I did not expect buttons to be the enduring important topic from tonight’s installment of Miss Fairchild Presents The Miss Fairchild Show at Great Scott in Allston, but I’m glad they are as they have a special significance for me.

We all have “nervous” habits. Some people bite their nails, some people twirl their hair. I, apparently, unfasten and refasten the buttons on my shirt and vest. I didn’t know about this habit until a few weeks ago when our friendly neighborhood lead-singer Daddy Wrall pointed it out to me. I don’t mind so much, really. There are many other nervous habits I could have (and I’ve tried most of them) that are be more damaging and evoke more concerned looks from my fellow man. (Who am I kidding? I’m talking about concerned looks from women.)

I revealed my habit in conversation and was asked, “so, are you nervous on stage?”

Oddly, no. It’s hard feel nerves when performing with Miss Fairchild. I’m so confident in the musicians around me that it doesn’t become a factor. Trick Johnson and Todd “The Rocket” Richard are such a solid base, and Misters Wrall and Nice are nothing if not inspirational. No, this nervous habit is reserved for other times.

You see, I’m the member of Miss Fairchild who is the probably least comfortable off the stage. Wrall and Samuel each have such a natural manner with people; To paraphrase Joni Mitchell: “They make friends easy, not like me. I wait for judgement anxiously.” And it’s not that I don’t like people. Far from it, I find people to be beautiful and complex. Even, this guy, who took it upon himself to attempt to unbutton my vest when I realized my plans to hit the dance floor. Yes, he’s nearly naked. Some boundaries may have been crossed here.

(I would say that he was too far gone to realize what he was doing, except he actually seemed to know what he was doing! He wore his shorts normally until he heard “Dazzey Duks.” In fact, I believe that to be the moment that his formerly endearing act jumped the shark.)

Interestingly, he might have succeeded in unbuttoning my vest, except, as a reversible vest, the buttons were on the feminine side, clearly confusing him. I’ve always found the explanations for why men’s and women’s clothing have the buttons on opposite sides. And this is only shirts we’re talking about. Pants buttons are always on the left. Explanations aside, however, variety of the spice of life. If I have to wear women’s clothing occasionally to diversify my nervous habits, so be it.

And it might even save me from being undressed in public.

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