Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 72

Today’s tie… What can I say about today’s tie? It has purple in it and it matches my clothes, but it is not exciting, controversial, or really even comment worthy. Yet these are the kinds of ties that I have always worn in the past while ignoring the rest of my collection.

Safe, boring… blah.

My daughter Savannah is a fashion risk taker- even in the second grade. This morning as I was taking my shower, she comes into the bathroom wearing the
Captain Kirk Star Trek shirt that I got her from the new Star Trek movie, and says, “Dad, can I wear this shirt to school today?”

I was very excited that she would want to wear the shirt. She is much braver that I am.

Having no fear and wearing something that you truly love; that is beautiful. It reminds me of the time when I was in the third grade and had a
Tarzan bathing suit. I loved that stupid bathing suit.

Not everyone appreciated the synthetic animal skin flaps stitched together to form a child’s bathing suit. After I realized how easily I became a target of public humiliation while wearing the suit, I refused to put it on any longer. Then I felt guilty because my grandmother had bought it special for me.

Sometimes there is no winning.

I remembered this incident as I thought about what to tell her. Do I tell her no, and crush her hopes to protect her from some mean spirited kid? Or do I say yes, and fail to protect her as my parental duties say I should? In either case I could be remembered as the bad guy.

Sometimes there is no winning.

I said, “Yes, baby girl. If you want to wear it, go ahead.” And then I prayed that I had done the right thing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 71

I must not have learned much last week with the blue drapes tie; I think I did almost the exact same thing today. I wanted to wear a blue tie and shirt. So I picked out this blue tie with grey plant like pattern on it. Then I decided I had to wear a shirt with alternating thick and thin blue stripes separated by white stripes.

The difference is that today’s tie looks like fabric that might cover a sofa and the shirt has vertical stripes of differing widths. I do think this is a better shirt and tie combination than last Wednesday’s car wreck, but still, there is something not quite right about it. I think it might have to do with the shades of blue not matching.

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. When you think about it, close should also count in nuclear war, plagues, natural disasters and maybe curling (because being closer to the bull’s-eye could win for you). But close never counts in ties…

I am at approximately the half way point in my tie collection. I realized that this morning as I looked around the closet and suddenly remembered a whole rack full of ties that I had forgotten about.
The good, the bad, and the ugly are all still waiting for me.

Past the half way point in the school year, now I need to reconsider exactly what it is that I want to do with this tie a day thing. Should I just wear a different tie each day this year (with the exceptions of casual or spirit days) and be done with it? Or should I try to keep wearing them until I run out (into next school year)? I think I will have about 40 ties left over after the school year is complete.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 70

The traditional 80’s power tie is a solid colored red tie. The truth is that the definition of what a power tie is changes periodically, just like any other fashion trend. Around 2004 the power tie color was pink. Today’s power ties are light blue to show confidence instead of the red which displays aggression.

I have always considered today’s tie to be a power tie (since the mid 80's when my father wore it). Bold, bright diagonal stripes on a tie
can be the mark of a power tie. It is nice looking, but just not one of my favorites.

I don’t really believe the “power tie effect.” I never look at a man and think, “Do not mess with that dude. He has a blazing red power tie on. He is somebody!”

I am more likely to think something like, “How in the world did his wife let him out of the house looking like that? Is he color blind? Man, that thing is loud!”

I do think it is important to feel good about what you wear and if you are happy with it, don’t worry about what anyone else says. This is why I keep so many t-shirts with holes. They are light and so comfortable it feels like I am wearing a thin layer of air. Well, there are a lot of holes in them…

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 69

Does the color black affect my mood, or does my mood make me choose the color black? Should I just not wear the color black and thereby avoid the mood issue altogether? Why do I ask so many stupid questions? Who cares?

That sums up Thursday’s tie day…

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 68

Tuesday was Mardi Gras day at school and everyone was allowed to wear jeans along with a festive party shirt as long as we paid $2 to support our Gator Aid Project (funds used to help our school’s kids). So I threw on my handmade Jamaican beach shirt and a strand of silver beads, and I was good to go!

Today’s tie has been passed over many times. It has been hanging on the tie rack that my oldest son made me for Father’s day a few years ago, and I have looked at it almost every day. I have been afraid to wear it because it just didn’t look like me, but at the same time I kept coming back to it. Holding it up the cream colored shirt that I like, it passed the match test.

It could be that it is the horizontal stripes that bother me. I think this tie stands out as the only tie I own that has horizontal lines. I asked my wife, “Does this tie make my butt look big?” Passing the butt test, I decided I would give it a shot.

Anyway, after putting it on, I changed my mind; maybe this tie was me. I was reminded that experience is the true test. Try it, live it, then make up your mind.

Side note- I have often wondered how it came to be that ties have become a mandatory element of modern menswear. The only thing stopping me from finding out was the time needed to type it into Google. According to my Google research, under the topic,
history of men's neckwear, various sources place the blame for today’s ties squarely on the shoulders of a successful Croatian mercenary regiment and the French King, Louis the XIV, who it seems had an eye for fashion.

Maybe I should be thankful for ties, even though in a fashion sense I am still way behind the current style. The one thing that ties do allow me to do is to wear more colors than just the handful that I had chosen as safe. The variety is good for me.

Tie a Day, Number 67

Looking back on Monday’s tie I think it was a mistake. I was going for a study in blue, but the blue shirt with blue vertical stripes along with the tie with light blue to grey paisley pattern just doesn’t look right to me. The tie’s pattern reminds me of drapes that you might find in an old mansion that is dusty with sheets covering the furniture.

This tie also bothered me because ties are supposed to have a keeper tab on the back to hold the back thin part of the tie in place behind the larger front part. This tie didn’t have a loop. It seems that the loop was lost in the tie’s travel from the 80’s to today. I can only guess at the excitement that could result in a missing tie loop.

I like to think my father was engaged in a battle with a group of rogue ninja assassins when this important part of the tie was lost. Or maybe it was because of a bear attack that the tie’s aft restraint system was ripped from its rightful place. The world will never know.

People have asked me, “Hey, why don’t you just get a tie pin, or a tie clasp?”

The answer is simple, I hate them. While it can be annoying at times to have your tie flapping around like some sort of man flag, most of the time it is fine. I don’t work with heavy duty machinery that the tie can get caught in and result in me being pulled to a grisly death, and I rarely hang upside down like a monkey so that my tie is in my face.

Monday’s tie was not my favorite, the style was wrong for me, and the front and back see-sawed all over the place the entire day. The best part about having so many ties is that I can stick this one in the back of the rack and wait till a better shirt comes along.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 66

With skill and patience that I did not know he possessed, Sam slipped in front of the camera on Thursday morning for the perfect Photo Hog shot. His timing was perfect!

Calvin shouted, “Sam!”

I could only smile. There is just a hint of genius in a move like that, and some insight into Sam’s 6 year old personality, and I love it.
Thursday’s tie is the only Valentine’s Day tie I own. A nice little Looney Tunes tie with PepĂ© Le Pew and that poor little cat that he always sexually harasses. That behavior always amused me as a child, but now I know it is inappropriate (But I still think the cartoon is funny!).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 65

The tie of choice today was one that I have been checking out for a while. I picked out my shirt this morning and ironed it specifically to go with this tie. After ironing, I put the shirt on and quickly realized that I had just spent precious preparation time ironing a shirt that would make me miserable. The shirt was a nice off-yellow shirt, but it was just a bit too tight across the chest. When my shirts are tight I spend the entire day convinced that I can “Hulk Out,” of it, and try endless repetitions of body building moves. It is exhausing work.

I guess it was close to three weeks ago when Savannah and Sam came to me asking for shirts that they could use to pretend to be scientists. I had saved two shirts for the next Salvation Army run and they were perfect for the kids, so I handed the shirts over and was a hero for 5 minutes of my life.

After the kids finished using the shirts, the shirts became lumps on the floor that were put in the laundry, and eventually, they found their way back into my closet. Innocently hanging in my closet, the shirts were just waiting for their next mission in life. Today it was sabotage!

I recovered from my brief bout of panic and fell back on the number one man rule-
adapt and overcome. The Columbia shirt was perfect, if only a little wrinkled. I gave it a quick shake and I was back in business. I only lost 2 minutes in the scramble that is my morning routine.

I must be on a nature kick this week. Today’s tie is all plants. Purple, green, tan, and brown plants cover the tie with just a hint of black as the background. I have no idea what kind of plants they are; to me they just look like leaves.

Today purple was the key… I wanted to wear purple, not the bright obnoxious purple, just the color in a more subdued version.

Two days of purple ties. What is going on here?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 64

Today, with my tie selection, I became bold. Daring the world to say, “Boo!” I left all of all of my hang-ups about wearing bright colors, fruits and plants at home and liberated this little beauty from the Island of Yesteryear’s Ties.

Sometimes it is all in how you approach a task, and today I went backwards. Living like the rebel I used to be, I declared today to be Opposite Day with an authority that I did not own, and I created … Magic!

I selected my shirt first. This green shirt has been hanging out in my closet wanting to be worn and today was his day. I looked at him and knew I could find a tie to make his day a good one. Looking through the interwoven collection of silken neck wear in my closet, this one tie, above all others, spoke to me. Adorned with large purple plums that seemed to fly up in my face and say, “Take that!” I knew the shirt and the tie were a natural pair.

The purple of the plums in conjunction with the swirling aquamarine background is surprisingly eye pleasing. The simulated watercolor paint is a soothing addition to the effect the colors have when placed so closely together. Like unfriendly dogs, I normally keep my aquamarine in a different room from my purple, but the softness of the watercolor effect creates a subtle buffer zone between the rival colors.

After today this shirt and tie must part, but the magic between them will live on…

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 63

Today’s tie is a nice tie, but it is one that allows me to blend into the background. The green and black background with the red flower like design accented with grey is a very conservative choice for the day. I don’t want any attention drawn to myself; I am in hide out mode.

You see, last night while watching the Super Bowl I realized something very important. I have somehow, in a way that I don’t yet understand, influenced the outcome of the last three Super Bowls. I have accurately predicted the winner without even being aware of doing it. I haven’t researched back any further than three years but I do know that something very strange has been happening.

I know what you are thinking, “He is full of it,” but please, let me explain. I am a Redskin fan, a financially challenged Redskin fan. I work hard to get to see my team play live at Fed Ex Field at least once a year. Over the past three years, the one game I have seen live each year, is a loss to the eventual Super Bowl winner. This is absolutely the truth.

Week 3 of the NFL in 2007 I took two Giants fans to the game with me. The Giants were crisis management mode after losing the first two games. They visit Fed Ex and had a season changing moment stopping Clinton Portis from the 2 yard line. The team pulled themselves together and went on to beat New England and crushed their hopes at an undefeated season. You are welcome New York.

The Pittsburg Steelers was the team I decided I had to see in 2008. And lucky me, I got to see a stomping of my favorite team. This time I took 2 other Redskins fans and a Steelers fan. It is always great fun to use two personal days to see your team lose on a Monday night. Your 6th ring is on me.

This year I went to the
Skins vs Saints game on December 6th, with my regular crew in almost the exact same seats as the year before, which was a nightmare game that was decided in overtime. The Redskins just couldn’t put the game away. This was also the last game Shaun Suisham played as a Redskin (missed a field goal that would have won the game). I felt that Louisiana could use the spiritual lift that a Super Bowl win would give them.

This coming season the Skins will be playing the following teams (specific dates not finalized yet); Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans, and the Indianapolis Colts. So what I am thinking is that other teams should now begin to sponsor my trips to see the Redskins.

It could really pay off in a Lombardy trophy… Although, by even suggesting this idea, I feel that I am betraying my team. This is why I am in hiding today.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 62

I have always thought of this tie as the “Giraffe Tie.” I don’t know why. The pattern is not really close to what a giraffe's pattern looks like. I guess it was just a first impression that stayed with me.

The large blotches look random from a distance, but up close I get the feeling that the design is organic, like a flower. Do flowers come in tan, brown and grey? The colors I don’t have a problem with, but the amorphic design was an issue for me yesterday.

I wanted to define what this thing was, and kept looking at it as if it would suddenly be apparent to me. I guess this is a personal problem. Sometimes I want to define a thing and can’t just accept it for the good that it is; abstract is not good enough. Well, at least with this tie it was a problem.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 61

Yesterday, after my fourth day of being trapped in my house because of snow, I decided I had to do something. So I had my hair trimmed (even though it was short, it was sprouting up all over and getting on my nerves) and then I went to Kohl’s. Normally, I just get what I go there for and then I leave, but since I had been holed up in my house for so long, I became fascinated by the most ridiculous things.

In my wanderings I stopped in the tie zone. It was amazing! Approximately 90% of the ties were ugly. Most of the ties were bold and offensive to the eye. Some were similar to the mid 80’s thin ties while others were just odd. The exception to this is the Jerry Garcia collection. I like all of the JG ties.

Plain white ties in both thick and thin flavors? Do men wear this? Where are they? I thought that was a Miami Vice thing from the 80’s…

Part of the problem was that I was seeing the ties standing alone without a friendly shirt to show its best side to the world. The second issue influencing my negative opinion of the tie selection was my complete lack of any kind of a sense of fashion. What do I know about fashion, and really, owning a bunch of ties doesn’t mean I know anything about them.

I only know what I will wear; and it won’t be any of those ties. Besides, me buying a tie is a bit silly when I have around 80 ties left to wear this year.

Today’s tie I picked out alone. Sam must have forgotten about my daily tie needs with the delayed opening and the added confusion of the day being a half a day for students.

This black tie is from the late 80’s and is accented by paisley designs (from my visit to Kohl’s I have gathered paisley is still ok on ties) that are separated by vine like structures. The brown, green, tan and grey in the design goes nice with the black background. Not the greatest tie ever, but I like it and worked. It was just a bonus that it didn’t make me feel like an extra on Miami Vice.