Can You Tie a Bow Tie?

It occurs to me that maybe God made bow ties—or likes to have me wear one every once in a while—so that I’ll know how to ask for help.

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Why are bow ties so impossible to tie? I wear one once or twice a year and each time I find myself stymied.

I used to know how to do it. Back in high school I was once in a show where I had to tie a bow tie backstage between scenes in 60 seconds. No problem. I could even do it without a mirror. Not now.

The other day I was tying my bow tie at the office—or rather, trying to tie it. I stared at my reflection in the window, making the loop and then working on the rabbit ears (as we used to call them), hoping for something cheerful and spiffy.

I couldn’t do it. I found myself squirming and twisting my torso, as though that would help, tugging at the silk loop without ever pulling it through. What a failure. Don’t tell me I should just go buy one of those pre-tied ties. That would be cheating. They always look fake to me, like a tie for a Ken doll.

Finally, I asked my colleague Amy if she could help. She helps Edward with his bow ties all the time. “Sure,” she said. I sat on her desk and she undid the mess that was hanging around my neck and started over. In less than a minute she had created a masterpiece. A perfect butterfly at my throat, making me a dandy for the day.

It occurred to me that maybe God made bow ties—or likes to have me wear one every once in a while—so that I’ll know how to ask for help. In other words, it’s not the tie that makes the man, it’s the humility that really clothes him. 

Next time you see some guy in a bow tie, a real bow tie, ask him who tied it. 
 

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

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