At this point in my life, I loathe socks more than I ever thought humanly possible. They bring an extra little bit of misery to daily life. Here are all the ways that socks are plotting to bring mothers around the world down:
1. They are never happy
Socks are supposed to mate in pairs for life, like swans and lobsters, but they never do. Every mother has a bucket filled with ‘odd socks’. This odd sock bucket / drawer / basket / room is really just a massive pile of singles out on the town, so worn down by late-night fights and broken hearts that their chances of finding a new match are exactly never. Eventually the nightclub gets so crowded that it’s impossible to find a pair, even if a pair existed, which it doesn’t.
2. They are never there
No child has ever been able to go to their drawer and pull out a clean pair of bundled socks. Even when there are many clean pairs of bundled socks in that drawer. This is because clean socks cannot be seen by children without first being handed to them by their parent. Children mistake clean socks for garbage, which is why they put socks in the bin rather than the laundry basket. There is no other explanation for the odd sock phenomenon.
3. They are never clean
Children wear socks like shoes. They jump on trampolines, roam through the muddy garden to get to the trampoline, they even clean out the chicken coop wearing socks but no shoes. Socks are actually more disgustingly dirty than the under-rim of a toilet and all we do is pop them in the wash with a slug of Vanish and expect them to come out shining. So, yeah, socks are never clean.
4. They never match
You always know when socks are on the brink of full-blown divorce because they start to separate. One white sock will be considerably greyer than the other due to an earlier misunderstanding that resulted in separate wash cycles. Or a sock will develop a small hole that you know you ought to mend if only you had the basic darning skills of your great-great-great-grandmother, so you send it out into the field as is, but then your child comes home with half a sock handing from the back of his leg, denying wholeheartedly that he even touched the tiny hole. You throw out the offending half-sock, but find you can’t get rid of the ‘perfectly good sock’ and you wash it. This is just one way we are in denial of our own contribution to the odd sock bucket.
5. They are never white
I’ve boiled socks with peroxide and they still had that faint grey tinge to them that just makes you feel grubby. The only truly white socks are socks fresh out of the packet, smelling of petrol and the sweat of millions of underpaid cotton pickers the world over. You’d be tempted to wash those socks immediately to erase the smell, but the instant you do that they will no longer match, with each sock taking on a slightly different grey tinge.
6. They are a constant reminder that we’re doing it all wrong
There are loads of hacks around to help you keep those mofo grubby invisible socks together, but they don’t make you feel good about yourself, trust me.
- You can buy things that grip the socks together in the wash, but you will lose those suckers faster than you can lose socks and then you’ll just feel so hopeless at everything, not just socks.
- You can pin socks together with safety pins before washing, but you won’t because who the hell has time for that and where are the safety pins anyway?
- You can use a laundry mesh bag to put all the socks inside, but that requires you to actually have all the socks together in the laundry basket in the first place, ha!
- You can match socks as you take them off the line, but, again, that requires both socks to be on the line and not, for example, going through a break up so one sock is under the bed in mourning and the other sock went for a walk with a hot stripey number who is also recently single.
Whatever way you look at it, mothers will always be forced into some kind of weird sock-Tinder situation, constantly searching for a match, never finding one, never quite feeling fulfilled, never giving up hope because hope is all we have. And, of course, there was that one time when we had kept a sock for four-and-a-half years and one day its perfect match mysteriously showed up, just like that, out of the blue, whoda thought it, and this darling pair became your lucky socks from that day forth. Being a mother is emotionally exhausting.
What to do with your odd socks:
- Use them as rags and/or burn them
- Donate them to Carly and Charley’s homeless project
- Wear them and help support Grow
How’s the sock situation at your place?