Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Sock Bag

Sorry this is a double post b/c I cannot get today's to appear before yesterdays and "The Sock Bag" is not listed in my list tof posts ... weird. I don't do technology well.

When I was little, my parents kept a 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 sock bag I find at least 6 pairs. I paraphrase my freshman developmental psychology professor to show Bill that my behavior is perfectly rational 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.


Lori said...

Oh, I laughed out loud on this one!

I have the OCD tendencies too and we have a sock basket.

And I too am completely ridiculous about matching up the right socks!
I always have to announce how many pairs of socks I have "rescued" from the basket. (But from now on they will be married instead of rescued!!!)

I am glad you are finding joy in the simple things today!

Annie said...

ahh! this is too cute. i laughed the whole time while reading it to dylan. he, too, at 3 1/2, thought it was funny.

i, must, too, get a sock bag. ;)

hope you're feeling better.

Rachel E. said...

Fun post today!

Just FYI - I had trouble with posting my entries in a certain date order too at first on my blog but then I discovered if you look at your post drafts, on the bottom left-hand corner there's an link for "Post Options". Click on that and it will let you control the dates (and thus, the order of appearance) of your entries. Hope it helps! You remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Imcompossible said...

We used to have a sock basket at my parents' house.

Around high school, I figured out that if I only wear black socks, I'll always have matches. My father followed this example and oddly, the sock basket got full of black socks because nobody could be bothered to figure out which black socks were mine and which were my daddy's. Eventually, all socks went in there and to this day, in the morning when my parents and sisters get up to gather their clothes to wear, they all get their socks out of the sock basket.

On a sidenote, my mom used to let me turn the socks still without mates after a long time into puppets. I was the most sensitive child ever and couldn't bear for a sock to be thrown out just because it was alone.

It's in the little thing and I'm glad this day was fulfilling.

Stephenie said...

I so understand the OCD! And I have a sock basket that sits in my room and drives me crazy. Actually, loosing a mate of anything drives me crazy i.e barrettes, bows, earrings, shoes... you get the picture!

desert dirt diva said...

I have sock drawers for those missing socks, my last house i lived there for two years and finnally threw them out after maybe finding there mates but never any such good luck!glad your happy sock marrages went well.

Cha Cha said...

It really is the little things, isn't it? Your post made me laugh. !Viva la sock bag!

Anonymous said...

Thought I would pass this on even though you probably already read it.

About 300,000 Americans have various forms of scleroderma, often confined to the skin. But a third have systemic scleroderma, the most severe form that invades internal organs. Only the cancer drug cyclophosphamide is proven to slow severe scleroderma, but its effects are modest. About half of severely affected patients die in five years.
Enter stem cell transplants. Similar to a bone marrow transplant, it's a risky treatment usually reserved for leukemia. A type of stem cell that generates immune-system cells is culled from patients' blood, and then radiation or chemotherapy or both destroy circulating immune cells — leaving the person vulnerable to life-threatening infections until the stem cells are returned and produce again.
Why would reinfusing a patient's own stem cells help? The theory is that someone genetically predisposed to certain autoimmune diseases stays healthy until something in the environment triggers misfiring immunity — meaning stem cells shouldn't be diseased, explains Dr. Keith Sullivan of Duke University, who is leading the largest study of the transplants, called the SCOT trial.
About 30 hospitals in the U.S. and Canada are recruiting 226 patients with severe scleroderma to be randomly assigned either the stem cell transplant or a year of cyclophosphamide at doses 50 percent higher than is standard today.
A pilot study of nearly three dozen scleroderma patients, published last year, counted eight transplant-related deaths, teaching researchers to take some extra safety steps including shielding lungs and kidneys during radiation. Still, 64 percent of transplant survivors got no worse for a median of four years and counting — and some had remarkable healing of damaged skin and lungs.
In-depth looks at a few transplant recipients show immune cells can "come back in a reprogrammed and normalized way," Sullivan says. Researchers recently reported a regrowth of blood vessels once thought impossible.
"There wasn't a choice," Martz, now 49, of Parkland, Fla., says of volunteering for the SCOT trial. She was losing about 10 percent of lung function a month, and feared she had less than a year left to live when she underwent her January 2007 transplant. "If I died from it, well, at least I went out fighting."
For now, "I'm great," she says. Her lung function jumped and is still improving, she can flex her hands again, and can even climb stairs, if slowly. "I'm continuing to get better."
A similar scleroderma study is under way in Europe; smaller pilots in lupus and a few other autoimmune diseases have signaled promise; and other U.S. researchers are trying stem cell transplants as a boost to a suppressed, not destroyed, immune system.
One hurdle to finishing these studies and learning if the approach really works: Transplants cost $125,000 to $175,000, and while some insurers pay for patients enrolled in government-certified studies, others won't. Martz's primary insurer in Florida refused; a backup policy from her husband, a retired New York police officer, did pay.