informal essays

Bow? Neck? Twist?

Originally Published: August 4, 2007 (Age 18)

There is a piece of clothing which serves no legitimate or justifiable purpose, yet is considered a necessary accessory for any significant occasion.

Unlike the pants, which cover the legs, or the belt, which protects the pants, or the socks, which cover the feet, or the shoes, which protect the feet, or the shirt, which covers the chest, or the coat, which protects the shirt, the long piece of cloth known as the tie accomplishes nothing useful while dangling inconveniently and dangerously. When driving, it fights with the seatbelt. When eating, it fights with the food. And if this extra appendage is removed for the sake of convenience, it must be carried awkwardly until the ending of whatever ceremony allegedly merited its use.

There is nothing intrinsically aesthetic about a colored appendange hanging from a man’s neck. Yet it has somehow attained such an esteemed status that restaurants such as McDonald’s require their employees to wear velcro versions, as if its imaginary professional image is worth the neverending joys of tie-in-ketchup, tie-in-mustard, or tie-in-[insert the latest sauce they’ve added to the menu… now there’s a chipotle bottle for the chipotle snack wraps].

I do not despise ties nearly as much as I used to, and will glady don one if society deems it appropriate for an extra, artificial dose of professionalism and handsomeness. Yet I still find it amusing that it is so ridiculous and impractical. But then, most formalities are.