A Secondary Obsession

When I was a young child one of my favourite activities was to search through my grandmother’s button stash. Stored in a 4 litre ice-cream tub, busting to the brim with buttons of all shapes and sizes, I loved to admire the variety in their sizes, shapes and amazing colours. My nan would wander off, shaking her head that I was siting astride on the carpet with thousands of buttons cascading over the living room floor as she muttered about the mess I was making. I’d enjoy finding multiples of a particular style of button and looking for elaborately carved and coloured little disks of wood, glass, shell, plastic, and probably many other base materials.

I always knew that I would eventually have a button collection of my own, if only so that future generations could sift through them at their leisure. My collection is less elegant than my grandmother’s. In fact, my button collection is a bit silly. I seem to have amassed hundreds of novelty buttons, spread across 7 boxes. Here are the contents of just one of those boxes:

My buttons are more comedy than elegance, much like myself.

Each box has a theme or two (or three), this happens to be the box that contains insects (ladybugs of various sizes, and bees), flowers (large and small daisies), fruit (bananas, cherries, watermelons, strawberries, apples) and bats. That’s only for my own organisational purposes. When I die and bequeath this collection (which I hope by them will be many times larger) I intend for them to all be jumbled together in one large tub, which must be tipped onto the carpet to be searched through, where the best view is lying on your tummy with your face up close to each and every little plastic form.

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