Adding Extra Buttons

Even the best gingerbread house can benefit from some additional powdered sugar, candy canes and gum drops.

If you’ve ever ironed, you probably noticed that your good shirts come with extra buttons sewn into the lower hem.  If you look closely you will discover that these buttons match the buttons used in your collars, on your sleeves, or down your chest.

Think about this for a minute.  Why would shirt manufacturers do this?  Why would they take the time and add the expense of providing buttons that might never get used? Is it a massive shirt-maker conspiracy?  Does the entire garment district see this as a way to use surplus inventory, elevate profits and hurt the little guy, the shirt wearing public?

No. The reason is that buttons crack.  Buttons fall off.  Threads break. If you wear shirts with button you have experienced this truth.  Buttons, like left socks, disappear into unknown places.  There is a laundry vortex.  They just go away.  And the shirt makers determined that is was possible that a matching bobble might come in handy when you need to replace that inevitable missing button.

Unfortunately, many of us live our lives as if buttons will never fall off a shirt  We aren’t pro-active like shirt producers.  We live life as if the inevitable will never happen.  We live carelessly and recklessly.  Oh, sure, a missing button isn’t the end of the world but it is emblematic of our daily mindset.  If it were up to us, we would never add buttons to our shirts, in the same way we fail to prepare for the other inevitabilities of life.

We ride bikes without helmets.

We drive at high rates of speed, after drinking too much, or without our seat belts.

We travel without jumper cables and a tool kit.

We remove the chirping batteries from smoke detectors rather than replacing them.

We eat too much, we exercise too little.

We are under-insured, under-financed, under-saved and over-spent.

In short, we are unprepared for the events of life that might happen, that could happen, that eventually WILL happen.

Perhaps we should take a cue from Brooks Brothers or Croft & Barrow.  Perhaps it isn’t such a bad idea that we add a few extra buttons to the everyday areas our lives.  We may never need them, but won’t we feel better when we do.


2 thoughts on “Adding Extra Buttons

  1. I have spent the last few days with my parents. Every time I am here, I am reminded of how blessed I have been over the years because my dad is an extra-button kind of guy…he has always saved, lived within his means, and made careful decisions. Driving, spending, whatever…we tease him sometimes for his rural-depression-era ways, but really, i’m very, very grateful.


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