The Top Button


I’m a guy and I hang up clothes the way most guys do: if it manages to stay off the floor then I’ve done my job. In our household there are no “blue” and “pink” jobs, my wife and I share responsibilities, chores and duties as required. You are just as likely to find my wife shoveling the driveway while I cook dinner as the other way around, we are not fussy. Laundry however is one area where I do lack behind her just a little. Ok, maybe a lot. Laundry has become mostly her job, and ability plays no small part in this reasoning. She meticulously sorts colours and fabric types for each load, while I have three categories: things that are white, things that used to be white, and things that I’m unsure what to do with so I leave them in the bottom of the hamper for her to wash.

Which brings me back to my clothes hanging abilities. When I hang up one of my shirts, I stuff the hanger into the sleeves and presto, done! On the other hand, my wife likes to make things perfect; she makes sure the hanger is sitting correctly on the shoulders and she pulls the sleeves taught, double checking that the hems are flat and not rolled up. She fusses with the collar, putting it upright and even, with no wrinkles or creases. To hold the shirt perfectly in place on the hanger she also does up the top button – you know that little one right at the collar that is almost impossible fasten? She says this holds the shirt nice and square and keeps it looking sharp. She says she likes me to look good.

When I am rushing for work in the morning and I try to grab a shirt off of the hanger I have to pause and wrestle with that little button – the one that is so hard to undo and usually requires that I put things down and use both hands to get my shirt free of its shackle. Do I sigh and roll my eyes impatiently because I have to fight with this little button during my morning rush? Absolutely not. I know that this button is done up purely out of love. She has put in extra effort for the soul benefit of me looking better (and honestly, I need all the help I can get).

In a hectic world full of short cuts and efficiencies, where “good enough” is often the norm, these kinds of little details can easily go unnoticed, so when you do come across them, be sure to appreciate it. Take the time to notice when someone puts in that little extra effort just for you. My wife and I do a lot for each other in life and this little button has become a small symbol; a daily reminder to look after the little things for each other.

May you all be lucky enough to have someone take the time to fasten your top button.

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