Sunday, May 30, 2010

shuffle to buttons

three day weekends are the way to go.
yesterday was my day. i chose the thrift store with no watch. no checking in. no promises of be back soon. then i did laundry. at the laundromat. one fell swoop instead of one load after the other, apartment living and all. no baby to wrangle. 'this american life' on the shuffle and a gigantic iced latte in hand. clean and folded and warm. like bread pudding made of cotton and fine linens, hung to dry in the 'crap it's almost summer' afternoon.

6 months into our relationship, bryan and i were headed out to taylor's steakhouse for christmas eve and he was perched on my bed as i finished getting ready. he pulled out a small grey velvet box and sheepishly looked away as he handed it to me.
heart. throat. stomach. mascara. it never occurred to me before that apprehension and excitement shared the same dna.
my fingernails keyed the sides of my heart as i paused, breathless, holding the box.
jewelry? really?
i wanted to stop him for a minute. rewind. start over. tell him not to do this.
i cracked the lid and laughed, deep and real.
tiny little ipod shuffle nestled just so. (the one thing i asked for.)
'i thought you'd appreciate the box.'

finn and i spend at least an hour rummaging through a tin of old buttons and pins given to me by susie. we rearrange them and she sorts them according to some hierarchy i don't understand. i watch her eyes and fingers memorize texture and color and she occasionally exclaims with glee. she's sitting in a real chair, on knees.
from christmas eve to here.


  1. I want to live next door to you, too. (Seriously.)

    This story gives me a little glimpse of your man, and how the two of you work. I love it.

    And I've been craving a big basket of buttons for a while now. I have fond memories of playing in the one my mom kept in her bedroom. Hmmm...maybe she still has it....

    xo elizabeth

  2. All the way from there to here and to before as well, wherever the buttons started from.

    Your photos still me. They breathe a certain stain on me, a reminiscent one, all good. And are you kidding, thrift stores and then This American Life. Farg. Perfection. And buttons. Buttons. So many stories around buttons, as though to press one through one button hole is to unlock a whole life.

    I've a large jar of buttons. I do much like Finn.

    I gave my daughter a jar of old buttons for her birthday.


  3. The ipod story is the best ever! So good!

    That big box os buttons is such an eye candy. Lovely.

  4. Have we all done this...with the buttons? Do little boys also? I wonder how many of our little hands have held the implements that sinched fabric across the chests of grand parents and great grandparents. These feelings of legacy and tradition fill me when I read this. You are creating a work of art in your family.

  5. that was a great day when Susie brought out the buttons - we had so much fun going through them all!! Makes me want to do more of that. I'll see if I can round up some buttons too to add to the collection..... And I'm making sure Susie see's this post - she will love it!!! Love you and looking forward to Saturday. xxoo Mom

  6. Oh yes, buttons with their stories and their shine. Had a fascination with them as children. Your writing, as always, takes my breath away.

  7. old buttons. so many stories, so many options. xo!

  8. mmm such a atmospheric post...i love it...

  9. ... with no watch...

    I think that's the secret to real relaxation and Me Time. No watch. Heavenly days, aren't they?


use your kind words.