Monday, June 1, 2009

Sock it to me



(Warning: this post may bore you to death, but sometimes a girl just has to vent.)


Socks are the Aegean stables of my life. If I totaled up all the hours I've spent pawing through laundry baskets full of color-sorted unmatched socks, I'd probably realize I had found the true purpose of my life and immediately take to drink. And don't just tell me to throw away all those unmated socks. Those suckers are expensive! Those stylish little teenager socks, the ones I buy them for special occasions (as opposed to the usual Big-Lots irregulars I buy)? They are the price of a deli sandwich with all the fixins. I'm going to hunt those renegades down, rope 'em, and ride 'em back to the fold if it kills me.

So here's the way it goes. Each load of laundry spits out a few socks whose partners went AWOL. I toss them in a basket dedicated entirely to lonely socks. Then, each month, when the basket is full, I spend ridiculous amounts of time sorting them by color and hunting for matches. When I find a match, and I do find some, I feel like Tommy Lee Jones might have felt if he'd ever caught The Fugitive. But there are always socks, good socks, socks that have only been worn once, that get left behind, alone and unmated, in the Miss Lonely Hearts basket. And so the cycle (of laundry and life) begins again....

So, my dears, any advice?

17 comments:

JC said...

We had a whole drawer full of very pretty socks. We use them to wax the car ...

Utah Savage said...

I use my stray socks to dust with. Very handy they are. I admire the dedication of a basket just for the strays. But then all my socks are cheap crap from Big Lots or the grocery store. I love it that the grocery store sells socks too. That truly makes it one outing a week for me. That leaves me free to be the true recluse I have chosen to be.

Claire M. Johnson said...

The extremely sad part of this whole saga is that I, too, have a mismatched sock bin, and I, too, try to round up the "strays" once a month. Which begs the question. How many Berkeley grads does it take to match a sock?

Elizabeth said...

JC - If I ever get around to washing or waxing my car, I'll remember that!

Utah - For myself, I only get the Big-Lots cheap crap. But I do get the girls nice ones from time to time, as stocking stuffers, etc. Those are the ones I hunt down ruthlessly.

Claire - Your punch line made me laugh out loud! I think there may be an inverse relationship between number and quality of degrees and ability to match items of clothing. (Hey, look at my husband!)

a thousand shades of twilight said...

I rarely sort my socks, preferring to take them straight from the drying rack after emerging from the shower bleary-eyed and cursing. I just grab at the first thing I see. Which means that I often end up wearing odd socks. Which means I only buy various subtle variations on "dark"...
Professional of me, isn't it??

sageweb said...

Wow I rarely have this problem..if I have a sock that has lost its mate it goes back into the dirty laundry until a mate is found. I only have 3 colors of all the same brand of socks though.

Elizabeth said...

1000 shades - Ah, well your socks fit in with your blog persona! And I'm sure you look dashingly individualistic and unlawyerly with your daringly different socks.

sage - That would suit me just fine, but the four daughters have other ideas! (Pesky kids.)

Kim Hambric said...

My daughter removes her socks and shoes wherever she goes.
The shoes return. The socks -- almost never. They've been set free!

yellowdog granny said...

when i had the 3 kids at home and differnt types colors etc..i pinned them together..pain in the ass, but it saved me a bundle of money buying more socks..you can get one of those little plastic cases with tiny pins in them..for about a $...if you work your cards right you can threaten to beat them to death(it worked for me) if they didnt pin their socks together for the laundry...or they would have to buy their own socks...

mumbliss said...

Oh my! how sick and amazing is this? I do the EXACT same thing. A mismached sock basket of patient widowed and widower socks. I get so happy when I find a match, but the time that is spent sorting and struggling toward that small, delicious pleasure is unspeakably embarrassing. I cannot stop myself. In fact I only throw them to the rags, or more likely, the project baskets, when they have a big, big, hole I will not mend. Those special socks? I keep them. I find other people's socks sometimes, labeled with a marker, or one's I never bought.
I think there are alot of lonely or adulterous socks under beds, between pillows, in strange drawers, and probably in someone else's mismatched sock basket.
As to college degrees?....... it could be a sad story, too sad, unless the sincerity and seriousness and persistence redeems and transforms.... the world.
The optimistic heroine with her lovely basket of mismatched socks saves the day again. Makes us seem heroic if you look at it just right.
XXX to each patient sock. Your day will come. You are a hero. There is meaning in your existence.

jason said...

Sock monkeys!

Kathleen said...

Beautifully composed blog pictures!
I do basically the same thing, and every tie I find a matching pair, I feel like shouting BINGO!
Once about every 5 years, my hubbie kindly disposes of the orphans without my knowledge. Much easier that way!

Elizabeth said...

Kim - So it's a catch and release program you've got going!

YDG - My kids would just laugh at me if I said that! I have an idea, you come here and say it to them! I bet they'll listen.... (I know I would).

mumbliss - Of course you do! We moms are the ones who buy the adorable socks for our kids. We know how much they cost at Delias or Pac Sun! We know that that yellow graphic tee looks completely perfect with those lemon-yellow socks. Damn it, where is that other lemon-yellow sock? Shit! She only wore that once!

Kathleen - I think having the husband bury them in the back yard or set them free to be free-range socks once a year is a brilliant solution. But I have a question. Do you find all the matches the day after he does it?

Jason - Now why didn't I think of that? A whole jungle full!

more cowbell said...

Well, there's the pin thing. I had a friend who did that faithfully.

Then there's the Bohemian's method. She simply doesn't wear matching socks. It's her style. Since we live in the land of crappy weather, we buy knee socks, in lots of different designs and colors. The Bohemian just grabs whichever two are at the top of the basket, and calls it a day. I can't imagine it would go over well at my job, but in the world of college or high school, she's actually considered cool and eclectic. Well, I take that back - the more fashion conscious students at Howard think it's shameful... but she doesn't care.

Then there's Teen Demon; she wears socks like your daughters'. Little cute footies in cute colors. I still have some unmatched ones she left here...

L said...

hey! that one's mine!!!!
noo--just kidding. i've always been an odd-socked girl, myself. drives tomasz crazy. ahh the sweet luxuries of my carefree shameless life!

L said...

Wow, you'll love this--shortly after I commented this evening, I was getting Charlotte ready for bed, and in between putting on pants and putting on her shirt, she bent over, found a neatly matched pair of striped socks and tore them apart, throwing one over her shoulder and placing the other one back down.
HA!
Teenagers...

Avery said...

Umm, is there any reason NOT to wear mismatched socks? I think I honestly prefer the renegade pair. Provided you have enough mismatched socks to pair similar weigh/size socks with one another (and I'm sure you do), mismatched socks are about the best thing that ever happened to a set of feet.

It's like fun underwear...a secret to keep you slightly more entertained with yourself all day long. And if the twins have a complaint, just remind them that I'm pretty damn cool (which may or may not be the truth), and I say mismatched socks are the new skinny jeans.

Love,
Leigh