In the sixth grade, my class took a field trip to a beach. A girl named Lisa said my legs were so pale, she thought I was still wearing white socks.
In junior high school, I wore socks nearly up to my knees to cover my pale shins and a big, surgical scar. Friends mocked me instead for wearing socks nearly up to my knees.
When I buy a nice, new pair of socks, I feel a brief sense of satisfaction that I bought the last accessory needed to complete a sophisticated look. But any love affair I might share with socks typically ends before the sock drawer opens.
When trying to remove the thin piece of plastic holding together a new pair of socks, I accidentally cut the socks themselves. When trying to pull off sticky paper pressing together a new pair, the paper rips, leaving small pieces of stickiness stuck to the socks.
I tried to make a real effort to properly match my socks to my slacks. A health magazine taught me the importance of this. I woke up, grabbed a pair of socks, which appeared to match, and tried to confirm my choice my placing the socks on the windowsill in a sliver of morning light.
But the morning light often deceived me, meaning I learned I was wearing mismatched socks while later sitting in a meeting.
When the recession hit, I tried to save money by no longer buying Banana Republic’s beautiful socks. But really cheap socks often don’t stand the test of time. I ripped them by pulling them up my pale shins. Other times, my big toe poked through, touching the inside of my shoe.
I bought socks with bold patterns to help me match them. But that strategy doesn’t work if one of the socks is nowhere to be found.
I tried to buy socks all the same color to ensure all socks matched each other. But if you look closely, those socks have slightly different patterns or thickness.
I waste so much time trying to match socks. Do people really look anyway? If I pick two gray socks, will someone really frown if the shades slightly differ? I could stop wearing socks but would look like a nerd trying to pass myself off as a hip California salesman. And no socks means showing off my shining, pale feet.
I emptied my sock drawer this weekend. I was committed to matching all the singles searching for long lost partners. I matched several pairs and enjoyed rolling them up and tossing them into a drawer. But most of the socks ended the day lined up across the carpet. A kaleidoscope of colors and patterns that eventually exhausted my patience and made me sweat. I scooped them up and stuffed them in a small, cardboard box.
I probably unfairly punish some socks by prematurely using them to shine shoes. It’s not me. It’s them. They need a public relations strategist to stitch together the perception they are nothing more than stinkers trying to foul up our mornings. If you’re a PR pro who wants to represent my socks, please tread carefully. To work, it must be a perfect match.
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