Friday, January 16, 2015

A case for keeping buttons

Every time I take a personality test I end up with the same maddening result: Neither/nor, or sometimes either/or. If a question came up that said, "If you had a chance to take home a collection of buttons, some of them matching but in varied sizes and colors and you had no immediate use for them, would you keep them?"

I would surely answer a scoffing "No thank you."

But then I would keep them in real life, because I did. 

I love throwing old useless "stuff" away or just not acquiring it in the first place--I get a thrill from dropping things off at D.I. But shoot, I love these buttons. Both of my kids are absurdly entertained by them. And no, Norah doesn't try to eat them; what can I say, she's an anomaly. They came from Grandma Stricklan's sewing supplies that I swiped inherited, and although all of my sewing projects with buttons have been furnished from this collection, I just like to keep them around for fun. Stacking, sorting, dropping, throwing (not allowed), and cleaning them up again. 
I still generally throw things away rather than keep them for posterity, but I am extremely thankful that my parents and grandparents and Nate's parents and grandparents didn't do that (or else I'd never have anything to wear on Sundays--about 75% of the time I am wearing something or other that came from the Clarks' basement to church.)


  1. Buttons -- real buttons, not fakey plastic or flimsy tin -- are soothing. They're almost like rocks (which is probably why I like them), especially in a mixed-up bulk that you can dig your hands into and let cascade. They make a satisfying clacky sound, and feel good and solid in your hands. I totally understand your children's fascination with buttons. Norah is a true baby-anomaly, with her almost total lack of "let's put this in my mouth" genes. (And isn't it one of those nice quirky parts of your personality that you depend heavily upon past generations' lack-of-throwing-away attributes while being famous within your immediate family for refusing to hold on to anything without an immediate use?)