THE MYSTERY OF THE SOCKS THAT DISAPPEAR IN THE DRYER – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I’m sure that everyone wonders, once in a while, about the socks that disappear in the dryer. Where do they go? Almost daily, a pair goes in and only one comes out. I have bags of these lonely single socks sitting in the back of my closet, hoping that one day their mates will reappear.

My husband has a theory about this. He believes that the socks go to a parallel universe where people find extra socks when they do their laundry. In that world, two socks go in and three socks come out.

I like to think that somewhere in that universe the mates to my single socks are also sitting in a bag, in someone’s closet, patiently waiting for destiny to reunite them with their long-lost mates. It’s actually kind of romantic.

I asked my husband if this theory also explains the problem of the missing Tupperware. I always have too many lids and not enough bottoms, or too many bottoms and not enough lids. I wanted to know if my missing Tupperware goes to the same parallel universe as the socks. My husband looked at me as if I was crazy. Apparently that’s not possible unless I put the Tupperware in the dryer. The dryer is obviously the doorway to the wormhole that links us to the other sock universe.

The good news is that wormholes can reverse themselves (according to my husband and I’m not sure who else). Therefore it’s possible that one day we’ll start finding extra socks in the dryer and extra, superfluous Tupperware parts in our kitchen cabinets.

The upshot of all this is that I plan to hang onto my bags and boxes of single socks and mismatched Tupperware. I advise you to do the same. If we run out of space to store all this stuff, we’ll just have to find a way to move to a parallel universe that has more storage space.

41 thoughts on “THE MYSTERY OF THE SOCKS THAT DISAPPEAR IN THE DRYER – BY ELLIN CURLEY

  1. trentpmcd January 14, 2018 / 9:57 am

    My opinion? The sock manufactures use a special thread on some socks so they dissolve in detergent. People blame the dryer, but they don’t make it that far, they get washed away in the rinse cycle. That way you always have to buy more socks. Same with Tupperware – they evaporate so you have to buy more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 14, 2018 / 10:49 am

      That’s at least as good as the alternate universe theory. I need to point out that we have had several creatures — cats and dogs — that loved stealing socks. You never see them do it, but if you are lucky, you will see the toe of your brand new expensive sock sticking out in the bottom of the cave crate. AHA you cry … but alas, it is but one of many … and for the others, there is no safe return home. (Sniff, sniff.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • trentpmcd January 14, 2018 / 11:47 am

        I’m lucky in that my furry family members rarely steal socks. They will play, of course, but there are better things to steal. Like shoes. Slippers. Important papers. Reading glasses. That sort of thing….

        Like

        • Ellin Curley January 14, 2018 / 3:24 pm

          One of our dogs loves plastic and paper. She’ll steal anything cardboard, she loves to chew pens, she’ll grab the newspaper. We give her empty toilet paper tubes in the hopes that we will satisfy her need to chew cardboard. The result is that she follows us into the bathroom expectantly and barks at us a lot while we’re in there. Not the result we had hoped for.

          Liked by 1 person

          • trentpmcd January 14, 2018 / 3:59 pm

            They can be funny things, can’t they?

            Like

          • trentpmcd January 14, 2018 / 5:18 pm

            I’ve only lost a couple of those, but, yeah, they’re nice and crunchy…

            Like

      • Ellin Curley January 14, 2018 / 3:22 pm

        The problem here is training the humans to keep their socks out of the reach of their pets. My dogs only get Tom’s socks, never mine!

        Like

    • Ellin Curley January 14, 2018 / 3:21 pm

      I like that theory of dissolving socks and tupperware. But wouldn’t the residue clog up the dryer? And is it the dishwasher that dissolves the tupperware? The companies that make these products aare definately culpable here. They do something to make us buy more of their products. They probably brainwash dogs and cats to go after stray socks left on the floor as well.

      Liked by 2 people

      • trentpmcd January 14, 2018 / 3:58 pm

        I think once the socks become unstable and dissolve, it is to a solution like salt or sugar water. And sure, it might clog the drain, but since socks don’t dissolve every wash, there is time for it wash out before the next drain clogging sock comes along.

        As for (non-branded) Tupperware like containers, I think they actually morph on the shelf. We have the exact same amount of containers as we bought and the same number of lids, with a one-to-one correspondence between the two, but not a single lid fits a single container. They’ve changed.

        Like

        • Ellin Curley January 14, 2018 / 8:06 pm

          I accept your theory of the dissolving socks. Touche! I have a problem with the morphing Tupperware lids though. In my house, I always have too many lids and not enough bottoms, or the reverse. So not too much morphing is going on in my household. Just a lot of random disappearing!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Rebel Girl January 14, 2018 / 11:03 am

    I always dread the “try to match odd socks day,” it usually ends up with disappointment and having to re-bag 90% of them.

    Like

    • Ellin Curley January 14, 2018 / 3:27 pm

      I keep lots of unmatcheable socks in the hamper. I live in hope that the mate will appear. I’m delusional. Then I have an old bag of single socks in the back of the closet. I don’t throw that out either. Every few years I’ll go on a tear and throw out an old bag of socks and create a new one. But that’s as far as I’ll go.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Embeecee January 14, 2018 / 11:15 am

    Someone I knew once used to pin (safety pin) her socks together. The problem with that was that she got holes in her socks a lot quicker than one usually does. And try finding actual safety pins these days that don’t have those stupid ‘safe child’ plastic head things on them. Those melt in the dryer so…. 😦 Maybe the socks are happy in their alternate world….

    Like

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 14, 2018 / 11:43 am

      I tried the pinning method and it didn’t work for me, either. I did, however FINALLY get it right. I bought these lingerie bags. They are sort of like lace, but not fancy — just so water can get through and ALL the socks go into the bag. Zip them up and voila: ALL my socks come back. Every last one. I know it ruins the romance, but socks are expensive, especially warm winter socks. I bought a set of five of these bags on Amazon. I use a couple for my clothing (socks and underpants) and another to keep the spare balls of the dogs in one batch plus I have a couple of extras waiting for the right moment.

      So far, mystery solved. Whatever becomes of them, apparently “it” cannot take apart the zipper on a bag!

      Like

      • Ellin Curley January 14, 2018 / 3:31 pm

        I’ll have to try lingerie bags. What a great idea! I may even have one around that I never use. Thanks for the tip.

        Like

    • Ellin Curley January 14, 2018 / 3:29 pm

      I like the idea of pinning sock pairs together. But I’m too lazy. That takes a lot of work. And you’re right, it results in a lot of holes. So you lose your socks one way or another. You can’t win on this one.

      Like

  4. swo8 January 14, 2018 / 12:21 pm

    I used to believe in that alternate universe until I’d find those odd socks clinging to the insides of t-shirts or sweaters etc. The static electricity builds up and they literally cling to the other clothing. One way to get around this singleton issue is to buy only one colour of sock so if one disappears it will match up with the other singletons.
    Leslie

    Like

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 14, 2018 / 2:19 pm

      Many people do that. But it isn’t JUST static cling. They also get stuck behind the barrel in the dryer. When we’ve had the dryer repaired, there were dozens of socks stuck, behind it. There are many places to go for a single sock.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Garry Armstrong January 14, 2018 / 2:35 pm

        There’s an alternate trail and perp. Did laundry yesterday and came up with one of my socks missing. Looked and looked. Nothing. Then, Marilyn spotted Duke chewing on something in the “cooler” crate.

        Yep, the missing sock! Book ‘im, Danno! Grand theft.

        Like

        • Ellin Curley January 14, 2018 / 3:37 pm

          Between dryers and dogs, it’s a wonder that any of us have socks to wear. The stores should be constantly out of socks and the price of socks should be spiking because of the incredible demand. There’s a run on socks! Get to the store at 6 AM and wait in line to get to the sock department before anyone else!

          Like

      • Ellin Curley January 14, 2018 / 3:36 pm

        You’re ruining the romance for me! Socks stuck behind the barrel of the dryer is not a good story. It doesn’t make me feel any better when I have to relegate single socks to the dreaded ‘Sock Bag of Death”.

        Like

      • swo8 January 14, 2018 / 3:51 pm

        Clearly an alternative reality – behind the dryer barrel – who knew?

        Like

        • Ellin Curley January 14, 2018 / 8:09 pm

          I think there are limits to the behind the dryer theory. There isn’t enough room behind my dryer to fit all the socks I’ve lost over the past decade. I’ve had many garbage bags full of single socks – that’s a lot of socks!

          Liked by 1 person

          • swo8 January 15, 2018 / 7:53 am

            I think the person who figures this one out deserves the Nobel Prize.
            Leslie

            Like

    • Ellin Curley January 14, 2018 / 3:34 pm

      That’s what I do for Tom! I buy six pairs of the same socks so there is usually a mate for all of them. At least the odds are better. There is more than one mate for each sock. I still lose socks, but I don’t have to throw out two socks when a pair is broken up, only one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • swo8 January 14, 2018 / 3:54 pm

        It works for us too, Ellin.

        Like

  5. tomcurley1 January 14, 2018 / 3:26 pm

    I never realized there were so many funny sock vs. dryer cartoons.

    Like

    • Ellin Curley January 14, 2018 / 3:39 pm

      For people who do laundry, socks in the dryer is like the Lock Ness Monster or Bigfoot. You have a wife who does all your laundry, so you just don’t understand the gravity of the situation. Lucky bastard!

      Liked by 1 person

      • tomcurley1 January 14, 2018 / 4:11 pm

        Yes dear.

        Like

  6. Taswegian1957 January 14, 2018 / 3:46 pm

    I use the bags so my socks generally get lost between my feet and the hamper probably because I have a lousy aim. My experience of missing plastic containers is that somebody usually took them to use for some purpose that does not necessariy involve food or that after spending too long in the fridge the contents spoiled and someone, not me, throws out the whole thing after taking the lid off. Do you also have a theory on lost pens?

    Like

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 14, 2018 / 4:55 pm

      Just disappeared into the black hole between your hand and your container. It happens to everyone.

      Like

      • Taswegian1957 January 14, 2018 / 11:51 pm

        Well I suppose it will if you toss them rather than walking over and putting them in there.

        Like

      • Ellin Curley January 14, 2018 / 8:14 pm

        You’re right! Pens just seem to disappear too. But my dog eats pens, so there’s a reasonable explanation in my house.

        Like

        • Marilyn Armstrong January 14, 2018 / 11:35 pm

          No really. Garry steals them. He is a widely known pen thief. Everyone hides their good pens when he is around. He cannot help himself.

          Like

      • Taswegian1957 January 14, 2018 / 11:52 pm

        A coach driver once told us that near Canberra is a town called Collector. He said that was where all the pens were. Must be Garry’s spiritual home.

        Like

    • Ellin Curley January 14, 2018 / 8:13 pm

      Your theory would explain having too many lids and not enough containers. But sometimes I’ve had too many containers and not enough lids. If people are responsible, that would mean that people would have to also throw out lids and keep the containers. I doube tht that happens often. Certainly not in my house. Not enough to explain the unequal lids and bottoms conundrum that plagues me.

      Like

  7. Sarah Z January 14, 2018 / 11:08 pm

    I’m beginning to think socks should be sold in threes, not twos. Socks, loose change that no one claims (I’ll take that thank you very much) and the rogue tissue that made its way into the laundry and turned into confetti… who said laundry isn’t exciting.

    I came across this amazing laundry board at a restaurant of all places… thought you’d enjoy it.
    http://lifeinminutes.com/2016/11/11/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-signs-of-any-kind/

    Like

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