“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord by God.” Deuteronomy 22:5
I didn’t know this before I sat down in a doctor’s office yesterday. I was there for a skin thing not worth mentioning, and I picked up a September 2012 issue of Marie Claire to catch up on my fashion sense (yes, 2012). Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible was featured with a page devoted to why women close buttons right on left and men do the opposite. Deuteronomy was cited.
This is important trivia for a writer. You never know when reading articles, attending events not in your usual interest, or seeing television shows you’ve never heard of will spark an interest or give important information. It’s important to keep abreast. Which reminds me, have you seen the television show Naked and Afraid on the Discovery Channel http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/naked-castaway/videos/naked-stranded-alone.htm about surviving in the wilderness? I happened on it a few weeks ago and watched it for half an hour. Then I lifted my chin to close my mouth.
The show has not worked itself into my writing (except for now, of course), but it was a society update. Much of the conversation wasn’t that different than people in rayon and polyester yelling at each other from their cubicles, which are a wilderness many of us know well.
Three hours after the doctor visit that introduced me to button history and resulted in free skin care samples, I was sitting in a physical therapist’s office for a first visit to torture my right foot. Nothing big. It’s been aging and has reached a crankiness that is currently benefited by icing and pounding into shape on a daily basis.
Back to interesting stuff. I looked at the Oprah magazine and
learned lots. Singer J Monae http://www.jmonae.com has a hairdo so unique that a writer would be challenged to describe it. “Kid President” Robby Novak has a Ted Talk I’ll try listening to. I wish I could go to the Harvard (My son’s undergraduate alma mater.) November Project. Anyone and everyone is invited on Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. to walk up and down the stadium stairs. It looks fun to be part of it www.november-project.com.
And last, before I was called in to meet the therapist who worked my foot like no one ever has, I read about a hotel I want to visit called Fogo Island on Newfoundland. http://www.fogoislandinn.ca Writers need to use moments like waiting for doctors to rediscover what’s going on “out there.”
For a wrap-up conclusion, there were other theories about why men and women button differently. One had to do with knights of the Middle Ages wearing mail for protection. If it is left over right there is more resistance to oncoming swords. Another idea is the Hasidic belief it symbolizes victory of good over evil.
Inspiration swells from anywhere. Perhaps there is an article or book to be written including button history. Or someday a character of mine will find herself stranded on Newfoundland with no place to stay but Fogo Island Inn and they are so taken with her they waive the $550 to thousands per night charge. Hurrah for spare, entertaining, educational moments!