The Lost Sock Dimension.

Sock Prayer Flags.

Hanging out in the Lost Sock Dimension (Photo credit: knitting iris)

PF’s underwear drawer is the sock equivalent of Fagin’s den: it’s full of orphans. They are all black – this is not an indicator of racist sock management, it simply means that PF mainly wears black socks. Yet according to PF, all these socks are different. He is picky – he grouches as he pulls them on in the morning, saying, “This isn’t a pair, you know”. I look bleary-eyed at them from under the quilt and say, “Yes they are, they’re both black”. He insists that they don’t go together. “The elastic is different. Look!” or, “This one’s pure cotton, this one’s got lycra in it”. I’ve pulled my socks up since, but refuse to start obsessing about getting pairs to match. I have no desire to become an NCIS sock expert, spending hours inspecting the elastic inside the socks with a microscope in a bid to match their genetic blueprints.

Why do we have this unhealthy obsession with socks having to match, anyway? After all, nobody sees them half the time. Wouldn’t the world be a nicer place with happy, colourful feet? I dream of a new world where my bank manager would cross his legs to reveal bright red hearts on one ankle and blue and green stripes on the other without hot-footing it out of the room in embarrassment. Where I could have fun checking out the colours and patterns on businessmen’s socks on boring train journeys. Where people would say, “Hey, your left sock rocks!” rather than “Excuse me, your socks don’t go together.” But my sock utopia is not to be…. French sock society is sectarian, and a white sock and a black sock cannot pair up and go out together. A size five with a size nine will not foot the bill, either. People would talk. We need a below-the-knees revolution. Maybe we could sock it to the nation by staging a new West End theatre success called West Sock Story, telling the racy, stockings and suspenders tale of unrequited sock love in a heart-stopping underwear drawer debacle?

Anyway. Back to PF’s socks. I put the orphans together so that they don’t feel lonely, and leave them in the odd sock bag until their other half turns up. The odd sock bag is a sad home for Socktown singletons who lost their grip on their other half somewhere in the centrifugal vortex of the laundry cycle. Widowed socks are resigned to life as outcasts. The other sock never turns up, of course, and after a while I either throw the laundry basket orphans away or use them for cleaning. This is, of course, where Murphy’s Law swings into action. As the binmen disappear with the repudiated single socks, their bereaved other halves are promptly found weeping inconsolably in Little My’s knicker drawer, behind the tumble drier or under a bed, and are entrusted to the shoe-cleaning kit with all the appropriate rites, relegated from shoe-lining to shoe-shining.

Where do lost socks go, anyway? Do waylaid socks form a hallowed mystery club along with the remaining teaspoon at the bottom of the washing-up bowl and that missing woollen glove that suddenly and inexplicably turns up in the middle of summer? Where can they possibly get lost on their journey from Rugby-boy’s sweaty feet to the underwear drawer? Do they hide in the washing machine? Do cold-footed magpies pinch them from the washing line? The only logical explanation I can find is the existence of a sock equivalent of the Bermuda triangle. I have named this The Lost Sock Dimension, or LSD for short. Lost socks wail in this no-mans land as they yearn to be reunited with their other halves and rub heels in the reassuring, sweet-smelling haven of the odd socks bag.

So spare a thought for orphaned socks. Take two out of the bag today, put them on and take them out for a walk. In future, maybe socks should be sold in threes, instead of pairs. That way I could keep the spare one… in the odd sock bag.

I’ll leave you with this lovely animated film about lost socks by Austin Hillebrecht. Hope you enjoy it!

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36 thoughts on “The Lost Sock Dimension.

  1. Loved this. I have been known to sport luminous non-matching socks. They go down well with tinies in school assemblies as well as demented old ladies in homes and hospitals!

  2. I’m similar to PF in that, in the winter months ( now most of the year) when socks are worn, I wear black or dark blue. I cannot tell the difference when I put them on in the morning, Only in the clear light of day is it revealed that I am always wearing odd socks.. I remember once buying my wife a black Burberry mac which, of course, turned out to be navy blue. She so did not want a navy blue mac…… It’s never come out of the wardrobe.

    • I’m going to set up a PF sock support club. Members will have to burn all black and navy blue socks in a ritual fire, them wear odd socks to every meeting 🙂 Put the mac on EBay – that way you’ll get some room back in the wardrobe!

  3. This also happens in Italy, My black socks range from grey to black. I am like PF I get stressed when one sock is cotton and the other is a Lycra mix ( I thought Lycra was for women’s aerobic outfits)

    Tell PF not to worry too much, it can get worse. Mrs Sensible came home last week with 3 polo shirts for me, green and white striped, grey and white striped, and red and white striped. I had to try them all on and remark on each shirt. This is fine, no I mean nice, erh wonderful. really I like it.

    They then went through the wash before I was allowed to wear them. A red hand made cloth from Tunisia or maybe from Israel, also found its way into the washing machine. I now have some wonderful pink and green striped T shirts. 🙂 I think it was Mrs Sensibles fault, but I darn’t ask her.

    I am told it is fashionable in Italy to have pink T shirts. I would write a post about the episode, but peace in my house is worth more than a post on pink socks and t shirts.

  4. In his gainfully-employed days, DH was also a wearer of black socks, but unlike PF he was quite capable of going out wearing one knee-length and one ankle-length sock as long as they were both black. 🙂 Now he’s retired and has fallen in love with my hand-knitted socks it’s easy, as no two pairs are alike and even he knows blue from brown. No, I absolutely do NOT knit black socks!

    I loved the little film. 🙂

  5. I completely understand what PF is saying when complaining that socks don’t match even if they are both black. Until some clever person (wish I’d thought of it!) came up with the idea of putting different coloured toes and heels on black socks and changed my life completely, I used to agonise over matching my hubbie’s black socks into their pairs. I even used to put them on to see if they ‘felt’ the same!

    • *MM gapes in astonishment* You even tried the socks on? WOW. I’ve taken to buying brands with the name written on the socks, with a different brand for each male member of the family. But I still manage to put my foot in it (so to speak) 🙂

  6. You are so right. Come cooler weather, I’m going to rock my not-matching socks.

    MTM bought the same sock in navy and black………and he often wears not-matching socks as a result. It is very hard to tell the difference when sorting.

  7. Pingback: A Tale of Unmatched Socks | Fino's Weblog

  8. My DB solves that problem by buying only the same socks in black so they will always match… always. 🙂

    My boys on the other hand have lots of different types of sock most of which are orphans but wear them none-the-less. My eldest does not even worry about going out in one black one white socks. The important thing is to have found socks at all as many of them lurk under his bed, dirty, thus reducing the pool of potential socks to a puddle.

    • So you have the outcast community that hangs out under the bed, too? I often wonder if they are the sock equivalent of New-age travellers 🙂 We’re currently in the period of “no socks and smelly shoes”. Guess it’s time to round up the socks and put them in pairs before it’s too late…. sigh ….

      • Mine try to ward off asphyxiation by malodorous shoe by wearing sockettes or whatever they’re called. We have many different sizes, some of which are mine but it makes no difference, they all end up on the feet of my eldest. The only ones he doesn’t touch are my turquoise ones that I bought for zumba (to go with my turquoise top… I’m that coordinated…)

  9. I can’t believe that so many of us obsess over socks, but here goes:
    M & S for coloured toe & heel socks (next time you are near).
    My sister-in-law has a little man who comes in the night and steals just one sock of a pair. Lugene’s little man visits our place occasionally and steals odd socks and other things we are looking for. I see now he puts the socks in LSD but I don’t know where he puts other lost items. Sometimes he brings them back.
    If PF has to wear socks in your part of France in July we’ll have to cross it off as a potential place to live. Himself will only wear socks to fly so that he doesn’t have to walk barefoot through security – ick.
    Don’t let it be said that bloggers don’t discuss important issues.

  10. Hahaha love it! That film clip was brilliant! Your description of singleton lonely socks is great and the LSD… excellent! Why is there always one piece of cutlery at the bottom of the sink…? even when you do a sweep of the said area before pulling the plug and feel nothing… it’s always there! I have to say you can often find multicoloured, mismatched socks on the tube into London, it’s great and always creates smiles and chuckles! 🙂

  11. Believe it or not my everyone in my house safety pins their socks and they have since kids. Missing socks drive me bonkers. She has colorful socks! All of ours are mostly black or white..Is that odd : ))

  12. The video affirms what I’ve suspected – that the centrifugal forces inside the dryer cause a wormhole to open. My theory is that the rings of Saturn are made entirely of mismatched socks that have been pulled through the wormhole.

      • I assume they disappear at the end of the cycle. To test that hypothesis I’d have to do some control experiments, like open the dryer at various stages mid-cycle and take an inventory.

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