A Tale of Unmatched Socks

Sock Orphanage

Sock Orphanage

I noticed yesterday that I had six unpaired socks in my socks-n-undies drawer. This caused lots of existential questions to surface to my consciousness. Where did the “other halves” disappear too? Is there a singularity that appears occasionally in the vicinity of my washer-dryer that sucks them across the universe? Do they commit suicide by total annihilation? Is there a secret sock burglar in the building. If so, why these socks? I mean they did nothing to him right? When you look at the sad victims here, you see that it is indiscriminate – dress socks of several colors and even an athletic sock have suffered the loss of their other halves. I heard there was actually a collection of orphaned socks at some charity organization in town. Seriously? But what if I do that but the prodigal sock arrives on my doorstep – or more likely in my socks-n-undies drawer? What do I do then? How do I break it to him/her that his/her brother/sister gave up hope and was thrown/given away? I guess that potential guilt makes me a bit of an orphaned sock hoarder or something. What does that say about me? Should I have some time threshold on orphaned socks (two weeks? two months? two years?) so that they do not accumulate like bones or detritus on the seashore in my drawer? Does it mean I have a hard time letting go? Perhaps. It is true that while not obsessively, I do collect things (CDs, albums, comix), but that was consciously. I guess there is a doubt as to whether this ad-hoc home for lost socks in my apartment means something deeper than just laziness.

It also made me think of the different scales of time. I have no clue how old these socks are. I’d guess that they are roughly lined up in order of oldest to youngest in the photo. And although I purchase my own socks (almost always in January during the sales at the Galeries Lafayette at the Falke counter 2nd floor, men’s undergarment department), these particular socks didn’t really hit a bell. So here are these poor, neglected socks aging away unloved in my drawer for what could be years and my kids are growing meanwhile, life continues to change, and stress comes and goes. There is the scale of time of that daily grind, but there is also the much slower scale of time of administration (weeks usually to get some required piece of paperwork), and the even slower scale of time for work on my building (years to get projects finished like the long overdue repainting of my stairwell) or of the urban transformation of Paris with its requisite traffic jams and later conveniences like Velib and now Autolib. And all this time, those socks are missing out on all the fun. They are timeless reminders of the ephemeral nature of this existence I suppose.

OK fuck it, I’m throwing them out.

I can’t do it…



About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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5 Responses to A Tale of Unmatched Socks

  1. Ed McBride says:

    LOL. A few years back I grew weary of matching up socks, so I donated or tossed ALL of them, and bought a dozen black and a dozen white. Problem solved.

  2. Poornima says:

    Lol ! Did you actually disown those poor unloved socks ?

    • mfinocchiaro says:

      No, I couldn’t part with them. Trying to have my grieving process now so that I can let them go before the weekend – always that hold-out hope for the lost socks to come back home… 🙂

  3. David Froehling says:

    LOL. I’ve had the same problem! I’ve often wished that all socks had some type of code embedded in them that gave their class type. That way you could find/buy other ones like it in the future. There could even be a market for buying single socks.

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