Recently, while putting some of the kids clothes away I noticed that one of my son's shirts was missing a button. Actually, I was hanging the thing and accidentally ripped a button off. Now, rather than admit that I made the mistake which would have put an immediate end to my embarrassment, I got it in my head that this was a sign from above that it was finally time, after 4 decades of half hearted attempts, to take on the task of sewing a button on myself. Over the years, whenever I was confronted with the task, I'd find some way of not having to do it myself. This was easiest when living with my own mother, who didn't mind that her son couldn't do the small endeavor himself - probably because it continued to keep me in a position of needing her. Later, I would pretend some inability or another and get a girlfriend, or in one case, a neighbor, to help me. For some reason, I had never had to do it myself. Now, staring at my son's shirt, I decided I would need to make a stand. Not just for myself, but for all the men out there (barring those that were in the military or survivalists) who, for one reason or another, just never had to do it.
Anyway, how hard could it be. I knew how to chop down a tree, paint a house, change the oil in my car, and dig a hole. I could handle it. But, just to be sure, I'd use the world wide web to help me. Rather than ask my wife or mother for a demonstration I could pretend I already was self sufficient by finding someone online to help me. Well, I guess I wasn't the only one having trouble. There were millions of demonstrations available. Now, the new problem was determining which one to use. Who would have known there were so many different ways of approaching it? I could have sworn that there was even some sort of political debate about whose method was the best. Had I looked long enough I'm sure I would have found a blog dedicated to the simple craft. But, I didn't have time, I needed to get it done before anyone came home and witnessed me staring willfully at a button laying on the floor.
Trying to sew and watching a demonstration online is tough going too - nobody tells you that one. I damn near killed myself with all the failed attempts as I just tried to thread the damned thing through the needle just to get started. Finally, I had developed my own method which required holding your breath and bracing both elbows on nearby chairs as you braced your chin in your chest. Now I started in on the task, threading and threading - foregoing the technique that suggested using a match stick to allow some slack. I was a bit worried that my furious weaving of the thread as I poked about might trigger the match to light unexpectedly and burn myself and the house down. I had this brief vision of fire investigators announcing on live television that the cause of the fire that burned half the town down was due to this idiot trying to sew on a button. It was the wrong impression I wanted to leave my kids, or my wife, who presumably would be only to happy to chisel the word 'IDIOT' on my tombstone.
But, I did it. Or at least I convinced myself I did it. It wasn't so hard after all. I was kind of proud of myself. It was a bit like when I first learned how to make a white sauce without utilizing a full bag of flour. I was relieved. Even more so, because it was days before anyone noticed. My son calling from the other room alerted me. As I came rushing into the room he was holding the shirt up and pointing at the place where I sewed on his button previously. He thought he had discovered a bee hive of some sort. Next time I'll just staple the thing on. That'll teach them to be so unappreciative. I had to bribe him to keep it quiet. Now that I knew how to do.