Sexual Politics in the Choice of a tie

01/09/2011 12:58 BST | Updated 31/10/2011 09:12 GMT

You can't wear that tie" said the one to whom I had pledged my better and my worse many years previously, as I tried to leave the house for the morning bus to work after our return from holiday.

"What's wrong with it" I replied, only half joking.

"It's creased" came the reply

"It's meant to be creased. That's the look. It's the depressed look" I said, knowing as I said it that I meant to say compressed look.

There followed a period of spousely tutting, where noises were exchanged, mainly vowels with the occasional consonant for dramatic effect. Hens do the same thing, but have the advantage of beaks and feathers to add to the dramatic effect.

There is a point in any marriage where one knows that resistance is futile. This morning, any notion of the appearance of a counter-attack was unwise too knowing as I did that as we clucked and shook our wings at each other, there was a small round man advancing towards the end of our round driving a shiney bus to take me away from all of this to who would return me in the evening.

The depressed tie was returned to the tie rack and placed in the usual spot in preparation for the following day when the same process would be gone through again.

It was replaced with one of its friends, more elderly but a safer choice. It also had the type of pattern where the occasional stain merely added to the overall effect of the tie rather than requiring the application of a damp cloth or the impending trip to the dry cleaners. Having said this, additional colour is fine, but additional texture is not. Thus, dried mashed potato should be removed from a tie as to let it remain would be like mixing watercolours with oil based paints upon a canvas. A dried pea may bring spring colour, but it is still a pea rather than the suggestion of a pea.

It took two goes to put the replacement into its rightful positiopn around my neck.

"OK, look at yourself in the mirror" ordered the style police from her prone position in bed.

"That's better, isn't it", she declared triumphantly.

I did not look slick. There would be no deals cut today, no heads turning to me as I walked in a room. I was the equivalent of the comfortable armchair occupied by the father in the TV Programme "Frasier". Once fashionable, now loved only by those who know me.

I agreed I was better more as a statement of apparent capitulation than true acceptance of defeat, aware that the bus was trundling ever closer to the village.

I was however full aware of the small but prominent dried blood stain on my collar created during a death or glory shaving incident some weeks previously.

"Perfect Darling, love you and see you tonight" I replied, kissing her and walking defiantly out of the bedroom.