Buttons, which were popular in the 1970's, had shrunk down to the size of a quarter or nickle. They became the affectation for the music-loving teenager of the 1980's.
When I was a junior in a Seattle suburb High School, I took a physics class just so I could hang out with the one and only punk rocker at the school. Eric wore all black and sported Doc Martens and a shaved head. He looked a little scary (only because he was "different"), but he was smart and always nice to me. I developed a crush on him when we became lab partners, so I got to call him up "freely" under the pretense of doing homework.
He told me about all the bands I'd never heard of, but would later love: Talking Heads, Devo, The B52's, The Clash, Elvis Costello, and The Buzzcocks. At that time I was listening to Foghat, Blue Oyster Cult, and Journey. (I wasn't totally hopeless, I listened to Cheap Trick too!).
Since I thought he was the coolest guy ever, I ran down to the record store and bought every one of his suggestions. It was only natural that I would want to show off my new found coolness, so I bought buttons and wore them like badges of honor in order to impress Eric.
Typically displayed in small groups of 3-5, they adorned the chest pocket of my black vest, which was part of my uniform back then.
My crush eventually disappeared and so did the buttons. If you have a favorite button (or an old "crush"), leave a comment and tell me about it.