Thursday, February 7, 2013

Casual Friday

            “Mother,” said I, “I will never forget the day my father taught me how to tie a Half Windsor and a Full Windsor tie knot.  I remember how kind he was.  He stood behind me, reached his arms around me, and I watched in the mirror as he tied the tie in front of me; first the Full Windsor, then the Half Windsor.  I can still recall the fragrance of Caron Pour Un Homme[i] which he wore.  It was a defining moment in my childhood because it taught me that it is important how things are done and I could see that importance as the knots took shape.  And that is not all Mother, I also knew at the core of my being that I was loved.”

            Mother looked at me quizzically, “And what are you driving at Alfred?”

            “Well, Mother, it’s this.  One of the younger men at our store requested that we have a Casual Friday when our employees could dress in sport shirts and jeans.”

            “Yes?” said Mother.

            “Well, Mother, I looked at his tie and I realized that it wasn’t even tied with a Four in Hand Knot but just a simple once around the hoop and dunk the end in the hole; and I realized that his father never showed him how to tie his tie, not that his tie was in good taste to begin with.”

            Mother looked at me expectantly and said, “And…?”

            “Well, Mother, I have decided to have Perk Up Fridays and I am actually going to teach our younger men how to tie their ties.”

            “Alfred,” said Mother, “what wonderful idea.  Rather like looking one’s best on Sundays.”

            “Yes, Mother, that’s what gave me the idea.  I was looking across the Chancel at our priest, the chalice bearers and acolytes and thinking how very fine it was see them in vestments and not in street clothes.  They were actually dressed as though they were doing something special, and it was at that moment that we began to sing Schubert’s Sanctus, “Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory,” and I thought to myself, so that’s what holy means.”

            “Well,” said Mother, softly laying her silver teaspoon by the side of her saucer, “you have quite surprised me Alfred, but it raised another issue.  What about the people in the congregation?”

            “Well, Mother, I guess it’s like our customer base.  You may not like the way they dress but don’t try to tell them what to do.  You won’t make any sales that way.”

            “Alfred,” said Mother, “You are incorrigible! Whatever will I do with you?”

            “Well,” said I, “you might start by passing the sugar.”

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, O come let us adore Him.”  The Book of Common Prayer.

[i] Alfred has decided to carry Caron Pour Un Homme in his store.  As an old classic cologne it has Top Notes of Lavender, Rosemary, Bergamot, and Lemon.  Middle Notes of Clary Sage, Rose, Rosewood, and Cedarwood, and Base Notes of Vanilla, Tonka, Musk, and Moss.  He may decide to make it available for internet sales.

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