Today we are going to concentrate on a good example of the “too good to throw away” C.R.U.D. syndrome. Most clothing manufacturers cannot be considered anything, if not prescient. The inevitability of losing buttons is certainly not lost on them. Ergo, coats, blouses, jackets and other assorted garments come supplied with a small plastic pouch containing a solitary replacement button. Think of these bags as a modified earthquake kits for your clothes.
When you come home from clothes shopping, what is the first thing you do? Do you dump the loot out of the bags and try the new threads on? Do you survey your closet wondering how to best integrate the new purchase with your current wardrobe? This can be a long and complicated undertaking. There are many questions to be answered. Do you have the right length jacket to wear over that shirt? What shoes do you have to go with it? Does the shirt need to be altered? How about accessories? How many outfits could you make with this piece? The list goes on. By the time you are ready to put the shirt on the hanger, the extra dangling button is all but forgotten.
Nevertheless, when you go to wear that shirt for first time and you engage in label ripping in earnest, the button makes a reappearance. This time you pluck it from the mother ship and place it unconsciously wherever it lands. Landing destinations include: small, chipped ceramic dishes and bowls, the top of the dresser, the bathroom shelf, or the floor of the closet. The most fortunate buttons make it all the way to the button box.
If you have never seen a button box, picture this. Button boxes are typically old candy and cookie tins made of metal. You don’t need to label them like you do with other items you store. Both the weight of the box coupled with the sound of shifting contents is a dead give-away as to the source of its contents. Button boxes are sometimes bequeathed from one generation to another. The aroma that emanates from opening them can be described as overpowering. One peek inside causes you to gasp. Whatever happened to all of the clothes that you have saved all of the buttons from?
A cache of unused buttons represents our greatest hope for humanity. Saving buttons demonstrates environmental stewardship, self-sufficiency and a commitment to repair things to working condition. People stockpile buttons because they believe in preparing adequately for the future.
But, like all mending, sewing on a button requires effort but furnishes very little in the reward department. Needless to say, it gets done after the last item on the household chore roster has been completed. Of all those buttons you have been saving, only a handful ever replaces the originals.
Buttons need editing every couple of decades or so. Begin by purging ones that are broken or flaking. Get rid of those that are unrecognizable and could not have possibly belonged to a member of your family. If you don’t know what a needle and thread are, or if threading a needle takes you fifteen minutes or more to do, you might as well donate the entire button collection. For those who find it difficult to part with buttons period, there is always the glue gun. Consult you craft magazine collection for ideas for decorating objects with mismatched buttons.