Two bits of background information:
First, when I got my sewing machine and tried the automatic buttonhole maker I thought all of 20th century technology had arrived at my house in one remarkable invention. Never, I boldly proclaimed, would I ever need to make a buttonhole by hand,
Second, when Adam was a teenager, many years before I knew him, he bought a tweed jacket at a used clothing store.
The story itself:
Two weeks ago when the weather became truly fall-like, Adam came downstairs happily wearing his favorite tweed jacket. I realized that the buttonholes were getting a little ratty and decided to take a closer look. (This might have been my first mistake.) I quickly realized that the rattiness was not the buttonhole thread. The buttonhole thread was gone completely, and the rattiness was the fabric of the jacket starting to unravel. For one brief moment I thought of my bold proclamation about "never" making buttonholes by hand and then realized that that was just what I was about to do.
It's actually not unpleasant work. I wouldn't do it by choice on a new piece of clothing, but to save an old favorite, a jacket that Adam has enjoyed for so many years, an item of clothing that has become a symbol of fall for me, it's worth it.