Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, August 30, 2007

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*


At 8/30/2007 3:25 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Your washing machine and mine must be conspiring in this evil plot. Where DO those socks go?

At 8/30/2007 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Down the Sock Chute.

It has "bestseller" written all over it.

-Meredith Dias

At 8/30/2007 3:50 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Ain't it the truth? There's a scene in the M&M 3D movie (at the store in Las Vegas) where socks hang out in a "singles" bar. Too funny.

At 8/30/2007 5:00 PM, Blogger Stephanie Humphreys said...

You could always pull a fast one on the evil washing machine and government forces that cause all the havoc. Start washing all the socks by hand. :)

At 8/30/2007 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stephanie, with five boys in my house that play sports, there's no WAY I would ever consider doing it by hand. LOL Yuck. But thanks for the thought. :)


At 8/30/2007 5:58 PM, Blogger Josi said...

I actually know how to find all those socks--all you have to do is throw that basketful of mates away, and then the missing half all come back. I do this about once a year :-)

At 8/30/2007 6:13 PM, Blogger James Dashner said...

You guys wash your socks?

At 8/30/2007 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, ever heard of Flip-flops or sandals thats all I wear cause all my socks disapear too. And James that is to gross.

At 8/30/2007 8:27 PM, Blogger Rebecca Talley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8/30/2007 8:32 PM, Blogger Rebecca Talley said...

Love the blog, Julie. With 10 kids, I can absolutely relate! I have also tried all the tricks (even Josi's) over the course of many years and many bags filled with single socks.

But, I've found a solution! Have you seen lingerie bags? Walmart sells them in the ironing section, 99 cents a bag. They're white mesh with a zipper. You stick the socks in, zip it closed, throw it in the washer and dryer, and you have a bag filled with matching socks. My husband came up with the idea and we started doing it when my son kept stealing his dad's socks (my son has the same philosophy as James). Works great, for my husband. Of course, the kids have to actually put the socks in the bag for it to work, but I just tell them that they'll spend every Saturday sorting and matching socks unless they use the bags.

And, I've heard of a group that collects socks to send to people who don't care if they match, they just need something to cover their feet. With all the single socks I've collected, I could provide mismatched pairs for an entire country!

At 8/31/2007 3:02 AM, Blogger Janette Rallison said...

I was just doing the socks and thinking the very same thing.

I hate the way I'm always buying new socks because so many just vanish--and I live in Arizona where we do wear flip flops half the time.

At 8/31/2007 5:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like somebody should come up with a new marketing plan for those lingerie bags -- something along the lines of "Sock it to me!"


At 8/31/2007 6:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My solution, in a house of almost 6 boys, has been to throw away every single sock just before school starts each year. We then buy each boy a different style of sock - so I can tell them apart easily - and start fresh each school year (and sometimes again in January!). All socks that come in the house are required to be white, except for Sunday socks which are carefully guarded and horded, though they too are bought in packs of multiples and all the same. It works pretty well for us, aside from the occasionally having to re-buy in January, and it saves a ton of headaches for me!


At 8/31/2007 10:24 AM, Blogger G. Parker said...

I always thought it was the dryer that ate them...

I like the bag thought.

At 8/31/2007 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once a year or so, I offer my kids 10 cents a pair for all the socks they can find to match the ones in the bag of unmatched socks. They go through their drawers, closets, under the beds, etc. This year we matched 49 pairs this way. Cost me $5 - cheaper than buying new socks - and my kids do all the work.

At 8/31/2007 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the ideas guys! I'm going to try them ALL!


At 8/31/2007 3:59 PM, Blogger Jon said...

How about Custom M&M's:

(My elite HTML is failing me. I guess you have to click the link:)

Socks Suck!

My personal solution: Keen sandals. They're the best!

At 9/01/2007 12:07 AM, Blogger Julie Wright said...

Ha! Julie, I hate washing socks. I hate washing altogether. Let's just get maids. They can deal with the mystery of missing socks and we can go get Thai food!

At 9/01/2007 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie, that sounds like the best idea yet!

Pineapple curry for me!


At 9/02/2007 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right. Your washer is probably eating your socks, but sadly, washers have some weird eating disorder where they can not swallow. Try looking in/under your agitator (the thingy in the middle that makes the water swish in case anyone doesn't know) and you are likely to find several. If you have a front loader check under the rubber gasket. You may laugh, but I have personal experience with this.

At 9/03/2007 4:38 PM, Blogger Keith Fisher said...

I discovered the solution to the mystery. Unfortunately, it doesn't solve the problem. There is an unseen force in the dryer that is giving the single socks a makeover.
I had a pair of matched argyles, the only one I owned. One of them came up missing until I discovered it had magically changed color. It still looked like the original, but was a different shade, therefore un-wearable together.
Since then I have discovered more socks that have met the fate of the rogue sock plastic surgeon.

I have heard that some identical twins spend their whole life trying to distance themselves from their twins. Maybe it's a psychological sock problem?

At 9/03/2007 4:41 PM, Blogger Keith Fisher said...

before you suggest . . . I know that bleach does that, but I have been promised that bleach was not the problem.


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