Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Dilly of a Lemma

I don't want you confusing Dilly Lemma with Dalai Lama. To think I might be posting about the latter would be to assume this has been an awesome, inspirational day and I am going to spew forth words of great wisdom oozing with insight. Instead you are being subjected to the irrational world I created for myself today while in the companionship of my pseudo psycho manic alter-ego, Dilly.

It started out to be a productive day. I'm not sure where the wrong turn came but then I can never pinpoint exactly where I go wrong when I veer off the beaten path. One minute I was on track for sewing the whole day and the next minute, well...see for yourself:

Actually the picture got taken a little after the disaster so it doesn't look quite as intimidating. I truly think my fascination with the almighty button began when I was a very small girl. We would go and visit Grandma Ward and I would get bored and so she would let me play in her button box. Little did she know she was laying the foundation for what was unfolding today! {By the way, she's the same Grandma who taught me that the best part of the pork chop was that row of fat along the outer edge.} Mother inherited the button box and I continued to be mesmerized for hours sorting and counting the same buttons over and over again. As far as the cause of today's specific episode, I think there were some stray buttons that had been gathered together in a small pile and I figured now was as good a time as any to put them away. That's when Dilly plowed her way through my subconscious and wreaked havoc on an otherwise quiet, unassuming day.

As I was trying to figure out where the buttons belonged, the notion entered my head that there must be a better way to sort all these buttons. Color coded is great but not every button fits smoothly into being color coded and besides what if I just want a turtle button sometime and I don't care what color it is. I'm going to have to dig through all the buttons in search of a turtle. Glancing over the array of buttons, I begin to notice patterns and natural divisions. Hearts, stars, flowers. "This will be easy", I think to myself. Evidently I didn't think it to myself quietly enough because Dilly Lemma slid into the driver's seat and took control of my otherwise easygoing manner.

Pretty soon there were piles of buttons everywhere as I tried to make my final decision as to how they should be divided and sorted {and I remembered why I had so much fun playing with buttons in bygone years}. Once the hearts and stars and flowers were out, what was I to do with the remaining buttons? Well, there were lots of butterflies and dragonflies so I started a 'bug' pile. And then a pile materialized that was all animals.

But what about birds? Am I going to need to sort the animals by sky and earth habitats? Well that would make it easy for the fish buttons because then there could be a water animal pile. But what about the ducks? Should they go with the 'air' habitat or the 'earth' ones or in the 'water' habitat pile? Are you with me here?

And the 'transportation' pile! Do the running shoes go in that pile since they do tranpsort you somewhere? If they don't go with the cars and trains and boats, where will they go? I'm going to run out of bottles!!

And what about the rocking horses? Are they animals or transportation {a small child's imagination can allow them to be transported all over the place, you know}. Or do I need a 'toy' pile? Dilly Lemma is getting out of control and I'm getting the shakes.

Both my hands are flying as I sort my existing piles of buttons into different piles of buttons {also existing but in a less permanent sort of way}. Kind of like in elementary school when the teacher has reached his disciplinary limits and so now he whips out the infamous seating chart method of discipline. He points to a child and then, as if there were some magnetic connection between the tip of his finger and the intended desk, he draws a line connecting the two. And then he points to the next child, and the next, and the next until supposedly no one is sitting by a friend.

There was a whole class in college that I had to take that was on time management. The only thing I still remember to this day is a film we watched where we were taught to use both hands when doing any task. And so I get the left hand busy sorting out flowers while the right hand sorts out the bugs. Or was it the left hand sorting out the bugs and the right hand . . . . . and it is at this point when my right brain and my left brain knock neuro-sensors and realize they are in the throws of a Dilly of a Lemma!

Finally I decide the ducks will go with the water animals and the birds will go with the bugs {birds fly-bugs fly; birds eat bugs - makes sense to me}. I'm on a roll now! I am gaining the upper hand on Dilly and taking back the controls! Screeching halt as I stumble upon a pile of square buttons. There's not enough of them to warrant their own bottle. Ohhhhh! Where is my black juice? Opening a small storage container, I let out a groan. It contains a smattering of angel buttons - air habitat? No, they'll go with the toys as I would hope my children/grandchildren never grow too old to have angels close by them.

Okay, square buttons go with rocking horses in a 'toy' pile. I rationalize this because the square buttons remind me of blocks and blocks are toys. Then an ephiphelation strikes and I realize the running shoes will go with the bows because both of them are worn! D____ I'm good!

I'm fastening lids on jars when I feel satisfied with the division. No use leaving them open to accidentally get spilled. I purposely ignore the pile of mushroom buttons and the pile of boat anchors. Should the anchors go with the transportation buttons since they are always found on boats or should they go with the 'water' buttons since you throw the anchor in the water? Woe is me!

Oh, look, there's strawberries and green apples! That will justify a 'food' pile and so they join the mushrooms.

 Finally I let myself slide to the floor in utter and pure exhaustion. "I have conquered today's Dilly Lemma", I think to myself while sliding down the wall. After a moment or two of resting on my laurels {or butt cheeks, whichever you prefer}, I clean off the shelf and begin to line the bottles of buttons up. All the buttons that are basically round in shape will remain sorted by color for now. Maybe I should get more bottles, though, and sort them by whether they have two holes or four holes. Hmmm. That's a thought and clearly something I take into consideration when picking buttons. Four-holed buttons take longer to sew on and so if I don't have a lot of time, I would want to be able to just open a jar of two-holed buttons. But then, what about shank buttons? Oh, I see Dilly gathering her strength back and I quickly shut her down by mindlessly putting the button bottles on the shelf.

No more bottles remain - empty or full - outside the boundaries of the two shelves. Three hours later and I am done. I can go on now with the rest of my day. And then I see them.    

 Six errant little buttons. Rainbow colored buttons. They're round so they should go by color; but which color? Or should they go with the 'sky' habitat since rainbows are found in the sky? Or should they go with the 'water' habitat since you only see a rainbow after it's rained?

Gathering up what little bit of my strength and moral courage I have left, I turn off the light and I walk away.


  1. Anybody with that many buttons, with such an assortment of buttons, buttons I never dreamed were out there--gosh, I wonder if Grandma Ward was watching you have all that fun. How about just putting them all in the same box and then when you need one you just look through the whole box to find the one you want. That way you get to see the whole (hole) array of them in one sitting. I have a button box (must be we got it from the same grandma), but they are only separated into dark colors and white colors. I haven't used buttons for years. Should I send you my old fashioned buttons? They aren't nearly as colorful as your assortment. I love your blog.

  2. Buttons, buttons, whose got the buttons....hmmmm...I give up. Okay, I won't admit how many things I have thrown away since we sold our home of 35 years. Let's just say A LOT. I bet I've thrown away as many things as you have buttons...hint, hint. When you move into a townhouse if you buy something new you have to throw something away. That's just the way it has to be. So buckle down {sorry but button wouldn't work} and throw some of those little buggers in the trash.

  3. Betty! My ears are on fire! Throw something away? How dare you suggest such a rebel idea! I've actually been thinking I should organize all my fabric the same as my buttons and then they could all be together. We could get webcams and ya'll could help me via the airwaves!

  4. I really have no room to talk. You DID see all my bracelet boxes and beads!