Tying up loose ends

Over time, life changes in many ways. Some I can adapt to easier than others.
Now, don’t start thinking I’m headed off into some deep philosophical discussion about the meaning of life.

No, I’m talking about the large cardboard box in the floor of my closet. It’s been sitting in the same place since last May when the movers brought all of our stuff from Alabama.
It’s full of ties. You know what I mean, the things men used to wear to work (if they worked in an office) or out to a nice restaurant or, at least, to church and funerals.
I’ve only had on a tie six or eight times since I came to New Albany. The tone was set the first day when I walked into the Gazette office wearing a nifty navy suit and a red power tie.
Although I had been in the newspaper business for 40 years, I was a little nervous because I had gotten lost trying to find the Gazette office. And I was late.
By the time I walked in the door, the vice president of our company, who was there to introduce me, already had all of the Gazette employees assembled in the front reception area.
“Here’s Wayne now,” Dan said. “He’s a little overdressed.”
I looked around the room. No one, including Dan, was wearing a tie, or a suit for that matter. I can take a hint (well, only once in a while, according to my wife); off came the tie.
Oh, I wore one several times to church, until I noticed that at this particular church, the only people wearing suits and ties were over 80. So I took the hint (see, that’s two).
The problem is I like ties. I even like suits. Until I met Jenny a dozen years ago, I always wore a suit to work. I tried to keep at least five so I could rotate them through the week. Jenny hinted (more than once, as I recall) that I would look a little more with it if I wore a sport coat some of the time.
So I bought a navy blazer and a couple others. But mostly they hung in the closet because suits were easier to put on in the morning. There’s no issue figuring out which pants match.
But I digress … back to the story. Every morning I see the box and feel guilty. I haven’t even put my tie rack up on the closet wall. Well, actually I have two tie racks, and 75 ties or so.
And they keep coming. On my birthday and at Christmas, I usually get a couple from my grown children who live in Pittsburgh and northern Virginia. Ties are easy to buy, and they know I like them. I haven’t had the heart to tell them I hardly ever wear one anymore.
Last weekend I was debating (Jenny says the word is “procrastinating”) about whether to put up two tie racks or give away at least half my ties. Why put up two tie racks when I seldom wear a tie? But I like my ties.
The box is still on the floor.

T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at publisher@newalbanygazette.com.