I went to the opera a week and a half ago. Saw Opera Colorado's colorful production of Bizet's "The Pearl Fishers."
I wore a relatively boring navy blue pin-striped suit. I originally bought the suit to attend a funeral.
As I was dressing for the opera, some imp or devil crept into my mind. When I went to pick a tie for the evening, a wicked gleam sparked in my eye.
I didn't want to wear just some boring old tie, some sameness of a silk. I suddenly got the urge to wear something catchy and unwearable. Something you would NOT wear to the opera.
I thought of Jon and some of the ties I had seen him wear. Maybe to the opera, maybe just to other events? No, definitely to the opera. He had worn some pretty wild ties. I think.
So suddenly the event became for me more than a mere opera. It was an Ugly Tie Contest.
And, looking through my tie rack I found it: the winner!
No. Now I could not wear THIS tie, could I? To the opera?
What I had found was a joke tie. I had picked it up in a thrift store in the 1980s sometime. It was 4 inches wide at its widest point, and had a busy repeating geometrical pattern of shit brown, French's mustard, and lime Jell-o green. Uhhh-glee!!
This was a tie you just did not wear. It was a gag. Last time I wore it--let's face it, the ONLY time I ever wore it--was as part of a Halloween costume. I was going as one of the undead, a zombie straight out of the ground. I wore really arresting ghastly grey-skin makeup, the worst old hobo torn-up clothes I could find. . .and this tie. I even went outside and smeared dirt on my outfit!
So here was the tie I decided to wear to the opera. It looked like a tight, busy, geometric vomit job.
I put the tie on. I repeated to myself my line about this being not just an opera but an "ugly tie contest."
And I hied myself to meet Jon and Donna at dinner before the opera.
They did not notice my tie. I had to point it out to them.
Jon made a half-hearted show of saying the tie was ugly, but his basic attitude was that I was making something out of nothing. Donna didn't think the tie was so bad, really.
It was dark there in Little India restaurant, and I told them that it must be the lighting. You really had to see this tie in some light. This is what I said.
But in the light of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, the distinct lack of buzz about my tie continued. Swells streamed past. No one gave my tie a second glance. Donna still said it really was not that bad. Kind of good, actually.
And that is when it hit me: things change. Fashions change. It hit me like a fist. This tie, which had been nothing but a Halloween joke hanging in my closet for all these years, was now acceptable to wear. In public.
To the opera, for goodness' sake!
I thought of my fashion-conscious friend Jennifer. Thought she would love this story, how the Tie of the Living Dead was now acceptable opera wear.
What a wacky world!