“Never put a sock in the toaster” is excellent advice from Eddie Izzard. But sometimes I must admit to being tempted to do just that. It’s the truth that my absolute favorite thing about spring and the coming warm weather is that I don’t have to wear socks, wash socks, match socks or, most of all, listen to complaints about someone’s favorite sock going missing. Socks have been the bane of my existence since the day I got married and started doing someone else’s laundry besides my own. I don’t think I need to mention any names here.
Personally, I tend to be a traditionalist about socks. Most of mine are black or white because they are easy to match up and I can wear them even if they don’t “match” precisely as long as I have long pants on. But I do like brightly colored socks. I just don’t manage to get to the Bright Sock Store…ever. When my socks seem to be running low having been eaten by the dryer or when they acquire too many holes in places that make them really uncomfortable, I just pick more up in the supermarket.
I think that the very best advice I’ve seen on the Interweb about socks is from Jerod Kintz. He said, “I soak my white socks in coffee, so I can wear them with brown pants and keep my feet from falling asleep.” I may just decide to do that one of these days. I need all the help I can get.
My daughter Carrie, on the other hand, is most definitely a bright sock person who has never even been too particular about her socks matching. I call it Serendipitous Sock Syndrome but I don’t think it needs to be treated medically. I actually admire SSS in a person. Carrie recently brought me a bag of her old socks that are orphans or have holes in strategic places. Those colorful socks will eventually be stuffed with organic catnip and made into catnip toys for some discerning cat or possibly a designer cat bed, giving these colorful old tubes a new lease on life.
|Last year's selection of catnip toys and an upcycled cat/dog bed designed primarily by my friend Diane O-J and made in last year's colors.|
Carrie does knit but I don’t think she has tried to make socks yet. If she ever did, this story might just be about her: A policeman spotted a woman driving and knitting at the same time. Driving up beside her, he yelled, “Pull over!!” “No,” the woman shouted back, “a pair of socks!” Actually, Carrie is a very careful driver. Just because she suffers from SSS, it doesn’t mean she would be careless with knitting needles.
But I know that most of you have lost socks in your laundry so you can, like I can, relate to this quote by Rod Schmidt: “I washed a sock. Then I put it in the dryer. When I took it out, it was gone.” My friend Kathi Clayton is a notable exception to this law of nature and claims to have never lost a sock in the laundry. I think she needs to go on tour and explain exactly how this has happened. What’s your secret, Kathi? People would flock to her lectures. She would be the next big thing and would be able to buy socks made of silk and cashmere woven with gold. My guess is that socks like that would get lost. What self-respecting dryer could resist gobbling those up?
Enough about socks, already! I would say that it’s about time to put a sock in this blog post. But I ran across this article written in 1979 by the incomparable Erma Bombeck. Apparently she asked that people let her know their theories on the cause of socks going missing and this is what she found out:
Most of the writers zeroed in on sex. Like coat hangers and paper clips, socks were believed to have an active sex life – but only in water. Some believed they married, but they fooled around and often divorced in the dryer. No alimony was involved. Some stayed together through two or three washings, but suddenly turned into a swinging single. One writer believed that socks went through a sex change, coming out another color.
A large number embraced the Planned Obsolescence theory, that is a conspiracy between sock and washer manufacturers who incorporate sock disintegrators (right next to the button crusher) and sock sensors which grind up a sock and spit it out as lint. The newer models even have a reconstructed sock cycle which returns a sock lost five years ago.
There was a Sock Fairy theory for those of you who believe in Peter Pan, the Cloning theory where for every pair of socks an extra one is cloned driving you crazy with three socks of one color, and the Best Friend theory where your friend is secretly after your husband and both are trying to drive you whacko. There is the Reincarnation theory where it is believed that a sock returns in another form. (One woman swore that after five years of losing socks, they all came back one day as a sweater.)
Some believed socks had an identity crisis and split. Others leaned toward cannibalism. One writer went for the Steve Martin theory where socks, instead of getting high on detergent, got small and disappeared.
A great number believed socks to be a migratory species, activated by simply adding water.
And finally, one writer blamed the United States government for programming washers to eat socks and keep the economy alive. One blamed the Russians for undermining American women’s stability. I’d have been disappointed if someone hadn’t said that.
My last words on the subject are that I’m just glad my dogs can breathe.