“Attaccare un bottone”, attach to a button, that’s what the Italian expression is, and such a quaint one. Who would guess it means to join in on a public conversation with people you have never met before. Some use it to refer to a strategy plan for picking up a girl or guy. Others a reminder of how someone can butt in when not wanted or even turn into the biggest bore out. Still it seems easy enough for Italians to ‘attach to a button’ as they spend most of their time talking loudly, making sure they can be overheard, waving their arms wildly, often seemingly arguing when in fact they are the best of friends and namely wanting to attract attention. Born actors!
Funny that such a performance is linked to a button, a simple button that has taken on an all new importance, I wonder why? As far as I know buttons in Italy have no particular significance or any more so than in any other country. Changing fashion has made them bigger, flashier, exotic, cartoonlike or done away with them altogether as materials stretch over our bodies or a hidden zip helps us ease into that slinky little black number. Yet I am sure you can still “attach to a button” even if you’re no longer wearing one!
So here I am all dressed and ready to go, in my new dress bought from that ever so cute shop in Cefalù, their own creations with a certain ‘70’s air. The dress is easy to wear, floppy but not too floppy so you can still see my figure and the bright pinky purple flowers bounce off the black. Two deep pockets each side with the same flower covered buttons give me a laidback feel as I plunge both hands inside them.. I’m feeling pretty cute, almost like a teenager again and step into the bar to greet Catie. It’s girls night out and she is raring to go, which is more than encouraging as I have just separated and need some reassuring and a good laugh together.
“Wow what a great dress, you look terrific. Love the colours, suit you. Do you want a spritz?
Thanks. Yes Please.
Quick grab that stool”
I make a dive for the stool only to see my little button spin on the floor….oh no. The stool or the button? I lean down and our eyes meet “Is this yours?”
Catie is already in a prime spot at the counter, legs swinging from another stool as she orders two Spritzes and looks around wondering what I am doing. I come back with the stool looking flustered and she laughs at me. “Was he trying to attach to your button?’”
This was written for Sara Haynes Button jar project see www.buttonjar.co.uk My button is the first in the jar, and there are some very cute pieces and poems under each button. I particularly liked “Jumble” under a small square acqua-blue button, but hey, go check them out for yourselves. More Italian sayings to come.