Friday, January 11, 2013

The Phenomenon of Mismatched Socks: Weird or Genius?

Yesterday, I spent the evening doing that household chore I hate the most:  folding laundry! And as I much as I detest folding laundry, there's something I hate even more:  sorting socks! I really don't know how it is that my pile of "odd socks that don't have matches" keeps growing and growing. Is there some invisible black hole that keeps sucking down the socks when I'm not looking? WHERE ARE ALL OF THE SOCKS GOING??

Anyway, there is a point to this post, and I'll get to it! As I was sorting those socks last night, I started thinking about a conversation I had with my niece, Shelby, the last time she came to visit. A day or so into the visit, I noticed something strange. Shelby never wore matching socks. There are those that would assume that Shelby was following some cool trend that only teenagers are privy to, but Shelby is not some weird, wacked-out renegade. On the contrary, she's a beautiful girl that has her head on straight, so I decided to put the question to her.

"Shelby, why are you not wearing matching socks?"

Her answer surprised me.

"Well, for starters, I don't have to spend all of that time sorting socks, and I never have to worry about trying to keep up with the matches. It makes life simpler. Plus, think about how much money I save. If one sock gets a hole in it, oh well. I don't have to throw that pair away. I can still wear the other sock until it wears out.

She had me at that. No more sorting socks! A dream come true! As she was talking, I kept thinking about that brown sock with the polk-a-dots--the one I hadn't been able to find the match to. I'd been hanging onto it for months in the hope that the other sock would somehow turn up. I had to admit, Shelby's logic made sense. For one small moment, I considered the possibility. Then I pictured the look that would surely be on Patrick's face when I told him that I was dumping all of his socks into one big drawer. "Just wear any sock, honey. They don't have to match." Yeah, it doesn't take a brain-child to figure out how that would go over.

Shelby's socks not matching. That's cool--even genius. But on me? Peculiar, weird, or a little touched in the head. Oh, to be a teenager again. But I'm not a teenager. Heck, I'm not even in my twenties. (No, I'm not going to announce my age.)

What did I do?  I put that polk-a-dot sock on one foot and a red sock on the other, looked at it for a few minutes, and then did what any sensible, grown-up woman would do:  replaced the polk-a-dot sock with the red. Okay, I'll admit it:  I'm a sucker for conventionalism!

Last night, I decided to count the number of socks in my "odd sock pile." The grand total--14 socks! I did the math:  14 pairs of socks at an average price of $3.00 per pair = $42.00 OUCH! WHERE ARE ALL OF THE SOCKS GOING?

How many odd socks are in your pile?

A picture of my niece Shelby Youngblood, donning her mismatched socks. In case your were wondering, Shelby enjoys running and snowboarding. She loves chicken nuggets. Her mantra? "Embrace your weirdness!"

Up-close picture of Shelby's awesome, colorful, mismatched socks.


My "odd sock pile."

On a good note:  Patrick was rearranging furniture last night and look what he found--my other brown, polka-dot sock!! Now I can wear both socks again! Woo Hoo!






12 comments:

  1. Parris wears mismatched socks ALL the time... I think our washing machine gets hungry and decides to eat one of the sets.

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  2. I like that theory .. the washing machine ate my sock! So that's where all of the socks are going. LOL! Parris will start a new trend.

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  3. What if you don't know all the places to look to find all the mismatched socks?:)

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    1. Good point, Taryn. See Toni's comment below. Now we know where to look to find those socks!

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  4. MANY years ago, our Grandmother Jones pointed out to my little cousin that the socks she was wearing didn't match. My cousin's reply: "Granny, only one of them doesn't match." (This little cousin grew up to be an attorney.)

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    1. That's a great way to look at it! Ha ha! Love this!

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  5. The scientific explanation (Shannon is right): My college boyfriend whose father owned a chain of appliance stores in California, said that the washing machine, in so many words, does eat your socks. Occasionally, a random sock will lodge itself up under the agitator for a while. It's got me wondering how to access that space to retrieve those "lost" socks. In theory, Jen, there are fourteen socks up your agitator!

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    1. Okay, now I'm wondering if there really are fourteen socks lodged in the agitator. That's food for thought! I'd feel vindicated if there were only a couple up there.

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