It’s time for SoCS, in which Linda Hill
drives us crazy inspires us with a prompt and we just go at it without planning and editing. For example, this week’s prompt:
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “socks.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!
I could easily have made this a Christmas-themed post because there is a family Christmas stocking story, but I am going to save that for another time. I have another family story about socks, many more socks than ever graced our pseudo mantle, so that’s the story I have chosen for today.
The story starts with a confession. I am not very good about getting laundry put away. OK, what I mean is that when I was the mother of four children, I didn’t always get my laundry put away–I’m much better about it now with the much-reduced volume. But back to those earlier days. Between work and kids and going to school myself,
sometimes laundry always got crammed in among lots of other activities. Luckily, the washer and dryer were on the main floor, even if it wasn’t an area that was fully heated.
So putting clothes through the washer and dryer could happen without too much fanfare, but that putting away stuff needed some streamlining at time. There was lots of general sorting with everyone taking their own things and putting it wherever they put it–not something I wanted to get involved with micromanaging. Even underwear wasn’t too challenging. But the socks–those threatened to be my undoing.
I’m not sure how the sock population grew to be so large, and so varied, but there were many colors, many ribbing patterns, with multiple sizes of the same color, with similar ribbing. Sorting all of these socks as they came out of the laundry became a rather overwhelming challenge. In retrospect, it seems rather crazy, but that’s the way the sock challenge appeared at the time.
So, the socks just ended up taking over a laundry basket of their own. When we needed a pair of socks for someone, we went through looking for two that matched for the particular person(s) in question, and the others just stayed there. Which would have been fine if the story ended there, but every time socks came out of the laundry, they always joined the party. And it seemed like no matter how many socks showed up, they didn’t always have a partner. I mean the parallel universe (with the portal in the dryer) can only hold so many socks, can’t it?
Before I eventually simplified our sock-controlled lives with just a couple basic sock sizes and colors, we tried on a few occasions to rein in the sock chaos. These afternoons of desperation were disguised as an event we referred to as “The Sock Festival.” There were three main elements to this event. Full participation of anyone who had entries in the sock basket (meaning everyone); the basket(s) of unsorted socks; and some kind of
bribe special refreshments to celebrate our achievement.
I have to admit to blocking out a lot of the details of the event. And I’m not sure my children have any memories of the event, fond or otherwise, but by the end of our hour or hour and a half of sorting, each member of the household had a pile of socks matched up with their partners that were then taken up to be put into drawers. Full advantage was taken of the opportunity to eliminate any socks that had holes, giving me the
false hope that we had once and for all conquered the problem, and now we could stay on top of it. But that didn’t really happen until we did the aforementioned simplification. Of course, by that time, the oldest ones were managing more of their own laundry (and socks).
The kids are all in homes of their own. In general, I stay away from socks for my children and grandchildren. But I may or may not have bought some half-price fluffy warm socks for my daughter this year. But since her father-in-law bought day of the week socks for my grandson, Logan, I have confidence that my daughter is not as sock-challenged as I was.
As for me, I keep my sock collection to a minimum. My husband, on the other hand, not so much. But since he’s willing to do laundry, I no longer have to worry about socks and the parallel universe.