Tie One On

For MPO, MC, JSH, PNH, LVP – because you were there

I charge $400/hour normally.

Back in 2018, when we could still go to things, we were picking up some friends in the lobby of the Dewberry Hotel here in Charleston.

They were in town for an event sponsored by Charleston’s publishing powerhouse Garden & Gun.

We were meeting them there first before going to some mutual friends’ home for a quick drink before their event.

I was really acting as the hired help/chauffer/DD

Always good to have a DD

DUI ain’t funny

(Side track. One of my favorite brutal expressions and some twenty plus years after that fatal car crash in Paris caused by a drunk driver, it’s fun to say to anyone going too fast or making rash decisions, “Woah! Slow down, Doadie, there’s a tunnel up ahead!” People cringe. Then they laugh. Poor Lady Di. But, I digress)

As we were waiting in the lobby for one friend to grace us with her presence, my bride and the other friends watched a group of twenty somethings gather prior to heading into a ballroom for a wedding reception

It was a glorious fall day in Charleston

Weather was in the 60’s

Soft sun setting around 5:30

Our other friend arrived

Hellos all around while the young folk – of which I still mistakenly think myself one – sauntered round the lobby, made for the bar for that pregame libation, ooohed and aaahed over each others’ dresses secretly judging and hating the other’s clothes. We could see it in their mascaraed and shadowed lidded eyes.

One tall fellow burst into the lobby, fully tuxedoed but with tie in hand

His date looked at him with exasperation

This was some A+ people watching by the way

He attempted to mess with his tie, but, no luck

Shouting across the crowded lobby, he bellowed, “Does anyone in here know how to tie a bowtie?”

Same exasperation in his voice as Charlie Brown asking if anyone could tell him what Christmas was all about during the most religious of all Christmas cartoon specials.

With the same equanimity as St. Linus the Evangelist from that special, I raised my hand and said, “I can. I can tie a bowtie.”

The date ratted him out

“This fool thought he could rent a tuxedo today. He had to buy this at Brooks Brothers like 3 hours ago. He can’t even tie a bowtie. He should have bought the pre-tied one.” Her eyes rolled.

Shaking my head, I told the guy to sit down on the leather stool in front of me.

I stood behind him and tied the tie in less than 30 seconds flat. My friend took a picture.

A quick little adjustment, and he was ready to enjoy his evening.

“Dude! You’re the MAN!” he said as he high fived me

In response, I said to him the words that my father said to me when I was in the eighth grade on asking how to tie a bow tie

“There’s nothing to it. Close your eyes. Tie your shoes.”

Close your eyes

Tie your shoes

That’s all it takes to tie a bowtie

Yes, you’re going to have to work with it

Yes, the first few times you do it will be sloppy

Yes, you have to make one end of the tie a little longer than the other to get it right

But, it’s just that easy

Close your eyes

Tie your shoes

So easy to tie one on that the fake ties should be outlawed, banned, sent into the outerdarkness

One day we will go out again

One day we will wear bow ties

One day there will be wedding receptions, dances, black tie events

One day a twenty something will need help in the lobby

Until then, you have time to practice

And, don’t worry if you’re slow at getting it

Remember, there may be a tunnel up ahead

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