"What do you do all day?" I asked innocently enough, thereby implying that she should have time to replace a lost button on my pants.
Boy, I sure opened Pandora's Box with that one!
"I served something like 59,000 meals in the 55 years we'be been together," she fairly erupted. "I've scrubbed, dusted and made the bed more than 19,000 times when you were around," she growled.
I tried to pacify her with a clever saying then. "Do you know that making the bed is a lot like the dilemma which some politicians face? It's hard to be on both sides at the same time!"
I thought that was funny, but it fell on deaf ears.
She continued her tirade. "Didn't you tell me that in the Army you always sewed your own patches on? And didn't you always sew your own buttons which came off when you taught dirty fighting?" she wanted to know.
She knew how to hurt a guy by dredging up stuff like that.
I resolved never to tell her any more war stories, but she wasn't through.
"Now you can sew your OWN button on, and see if I care," she harrumphed, as she turned to whatever she does besides serving meals and making beds.
So I ended up with a button and the sewing material.
I soon discovered that threading a needle is harder than finding one in a hay stack. It was a lot easier when I was younger.
I thought the eye of the needle was a lot bigger then; I didn't have that kind of trouble in the Army. Every time I was about to shove the thread through, the needle waggled and I missed.
I found myself wishing that I hadn't told her about those times in the dim, dark days beyond recall.
I finally got the needle threaded, and then came the knot in the string. You talk about all thumbs. I had a handful of them when I tried to make a knot so small.
I would have flunked out of Boy Scouts if thread-tying was required!
Unfortunately, I got the needle-and-thread ready � and it only took me an hour and a half. The sewing would be easier by comparison.
The button I had to replace came off the fly of my trousers, so I had no trouble positioning it. But the needle wouldn't go through, and I missed the hole in the button a few times. Besides that, the thread kept wading up, and I stuck myself over and over again.
I bled a lot, too!
At long last I finished the job, and I would have showed Phyllis my handiwork, if I could have stopped the bleeding!
She may have served 59,000 meals, but when it comes to buttons, I'm way ahead of her.
© 2006 Robert F. Karolevitz