I don’t even own one of these.

Being retired means never having to wear a tie. But I was a long way from retirement the last time I actually put on one of the damn things. How long? Let me share this story.


March 6, 1996: a significant date in my life for a number of reasons. First, it happened to be my 50th birthday. Second, in my role as feature writer for a local San Diego newsmagazine I had the assignment of interviewing the great Elie Wiesel…Holocaust survivor, Nobel Prize winner, author, humanitarian, and so much more. I cleaned up nicely that day, and I even—gasp!—wore a necktie. A person such as Mr. Wiesel deserved that kind of respect.

The third item of significance: it was the absolute last time in my life that I attached a necktie to my personage!

My bride says that my idea of “dressed up” is a shirt with no writing or pictures on it.

Never did like the blasted things before that, and the kind of work I did up until retiring in my late 60s allowed me to go tie-free. Who started that trend anyway? The times I had to go “formal” over the past quarter-century, my trusty turtleneck shirt and sport coat sufficed. I imagine that quite a few guys who work at home these days, compliments of the pandemic, are happy to be “unchained.” I’m curious: does anyone actually like having to tie one on?

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