My oldest daughter made a comment about how I resemble The Librarian in my mannerisms and philosophy on things, except that I didn’t wear bowties anymore.
That was good enough inspiration for me to open up my dusty drawer of memory-imbued bowties I have collected, bought, been given by students, and gifted by friends over the years. During my time as a Middle School teacher, the bowtie became my talisman and an important part of my costume that I would put on every morning (and squirrels… but that’s a different blog post). My students would voice their disappointment when they showed up to class and I had on a “regular” tie. I started receiving handmade bowties made out of duct tape, squirrel-themed bowties, and everything in between. My official portrait done by the 8th graders in art class included the bowtie as well. I taught numerous young people (of all gender identifications) how to tie a bowtie. High schoolers would come by my graduation before picture day or a school dance or graduation to have me help them tie their bowties.
So I was incredibly sad and then frustrated this morning when I went to tie one of my favorite bowties and realized the muscle memory was gone. It was as if I’d been a concert pianist for years and then I sat down to play Fur Elise and had no idea where to move my hands.
I stopped myself, looked myself in the mirror, and resolved then to never forget how to tie a bowtie. The muscle memory slowly came back, and I made a pretty good knot.
It’s time for me to get back to where I once belonged and not forget the power of the bowtie.