One Sock, Two Socks, Where's Three & Four?
By Julie Coulter Bellon
There is a magical place inside my washing machine. In the deep dark recesses of this modern miracle, there is a place where only socks can go. I know, that somehow, the second the washer senses that there is a pair of socks in the load of laundry I am putting in, it secretly shudders with glee. It is a paroxysm of joy and pain—the washer knows the joy of having another sock for its guilty prisoner, and also glories in the pain it causes when the pair is separated and becomes a single.
So here I sit. With a basket full of single socks, longing for their mates. My children whine and cry that they have no matched socks to wear and what can I tell them? I have no key to the magical world of socks. I am relegated to living in this space and time, a household of socks that have no match. It is a very frustrating place to be—the world of having a mateless sock basket. It has become the desperation basket that everyone runs to when they have no more matched socks and finally just wear the mismatched ones and hope no one notices.
I’ve tried to prevent this from happening. There are little doohickeys you can buy to clip the socks together, but that didn’t work. The doohickeys just ended up in the bottom of the washer, their precious sock pried from their grasp by the unseen forces in the washing machine that revel in the joy of having my family’s socks. I’ve tried buying the same brand of socks so we could just mix and match. But inevitably, over time, that sixteen pair pack of white socks has become a three pair. I know the last matched pair is trembling with fright at the thought of the next wash, having had all his previous family pack mates being swallowed up into the great sock beyond.
So here I sit. With the basket of single socks.
What is the solution? I vote for a sockless society. We live in a numbed culture that just passively accepts socks as the norm. We mindlessly put them on every day and don’t question why. Yet, there are unseen forces working to gather socks. Have we ever questioned it? No. It could be a secret conspiracy. Perhaps there is a government agency analyzing our DNA or smell patterns from our socks! Maybe a terrorist organization is gathering socks from all over the world to analyze how they could put a bio-chemical weapon in our socks that would eat away our feet and render us useless. So, for safety’s sake, I think we should ban socks. We could have sock burning parties, meeting to decry the use of socks, yell Socks Suck and hold up signs that say, "Sock Haters Unite!"and anyone caught wearing or harboring socks would be sentenced to flogging with said socks. (Nothing stuffed in them, like rocks, of course. Unless it’s Rob Wells.)
Or, another solution would be to make the wearing of mismatched socks a cool fashion statement. Everyone would be doing it! We just need to approach some big name celebrities to start the trend. Does anyone have Matt Damon’s phone number? (By the way, I loved his new movie The Bourne Supremacy. Matt Damon really shines in the role of Jason Bourne. But I digress.)
The only other solutions I can come up with are to possibly make a lot of sock puppets, but since I have enough socks to make a puppet for the entire cast of The High School Musical, that could take some time. Maybe I should just buy extra long pants for the family, or high-top running shoes.
Or, I could just keep trying to find that elusive match, while my evil washing machine silently cackles in glee at my dilemma. Do you think if I reached far enough into my dryer with a sock in my hand, I could be sucked into the mysterious, magical sock world? Or perhaps I would hear the crackle of a secret government agency communication device and their cover would be blown. Hey, I think I just got another idea for a book. *wink wink*