Charlie The Kid: This YouTube video on how to tie a necktie is lame. The voice over instructions are super annoying to me. Like he needs to have a better voice.
Cassie: Try another one.
Charlie The Kid: Right. (Goes to another video) Ok. I’m doing it. (He makes a twist and turn of the tie material, a tie loop appears) No. No. No. It’s sloppy. This knot didn’t work at all.
Cassie: Can’t you just wait for Dad?
Charlie The Kid: He’s shown me before. A long time ago. He ties the tie vigorously. You know, like zip, zip, zip. He does a good knot. Tight. Mine is too loose again. Nope. Total crap.
(He undoes the loose knot he’s attempted and fiddles with his phone to find another video on YouTube…he mumbles…he watches the next video, he laughs, he swings the tie around with one hand, his other hand nimbly scrolling the phone screen in search of necktie tying videos – are we on the third or fourth one now? He watches the video, slowly moving, twisting, looping his tie, which is a red, grey and black plaid. Very grown-up. One of Max’s old ties. I watch. I start to giggle. Charlie laughs, then swears under his breath.)
Cassie: Sorry, sorry to laugh. Your eyebrows. It’s funny.
Charlie The Kid: Sort of. Why are you watching me anyway?
Cassie: I’m not. I’m putting your clothes away. I see what you mean about vigorously holding the tie.
Charlie The Kid: Right? You can’t be loose and sloppy about how you hold the tie to make the knot. How many more days before the bar mitzvah?
Cassie: A few. It’s this Saturday.
Charlie The Kid: How long did it take Max?
Cassie: To tie a necktie?
Charlie The Kid: Yeah.
Cassie: I can’t remember.
Charlie The Kid: Pffft.
(I continue to put clothes away in the dresser as Charlie leaves his bedroom, moving onward in search of a mirror? Or a place where he can be alone to practice?
I try to remember Max’s necktie learning process. It was some years back and I just can’t remember how or when it went from loose and sloppy to vigorous and tight. How could I have forgotten such an important coming of age detail? How could I have forgotten?)