Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Sock Bag

When I was little, my parents kept s brown paper bag stashed behind a hideous orange chair in our basement (It was the 70s; everything was orange and avocado green). Each time my mom folded a load of laundry, she dropped any single socks into the bag in hopes that, eventually, its partner would show up. About once a month, one of us would get assigned sock bag duty. This involved dumping the contents of the bag on the floor, searching for matches, and marrying the wayward pairs.

Given my OCD-like qualities, it is no surprise that I have followed in my parents sock-bag footsteps. About once a month I empty the bag and look for matches. Bill looks at me crouched on our bedroom floor surrounded by socks and shakes his head. To him, this is a ridiculous waste of energy. I've tried to explain to him that each time I empty the sick bag I find at least 6 pairs. I paraphrase by freshman developmental psychology professor to show Bill that my behavior is perfectly rationale because I am always rewarded for my efforts. He remains unimpressed.

Yesterday I was feeling downright spunky. Of course, these days spunky means I can walk around the upstairs without feeling like my heart is going to leap out of my chest. Grace (yes, she's here again surrounding us all with her love and, well, grace) and Ashley, our new nanny, were busy helping the kids clean their rooms. I needed something to occupy myself. I spied the sock bag sitting in the corner of my bedroom. I crossed the room and emptied the bag on the floor. I found about 9 matches immediately. It was going to be a good sock bag day. As I continued to sort through the socks I noticed a lot of them were socks that were recently purchased, "They can't be missing their partners already." Then I experienced a stroke of genius. I went to Bill's sock drawer and looked for single socks. Sure enough there were about 8 or 9. This shows a blatant disregard for laundry protocol, loose socks are supposed to go into the sock bag.

Then I pulled Aidan's sock drawer out of the chest and carried it to my room. That child has about 50 pairs of socks but refuses to wear them (He also refuses to wear underwear, going commando at all times). The child's feet and sneakers smell so badly I fear I may die from asphyxiation if I am ever left in a confined space with them. For awhile I kept buying different kinds of socks in an effort to find something acceptable to his tender feet, but the magical socks remain elusive. There were loads of single socks lurking in Aidan's drawer and, before long, I had over 2 dozen matches. The OCD center of my brain was deliriously happy.

Then I called Amelia, "Honey, go to your sock drawer and bring me all your single socks." She returned with another half dozen or so and I performed more sock marriages.

Last AND least was my drawer. I am proud to say that I had few single socks lurking there. At least I follow laundry protocol. I did eye a suspicious pair, however. They did not appear to be the same socks but they were married nonetheless. Now, I am a strong supporter of alternative lifestyles among humans (and may I ask, preemptively, please no comments about my illness being God's wrath because I support gay marriage. I am highly confident that God has better things to do then worry about my position on this issue. I am fragile; please no mean comments), but I will only tolerate sock marriages between identical socks. So I unpaired the socks and put them with their rightful partner.

At the end of all this I had over three dozens matches, an all time sock-bag record. I felt so victorious that I allowed myself to throw out the socks that have been in the bag for, literally, years without ever finding their partners. Of course, their matches will turn up next week, but I think I can cope with that.

I had no idea socks could make me so happy.


Chip said...

I am doubled over in laughter and appreciation. I've spent half my life grieving over lost socks, I become very attached to them. Whenever I lose a sock my beloved wife of 29 years tries to calm me down and assure me it will show-up and that I need to be more patient. Now, I can take more control. Thank you Goddess of Lost Socks.

Carl said...

This was a very endearing posting...the little things sometimes really are the most important

Lisa (Myers) Hartsfield said...

That is so funny....I have a "sock bucket" in my laudry room!! My mom came to visit and actually put single socks in drawers!!! I almost fell over!!!

It particularly struck me about your son not wearing underware! I have a 6yr old who does not want to either!! I do not understand this! Everyday I have to say..."are you wearing underware?"

Hope you have many more "spunky" days!!

Ana's World said...

I have unmarried socks that I've had for years (so old the elastic doesn't even work in them) and can't bear to throw them out for you said...they mate will show up as soon as I throw them out.