It’s always the same for me. When I need to wear a tie, I’ve forgotten how to. One morning, I tried to put on my tie as the taxi was pulling up to drive me to my job interview. You could say I was a bit tied up. At times like these I pull out my phone and look up some website that shows me a step-by-step guide.
Putting on a tie is like studying knot theory.
However, the illustrations on such a website show a person facing you. This means that you have to take that information, somehow flip it upside down if you are looking down at your own tie and figure out how the three-dimensional knots on your screen translate into what you are doing in real life. Alternatively, you look in the mirror while tying your tie, which means that you have to copy the instructions from your phone’s screen using a mirrored version of yourself. This is like knot theory combined with group theory! In other words: enough to make my head hurt.
In such a scenario, something that I find helpful is to lock the screen orientation of my phone and physically rotate my phone 180 degrees. Now all the instructions on the screen are upside down and the person in the illustrations looks a lot more like the perspective I get when looking down at my own tie. In this way, it is a little easier to get the tie right.
Of course, practice makes everything easier but it’s hard to get that practice if you don’t wear a tie regularly. I certainly don’t wear a tie every day. However, instead of getting yourself into a knot every time you need to smarten up, you could just cut the knot and go for this plan of action. So schedule a few practice sessions now and then just to maintain this hard-wrought life skill. After all, you never know when the Nobel committee invites you over.