Saturday, October 22, 2005

Neck Ties: Leaving a Legacy

I have a lot of neck ties. A few years ago, I whittled my collection down to about the thirty I can't live without. I can't seem to part with them, despite that fact that I only have occasion to wear the things about once a year. Work is now five day casual (we even have an occasional "Blue Jean Day"), and to wear a tie to church makes you an odd ball.

So, they wait in the darkness of my closet for a moment to strut their stuff.

Well, last night, they got that moment. And what a brief moment it was. But let me back up a bit. You see, I took the day off work yesterday because we had a friend graciously offer to take all four of our kids not only for the day, but over night. This meant an entire day for my wife and I to enjoy some peace and quiet. Unfortunately, four hours after dropping them off, one of them came down with a fever.

So, I went back and picked him (and him alone!) up. Our plans for a romantic evening out were foiled. Our son, who is three-and-a-half, laid on my wife that evening as we watched reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond. In the episode, Deborah had bought a tie as a Christmas gift. My son saw it and said, "What's a tie?"

My heart swelled. What's a tie? Wow! This is one of those father-son moments. Opportunities to pass on the legacy of manhood from one generation to the next. I figured I wouldn't have one such moment until my oldest needs to shave. (Plug in the Remington, turn on the switch, and scrub your face with the razor.)

So, I rushed into my bedroom, pulled out one of my favorite neck ties, and brought it out for a hands on demonstration. "This is a tie," I announced, draping it around my neck. He wasn't paying attention. Instead, there was a far more interesting commercial on.

"Look, Noah. A tie! See? You do this with it?" And I deftly tied the tie into a perfect little knot, tightening it up to my neck. "See? Noah?"

He looked at me, briefly, then said, "My tummy hurts."

Oh well. So much for leaving a legacy. My little magic trick of, "Now you see the knot, now you don't," didn't seem to impress him either.

So, I guess I'll have to wait for him to sprout a beard.

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