MYSTICAL, MAGICAL SOCKS – Marilyn Armstrong

Two years ago, I order 30 pairs of socks in all different colors and patterns. I realized, finally, that I was down to a bare two or three pairs and I wasn’t even sure they were real pairs, but they were at least more or less the same color.

Around the same time, I also bought a lot of underwear on the theory that we wouldn’t have to do laundry nearly as often if I didn’t run out of underwear. Oh, and I refilled Garry’s sock and underwear collection too.

socks without partners cartoon

Yesterday, Garry did laundry. My 30 pairs of socks have shrunk to about half a dozen pairs. I swear to you not only am I careful to keep pairs together, but Garry is passionate about matching them up. And keeping them clean.

Which isn’t always easy because I wear them as slippers and have been known to go outside in socks … not always my best choice.

socks-lost-in-the-dryer

Nonetheless, I realized no matter how much I didn’t want to face the crisis, I had to buy more socks. I found socks on Amazon — 12 pairs for $14.00 and they are all exactly the same. Because I know. We all know.

Socks vanish. No matter how careful you are. No matter how hard you try to keep track of them, over time, attrition will chew at the edges until you have no more than a few days worth of socks in your drawer. You will search that drawer.

Socks-lost-in-space

“Who took my socks?” you cry, but no answer will come to you. They are gone through the black hole in the universe (via your clothes dryer) into which all the single socks are eventually drawn. The mythical land or planet where a single sock can live forever. They are looking down on us and laughing. Because we persist in looking for them. Foolish humans.

Socks-come-back

Garry, despite my assurances that there is nothing more he can do, that socks will go missing regardless, is sure I’m accusing him of sock-knapping. He does not yet understand. There is nothing anyone can do. There are greater forces at work here than mere humans can control.

So this time, I’m ordering 12 identical pairs. As each sock disappears, I can wear it with another lonely sock. Variety is not the spice of life when discussing socks.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

71 thoughts on “MYSTICAL, MAGICAL SOCKS – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. It’s an international thing. We are always finding odd socks, perhaps some are yours. I also am sure I have too many men in the family. Luckily I only have a few pair as I really only wear them in Winter if I go out. I don’t like wearing socks and my feet are rarely cold.

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      1. I’m really diligent about socks as the Laundry guy. Almost like a screw counting the cons, I eye each sock in and out of the washer and the dryer. They’re probably tunneling to freedom.

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  2. I am resigned to ordering six pairs of Nike Dri-Fit white sweat sock every six months or so. Not so much because they disappear in the washer or dryer, but because they get holes where my big toe goes.

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  3. I used to accuse David of losing my socks but I think I was unfair because they are still disappearing. Every now and then there is a known casualty when one gets a hole in the toe. I don’t darn, don’t judge me. Most of the rest though just seem to get separated in the wash. Sometimes the stragglers reappear later, missed in the recesses of the washer to make it out with a later, usually white batch of laundry. I thought there was safety in numbers and tried washing them together in a mesh bag, I hang them in pairs on the line but there are still deserters from time to time. I generally buy several identical pairs of black socks at a time these days so all my socks look alike. Now I wish I could draw because I think there is a cartoon in that last comment.

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  4. It truly is an international phenomenon. I have also had a situation where a particular pair of sox has disappeared for years – their absence noticeable because they were wool and bright red. And then out of the blue (as it were) I find them back in the drawer – where they definitely weren’t! Come to think of it – I haven’t seen them lately…

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    1. I have had that phenomenon not ONLY with socks but with jewelry. The necklace that hid in the bottom of Garry’s underwear drawer. I KNOW I didn’t put it there and I’m positive neither did he. Another bracelet that somehow wound up in the piano bench. And one red wool sock that I saved for years until finally, I threw it out — and THEN THE OTHER ONE SHOWED UP.

      Pixies, I tell you. Pixies.

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  5. I find them behind the dryer, the washing machine,those disappearing socks- usually after I have thrown out the other half. I just ordered Bombas with the little dots on the bottom for a “non skid” walk wearing them around the house- love them!

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    1. I have those Bombas and they are THE MOST comfortable socks in the universe. Expensive. About twice a year I add to the collection, but they are WONDERFUL slippers in the house. And for inexplicable reasons, they seem to not get as gritty as the cheap socks. I lost ONE recently, but I think one of the dogs stole it.

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      1. They are pricey, but they do wear well, and I have never seen socks with the grid things on the bottom to prevent slippage anywhere else. They feel very comfy. I also got a pair of regular socks from them in tie dye! I love them!

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  6. Socks are scary. I’ve learned, as you have, to hell with four pair of black and four pair of brown, get em all the same color and be done with it. Another thing I’ve been thinking about are those dorky clips you can get to keep the socks together in the washer and dryer. It always seemed a silly extra step, but now I wonder if it might not serve a higher purpose. sort of like roping kindergarteners together when they go for field trips…

    I do the same thing you do, wear the heavy socks around the house–but I don’t like the above-the-ankle thing, so I cut them off and use the top part as a wrist warmer under coats, and support at the computer for the bone spur in my right wrist. Not much goes to waste.

    My bete noir is bobby pins. My hair is longer now, so I do need a few to keep it out of my face. Last year I bought a nice assortment of about 100, all arrayed on one of those cards. I still have the card, but the bobby pins are gone. Somewhere.

    I do seem to have too many coat hangers, though. You don’t suppose the bobby pins grew up and became coat hangers?

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    1. The clips fall off, the net zipped bags open on their own. Safety pins open too. There’s no help for it. Maybe they do become hangers. Plastic ones. It’s the only way I can account for all of them.

      I wear low socks that don’t cover my ankles. I don’t like high ones either unless it’s the dead of winter, in which case ALL bets are off in favor of just keeping warm!

      Bobby pins. I had some really fancy ones and a guest borrowed them, never returned them and I haven’t had one in the house since then. Now that my hair is all one length, I don’t generally need them, but I’ve been holding a grudge about those tortoiseshell capped bobby pins for more than 30 years. I’ve forgiven abusers and bad bosses, but a friend who steals your stuff is something else!

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  7. Polarity is a fundamental property of all things in the Universe – all things have an equal and opposite parallel. Socks merely obey this law and seek to balance out the Universe by relocating one of the pair to ‘the other side’ ! 😉
    Some might propose that they do this by means of the Quantum Dishwasher vibrations.

    You could always bypass the problem of buying new pairs of socks by initiating the latest fashion style and wearing odd socks – it’s got to be a better fashion statement than pre-ripped jeans – surely???

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    1. Anything is probably better than pre-ripped jeans, including straight nudity. Many people feel some kind of parallel universe is the ONLY possible answer, but I really think it’s that the socks wind up in the barrel behind the dryer and when you disassemble is, all the lost socks come out. But that’s way too logical. Alternate universes are much more entertaining 😀

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            1. Bob, it was such a bummer. I really expected to see a real life version of the Playboy and Penthouse pictorials. It was more like Mechanics Illustrated.

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      1. Your my kinda people Garry! 🙂
        Young’uns of today…????
        Appearances top Authenticity.
        It’s all about the look, not the substance. Who’s got the TIME to wear jeans in themselves??? muttermuttermutter… 😦

        … and then there’s those darn missing socks as well! 😉

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          1. It has been too long huh? Forgive me but i was finding i was spending way too much time visiting websites. I’m very well Mate – been doing a fair bit of research and trying to understand more about how the world works and about my ‘place’ in the big scheme of things – you know, the small stuff 😉

            I did not hear ( no pun intended! 😉 ) how your Op went – the implant – did it go well? Is it helping any? Hope you are enjoying life more now! 🙂

            Looks like i was wrong and you guys will be stuck with the Lump for another couple at least – sorry about that, but i’ve learned that you don’t get bad without some compensating good – and vice versa. We should accept that while going on to do what we can to live according to our highest ideals. And encourage all others to do the same. 😉

            As for the world’s problems… i’ve figured out i probably cant’t do much without fixing my own problems first! 😉

            That’s going to take some doing – believe me! 🙂

            Still it would be good to sit a while on a verandah overlooking a beach somewhere warm and chew over a few issues we’d solve if we were in charge huh? 🙂

            Stay well my friend!

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            1. Garry’s surgery went well. It is still healing, so he doesn’t have the technology yet. He won’t get his first fitting until August 24. All the implants are in place. Coils, magnets, et al. And he seems to have more residual hearing in his right ear (the “bad” ear) than previously suspected, so with a little luck, he will get hearing pretty quickly. Like possibly immediately.

              It would sure be nice to be on a warm veranda ANYWHERE other than here. I’m trying to be patient, but it’s hard to see all the good work I thought we’d done over the past 60 (and more) years be trashed in less than two … with a lot more to come. It’s just horrible. And depressing.

              We have “mid-term” (non-presidential) elections this November. Depending on who actually gets off his or her ass and actually VOTES will depend on what happens.

              Be in touch!!

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              1. Much appreciated! 🙂

                Meanwhile the Trump disease is spreading down here too! Big kerfuffle this week when a newly elected senator (who jumped ship from the party he was elected by to join an even further right wing party before any elections were due ie half way through his term) gave his ‘maiden speech’ to the house under his new ‘banner’. It was largely an appeal to those who think Trump is great (around 20% of Aussies it seems??) and who want to make Australia white again – Great White even?

                The thing that caused the most fuss ( cos everyone needs a gimmick in modern politics) was when he used the phrase ( i hope you are sitting down and have blood pressure meds handy??): ” The Final Solution for immigration to this country”.

                2 things: 90% ( give or take) including both Major Federal political parties soundly condemned the speech in a rare display of bi-partisanship.
                A significant percentage of the population had absolutely no idea about or had not even heard of that 2 word phrase before. :-X
                (doing a Dorothy impression from Wiz of Aus: “there IS a good side… there IS a good side…)

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            2. Mate, thanks for your take on the state of the world. It’s not pretty. I’m hoping the “good guys” rise to the challenge.

              Yes, it would be nice to be on that verandah, swapping philosophy and tall tales.

              Stay well, my friend.

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  8. I have so many socks that are reasonably identical to each other that I’d never realize if any came up missing. If they’re being beamed to some third world planet where the aliens don’t have socks to wear on their green feet, then all the better. That would make me doing laundry an actual worthwhile cause…

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    1. Hey, Squirrel!! Have you ever added up the total amount of socks you own? Should be impressive. We could run a contest. Wanna invite Cheeto head to participate? he has those elastic “bone chips” protective argyles.

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  9. lmao @ greater forces at work here. So true! We did the same, bought dozens of sox in the same colours ( for each person in the household. There are 7 of us (two homes are connected) and still, we are once again in desperate need of yet more sox. lmao I swear they have a mind of their own and go off to honeymoon or spoon somewhere else. haha

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    1. Okay, Covert, I think my “socks contest” has legs. Wanna join Squirrel, Me, Cheeto Head and Marilyn? No open bar. Sorry. Gotta keep Cheeto Head under control.

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