Wednesday, December 26, 2007

buttons and blogs

There's a button on my kitchen counter that is driving me mad. It is an unremarkable button in every respect. Small, mottled brown and white, it appears intended for a shirt collar or pocket, about which I have no direct knowledge. I've no idea where it came from other than it has never been attached to any garment that I've ever owned, although no doubt it was helpfully provided by the Chinese manufacturer in a quaint nod to tradition; to the old days when a lost button would be replaced and hand sewn by it's owner to great personal satisfaction. I have sewn many a button to shirt and skirt over the years, but none in recent memory. Come to think about it, I buy a lot of fastening-less garments these days ~ sweaters, tees, scarves. Shoes. The only thing that requires structured enclosures are jeans, and those are more like industrial grade metal rivets than buttons. And when one of those things comes off your pants, well, let's face it; out they go, and off you go. To Jenny Craig or Trimspa, or Elaine's Everlasting Elastic Emporium.

But there it sits , day after day, unobtrusively insistent against the shiny white porcelain tile. Dutifully, I wipe around it every night, shifting it's place; today next to my purse, the one with the graffiti-patterned fabric; tomorrow, alongside the unpaid bills and errant parking tokens; the next, letting it slip unceremoniously under the myriad newspaper clippings about art shows and travel deals long since passed. But which I might find useful. Someday.

When I was a kid my mother had a round tin full of buttons of every shape, size and color. I used to love to plunge my hand into the middle of the tin; to hear the crisp clickety-clack of impact and feel the cool polished smoothness of the individual disks as they tumbled through my fingers. It was like plunging your hand into a bottomless well of M&M candies, and just as pleasurable. Almost as pleasurable. Sort of pleasurable. I wonder whatever happened to that tin. I must look for Mom's button tin.

It would be a simple enough matter, of course, just to pick up my current lost button and put it in it's place, which is a shoe box in the top drawer of the guest room dresser. Surely it would be happy there with it's dozens of orphaned kin, awaiting eventual placement or my demise, whichever should come first, and I think we all know which one that will be. Or I could simply throw it away, which is what it warrants and of course what any reasonable person would do.

I do not. For I know, as you cannot, that no sooner will the garbage truck pull away from the curb than the phone will ring with a friend inviting us to dine at a marvelous restaurant that is serving goose for the holidays but requires a proper jacket for men, and my husband will holler that he can't, nay, won't go because his favorite shirt for his best jacket is missing the third button from the top and nothing else is clean and really, who needs to go out for goose for the holidays anyway? We'll catch our friend next time. And I will be disconsolate, because of course I need to go out for goose for the holidays and all.

Or I will be listening to the news and there will be a big story about how a local woman found the last small mottled brown and white button in existence and it was discovered to be the actual missing button from King Tutankhamen's' very own 501s, and today it sold at auction for 11 billion dollars and 14 cents. And she is going to use the money to buy an RV and an Xbox for her grandkids, and maybe feed a couple of homeless. And I will die knowing that that should have been me. Feeding the homeless and all.

My blog shares much in common with my button these days. It sits here gathering dust, it's origin but dimly recalled. With nowhere to go and no promises to keep it is content to languish, awaiting my command. I should file it or toss it, but of course I won't. For I know, as you cannot, that no sooner will I hit delete than the phone will ring and events will transpire that I will want to write about. Or nothing will happen and I will simply feel like sitting here, listening to a KJzz tribute to Oscar Peterson on my low tech little Craig, chattering on aimlessly about buttons and M&Ms and why don't I ever sew anything anymore? So I guess that for now I'll just wipe around it, shift it in it's place, and let it await my leisure.

Happy Holidays!