I was cleaning up the downstairs yesterday, as well as thinking about things to get rid of and/or sell at our yard sale or even online at a yard sale…when I came to the ties that I used to wear to work everyday in my job as a Nursing Home Administrator. A LOT of them.
I always wondered how many ties I actually had. I never tried to count them before, just added to them as I got new ties and threw away ties that were no longer in good enough shape to wear in public. Old ties that got thrown away did not cancel out the newer ones as they came in, so the number kept getting larger. I have been wearing those ties for 35 years as a Nursing Home Administrator. Of course I don’t have the same ones I started out with all those years ago, but I have so many that it always surprises me how many there actually are!
I finished up the cleaning and sorting and throwing away and the setting aside for the yard sale and I decided…today is the day to deal with the ties!
My plan was to box them up in small lots and place them on the yard sale, and if they didn’t sell there, maybe try the online, and if that didn’t work…Goodwill or Salvation Army or Catholic Charities would get them. They are going one way or the other!
I don’t wear ties so much any more in this semi…or quasi retired state. Maybe I’ll never have call to wear one again. After all, ties are quickly becoming obsolete. Hardly anyone wears them anymore. They used to be the standard for white collar business, but they are quickly disappearing from the daily grind. Even bankers don’t wear them everyday like they used to. I think in most courts, lawyers are still required to wear them but not so much at the office any longer. And ministers, maybe a few still wear them, but as the population of ministers ages downward, ties are no longer needed in that field or in many others. In fact, ties seem to turn people off these days.
Speaking of turning people off, I have to talk about one other place where ties are pretty much still a staple of the “office”. Politics! Don’t get me started. Still, when the politicians come back to their districts these days, they more and more dress down to mingle with the “little people”. To be more like them so we little people can relate to them more easily. So we won’t view them as a stuffed “suit”.
All in all though, ties are disappearing from the day to day world. Maybe they will have a nostalgic resurgence some day like so many other things, but I don’t believe they will ever be as standard as they used to be. And I don’t think they will ever go totally extinct either, and here’s my logic for that.
When I first started in my job as a Nursing Home Administrator, I began wearing a jacket and tie. Of course I wore one to the interview for the job as well. One tends to put on their best face, best attitude, and their best…costume…when they go for a job interview. At least most serious job seekers. But there is the word…costume. I believe that one could make a serious argument that the word should be…uniform, but I think costume says it more clearly.
While it is true that suit and tie, or jacket and tie and slacks used to be a uniform for the white collar businessman from all areas of business, it has given way to that uniform being used mostly as a costume these days. Like the judge who wears that silly robe costume and sets him or herself to be some kind of superior being to all the minions dressed in regular clothes and suits and the like, that’s how the suit has become…a costume for a role someone will be playing in their profession.(and take a look at a British courtroom…whew!)
I too thought of my suit and tie as a uniform when I began working, but it soon dawned on me that…it was more a costume. And it was the tie that really always put the finishing touch on the costume! It had not been too long before I began wearing that tie every day that I had been in jeans and long hair every day of my past life. I soon realized the value of that tie in my day to day world. People see that jacket and tie…and automatically give a person a degree of respect whether you deserved it or not. No matter how much it has been preached to all of us that we should not judge a book by its cover…we still do! A tie is part of a great costume. A costume that grants respectability.
It does not seem at all odd to me that one of the most steadfast remaining holdouts for wearing the tie on a mostly daily basis are…lawyers…and politicians…many of whom are also lawyers. Of course there are the few other areas where a tie is still formally worn, and they know what they are doing. That tie carries with it a certain degree of respectability! Are you seeing that now. You slap on a tie and “poof”… Respectable.
That also lends credence to the costume aspect of the tie and respectability and the changing times. It used to be that when politicians came back to their districts, they ALWAYS continued to wear their costume to garner that degree of respect from their constituents. But as the suit and tie becomes more and more obsolete due to it no longer carrying the same degree of respect for many, now the politician is expected to get in the costume of the ‘native’ in his district. Dressing down to appear more like them, to be one of the guys, instead of some stuffed suit from the capital who has no idea whats going on with the people back home.
The tie is becoming more and more obsolete because people have finally begun to see it for what it actually is. Just a part of a costume. The thing is though, that even though we realize more now that it is a part of a costume…we still have that idea etched in to our minds that…somehow…their is respectability attached to it. So the tie STILL works…even though we know.
Maybe I digress though from the story of my own ties and my becoming un-tied for the first time in the 35 years of my career as a Nursing Home Administrator. But I find that I have also used a 100o plus words already in explanation. I think I may have to make this simply…Un-Tied Part One.