Friday, January 29, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 60

This is a tie with a Porpoise. It is a whale of a tie! The jokes don’t work in text. It is all in the delivery…

Thursday’s tie was picked out by Sammy. He ran into the room just as I was finishing ironing. I tried to tell him that I didn’t know he was coming to help me and I had already picked a tie to go with the shirt that I ironed.

This sent him off the deep end. I was suddenly the worst father ever. As I tried to appease him by saying that he could pick a tie for my next tie wearing day, he angrily stomped out of the room.

I chased him down saying that he could pick a tie for me to wear, but it needed to match the clothes I had prepared for the day. I was picturing a day wearing the lost Christmas tie with large candy canes and little Christmas trees that I had somehow missed wearing during the holiday season. I hoped that I could smooth things over with him and wear a tie that was close to matching.

The anger written on his face was something I hadn’t seen since the time I was 17 and drove the family car way over the lease agreement mileage limit (it is not my fault my parents left the keys with an irresponsible young person when they went out of town for long periods of time). I talked Sam into coming back to “Tie World,” and as his 6 year old anger bubbled over he slapped at the ties as if to say, “All of these ties are crap, and you sir, disgust me!”

Settling on this World Wildlife Fund tie with porpoises and killer whales, he held it up to me like it was his favorite toy that I had crushed with my big, stupid adult shoes. Looking over his shoulder as he left me holding my whale tie, he cut his eyes at me as if to say, “Learn your lesson old man; there better not be a next time.”

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 59

Tuesday's tie was one that I picked out. Sam forgot to help me.

This brown paisley masterpiece is attractive but not overwhelming. The large pattern, with an intricate design using tan, brown and ivory as the main colors, is very nice.

Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by the world. I need to get back to the basics and come down to earth. This tie keeps me firmly rooted to the ground using earthy tones and a natural design. Whether I am trudging through the jungle or attending a dinner party, this tie lets me be comfortable with who I am.

Big Brown and Tan Paisley Vintage Tie, circa 1989, $27.50, J. Peterman Catalog, p. 27

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 58

Monday’s tie was one that Sam picked out for me to wear. I can’t remember wearing it, but because it has so much black in it I feel like I must have worn it at least once. Black has been one of my favorite colors for a long time.

Solid black with peacock feathers outlined in red silk, this is a very nice tie. It probably would have gone much better with a red shirt, but that is not my color.

It is interesting that a friend was telling me that she saw 5 peacocks on the Eastern Shore just the day before. Coincidence? Sam did not know about the possiblity of peacocks being a part of a trip story that I would hear. Odd.

I don’t know if I believe her, but if she believes that I saw a monkey in a tree near Roanoke in November (which I completely lied about just because I thought it was funny), then I will believe her story about peacocks. She said two of them were white. Ghost peacocks?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 57

Sam ran into my bedroom early Wednesday morning ready to pick out a tie for me to wear. I had to explain to him that I had already ironed the shirt that matched the tie that I picked out for the day. Because I had my stuff ready to go, I suggested that he choose a tie for the next day.

I don’t know exactly what he looks for when selecting ties, but he is very thorough and checks out all of the available ties before deciding. He managed to find the one Christmas tie that I missed during the holiday tie parade in December.

“Oh, Dad! Wear this tie with the candy canes on it. I like this one!”

People without young children do not understand how hard it can be to explain things to them. Sam could not accept that it was not socially acceptable to wear holiday attire once the season has passed.

“I like candy canes. Why can’t you wear this tie?”

I think I did what any parent does when they don’t really have an answer, or don’t have the time to adequately explain the situation, I made up a story, “Well Sam, you see, a long time ago they made a law to prevent people from celebrating holidays after the holiday has passed. This way it keeps holidays special. You wouldn’t want me to go to jail for breaking the law, would you?”

Only slightly disappointed, he picked out two ties for my next two tie wearing days.

The tie that Sam had me wear on Thursday was one of only three solid color ties that I own. This tie is silver silk and highly reflective. Almost mirror like, this tie is perfect for communicating with passing aircraft if you happen to find yourself stranded in the wilderness. This silver beauty could be a valuable and adaptable part of your survival kit (mirror, tourniquet, rope, small lasso), and it can serve double duty as a good looking tie for a night on the town.

Silver Surfer could wear this tie...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 56

I love this tie! A shimmering grey tie with plant designs in the raised up silk. My only issue is that the tie is a little on the thin side and it is quite long. There is actually more tie there than I can evenly tie around my neck.

In the big scheme of men’s wear, I don’t take many chances. I think it all goes back to that day in the 4 th grade when I wore my sunset in the woods t-shirt that had the deer grazing on the front… Even though it was the 70’s and people wore ugly clothes and got away with it, the sunset deer t-shirt was mock worthy in elementary school.

Maybe I was scarred for life, but at least Wednesday was a good tie day.

Tie a Day, Number 55

I often find myself thinking, “Why do I keep so many ties that I have never worn? Surely, I could give them away to someone that has no old, out of style ties of their own.” The tie I wore Tuesday was one I am certain I have never worn before.

It went with my outfit, but it just does not fit into the category of “ties I want to wear.” Perhaps I should broaden my horizons and wear things I don’t normally wear to acclimate myself to new styles, like a space suit or something. I have always wanted to go into space. I could just think of it as astronaut training, except with strange and ugly ties instead of a fully enclosed space suit.

This tie is very earthy, with large brown and green leaves on it. The tie is made of fine silk and the design has the look of painted on water colors. It really complimented my brown belt and shoes that I always wear. I also like the dark green, but all together it is just not something I like.

I think I have decided that half of the ties I own, I don’t really like. I will probably keep them though, maybe it is for selfish reasons, but they are a reminder of my father and I have to keep something from him, don’t I?

I am just not ready to give up the big, leafy, weird looking ties just yet.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 54

Sam rushed up the stairs this morning to make sure he got to help me pick out my tie. I was barely out of the shower and had to remind him that he already picked out today’s tie yesterday. He was thrilled that he was able to dress Dad for the second day in a row. I may have started a trend with him.

This is the Calvin tie. This tie has a repeated picture of my oldest son Calvin staggered across the front of it. He was two in this picture and I am pretty sure I received this as my back to school gift from Amy in 2000.

Today, Calvin is eleven and almost as big as me. Soon he will be bigger, and I will make him kneel when he talks to me. I am not sure how they figure these things out, but according to the Doctor, Calvin should be 6’ 3” someday. All that height skipping right over me in the family tree…

Amy laughs because she says I falsified a legal document just so I can claim my true height to be more than reality. It is not my fault that the DMV has a flawed licensing system. Here’s some news for you, I don’t weight 160 pounds either! Stick that in your document falsifier…

I can’t help but feel like I have cheated Savannah today. I talked about her brothers, but today is her birthday. My baby girl is eight. She may be too old to be called that by anyone, except me, because no matter what- she will always be my baby girl.

I can call her that because I got to deliver her. It was one of the most special times in my life. In the delivery room, the nurse practitioner asked me if I wanted to deliver her. Amy had an uncomplicated pregnancy, and since things were going smoothly, I was ready and jumped at the chance. And when Savannah was born, I was the first to hold her. I feel like I have had to let her go just a little every day since.

Happy Birthday Savannah.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 53

Sam, my six year old son, asked me yesterday if he could help me pick out a tie to wear. Of course, I said, “Yes!”

I tried to narrow down his choices from the remaining 80 or so ties I still have not worn, but he was having none of that, he wanted to see all of his choices. I was a little worried because I had already ironed my shirt and I was afraid that he would pick a tie that completely clashed with what I had prepared. Luckily, I remembered the golden rule of men’s wear, as long as you wear solid colors almost any tie will work. This is how I came to place my fate in the hands of a child who wears horizontal and vertical stripes together in the same shirt and pants combination.

I know that what Sam wears he likes, and that is much more important than matching. So I let him pick out his clothes while he can still get away with that approach. Once you get a little older, everyone offers their opinion, but when you are six, people say things like, “Awesome Transformers shirt!” And isn’t that all that really matters?

In the end, he gave me a choice. I could wear the Calvin and Hobbes tie today, or the tie that I have that has a picture of his brother, Calvin on it. Whichever tie I didn’t wear today, I have to wear tomorrow.

This Calvin and Hobbes tie is special to me because my wife Amy gave it to me when I was still teaching Kindergarten, before we were married. I believe it was 1994. We have always loved the
Calvin and Hobbes comics
and joked that our child would end up to be exactly like the Calvin in the strip. After we found out that Amy was pregnant, we had months of discussions on possible baby names (I wanted to carry on the family name with the 5th in the Doss male series, and Amy did not) we could only find common ground with one name, Calvin. This is how we named our first son (as a compromise he has my middle name; that is as far as she would go).

Calvin was a much better name than the extreme name that I picked out. I only made it up to force Amy to see what great mistake it would be to pass on my name. The crazy name that I adopted involved clicks, a whistle and a smoochy sound strung together to form a completely unspellable name. The idea was that if I wouldn’t budge on the ridiculous extreme name, then she would have to give up and and the family name would live on.

Amy is too smart for me and knew I would fold; and I am glad. But it still makes me laugh to think of a teacher on nthe first day of school trying to call roll and reaching a unspellable name...

"Would 2 clicks, a whistle and smoochy sound Doss please raise his hand?"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 52

It was a welcomed relief to wear cheap silk today with the memory of a woolen noose still scratching through my brain. I was alarmed this morning when I brushed up against another wool beast in my closet while I searched my collection for the right tie to wear. It will be a long time before I wear the next wool monstrosity - maybe never.

This tie has the perfect colors to go with my shirt and pants. The design is tolerable and looked good with the whole outfit.

Tuesday was not a bad tie day.

Tie a Day, Number 51

Tie number 51 was a dreadful experience and it all comes down to one word, texture. As far as the design goes the tie was ok, with the exception of the thinness (which seems to mark it as a late eighties tie). The problem was that this particular tie was made of 100% wool.

Wool is fine for sweaters, only because I never wear them. Any other piece of clothing that has wool in it is also probably going to be something that I avoid wearing including, but not limited to, pants, jackets, and hats. I prefer the feel of a t-shirt that has been so well worn that it almost feels like you are wearing a layer of warm air (possibly due to the fact that it might have a large number of holes). Cotton, silk and even polyester are fabrics that I consider infinitely more comfortable. Wool is similar to wearing a really fine kind of Brillo pad.

It could be that I dislike wool because my skin is so sensitive, like a baby’s bottom, but I prefer to make up a story about a close encounter with a herd of angry sheep, with nothing but trouble on their minds, that permanently scarred me at a young age. Maybe I will share it after I finish all the plot twists.

I did not like touching this tie at all. Tying it around my neck was similar to the sensation of nails on a chalkboard. The rough material of the tie scraping around the outside of my collar was enough to give me the willies. I did a quick tie of the tie and when I realized the front was too long, I decided to suffer through the clown like length in a touch avoidance maneuver that I practiced the rest of the day.

To say that I hate this tie is not really fair. I like it- I just like best far away from me. If you are interested in a vintage tie made from the finest wool- please leave a comment and I will be glad to mail it to you- I will even cover the postage! I do want it to have a good home...

Friday, January 8, 2010

50 ties!

Me being stupid wearing 50 ties at once!
Like a muscular boa constrictor applying its death grip, my manly mane of male neckwear is proudly displayed on my den floor.

Fifty ties all at once! The weight of over 4 pounds of silk, polyester and cotton, even when tied loosely about the neck, gave me the feeling of being slowly suffocated.

I had to do something special, something different, to celebrate reaching the 50 tie mark. Using my limited imagination, the only thing I could think of was to wear all 50 ties at once. If nothing else, it made for an interesting, but ridiculous picture.

I do not recommend that anyone put on 50 ties, and that is not just because I submitted this picture as a new world record on the Universal Record Database (the last record I submitted was for a group, this is my first attempt at a personal record on the URDB site). I was very uncomfortable during this picture. Just getting situated on the floor for the picture above, I got a major abdominal cramp and my gluteus maximus locked up as well. All I could do was lay on the floor and whine while my family laughed.

I do not think I will try to break my own record. If you are interested, I will even help break the record and tie neckties on you until you collapse. Drop me a line, and we will work out all the details…

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 50

The 50th tie of the year came and went without a lot of hoopla. I felt like I needed to pick a tie based on its complete ordinariness. Everyone and everything deserves its point in time that people can point to and say, "Hey, that thing there is special."

I think this feeling comes from a misplaced sense of anthropomorphism, and is not shared by everyone. Today, people put a lot of effort into blaming their parents for the way they turned out. That somehow the problems they have are the result of other human beings actions. I would like to turn that around and give credit to my parents for my ability to humanize inanimate objects.

I can probably trace these feelings back to my first teddy bear. I don’t want to bore anyone with a Velveteen Rabbit type of story, but I must confess that I still have my teddy bear and he sits in my closet today.

Some may consider this to be a weakness, but I don’t think so. Caring about something or someone helps to make the world a better place in some small way.

So this completely unremarkable tie is what I chose to wear yesterday. It is not even able to pass as urban camouflage. I noticed that no matter how many pictures were taken of this tie, it was difficult to focus on it (perhaps it is interdimensional, existing in many realities at once). This tie was somehow able successfully survive from the late eighties to today, escaping the great Doss tie purge of the 90’s, to arrive at this point in time as Al’s 50th tie of the year. And for that, I salute you!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 49

Trying to fit back into the serious world and put stupid luck behind me, today I chose an interesting tie that I have always liked. I like the colors in this tie; purple, tan and navy, and the silk has an opalescent quality to it. The tie shimmers in the light as it moves.

The design is kind of odd though, sort of like a collection of artichokes, in purple and tan, laid out across the tie at various angles. This plant tie is one of my favorites. Strange since I have already claimed to not like plant themed ties… it must be the colors.

I combined the tie with a shirt that I would never have used in the before the tie a day craziness (or as I now refer to it as BTDC. I try to use this acronym in normal conversation because educators love their acronyms and they always pretend to know what one is when you use it. It makes me laugh!). The shirt is sort of a plaid flannel thing. The combination of textures is different for me.

I must admit that the juxtaposition of clothing that I am putting together is very eye opening to me. I am generally a safe, plain dresser who doesn’t put a lot of thought into what I wear, but I think this is a normal progression for a man of my age and place in life (broke with kids to raise). I don’t know that I look any better (how can I with clothes from 20 to 30 years ago?), and I don’t really care, but I look at my closetful of vintage wear in a new way.

It is almost as good as having up to date clothes!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 48

The Force was with Anakin Skywalker when flew his makeshift pod to victory in the Phantom Menace. The odds were against him, yet he faced the challenge of the pod race with courage and allowed the Force to flow through him.

I had a similar experience yesterday as my Fantasy Football team rolled to a dominating Super Bowl victory! My team, the Dogman Funk All-Stars, came from the seventh pick in the draft at the beginning of the season to overall victory through the magic of two words – stupid luck. Experience, researching player performance, and even using add drops and trades to supplement your team does not equal the value of being lucky at the right time.

I will not question the way things are, I will just enjoy this moment for what it is… Victory!

Since I am all out of football ties, this Star Wars Pod Racing tie was as close as I could get to wearing a football tie in celebration. It might be a fun tie, but it is pretty ugly. It is only really appropriate to wear at a Sci-Fi convention, or maybe when visiting Mr. Lucas at the Skywalker Ranch.

The movie, The Phantom Menace, came out in 1999, so I know that I received this tie in either 1999 or 2000. Anakin and his nemesis, along with their pods, are prominently displayed across the front of this tie.

I am excited about this New Year – only two more ties till I get to 50!