Misanthropy is a wonderful thing. When you stop caring about others, and by extension what they think about you, your morning routine steadily slims down to nothing. I used to shave my face. Now, I have a beard. I used to comb my hair. Now, I buzz it short. I persist in bathing, but only because it dissuades the chiggers from taking up residence in the aforementioned facial mass. I am completely unable to fasten a necktie, and contrary to what I have been routinely told, this has yet to have any substantial negative impact on my life’s trajectory. Then again, I majored in English, a field where the code of professional dress oscillates back and forth between this:
(The moment of oscillation generally occurs upon realizing the beret isn’t edible.)
Be that as it may, all of the above I offer not to prove that I am lazy and/or unpleasant, which I undoubtedly am. Rather, it is my feeble attempt to solicit pity on behalf of the individual who, in a staggering underestimation of my incompetence, invited me to stand up in his wedding – conditional on my willingness to wear a bowtie.
Or, as turned out to be the case, conditional on my ability to wear a bowtie. Now, my neck is not abnormal in any way, shape, or form – it is soft, supple, and fits comfortably into the palms of most serial killers. On its annual performance review, it receives generally high marks and consistently exceeds expectations in terms of keeping my head aloft. My hands, however… I swear to god, I do not know what is wrong with that department. To date, they’ve proven to be useful for exactly two things – opening beer and inputting the thirty lives code for Contra.
So when it came time to turn this:
I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when I ended up with something closer to this:
So, it was time for plan B – swearing and alcohol. Neither fundamentally altered the state of the bowtie, but I felt a lot !@#$in’ better.
Plan C then – YouTube.
The first video I encountered was titled, and I quote, “If you watch only one video on how to tie a bowtie, watch this one,” which I foolishly selected. In truth, I wanted to watch zero videos on how to tie a bowtie but was propelled onward by some perverse combination of obligation and inebriation. Suffice it to say, the video did not take because, at the three-minute mark, they had not made it around to even starting to tie the bowtie, and I had lost interest.
Lost interest, in this context, is code for “passed out.”
When I came to, wiped the drool off my keyboard, and remembered what the hell this mass of paisley was half-assedly wrapped around my neck, I realized it was time to get serious. So, returning to YouTube, I pulled this bad boy up and resolved to watch it.
However, I quickly determined that ten solid minutes of video instruction from a gentleman with an English accent was above my pay grade, which, as we established earlier in this piece, is approximately minimum wage. Two minutes in, and it rapidly became apparent I might die of old age before we concoct some form of knot, let alone anything that resembled a properly fastened tie. That and I was bothered because the entirety of the video appeared to be of his neck. After a couple minutes, one starts to wonder whether you are watching his Adam’s apple or if his Adam’s apple is watching you. That and Rule 34 of the internet dictates neck fetishism is a thing, and somewhere there are websites featuring content we won’t speculate about linking back to this video. Returning to the point, the only thing the video managed to prove was that this old guy who pointed a camera at his neck could tie a bowtie, whereas I – still – could not.
This pretty much takes us to plan D – text groom until he marvels at what a loser he asked to stand up in his wedding and delivers the bowtie pre-tied.
It wasn’t exactly a glorious victory for misanthropy. Then again, they seldom are.