We all have skills. Some are just more useful than others.
Parallel parking with only inches to spare is a big deal in the big city.
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Blaming it on your brother — no matter what “it” is — comes in mighty handy in your formative years.
Credible dance moves and the wherewithal to cook a decent dinner are huge if you're a man looking for a mate.
But of all the skills acquired in a lifetime, one of the most underrated and useful is the simplest: Sewing on a button.
With that in your arsenal, you can swoop in and save the day. You hero, you!
Assembling the pieces of what it takes to do this small task is the hard part.
How many times have you (miraculously!) located the button after it falls off only to go on a search-and-destroy mission to find a needle and thread?
Untangling the thread, once you've found it in the jumble of the junk drawer, is a struggle.
Then comes the part where you have to lick it and stick it through the eye of the needle which, somehow, you also have managed to put your hands on.
Now you've got all the equipment you need but . . . wait. You're scrambling for a decent light and your reading glasses.
How great it is to have a mom, spouse or dry cleaner who will do all this for you? Apparently, not great enough.
We want it to be simpler still.
Look closely at the photo (in good light, with your reading glasses perched on your nose). You'll notice something unique about the button shown here.
It's actually a photograph of a button turned into a handy pin you can poke into the spot from whence the original button disappeared ($11.20 for four, www.atypyk.com).
The packaging says, “No need for needle and thread.” Sounds good.
The Web site promises, “Never sew again.” That sounds even better.
Francis I of France (1494-1547) ordered more than 13,000 gold buttons for a black velvet suit. King Louis XIV spent $600,000 on his buttons in one year and $5 million during his lifetime.
One of the rarest and most sought-after autographs by collectors is that of Button Gwinnett, who signed the Declaration of Independence as a representative of Georgia.
Source: fabrics.net; nytimes.com