In Search of the Perfect Tie

madeleine - mitch's tie small.jpg

MADELEINE: I’ve gotten used to that fact that every weekend is taken up with wedding tasks – Excel grids, thank you notes, and table assignments.

Today was no different — it was time to pick out a tux for Mitch and my dad. I figure that this will be a breeze- we don’t have a bridal party, and my dad is a fast shopper. Mitch insists that he has a clear idea in his head as to what he wants to wear, and despite his protests, I come along for the trip.

We arrive at a tuxedo store in midtown, per the suggestion of my wedding planner extraordinaire, right on time for our appointment. We see a series of friendly sales associates come out to greet customers and we happily expect ours to be as gregarious. But instead, out comes Victor, a stern, intense man furiously eating a green apple, who does not look happy to see us. He beckons us into the back with nothing more than a wave and a grunt.

Mitch is up first. He wants to rent a tux. Probably. He wants to wear a vest. Or maybe an ascot. He wants to wear a tie. Maybe silver. Maybe pink. He wants his jacket to have two buttons. Maybe three. Maybe two. This is going to be a long afternoon.

Victor brings out the rental shirt. Mitch puts on the size XXL see-through $5 shirt, and poof! He’s a waiter at Denny’s. Mitch goes pale, does a panic-lap around the store, and starts to freak out. He hates the shirt, hates the store, and wants to leave immediately.

My mom and dad pipe in with 1,000 suggestions, none of which help the situation. I jump in and suggest that Mitch buy the shirt and tie instead of renting. OK, good idea.

Now it’s time to pick out a tie. Posing in front of the mirror, Mitch proceeds to try on every single silver and gray tie in the store.

In the midst of this elongated process, my dad decides its time to buy his tux. In five minutes flat, he has picked out his tux, tie, suspenders, and shirt, and Victor, who has warmed up a bit, finishes his measurements, and runs the charge through on my dad’s credit card. My dad returns to his seat, completely finished.

Meanwhile, Mitch is still in front of the mirror, with 15 silver and gray ties flung over his shoulder and around his neck.

Through an act of divine intervention, I notice a stack of black tie boxes hidden in a corner. I open one, and find a beautiful gray tie inside. When I show it to Mitch, his eyes light up- this is the one! Now things start to pick up, and within moments, Mitch has a vest picked out. Even Victor’s mouth turns upwards in what I assume is a smile.

Two hours later, we leave the tuxedo store, happy with the selections, and even happier that it’s over.

We get home, and Mitch opens the tie box to get another look. The box is empty. This means another trip to the store for Mitch, but I’m opting out this time. My job is done.