I don’t know what it is, but man, have I been throwing away socks like crazy over the last couple of weeks.

What?!  So we’re gonna talk about socks this week – what’s the big deal?  Don’t give me that look!  Can’t a guy have a nice and quiet, uneventful week every once in a while?!  As if every single moment of your life is just comedy gold…

Where was I now?

Oh yes, so anyways, I was finishing up a load of laundry the other day – a full load of whites, to be specific – and I couldn’t help but notice during my folding process that an unusually large number of socks were developing holes in the toes.  The details are important here for a couple of reasons:

  1. The socks in question were indeed my socks because my wife doesn’t believe in folding socks.  I know … I’ve had the same discussion with her many times – “Who wants to waste time fishing through the drawer for a matching pair each morning when you could just grab an already folded, pre-matched pair and go?!” – but I digress…
  2. Historically I’ve noticed that my socks tend to get holes in the heels much more frequently than the toes.  This is something that I’ve picked up on because I’m always as far away from a replacement pair of socks as possible and that one bare spot rubbing against the inside of my shoe through the hole ends up bothering me way more than a toe-oriented hole ever could.

I threw away three holey socks that evening, which to a novice might not seem all that bad because they would assume that of those remaining three widow socks, if you will, there’s at least one pair to be made, thus leaving only a single lone sock to retire patiently to the sidelines of the sock drawer until another pair suffers the tragedy that will grant it a replacement partner, but any seasoned veteran in the realm of foot underwear knows that in fact, no two lone socks are by default a matching pair.  Things like foot conformity and fold orientation need to be taken into consideration, not to mention the obvious aesthetic traits like color and pattern – granted, it’s still a far cry from 29 Dimensions of Compatibility®, but these are socks we’re talking about, not the heterosexual, God-fearing consumers that make up eHarmony’s core demographic!

Of course, the sad truth that I’m getting to is that just like the dating world, sometimes no matter how great of a lone sock you think you have, waiting around for a fellow sock that meets your own four dimensions of compatibility still leaves you with an awful lot of lonely nights by yourself in that sock drawer, forced to stare across the boxers at all of the other perfectly matched pairs sitting there in their neat, little rows, just waiting for their day out in the world.  And maybe you even see another sock over there in the stacks that does look like just your type, but it already has its match and so you’re left wondering what things would’ve been like if it’d been paired with you instead of that other lousy sock that it calls its partner…

Over time, jealousy turns to anger turns to rage, and one day you manage to get yourself mixed back in with the dirty laundry … and them … and that’s when you’ll make your move.  The three of you splash around like old friends in the washer until the spin cycle hits and you find just the two of you separated from the other, your fabrics pressed tight against one another as the water drains.  When you all get transferred to the dryer, the other sock doesn’t suspect a thing … doesn’t know that you’ve called in a favor and soon its only company will be all of those other lost socks that have disappeared without a trace to wherever the dryer sends them.  The trauma is sudden and painful, but before talk of the widow life is even suggested, the two of you find yourselves paired up and returned to the sock drawer, folded like you know in your heart that you should’ve been from the start.  You’ve both loved and lost, but you can move on from it because now you have each other.

Kinda beautiful, isn’t it?  Well, it is if you can overlook the depression and angst and eventual homicide, but really, isn’t that true with all of the best love stories?  Of course, lord knows what’ll happen if all of those lost socks ever do find their way back to the dresser, having fought the unimaginable odds to endure and escape from a land of mystery, only to find that their single sources of inspiration through the ordeal have themselves since moved on … man, somebody should make a movie about that!

I can see it now – Tom Hanks stars as Jack Hanes in, That Movie He Pretty Much Already Did Ten Years Ago, But This Time with Socks!