Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I Know Where Odd Socks Go
There are ancient mysteries that lurk in our collective memories and modern ones that are small but mightily irritating. Odd socks are one of those small mysteries. I now know where odd socks go, and so do my kids. I still have to work out where mine went, but at least our smaller family members are sorted.
My mother used to have a paper bag hidden in the bottom of the hot water cupboard. It was a hidden secret that was only sorted when we ran out of socks or especially tidy relatives were due to visit. What Aunty Pat was going to do with our odd socks was beyond me, but mum lived in fear of her looking for a clean tea towel and coming out with mismatched underwear.
My odd socks are an equally sorry state, a plastic bag tucked down the side of my dresser. Matching and mismatching pairs of subtly different black knee highs is a complex task. I leave it for when I’m really desperate. If you see me coming with one opaque and one fishnet, you’ll know I’m having a bad day.
Rather than heralding the arrival of a man in a red suit, Little E’s socks are waiting for their friends to come home. Little E and I have lengthy conversations about laundry, friendless socks and take delight in reuniting long lost buddies. This collection is added to and updated every time washing is put away. It also makes me wish my socks were a little less black.
Miss H sees her sock collection as a challenge. I foolishly hung her ribbon over the change table. She covets socks while her nappies are changed. By the time she is ready for her socks, she will tell you, with some determination, exactly what odd socks she has chosen. Otherwise, she will just pluck them straight from the line and make her get away. For her, mismatched socks are a sign of victory rather than defeat.