The Today Show: Educational television at its best

I no longer wear a necktie unless specifically required to do so. They are ridiculous artifices of the past and literally (and perhaps figuratively) nooses around the neck of anyone who wears one.

If you enjoy wearing ties or like the look, more power to you.

If you are forced to wear a tie but despise them, my condolences. You take at least take solace in the fact that sales of neckties and the wearing of them have both been in a steep decline for the last 20 years. Like the hat that men once wore whenever they left the house, ties will one day be a thing of the past. 

In the past ten years, I have worn a necktie exactly three times: 

My sister-in-law's wedding (I was in the bridal party) and two weddings that I officiated and was specifically asked to wear a suit and tie.

But when I wore ties more often, when working in banks and managing McDonald's restaurants, I had to tie them daily. Oddly, I learned to tie a Windsor knot by watching The Today Show one morning when I was in high school. I happened to own exactly one tie at the time, and being a Boy Scout, I saw the segment as an opportunity to learn a new knot. I grabbed the tie, tossed it around my neck, and followed the steps described on television. 

Two minutes later, I was able to tie my own necktie.

Sesame Street taught me about community and the alphabet. 3-2-1 Contact taught me about science. But it was The Today Show circa 1988 that taught me a practical skill that remained useful to me for many years.   

Though I don't wear neckties anymore, I still tie them often for my students before graduation ceremonies, concerts, and school picture day. A small part of me hates to do it, feeling like I'm helping indoctrinate these kids into this bizarre and dying custom of wrapping patterned polyester around their necks because it supposedly looks good.