“Ugh, this is never going to work!” bellowed Todd yanking the tie from around his neck for the third time. “Who invented these things anyway?” He was going to attend his first social function at the small Christian college. It was the school’s annual “Sadie Hawkins Dinner.” Angela O’Sullivan, another freshman, asked Todd to be her date for the evening social. Todd had turned Angela down three times before the red-headed, Irish-tempered young lady convinced him he should go with her.
Rocking on the back two legs of his chair, Sam, Todd’s roommate prodded, “Better hurry up with that tie, she’ll be here in five minutes and you don’t what to keep her a waitin’.”
“Would you just hush for a minute? You’re making me nervous,” Todd shot back sharply. He was now on his fourth attempt of tying a single Windsor so both ends would meet evenly just above his black belt.
“Houston, we have a problem,” Sam chided. “I don’t believe that skinny back part is ‘pose to be dangling below the front that far.” Todd looked down and to his dismay the two ends were six inches apart. Ripping the tie from around his neck, Todd became more frustrated.
Resting his forehead on the mirror in front of him, “I can’t do this. Angela’s going to be here any minute and I can’t get this tie to work.” His frustration was interrupted with a knock on their door.
“Hey, Todd, it’s Jeff,” the voice yelled on the other side of the door. “Open up.” Todd took three steps and opened the door. Standing there in a brown pin-striped suit, white shirt and sand-colored tie was blond-haired Jeff.
“Why aren’t you dressed? The girls will be here any minute,” Jeff said.
“I can’t get this tie to tie right,” Todd replied.
Jeff responded, “Well, try a different tie that will match your suit.”
Slowly Sam put all four chair legs back on the floor. He went to his closet and pulled out a burgundy, white and silver striped tie. “Why don’t you try this one?”
“Hey, that’s a nice tie. I wouldn’t mind adding that one to my collection.” Jeff teased. Todd took the tie and put it around his neck. “Okay, Todd. Take the narrow end of the tie and pull it down to the third button on your shirt. Now take the tie and wrap it around the short side and through the opening toward the mirror. Straighten out the wrinkles. Now go underneath to the other side and wrap it around the other side. Straighten out those wrinkles, good.”
“Wow, this is going to look great,” Todd said smiling, “What do you call this knot?”
“It’s called a double Windsor,” replied Jeff, “Take the tie and go across the front to the other side and underneath. Yeah, like that. Now, come through the opening and tuck the tie just behind the fold you just made. Get rid of the wrinkles. Hold the knot with one hand and pull the tie down with the other. Great knot! Push the knot up closer to your neck. Nice job.” Todd was beaming ear to ear just as someone knocked on the door.
Jeff, who was standing near the door, opened it and there stood Bruce, the rumpled-haired, assistant dorm monitor. “Todd, Jeff your dates are waiting in the lob – by.” His voice trailed off as he panned down Todd’s necktie. “Dude, you’re going like that?”
“What’s wrong?” quizzed Todd.
“Your tie hangs a foot and a half below your belt,” Bruce responded. Todd and Jeff had concentrated on the knot and didn’t notice the length of the tie.
“I give up, it’s no use,” Todd said forlornly as he began to unfold the tie. Sam was seven inches taller and had loaned him an extra-long necktie.
Bruce responded, “Man, don’t worry. I have the perfect solution. I’ll be right back.” He ran to his room two doors down the hall. Within in a minute he returned with a yellow-gray checked tie. It had a loop already formed. “Put this over your head. Hold the back of tie with one hand and zip it up.” Todd did as Bruce instructed. ” Dude, you are ready to go.”
Putting on their jackets, Todd and Jeff rushed down the hallway. “Hey, guys you forgot your corsages,” Sam yelled, “Todd, where’s your shoes?” Todd stopped, looked down at one black sock and one navy blue.
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