If there is one article of clothing that separates me from my fellow human being it would surely be socks. They are the bane of my existence. One with the family size I have does expect to be somewhat challenged with laundry. While others in humanity are grappling with “bored” moments, I am usually quite occupied in a serious, ongoing relationship with my washing machine. The usual theories “what goes around comes around” and what “goes in will come out” have abandoned me in my laundry world.
Socks washed together should both be available entering the dryer and result post-dryer in one pai.r clean and dry…fairly simple right? Nah, two socks go in and I am lucky if I ever see the other sock in my lifetime! Long before it was the fashion my children were sporting mismatched socks on their feet due to the other sock having eluded the laundry police. I have checked everywhere for the “other” sock and except in rare circumstances can the missing sock ever be found.
People worry about alien abductions. Sock abductions are taking place every day at a washing machine near you. Water treatment plants have whole departments dedicated to the stuff that goes down sinks and through pipes, these include rings, jewelry, spinning tops, razor blades and almost anything else you can think of…but apparently NOT socks.
My best friend and I spent hours trying to envision the perfect solution to the sock mate issue. We thought of just about everything. In the end we could not get a system that did not add work to the already outrageous amount of socks I am handling that would survive the rigorous bleaching, soaking and washing (albeit by my washing machine)routine I subject those filthy sock to . I am thinking that going through life barefooted is truly underrated. Why would anyone need socks any way?
I strive to maintain a family bin stocked 24/7 with matched socks with anywhere from 50 to 100 socks varying in size, colours, shapes but all nicely paired and available to the inmates at my house (yes, I need a life). To fully understand my pain one would have to realize that twice a week I am dumping a hundred assorted socks (plus) on to my bed to sort and match. Part of this game is to also dump the full (tall) laundry bin full of mis-mates and let the fun begin. The first few pairs go fairly quickly as the design and colours aid in securing the match.
Smaller inmates often rush to “help mommy” but the older jaded offspring spilt pretty quickly when they figure out it is “sock night” again! Forty-five minutes later, as I am awash in a sea of similar (but different) white sport socks I am truly no longer enjoying the memory game. Pick one up… look for where the mate might be (you know…the one you put down a moment before)…and repeat. I comfort myself that recent studies have shown that memory exercises can help to advert Alzheimer’s in later life (although there is a part of me that thinks to be at a stage in life where I can no longer remember socks…might not be a bad idea).
As if the gargantuan effort to maintain the sock concierge was not enough, apparently I have to understand what happens to these socks (the paired ones that is) once they leave my custody. I mean I have 11 people at my house…I match well over 200 socks per week. Basic math would indicate that is enough for all the natives (at a ratio of 2.6 pairs per day for each inhabitant at my place).
Some of the mystery can be solved easily as the large, nice, super long socks disappear as “Mister size 17 shoe” takes those to such lofty places such as his gym bag, under his bed and in his closet. Other socks go missing I am told to complement the undergarments of the female child in high school (no really? Not something I wanted to know). The little boy’s socks (you know the ones designed for a 3-5 year old) are apprehended by the 19-year-old daughter who refuses to be seen in public wearing sport socks but would much prefer to stretch the little boy’s socks over her size 10.5 foot. This is so she looks like she has “cool” anklet socks unbeknownst to any passerby observer that this adult(?) has raided her pre-school brother’s sock supply to achieve such fashion notoriety.
Other socks I hear were used in a contraption that some demented child fashioned to catch the mouse that lives in our kitchen and others still use these socks to stuff in the drum set to change the sound.
Then there is the husband who regularly contributes brand name socks (athletic footwear names) to the “overall supply”, then because of such perceived nobility waits until I match all of them and then removes these prized possessions to hoard in some secret place. This furtive behavior is so he will have socks to leave the house as the gainfully employed (workplaces are behind in accepting bare-footed employees).
Moving on to other sock disappearances, the “soap socks” (fuzzy, soft, colourful) are all taken by an even split between the 10-year-old girl and the 14-year-old boy (yes, this kid regularly wears very colourful, fuzzy socks to high school) afterwards I am left with a bin of a few rattier pairs (almost threadbare) in which to choose what I get to wear around the house. Then I remember I am the sock hoarder extraordinaire and I had put some “nice” ones (same colour, no holes) away for me (well hidden). I race to my private stash only to sadly find out that once again this week’s secret hiding spot was busted.
Thankfully my daytime employment requires nylons because if socks were a prerequisite I would likely be unemployed eons ago. I am most grateful for my washing machine and someday (in the future) when perhaps I am lucky enough to avoid Alzheimer’s I will fondly (and with gratitude) remember my sock memory matching games as I try to outrun senility. However until then I remain one tired, played out, sock-matching exhausted goat!