Buttons are like lights in the refrigerator. I don’t’ miss them until they are gone.
This week’s Joyful Musings is devoted to buttons, to those tiny little things that hold us together, that keep us from falling out, that can change an entire look. Buttons, it’s time we give them some credibility. They are the unsung heroes.
I bought some fabulous buttons the other day after finding a brilliant mink coat at one of my thrift haunts. This coat is luxurious, delightfully supple and is in stellar condition – a steal for $25. Alas, the buttons were horrible. And there were six; six black, sparkly, gaudy things that had no right being any place, never mind on such a lovely garment. But, like a mind, a thought, for a dollar they could be changed. So, that’s what I did.
Spinning Yarns of Dover, the most wonderful knit shop of which I adore, carries not only yarn but a veritable potpourri of buttons. Their selection is phenomenal and I found some great brown artsy fartsy buttons that worked beautifully to change this coat into something brilliant. And while I was there, I found some buttons I’ll use on a future project – they are these squiggly silver buttons that deserve a place of honor – I’m just not sure where that will be.
Maybe it’s time to change out a coat, a sweater, or create a puppet. Buttons do make great eyes on socks and I can spend this long winter season learning the art of puppetry. I’ll practice with my teenage daughters, who, undoubtedly will feel their own buttons being pushed. I’ll tell them to clean their rooms with my new puppets; I suspect this may not go over well.
I once tried to watch the film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button but was not intrigued. Brad Pitt should never be portrayed as anything but gorgeous. Mr. Button was a downer.
Concerning buttons and their history, writer Bill Bryson writes,
“When buttons came in, about 1650, people couldn’t get enough of them and arrayed them in decorative profusion on the backs and collars and sleeves of coats, where they didn’t actually do anything. One relic of this is the short row of pointless buttons that are still placed on the underside of jacket sleeves near the cuff. These have been purely decorative and have never had a purpose, yet 350 years later on we continue to attach them as if they are the most earnest necessity.”
I would agree to that earnest necessity. Buttons are just that – earnest and necessary.
May you muse joyfully on your own buttons. I’ll continue to cherish mine, try not to push yours and muse joyfully on being cozily buttoned up this January.
Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.