Elevator Musing

Nice man punched my floor button this morning. In the sensory deprivation chamber of this elevator I looked him over. Gray hair, gray suit, and tie. “That’s a very peaceful tie.”

He smiles, so my mouth keeps going. “It’s blue…not scary red. Red says ‘I’m going to cut you.’”

The other woman with us looks at me with horror. But he is laughing. I keep talking “Tie culture is like war paint.”

It’s his floor now so he exits laughing and mutters,  “It’s true.”

Madam Horrified leaves too, but now I am ready to ponder this correlation.

Ties really can be as obvious as a flag, if you want them to be.  The “Power Tie” is a red tie…but what if power is treated with greater subtlety? What if the true power move was to strike like a ninja?

Would that be no tie at all?

Or maybe like jiu jitsu, which is supposed to use the opponent’s strength and arrogance against him, a nebbishy brown tie would lull the person being audited or interrogated into letting something slip.

One might think, “Look at this fool! He has a boring tie…and look, is that a gravy stain? HA! I am so superior to him I have nothing to fear. AHAHA!”

And then he is slapped with a policy violation and a month of working weekends.


Fear the stealth tie

However, where does that leave us ladies? I was done on my floor, and then took the stairs down one flight. I heard a woman coming up.

Oh. This one. Very central casting—young, beautiful, long blond hair with waves on the end, and always in a pencil skirt. With her two-dimensional figure, I can understand it but I don’t have to like it. She talking on her cell, so I continue to be invisible as we pass.

I notice she is wearing stilettos. More weaponry in business attire.

Except. With women, there is always the sexual side of it. The male gonna-cut-you tie doesn’t have that thrill, it’s pure threat.

This video of Dustin Hoffman talking about how he chose to make the movie Tootsie has bee circulating; he tears up that women are frequently ignored because they do not look beautiful enough. He confesses to ignoring women for that reason, and how hard it must be for women to be so powerless to their appearance.

Oh Dustin. You are a shallow man in a shallow business. You only play deep on TV.

Women are only trapped in their looks if they decide to be. We have so many options to express ourselves, for our own purposes and also to appeal to others If We So Choose.

It is discouraging though, to have such an unsophisticated and unobservant audience that only think about our sexual availability.

Maybe that is why most women dress to impress our girlfriends.

I wonder what my friends would think of a new red tie?