“How To Tie A Bow Tie”

thI found a cheap bow tie online and thought it’d be cool to wear one.  They seem to be coming back into style so why should I be left behind wearing those hanging things.

I remember bow tie wearers from the past including John Daly, host of “What’s My Line,” and Bud Collier, host of “The Price is Right,” also but not trying to imitate Louis Farrakhan and Pee Wee Herman.

The long piece arrived and I thought I’d arrived.  “Distinctive, elegant, the talk of the town” was my destiny until that long thing just laid on the kitchen counter.  “Can’t be that difficult,” I say to myself remembering Louis and Pee Wee.  My neck size is shown on the back with a hook presumably to tighten it into place.  Wrong.

Being savvy in my search to retrieve the olden days I go to the new avenue for all solutions including the meaning of life: YouTube.

You cannot imagine how many videos are available for those who wish to create something pretty from a long string.  I watched several, including how to make a bow tie but since I’m already a proud owner I ignored them.  I find one where the guy exhibits slowly and clearly how this is done which I appreciated from my older age and attempts to redeem a past treasure.  “It’s easy,” he begins which makes me weary since I couldn’t even tighten up my neck size.

This calls for a bathroom visit to fully appreciate and absorb this lost craft.  I’m standing in my bathroom with my iPad showing the YouTube’s “easy bow tie making” video and duplicating his moves in my mirror realizing all the time that the mirror is the opposite of what I’m feeling around my neck.

“This is the hard part,” he says four steps further than I am watching myself in the mirror and thankful that I have a cocktail nearby.

It was a very attractive piece of string that I hoped to wear tomorrow.  It lays back now on the kitchen counter wondering to myself if a Goodwill recipient will have better luck at assembly.

I resign my bow-less tie-tieing to the resignation that I am able to write a beautiful funeral sermon for someone I’ve never met in 20 minutes, a Sunday sermon that leaves folks thinking about in 25 minutes.  (One extra cigarette for the Sunday sermons.)  I can listen and enjoy a story from an 80 year old that I’ve heard before and sincerely welcome a new employee wondering if this job is right for her or not.  I am able to small talk and banter about sports which I care nothing about and feel the joy when someone decides that it’s time for a change or celebrate a long time employee who enjoys his work.

My string will hang again tomorrow because I just can’t get the mystery of the string with multiple winds around a neck size that does not tighten.  John and Bud got it and I remember them for that.

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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