Monday, October 13, 2014

The Inheritance

The Set-Up
My favorite exercise pants have worn down and holes appeared in the friction-heavy spot where my thighs rub together.  Hole-y workout gear is a no-no especially in the crotch.  Trust me, there is enough to think about at the gym, without worrying that Dumb-Jock A and Creepy-Old-Man #9 can see your goodies.

The pants fit perfectly and give me confidence and therefore shouldn’t be abandon because of my poor attention and repair. I will sew the holes myself.

The Back-Story
I don’t sew, or mend, or iron.  When I do the experience is rife with burns, blood, and cursing. I blame it on my Grandfather’s hands. I have them. Square, German, blunt. Excellent for strength, and hugs, and carrying multiple things or children at once, expressive in a clunky Germanic way, full of power, but not made for delicate needlework.

Tangent: Nothing to be said of ironing here, just that I dislike it and prefer to launder my clothes in a way that I don’t need to iron. (That and I once read a story, “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen and I never wanted to iron again.)

I took Home Economics in sixth grade and remember making a pillow. I wouldn't admit it until now, but I was proud of that lopsided thing, and I remember the 3 different stitches that I learned making that pillow (great job Mrs. Hedden!) My grandmother could sew and make clothes and do all things seamstress. I'm a bit embarrassed that I never picked up any of that from her or from my mom. 

The Sewing Kit, aka, The Button Box
It’s surprising given The Back-Story (see above), that I do have a sewing kit. It lives in an old cigar box in the bathroom pantry. This morning I went to retrieve the Sewing Kit and I found mostly buttons.  All kinds of buttons live in the box, small & large buttons, packaged & free buttons, buttons of all colors, shapes, and sizes.  Why did I keep all of these buttons? Is this a hold-out sign of sentimentality? Of depression-era hoarding? Of a prophetic unearthed practicality for a future where buttons are rare or obsolete?

In "The Sewing Kit", now and forever known as "The Button Box", also lives a dollar bill minted in 1957, a tomato pin cushion, a pin (button) with a pink background and gold skull & crossbones, a book of matches with two remaining matches, a ticket stub to the Columbus Crew vs. New England match on September 3, 2006, a hinge to a unknown but delicate box or drawer, a pack of cigarette rolling papers, and the Columbus Parks and Recreation’s issue of the Leisure Card—which granted access to the free city pools circa 2000.

An assortment of memorabilia that certainly must access some sort of memories, no? But what does this say about me, the person who thought, for years, that this box was full of thread and needles and a few spare buttons? I have moved this box from Columbus to New York to D.C. to various rentals in Columbus. How can I, the owner of this box, be so unaware of its contents?  What memories was I hoping to access in this long forgotten box of keep-sakes? 

The Inheritance (of the Mundane)
After being mildly freaked by the existence of The Button Box, two things happened, both equally mundane.
1.     I found thread and needle in another location in the bathroom pantry and sewed my favorite workout pants. I was mildly proud of myself for not being derailed by The Button Box and for completing my original goal of mending my pants.
2.     I decided to clean out The Button Box (leaving only buttons) for S to have and play with. I played with buttons all the time when I was her age. Maybe that’s why I subconsciously kept these all this time? Let’s say yes. It makes me feel more sane.  Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

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