Three Little Buttons

So I realized last night why I prefer to just let the cleaners hem my pants and fix my buttons.  Of course, my mother, like all good mothers, taught me how to accomplish this seemingly minor little domestic task when I was younger, but I’ve always hated it and would rather go without a button on my pants or shirt than to fix it myself. In fact, I can’t remember when I did this last. It must have been at least 3 or 4 years ago when I finally fixed a button on a pair of navy blue suit pants using black thread.

This is why my poor husband has been losing buttons on his uniform shirts for the past few months, and they’ve simply been collecting on top of the dryer. (Does that make me a horrible wife?) So last night, after he cleaned my house and went to the grocery store twice this weekend, I decided it was time to give it a go. I can fix a button, after all, I’m not a complete imbecile, right?

So I set out to accomplish this task with the gusto of a New York seamstress. However, I soon discovered why I hate this task and I have come to the conclusion  that needles and thread are really not my friends.

Let me explain.

The task seems simple enough. Only 3 buttons, I can do this! I have a business degree and am a certified teacher, for crying out loud! Of course I can sew 3 measly little buttons on a shirt.

So now that I’ve pumped myself up, I gather all my materials:

  • buttons,
  • thread that actually matches the shirt color,
  • scissors,
  • needles,
  • and a thimble.

In and of themselves they seem like harmless little instruments. That is until I actually take them in my big fat fingers and proceed to the daunting task of:


It sounds and looks so deceivingly simple, yet it soon disarms my calm, zen-like movements with its little invisible fibers sticking out at the end of the thread. So I proceed to suck on the thread and try again and again until it’s finally through the eye and VICTORY is declared!  Let’s not talk about accomplishing this major feat and then accidentally pulling the thread back out. UGH!

Then comes the knot. I still remember watching my mom tie a good and proper knot. Hers always seemed perfect, mine are gargantuan mammoth knots because I really want to avoid having the thread pull straight through the fabric. So I proceed and figure the knot will be hidden underneath anyway so what difference does it really make?

I will conquer this task. (I think.)

With a knot complete, it’s time to attempt to sew. This is the hard part. Matching up the button holes and the needle seems simple enough, but then the bloodshed begins. I poked so many holes in my poor fingers over the course of three little buttons, that my hands feel like swiss cheese! That was bad enough until I was almost finished and then I remembered why I hate this so much…

The needle under the fingernail! OOOOUUUUUUCCCCCCHHHHHH!!!!

I knew I should have used the thimble!

So I’ll spare you the rest of the story, but suffice it to say, this will be something that I don’t do again for another few years. However, I am happy to report that all of Marcus’ shirts now have all of their buttons in the proper places. I won this battle, albeit wounded, but I defeated the buttons.

The best satisfaction I have is knowing that my husband went to work this morning looking like a proper Captain with all his buttons in place.

I would like to submit this disclaimer: part of the reason I waited so long to fix the buttons, is that he ordered several new shirts a month or more ago, but he found out last week that the order was never placed because the sales rep was canned. Hence, I had to go into domestic diva mode last night, and I must say, I’m proud of myself in spite of my war wounds.

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