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I recently stepped on a sweater of mine. And by me telling you this, you now know two things about me. 1. sometimes my clothes are on the floor and 2. I don’t even pretend that that’s not the case, and then proceed to step on them. There’s a specific place in my house where they end up, in a closet/bathroom/bedroom intersection that’s the perfect place for pulling off a sweater, and then not putting it away. And stepping on it, apparently.

Stepping on a sweater should not cause damage. But if you step on the button of a sweater, and said button is not exactly flat because it is made of some kind of shell, it will go crack and break into two pieces. And a broken button? Not a button at all.

Oh hell, I thought. I tried on the sweater (a cardigan) missing a button. Looked buttonless. Thought about just sewing it shut. Then I thought, well, I guess I’d better go to the button shop.

And you probably think I’m kidding, like I’m probably going to the sewing store or the crafts shop. Nope. Just buttons. I happen to know that there are some button stores on Rosas, in Santiago Centro (not far from the Mercado Central). I was aiming for the Rey de Los Botones (yes, button king!), but got waylaid by this shop, in a galería (like a shopping arcade) on Rosas, called, “Las Rosas” (the galería, not the store).

There were about seven people waiting, and two people waiting on them, so I snapped a pic or two of what the inside of the stand looks like. I felt some kind of a compulsive desire to go in there and organize all the buttons, but the women working there seemed to have everything under control. But seriously, look at all the drawers!


And then I explained my plight, whereupon I was given a couple of sheets of possible buttons, looking to match the actual buttons I already had, or if not, buy a bunch and just replace all of them.

This is what that looked like.


I picked my button type from the sheet, and was handed a jar. A jar of buttons! Three year old me was screaming in joy (my current me was thinking, I have GOT to wash my hands).


And then I picked some out


The woman who was helping me was very confused. She was like, oh, you’re looking at them. I said, sorry, was I supposed to wait? I didn’t know. She was like, no, that’s fine. I promised her I wouldn’t steal any, and I didn’t. All those buttons and all that experience for less than 3 dollars. It’s hard to believe a business can employ 3 people (two helping customers and one at the register) selling just buttons.

For those of you who aren’t friends of mine on FB, just yesterday I wrote the following:

After all this time, when I pitch a new outlet, and find myself writing “bla bla South America,” or “bla bla Chile,” I still get a thrill. I live in South America. It’s been ten years. I wonder if it will ever wear off. (Hope not).

And that was even before the button foray. Who else has a silly errand involving finding something tiny? Let’s go find the street where there are ten stores that sell only that. Also, the sweater? Looks good. No more stepping on it, I hope.