casual shirt or sweater on top and comfort-first sweats or shorts on the bottom. With all this dressing down, my fashion sense has taken a hit. I had to get dressed up recently and needed to wear a tie. I looked in the mirror for the longest time trying to remember the last time I wore one. It’s been a long time. It’s been so long that I forgot how to tie it.

I felt like an old soldier squeezing into an old uniform. I could imagine him or her saying: “How does this go again? I know I know how.”

Image by Dom J via Pexels.

I tried the tie one way and then the other. Both times I came up with a rumpled, twisted mess. Eventually I was able to figure things out, but it felt strange. How could I forget this small step that I had taken each morning for close to two decades? Why did it seem so foreign?

It actually bothered me for a day or two. I wasn’t worried about memory or losing my mind, I just remembered my dad telling me that knowing how to tie a tie is something that everyone should know how to do, just like changing your oil or changing a tire. I felt horrible that I had forgotten such a small, but important thing.

I tried to scoff it off, but it still bothered me. Finally, it took something else to help get me out of my funk.

I’m doing some consulting work on the side, helping a friend, and I helped edit a video for her that I would have never been able to create in years past. It reminded me of countless other skills and tasks that I’ve learned in recent years. Of course, I forgot how to tie my tie, but I’ve learned a million things in that time. 

I don’t need to know how to tie my tie. If I need to know it in the future, it will come back to me. In the interim, I’ve mastered or taken up other skills, many of them work-related, including SharePoint, PowerPoint, Python, ChatGPT, Photo Editing, etc.  

I’m not losing my touch, I’m just putting my priorities in place. And oh yea, one more thing, I gotta say, I like how I looked in those suits, I liked looking dapper, but I don’t miss wearing that tie at all. Good riddance!

43 thoughts on “Tying up loose ends

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    1. You’ve probably heard the writer advice about “killing your darlings,” the idea that great phrases we love as writers might actually not be all that great for the reader . . . However, I did like finding a way to include “dapper” into this piece. Now there’s a fun word. Ha, ha.

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  1. I’m sure with a quick YouTube tutorial you could be back up to speed in no time.👏🏻

    I’d never imagined the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde effect. Thank you for calling this to my attention. Amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yea, I knew I could check the internet, goodness knows you can find everything there. It was just the principle of it. And as far as the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde effect — that’s just something I made up. It just always feels strange when I put on a nice freshly collared shirt and still have the shorts on that I put on when I got up that morning. Ha, ha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🤦🏻‍♀️Before noon, my brain’s functionality cannot be trusted. I think I took it to mean you were working from home and wearing half business half casual outfits, and that everyone else was doing this. That’s why I thanked you for bringing it to my attention.🤣 That would be pretty amazing if people started showing up to work like that.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I know. Times change…hence the YouTube…things that used to be handed down by generations can now be found online. What will we teach to our children that was taught to us by ours, and that they will pass down. Probably nothing

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ties are so tricky and I have to get mine Pre made by my father in law and just slip it on and off if needed. Thankfully the occasions to wear them are like once every few years. 😆 Hooray for business casual and hybrid work!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve often marveled at how men have ruled the world for all this time and yet kept wearing ties, for no apparent reason. It took a global pandemic for them to come to their senses! 😏

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You made me spill my coffee out when I read your comment this morning Jane. I was chatting with a former coworker and had to repeat the line. Of course, she got the humor of it right away. It really is sad to think that without the pandemic many places would still be wearing business formal. Ugh. Yes, some had changed prior to Covid, but there were still a good number of financial firms that still required suit and tie. Yuck. In reality, ties were required because the silly rich white guys in charge needed something to cover their coffee spills. (Yes, I’m a silly white guy too, but I’m not in charge and I’m certainly not rich. Ha, ha.)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. From your side of the situation, I’m certain that business casual is ultimately more comfortable and allows more variety (a nice unbranded polo shirt is considered business casual, I think?). From my side, I’ve always appreciated the look of a man in a suit and, more than ever, as there are fewer and fewer of them, I always get a little skip in my heartbeat when I see one!

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  5. There’s an idea for a post Brian- the history of neckties! I’m sure the modern version is based on archaic ideas and fashion style of European dress- I’m thinking back to royal attire and high society and such. I remember as a child seeing dad wear his “work clothes” every day- a suit and tie. I just thought the tie was there to cover up the little buttons on his white shirt 😉

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  6. Geez, I’m glad I don’t work in the men’s furnishing department selling ties anymore. I’d be starving to death! Sweats during the pandemic, however, would have set me up for life, right?! 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  7. First — cheers about all the new skills — including the editing! Super cool! And yes…I feel like as I pick up one or two new skills, other stuff falls away…especially if I no longer have the ‘muscle memory’ for the task. I found a basket of old crochet and knitting projects (yeah…I abandoned them) and wondered if I still knew what to do with the hooks and needles. Um…barely. It was laughable, so I threw all of it back in the closet. Maybe one day I’ll pick it up again and have the interest, but not now. 😎

    Liked by 2 people

  8. My husband wore a suit and tie for years at Merrill Lynch. Ten years ago he moved to WFA, and was shocked when he walked in wearing his suit and everyone else was in khakis and Hawaiian shirts or polos. Then the pandemic hit and he work from his home office. He’s loves not having to wear the suit and tie anymore.

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    1. I had the same response Elizabeth. I worked in Finance and it was suit and tie forever. Slowly it started to go by the wayside. I haven’t seen any crazy, crazy Hawaiian shirts yet, but definitely polo shirts. I liked a great power tie when I had a big meeting or had to make a presentation, but I don’t mind seeing the suit go by the wayside.

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  9. I agree with Victoria. It’s really great that you are embracing all the new skills you’re learning, and I hope you continue to learn. I think tie tying would come back if it had to, but I suspect the workplace is changing so much. That said, I noticed we have a lecturer on campus (not sure what department he works for) but he still wears a 3 piece suit and tie. Very formal … but not a business or management lecturer.

    I have a question for American ladies, did you not have to wear a tie at school? I really detested wearing them … I hate anything round my neck. But in 5th year (16/17 years) we got sent home if we didn’t have ties

    Liked by 1 person

  10. When I was at school (. . . um, a long time ago!), we used ties as a fashion statement. There were big, fat knots and skinny, miniscule knots. I was always getting into trouble for not using the customary ‘in-between’ knot, but I enjoyed being a rebel. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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