Cutting Ties

I have a plastic bin full of neckties. Every time I want to wear a particular tie, I must navigate through the tangled web within the bin. This takes time but more importantly makes a mess which I have to hear about from Lynnette when I leave the ties strewn about the closet because the process took up to much time. I must get on the road by 5:15, after all.

It’s been a long time coming, but gone through a culling process which has resulted in the removal of several ties. They will no longer be part of the work rotation and as such will be memorialized here, in their respective groupings.

1Tie Tier One: The ones Matty bought after I graduated from Damien I don’t know why Matty purchased these South Park ties. I don’t know that he was ever a particularly huge fan of the show (now if Paul was wont to spend money on ties, I am sure I’d be posting pictures of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel and The OC ties). What I do know is that when I was hired to teach at Damien in the summer of 2002, I went through the family’s tie collection and these two were conspicuous by their what-the-hellness. Early in my teaching career (because I was still young) I wore the black tie. Believe it or not, wearing this tie did not convince my students to respect my authoritah. I have never worn the purple tie, and barring a “South Park Tie” Day at school, I can’t imagine ever wearing either of them again.

2Tie Tier Two: Ties that I’ve accumulated simply by working at Damien Little known fact: teenagers leave their stuff all over the place. This picture does no justice to the amount of ties that have been left and unclaimed in my classroom. I would frequently loan these ties to students. Sometimes I would get them back, sometimes, I wouldn’t. My favorite tie-related story: I once lent a tie to a student. He graduated in 2008. I never got the tie back. I totally forgot about it. Two years later, that student’s brother arrived in my class. I was in the middle of a lecture when I looked at him. “IS THAT MY TIE?” I squealed mid-sentence. He looked at me with a mix of confusion and irritation. How the hell was he supposed to know, right? “Is it a Calvin Klein?” I asked. He flipped the tie around and yes, it was. I think I said his brother’s name in anger. But the best part of the story is I never got the tie back from the younger brother, either.

3Tie Tier Three: Papa Joe’s and Grandpa Higa’s hand-me-downs To be fair, both of my grandfathers bequeathed many more ties to my brothers and me. Over time, they’ve wilted and fallen away because they were mostly older than my parents. The tie in the middle of this picture has long been a staple of my work wardrobe, suiting the entire range of brown pants, matching white, gray, and brown shits. The fraying has simply become too obvious to ignore and it is with much sadness that I let it go. I still have several ties from my grandfathers – a blue and pink one that looks like cell division, and a heathered blue tie that Lynnette called hidayous (Halili, ’98), which is the term we use to describe exceptionally hideous items. Holding a position above them all, however, is the blue tie with light blue lines and accents that Grandpa Higa wore to my wedding. I will never let that one go.

4Tie Tier Four: You-know-exactly-why-I-bought-these-ties-but-I-don’t-know-why-I-bought-them-because-I-never-wear-them I mean, yeah, the Mets. I can’t remember the exact circumstances under which I purchased either of these ties, but I am fairly certain both were relatively cheap. That would have placed me in a position where I was morally obligated to buy them because they are both in the distinctive Mets colorway. Ironically – or perhaps predictably – I don’t own an actual Mets tie. From time to time I scour the internet looking for one, but I am put off by what I deem as an unflattering design (hidayous and therefore unsuitable for use as a representation of the Mets) or a price that would require me to wear it everyday regardless of whether or not it matched my shirt and paints – just to get my money’s worth.

5Tie Tier Five: Ties of curious origin I can’t pin down where I got either of these ties, but I know for sure that I will not wear them. First, I have something against ties with circles on them. I don’t know what it is. I suppose it might have something to do with the fact that I believe straight lines are sleek in appearance and a tie with circles might subconsciously remind others that I myself am round. Second, the sage tie is unusually thin. For reasons I do not understand because I was never a contestant on Project Runway, the tie appears to be missing filler or to be made of material that is too flimsy for practical use. If you feel an urge to call me a princess or high-maintenance, I won’t fight you.

6Tie Tier Six: The O.G.s These are the oldest ties in my collection. They date back to my freshman year at Damien. Last thing’s first: the plaid tie on the right is an American Eagle brand piece. Considering American Eagle Outfitters never even had a store in Hawaii until after I graduated from college, I don’t know where my mom got the tie from. There was another one like it, but in red and navy, that died a quicker death because those stains didn’t blend in as well. So then this navy blue tie. I wore it maybe twice the entire time I was at Damien because I didn’t like it. Back then, my mom bought all of my clothing. Not wearing this tie was one of the only venues of civil disobedience available to me. My mom bought me things like maroon and turquoise polo shirts and mustard-colored pants. So for those of you scoring at home, I wore ketchup-colored shirts with mustard-colored pants all over loafers with tassels. It really wouldn’t have made a difference if there were girls at Damien then, none of them would have spoken to me.

All of these ties will be donated, and it is my sincere hope that they find their way onto the neck of a person willing to wear them. So…

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