I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell hate to have to wear a tie. To me, it is akin to a multi-colored noose that serves only as a food magnet. Curiously, the price of the tie seems magically to be directly proportional to the amount of food it attracts and the staining power of said food, particularly mayonnaise and other oil-based edible gookum. My dry cleaner has put a kid through college removing “lunch” from my ties.
I have often wondered just who should be blamed for inflicting this useless fashion accessory on men all over the world. It turns out that it wasn’t a single person at fault, but rather a regiment of Croatian soldiers who, after kicking the Turks’ asses in 1660, marched into Paris to be presented to King Louis XIV. They were wearing brightly colored silk handkerchiefs around their necks, which was probably a custom borrowed from the cloths worn by Roman orators to warm the vocal chords.
King Louis, a fashion-minded guy, was so taken with the colorful adornments that he created his own Regiment of Royal Cravattes (the word cravat, being derivative of the word Croat), the members of which decorated their necks, as did the Croats. The practice of wearing these damnable things traveled to England and eventually to the United States, thank you very much.
Who among us hasn’t cursed a blue streak, when trying to dress in time to make an appointment, has had to tie and re-tie the damned necktie a half dozen times to get the length of the front and back pieces just right so as to be the proper distance from one’s belt? Why??? The only “rational” reason I have ever heard for wearing a tie is that it hides the buttons on one’s shirt. This strikes me as tie-industry baloney, because what’s so bad about buttons?
Fortunately, I don’t have to wear the damned things anywhere near as often as
I used to, which suits me just fine.
Oh, and a final word to the Croats and their multi-hued neck rags. Bite me!