I need to confess: the other day, I wore a bowtie.

In my defense, it was night, it was dark and no more than 423 people, I believe, saw me. At least that’s my hope.

Still, I did wear a bowtie, which, you know, is officially banned by the Geneva Conventions for being dangerously silly. In addition, it’s illegal in several states and researchers have found that second-hand bowties could be harmful if seen too often.

(If it’s any consolation, or any additional defense, the bowtie I wore was the kind of bowtie that has Velcro and just snaps into place behind your neck, so I didn’t have to tie it. Because if I did have to tie it, I would still be working on tying it and would have missed dinner and sleeping for the last five days.)

I wore the bowtie for a fancy, dress-up event, and since I don’t have many fancy, dress-up clothes, I thought a bowtie would distract people’s attention from the rest of what I was wearing.

Some people look fine in bowties. Some people, like me, look like ornaments on the hoods of cars. While I acknowledge that bowties, unlike regular ties, do have the great advantage of not dangling in your soup when you are bending over eating soup, they can make people question your judgment about serious matters, like the designated hitter rule.

Still, I went ahead and wore one anyway, and I know what most of you are thinking now: Who knew he actually had a bowtie? As a matter of fact, I have lots of old clothes I haven’t worn in 35 or more years.

While hunting down my bowtie, and rummaging through my closet and dresser drawers, I found:

  • My wedding suit. It was right next to my wedding socks and my wedding underwear.
  • My college PE class sweatshirt. Yes, I did try it on. The arm still fit. Well, just barely
  • A pair of two-tone men’s dress shoes that looked like I was almost ready to begin a tap dance version of Ave Maria.
  • Several tee shirts from old 5K races that I didn’t run from places I’ve never been.
  • Two Nehru jackets.
  • One Nehru hat.
  • Nehru himself.
  • Three pairs of paisley-plaid pants. While I found it extremely difficult to imagine that I had ever actually worn any of these pants, in public, the evidence is overwhelming that I must have. Because why would anyone have snuck them into my closet just to embarrass me?
  • An ascot. At least I think it was an ascot. On the other hand, I’m not actually sure what an ascot is. Then again, just as easily could have been a weirdly shaped and colored handkerchief.

The good news? I didn’t find any suspenders, so there’s no proof at all that I actually ever wore suspenders.