Firstly, my socks do match. I bought all my socks in matching pairs. The problem is that they don’t seem to like each other that much. From the moment I snipped the clear plastic holding them together it became clear. They had been held against their will. Now, with this new freedom, my socks do their utmost never to be seen together again.
I wear them together, I wash them together and then they are officially divorced. Opening the door of the washing machine after a cycle is usually where my frustration begins. I put in a pair of red socks – don’t question my taste – and one single, sniggering red sock will be waiting. It’s a sock, but it knows. It knows exactly where the other one is. Sock murder? Is this the guilty one lying shrivelled on the kitchen lino? Where’s the body? I stick my head into the fresh smelling water dome. Nothing.
I put the clothes in the dryer, inside out and upside down. Jeans and a t-shirt with three (clearly single) socks at the end. Usually at this point as I’m stuffing a denim trouser leg down the back of the machine, I’ll find a dusty clump of overheated sock. I pull it out. The Bin Laden of the sock world. It’s been in hiding for God knows how long. I study it, it seems familiar but it’s one time spouse is long gone. For some reason, I shake it out and place it with the other socks.
I stop halfway up the stairs. In the corner of step number six – yes, I count the number of steps each time I go, up and down – is an unwashed sock. This sock is one of those ones that leap from the wash basket as you carry it down the stairs. Was its partner so unbearable that it decided to commit suicide? Or did it have an awful fear of water? I’ll never know. I shove it in my pocket reminding myself it has to go into the machine later.
What about the other socks? The ones that hide in your trouser leg? Even after you shake the trousers, they stay in there. How? Do they grow tendrils? They cling on for dear life and you can only retrieve them by putting your hand in and pulling them out. Or the socks that drop to freedom from the washing line? You have clothes out to dry and it starts to rain. You run out and frantically un-peg everything while grimacing at the sky. It’s not until you get indoors and stand looking out the window at the rain that you notice a sodden lump of sockness in the grass.
I’ve tried forcibly attaching a pair of socks together using a peg. Peg a pair and throw it in the machine. Several pegs in the wash make a lot of noise. Or else that was the sound of the socks strangling each other. That’s the way they come out. If they haven’t used their unbelievable strength to remove themselves from the peg’s clutches, they are wrapped around each other so tightly that I have to assume they both died in the struggle.
It was at this point that I gave up. It made me question things about my life. Like why did my socks need to match? Why does it annoy me so to find only two socks of different coloured persuasion? What if socks really don’t like each other? Now I’m quite happy to pull on a pink sock and a blue sock, a white one and a green one, whatever is handiest. But if you’re still trying to keep your socks together, I can recommend only one thing. Put yourself in their shoes and see how it feels…