Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cute as a button

I got that phrase stuck in my head today. I don't know why. Sometimes random stuff just gets stuck in my head.

But I have to ask this question: What does that even mean?

I don't really think of buttons as being all that cute. I mean, I guess I like buttons. Who doesn't like buttons? I never really think about buttons . . . until they fall off of my pants or something. And then I'm not real fond of that particular button.

But not all buttons worldwide. I will concede that buttons are a good thing.

But why "buttons"? Why not . . . a zipper, or cute as a thimble, or a pillow, or a spoon?

I'd say spoons are probably the cute-est of all flatware.

So that brings me back to my original question. Are buttons really cute?

I mean, the buttons I have don't really stand out. They just hold up my pants, or close my shirt. I don't even notice them . . . again, unless they are missing.

I guess I'd dislike a particularly ugly button. But normal, everyday buttons just don't really phase me one way or another.

So if buttons aren't so much necessarily actually "cute", where do we get this phrase "cute as a button?"

Is that even a compliment? Like if I tell you you are cute as a button, am I literally describing your cuteness as the equivilent of the cuteness contained in one button?

I'd say that's not really all that much cuteness. Buttons are small. If I tell you that you are cute, I probably sense a larger amount of cuteness coming from you than what could be contained in one small button.

So that would make it almost an insult, wouldn't it? If you are "just as cute as a button", I've just told you that there are a lot of things out there in the world much larger than a button that you are not as cute as. Your cuteness is confined to the size of a tiny, possibly non-ugly button.

In fact, if you were as cute as a house, or a mountain, or a planet, that would really be something special. That's a LOT of cuteness.

So essentially, if I tell you you are cute as a button, you can assume that you are probably ugly.


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