“Ten Things You Should Throw Away Right Now.”
Sure! I’ll click on that. I’ll click on that because throwing things away is of personal theoretical interest to me. I’ll click on that because I have too much stuff and it feels like a burden. In fact if you come to my house and admire something on my shelves I’ll probably give it to you. No, not that thing, but maybe a different thing. I’ll click on that because it’s almost like really doing something, such as, for instance, throwing something away. I’ll click on that because I have laundry to fold and email to answer.
I’ll click on that even if it turns out not to be a nice enumerated list I can skim in a half a minute, one through ten, on one page. I’ll click on that even it if turns out to be a slide show with the next-slide arrows buried halfway down the page past the first scroll in a muddle of ads and pop-ups that have to be swatted away.
I’ll click on it because there might be a good point or two to be made that I hadn’t thought of. I’ll click on it because my life isn’t dwindling away fast enough and if there’s no more time to waste, I should find some, and waste it.
“Ten Things You Should Throw Away Right Now.” Click.
All righty then. All the stuff on my refrigerator should go. Yeah, there’s a point to that, but some of the infants displayed on our fridge aren’t out of college yet, and they’re not really taking up space. Number two: throw out your old cosmetics. Way ahead of you. Number three: ditch that box of buttons. Say what?
This list has officially lost all credibility. Why in the world would I get rid of my button box? Well, they explain, the odds of your ever needing any of those buttons are vanishingly small; you’ll toss out your clothing before it needs a spare button, and the button you need isn’t in that box anyway, and the box is taking up space. They have no idea what a button box is for. A button box represents the slim but enticing possibility that you will one day have the exact right thing that you need, yes, but that is the least of its powers. If you slip your hand in a button box you will feel the silky liquid movement of solid objects, all the wealth of coins without the stain of lucre: buttons are the tangible currency of an attentive soul. You can dip your fingers in the buttons and they’ll tumble and slide around you like friendly minnows. Your own four-year-old self is in that box and you can visit her with your wrinkled hand any time you want.
|What? This is our beer refrigerator.|
Number four: Throw away your mattress. The hell! My mattress and I are an item. But, they explain urgently, your average mattress has ten pound of your dead skin cells in it.
So? I was done with those.
Evidently you not only have ten pounds of your dead skin cells in your mattress, but you have a legion of mites that feast on your dead skin cells, and although they will not do anything to you, the entire prospect should fill you with revulsion and a sharp urge to buy a new mattress, according to Mattress! Mattress! Mattress!
Also, puts in Extreme Mattresses Plus, it’s not really ten pounds of dead skin cells, but more like double the weight of the original mattress. Mattress Universe suggests something in the middle range, but contributes a magnified photograph of a mite. You should throw out your mattress, is the point.
The hell. If my mattress is full of my deciduous portions and mites are going to town on my former self, that just makes me feel like a good hostess. Have a ball in there, and try to keep it down after ten p.m.
I still have laundry to fold and email to answer, but there’s a limit. I’m clicking off. I may be missing a few buttons, but I’m not about to give them away.
I'm a minimalist, and have no clutter (Don't hate me. I'm the homemaking equivalent of Monk.) but even I have a button… jar, actually. It is full of vintage buttons, some dating from the turn of the last century, as well as modern buttons. The older ones came from my grandmother's stash and my aunt's stash. I have on occasion replaced modern buttons on my clothing with some of these more intricate and beautiful designs. But mostly, it sits with my sewing kit, just bringing back memories of my childhood. My grandmother kept them in a cookie tin, and I used to run my hands through them, look at them, and sort them. They remind me of her, and I wouldn't part with them.
I imagine Mom's button box either didn't make the trip to Montana or got tossed out after she Filled Her Eternity Shorts. I would love to have that now, but you don't always think of these things.
Funny how some of us get nostalgic about buttons. My sister got all of Mom's buttons and I wonder if she threw them away? I am keeping mine for no reason other than I also have a shell collection in big boxes. It is a texture thing.
Get your sister on the phone right now.
My buttons are in a small plastic jar. I need to buy a box and lots more buttons. I can sift them through my fingers when I'm feeling down, I remember that's kind of soothing.
I don't think my mattress has too many dead cells, it has an old feather quilt between it and the sheet, and I wash it a couple of times a year, but the mattress does have a body shaped hollow which I'm beginning to find annoying. That's a better reason to buy a new one in my opinion.
A much better reason, yes. I adore my mattress and it loves me back. "Don't go!" it says. Every morning.
I love old intricate buttons and use them on my clothing but cut them off once the clothing item is no longer needed. I also started a collection of my own and have a jar. Of course I'll will it to one of my sisters or nieces….they are my kindred soul mates.
I would just like to see that written down in a will!
I have my grandmother's old button basket. That & one of her rings is all I have left of her. They will be left to my daughter!!
I am wearing my grandmother's wedding ring, my mother-in-law's first wedding ring and her diamond, and my own wedding ring (made for me by Mary Ann at Cast Of Characters!)
My friend Mary buys button jars/ boxes at yard sales. As far as I know she just keeps them.
Aha. The button hoarder.
I have a lovely tin full of buttons of all kinds and I will not part with it. My memories of its worth are in my son's frequent childhood activity of setting up armies of buttons across the floor while I sewed.
Mom's was a box and I have a box, but it really should be a tin, right? I'm going to look around.
Nowadays in family literacy groups we can use colorful lids and emphasize the pre-math skill of classification.
The teacher speaks! Go, buttons, go.
I salvaged my Mom's button tin at my sister's yard sale. (Geesh) I never get rid of buttons… ever…..
Button box was always a good source of stuffed animal eyes, as I recall. Somehow a lot of my critters got blinded.
My buttons remain. My mattress remains. There are other things which should be thrown away. Soon. Ish.
One of my earliest memories is that I would request of my mother, "May I play with the button box?" Your description of 'friendly minnows' is perfect.
Gee. You asked first?
I don't know when my fascination with buttons began, but it's been in full on mode for at least a dozen years now. As well as my own collection, my mother's, and my mother-in-law's, I've been given huge numbers of buttons by several of my fellow crafters. I make and sell Christmas ornaments and jewelry made from them, and am always looking for new ways to use the unlovable ones (shirt buttons, I'm looking at you). Some I just won't part with. Your descriptions are so apt; thanks for putting those sensations into words!
We used to have a store downtown completely devoted to buttons. The Button Emporium. It was heavenly.
We have a button store here in Adelaide, it also sells ribbons, laces and zippers.
I love love love this post and think back to my grandma ‘s button can. My 4 and 5 year old self would string buttons to make beautiful ( Grandma said so) necklaces and use them to adorn all manner of hats, superhero outfits, and Tarzan underwear. I will not get rid of my button can and found a button I needed in it just a few weeks ago. So there! “Friendly minnows…” ❤️
You had me at Tarzan Underwear.
Ahh, that brings back memories! My grandma had a box filled with all varieties of buttons, from plain white shirt buttons to the heavy, fancy kind that must have adorned a dressy winter coat at some point. I have the empty box, an old metal cigar tin, but I have no idea what might have happened to the buttons themselves in the 14 years between her death and my grandfather's. I wish I had them, even the plain ones–they were her.
Maybe she took them with her?
I could use some small brass buttons.
For your tiny military coat?
Mother's button tine was a trove of delights! The sort of thing that could entice a chicken-ox recovering child and, years later, that same child , searching for the right match for the dress she was sewing.
And here's the thing…I still, more than 70 years on, have some of those buttons.
I would like a new mattress.Or rather, my back would…
Or, you could just ask for a new back.
I’m down from a button box to a button jar because I’ve used so many. Take that, Extreme Mattress Plus! Turns out there’s a Thing for quirky embroidery that includes bits and buttons and whatnots. The more, the more Bohemian, which is a Bigger Thing. People pay money for this and call it Fiber Art. There are classes, books, television segments, a whole little industry that is rooted in our button boxes. Humans are amazing.
Maybe the person who wrote the Ten Things secretly wants us to get rid of our button boxes because she's a thrift store scavenger and fiber artist.
I grew up in small Maine town with a many-windowed gap-toothed surely haunted building referred to as The Button Factory. Now I think it has been condoed.
I had a button box. Many were made of shell but there were enough modern ones for the proper warm plasticky smell.
My mother had a button box, and both my grandmothers did as well. One of theirs was an octagonal one made of heavy cardboard and covered in paisley. What I wouldn’t give…
What’s the male equivalent, I asked my guy.
“Why, it’s the can (or in his case, cans) of screws nuts bolts and washers,” replied he.
I kind of am drawn to those cans of screws too.
Although I have been known to actually own a sewing machine (being a guy, for industrial use only, of course) I've never had a button box. What I have is a collection of nuts, bolts, screws and oddball hardware that goes way back. Every now and then I'll be pawing through looking for that "just right" fastener and find something from 1972 or whenever that takes me right back to that time and place. It never fails that when I toss something from the collection in a 'too much stuff' frenzy, I end up needing it 6 months later.
Much better than the box of keys we all have one of. Who can throw away a key? You can't throw away a key. But there's no cachet there.
The Button Emporium was a feast for the senses. I often succumbed to the siren call of hand-made glass or carved wooden buttons. I got some copper buttons shaped like teapots to adorn a double-sided tea cozy I knit. I have a collection of fish buttons. And the Mill End Store sells colored shirt buttons by the pound. I'm going to come up with something for those one of these days. They don't weigh much, and I feel so rich when I have to grunt to lift down my button box.
We kids loved to rummage in our mom's button can. I know someone who makes jewelry from vintage buttons. Someone else makes art sculptures with buttons. They are currency of the heart.
Button jars are usually attached tomsome sort od sewing basket that also contain interesting variations od needles , thimbles hooks and bits of ribbons and elastic bands.
For sure we had a container of nuts, nails and such but a visit from a plumber a while back somehow took fancy to it along with a few tools hubby had left behind in the bathroom where the job was. Odd behaviour. We miss those now.