While The Young Master needs to retest for his board breaks in two weeks before he can advance officially to Black Belt Recommended status (testing was midday Saturday), we are still attending the special late Sunday afternoon Tae Kwon Do gala event in a little less than two hours at a hotel in East Lansing near campus.
I finally decided to save the evening wear for a little closer to Christmas and New Year's Eve, opting instead for a festive version of blazer and tartan trousers along with a recently acquired Robert Talbott self-tie bow tie, which I managed to nail on the second attempt after almost a year since the last time I wore a similar piece of neck wear.
And I've gotta say that I kind of like it! A nice change from the usual long necktie. Now, don't worry. I'm not about to go all George F. Will, or Irving R. Levine on you, but I might just shake things up in 2023 with the occasional bow tie. They aren't that hard to tie, and the slight asymmetry adds visual interest to any ensemble.
-- Heinz Ulrich
Sunday Evening P.S.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the incredible positivity during this evening's gala dinner and recognition of various Tae Kwon Do students of various ages and abilities. And I preface the following as a confirmed pessimist and cynic. But it really and truly brings a smile to one's face cheering for all of these adults, teenagers, and children about to attain their black belts, or who have moved on to a first, second, third, or fourth degree black belt.
Often in the face of various physical, emotional, or other "life" challenges.
The Young Master and a few others, who must retest on their board breaks in a couple of weeks, still received their special black, gold, and red belts, signifying their Black Belt Recommended status, because, as their lead instructor, Master Fayette, told the room, "In their hearts, they are already black belts. They just have to demonstrate that they can do what they already know." Once they do so, they have the honor of wearing their new belts, the most attractive one yet.
It was a very special evening all around, and our son mentioned how much he enjoyed it as he climbed into bed a short while ago. Clearly, there is still plenty of good in the world. We just have to find it beneath all of the unpleasant stuff clouding our vision.
And as a sartorial aside, there were even a few men and boys in suits, or sports jackets and odd pants combos, and neckties sprinkled around the room, including a few bow ties, among them a family sharing our table. And one man, bless him, in full black tie.
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