Where Do Those Missing Socks Go?

Mar 15, 11 • LifeNo Comments

A big pile of socks…one-of-a-kind, assorted styles and colors, sitting there all alone, unable to go back to their home, collected over a few months and remaining out of place in my bedroom.  With the size of my pile, you would think that all the people that live in our home only have one foot each.  So…is this a problem that plagues only me or are there other people out there with the same affliction?

Granted, I might be one of the few in a category that actually hangs onto these single socks.  I swear that it takes me months before I would even consider tossing them.  There is the hope that the matching sock will show up, or maybe one from another pair will find itself in the same position.

I will admit that it probably wouldn’t be such a shock if I were to count the socks before they go into the washer, then the dryer.  But I am not a Type A personality, and I have no OCD’s, other than not liking to touch the socks before they have been cleaned.  Once they have met up with detergent and fabric softener, there’s nothing better than scooping up the dryer full of fresh, sweet, clean, warm laundry and carrying them to the couch to fold.  But then there is a wave that washes over me…the anticipation of disappointment over how many socks I might be short this cycle!

I know, I know…a lot of fuss over something so trivial.  But I have tried to prepare so that this issue doesn’t come up.  When the kids were small (hard to imagine that my giants were once ever small), I loved all those colored socks that matched their outfits, anklets with lace (for the girls), tube socks that had stripes of color on the top (for the boys) and the ones with designs on them.  It was so sad when one from a particularly cute pair would go missing. 

I have since come up with a system for buying socks, which make the sorting process go more quickly.  Each male has a different assortment.  Scott wears crew socks, and I have made sure that if I buy him Hanes, they have the red lettering on the bottom.  If I buy him something different, it’s okay as long as no one else has that type.  Mike usually wears Hanes crew socks as well, but the lettering on the bottom of his is gray.  It’s even easier with Tom because he likes ankle socks.  Mine stand out like a sore thumb because they are TOTALLY different…they are women’s socks.  Megan does all her own laundry, but occasionally one will accidentally get into my pile of MIA’S, so I check with her if something looks unfamiliar or out of place.  Sometime I end up with pairs that are totally strange, never before seen socks.  I suppose that one of the boys has had a friend over that left without their socks…how that can happen, I surely don’t understand.  Anyway, each of us has their own designated type of socks, and they are purchased in packages of multiples, so it isn’t so crucial that each one gets back to their original mate. 

Back to my perdicament.  Periodically, I like to go through the basket of MIA’S…missing in action socks…trying to reunite pairs that somehow gotten seperated somewhere between wearing, washing and pairing.  It is a happy wash day indeed when I match every single laundered pair – no extras to add to the long, lost pile means we have all done our part to get the dirty laundry gathered and to the wash.

I suppose that I could throw all the socks in a box and telling them (the men) to fend for themselves.  That would not make for an orderly drawer…right.  As if the socks always make it into their designated drawer!  No, I have to get all the red printed bottoms to their respective mates, gray to gray, yada, yada, yada…it’s not like anyone will see the bottom of the socks, but just in case.  And they have to be matched by degree of worn-outness – Heaven forbid that an older sock gets paired with a new one!  If someone has been out on the grass with their new ankle socks – ahem…Thomas – and they have come out in less than pristine condition from the laundry, that pair is doomed to remain together forever. 

When the pile gets exceptionally big, I will sit and sort and try to reunite the pairs.  What a joyous moment it is when I find a match!  I am almost as happy when I find a single dirty sock, not that I’m ever happy to handle anyone else’s dirty socks.  It just not the same since the feet got big.  But finding one gives me hope for the possibility of a happy reunion.

It’s a hard thing to let all those MIA’S go, and I don’t for at least a year…that’s about how often my boys deep clean their rooms and might find some strays.  But help me out here – how long is long enough to wait?  Outgrowing them isn’t part of the criteria any more.  If they don’t have holes, I hang onto them.  But how long should a person be prepared to wait?

Someone once told me that I should always buy at least 2 pairs of every different sort of sock I bought so that when one goes missing, there’s still hope to wear the pair.  Then someone came up with this idea…

Little Miss Matched

Isn’t this brilliant?  Three socks of similar color palate in one package.  If you insist on matching, buy two sets of three.  But then if you lose one, you can still have stylishly coordinated feet.

I looked.  They don’t have anything in the right size for my men’s feet.  Their feet are just too darn big.  But that’s okay.  I don’t think I could get them to wear them anyway.  I think I’ll stick with the boring white in bulk. 

This is not really meant to be a complaint, just an observation of a tiny speck in my life, and not really important in the grand scheme of things.  If I want to play “The Glad Game”, I am grateful for feet, the bodies that are attached to them and the abundance of socks we have in the first place.  Yes, I have great cause to be glad.

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