Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The story of a tie

This seems like the sort of sap-filled story that would appear in a chain email (“Don’t delete!” “Send this to ten friends!” “Send this along and save a life!” “No, save ten lives!” “No, save ten lives with lots of exclamation points AND CAPITAL LETTERS!!!!!”), but I’m posting it anyway because it’s my story, and I like it, and it’s a nice way to say Thank You to a good person.

The tie pictured above is nothing out of the ordinary; if I remember correctly, it was given to me by a family member who was shopping in a not-too-expensive store and decided to scout for new ties for me. [Ties are my only means of haberdashic self-expression; beyond ties I stick to white shirts and charcoal gray pants, to avoid the nuisance of matching clothes.] It probably ran 15.99, 19.99, or something along those lines.

I wore the tie a few times, but fell out of love with it fairly quickly. It seemed very plain, and the texture was not terribly smooth. It wasn’t out-of-fashion (I think?), but there was nothing interesting about it, either. The bottom got dirty once and I nearly decided to trash the thing rather than pay for it to be cleaned, but I am congenitally incapable of throwing out anything that might, someday, in some way, have some minor use.

And so it was that this poor article of clothing, אבן מאסו הבונים, languished in the back of my closet until one Sunday evening about a year ago when I was about to go to a big program and needed to grab a tie. I was pre-occupied with nervousness about the program, and I reached into the closet without thought. This tie emerged. I gave it a doubtful look, but put it on and dropped it from my mind.

I walked into the program, and saw a friend/congregant who smiled and whose first comment was, “That’s a nice tie!”

The blue and black fabric doesn’t look any different today than it did last year; it is no more in or out of style, its texture is still the same. But when I look at it I remember my friend’s comment, her smile, and the fact that she noticed a tie I barely noticed, let alone liked.

I haven’t seen my friend since I left Allentown, but every time I wear this tie I think of her.

"Memorable" need not mean travelling cross-country to see someone, or buying an expensive gift. It can also mean a kind word, or noticing someone else...


  1. That is a nice story. It's small stories like this that really stick in my mind and make an impression.

  2. a reminder how powerful words are

  3. lovely and so true! small moments, comments, words *can* be meaningful and treasure-worthy. and, btw, this could totally be an e-m forward! :)