Known Johnson

July 28, 2005

Pretty tied up

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 10:33 pm

Today was one of the rare “shirt and tie” days at work. We had visitors, whom we would most likely never see, but regardless everyone in the company had to dress up. Shirts and ties it is (and while we do normally wear shirts (you know, no shirt/no shoes/no business) they’re usually of the more casual variety, but if you know me, even “business casual” is “dressed up” to me.) It’s pretty rare that I’ll actually choose to put on a shirt that features buttons as its main method of closing, preferring the much more effective and efficient t-shirt and jeans/shorts to any other outfit. So I reluctantly got out one of the . . . three? I think . . . ties that I own this morning, buttoned up a long-sleeve shirt – AND tucked it in (this is an extreme rarity for me) – and then stressed out trying to remember how to tie a tie. I won’t describe the situation but it involved some creative usages of swear words and a ritual slamming-down of the tie onto the counter. But hey, when I did get it going, I did look pretty dapper, so I had that going for me. I cleans up real good.

I can understand wearing a tie in a business where I’m seeing customers, making sales, etc. – where my appearance is actually part of my job. But design work? Please. No one sees me, and those who do just don’t care. I could make an argument as an artistic person of sorts that I need comfortable clothing to let my artistic spirit soar, or some such crap, but I know that’s crap. It’s just uncomfortable and foreign to me, and, therefore, the day is long and slow, with much of it spent fidgeting and running my finger under my collar absent-mindedly. I have no idea what that gesture is supposed to do, yet I do it just the same as every other guy suddenly forced into wearing a tie. It doesn’t really relieve any of the annoyance and probably just makes things worse. It was annoying before, but now that I’ve run my finger around my collar and found no relief, I’m even more annoyed.

The thing about tucked in shirts and ties, the whole deal, that I don’t get, is how some people seem to be so at home in it. I feel very stiff, and I suppose I must look as uncomfortable as I feel. To me, this method of dressing seems created to automatically look dissheveled. I bend over one time and the back of the shirt bunches out. I stretch my arms up too high and the sides bunch out. Then it all slides forward somehow and I wind up with a crumpled and wrinkled mass of shirt up front, which I then have to go to the bathroom to straighten out. And then, for just a little while, I look pretty good again. Until I bend, or sit crooked, or reach. Maybe there’s a trick I’m missing, like a shirt-garter that keeps it constantly pulled down as those goofy sock-garter things old men wear to keep their socks up. All I know is that it all starts out okay, and then I quickly start to look like I’ve been out carousing all night. It’s not a look that works particularly well for me. I’m anything but a carouser.

The great thing is, tomorrow morning I get to repeat this. Maybe I’ll have kept the memory of tying a tie fresh in my mind so it goes more smoothly tomorrow morning. I’m not counting on this, but I am counting on a few more creative combinations of swear words. And maybe some countertop tie-slamming.

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