Monday, April 02, 2007


Sockly dilemmas.

I was feeling a bit of a fraud with this Thinking Blogger award, you know. Going on my more recent posts, a Whingeing Blogger award might have been more appropriate.

So I decided that today I should address an issue that has been bothering me for some time. It's a domestic issue - but not one that is confined to families - although the problem is indeed amplified by the sheer turnover of washing generated by each extra person in the family. I am sure it will get you thinking! (Even if it is just so you can think 'hey, at least I'm more on top of the laundry than SHE is!)

But, in all honesty? If you do the laundry, you must surely have dealt with this problem. (Please tell me you have!)


Socks that don't stay together with their partner! The rate of sock separation in our house is akin to the divorce rate in this country! I'm serious. And I have, upstairs, a basket of deserted socks... washed up and left high and dry by their partner. Many are old - they have lost their tone, their elasticity, and they will end up in the rag bag for old single socks. Some are young, though.. they haven't been together long, so it's harder to determine what has happened to their other half.

At times I have suscribed to the black hole theory, where single socks disappear into a sock focused vortex or time warp. At other times I have sworn there must be a sock goblin at work.. insidiously kidnapping single socks at various stages of the laundry cycle.

My latest theory, however, is that the socks are simply doing the sockly equivalent of the seven year itch or the mid-life crisis. They need a break, they want variety, and they will get it any way they can.. skiving off at any stage of the laundry process. Hiding underneath the washing machine, or behind the dirty clothes basket. The kids' socks even scramble away and lurk in dark recesses of the bedroom, watching their sucker partner get whisked out and into the dirty clothes piles.

My husband swears it is my laundry system to blame- and the poor thing does despair when at times half a dozen single socks find their way back to his drawer. (Where are their mates? Off having a good time somewhere, no doubt.)

He is an advocate of pairing of the socks on the line when you hang them out. On the few occasions he hangs the washing out (a reflection only upon the division of labour in our household - he works, I stay home, so the laundry is my job!) he pegs the socks out in pairs. As he did when I left him with washing to hang out on Saturday.

"Did you see how I pegged the socks out together?!" said he righteously "And then when you get the washing off the line you fold/roll them up together!"

I just snort, thinking how rarely he retrieves the washing from the line. I'm usually doing it in a hurry, so folding and sorting as I go doesn't really happen. 'I'd like to see you do that day in, day out' I mutter under my breath. Besides which, there were still 3 singles in that batch of washing!

Me being me, I see no point in rooting around the wet clothes just for sockly clothesline togetherness. My M.O. is to try to reunite them when sorting the clean, dry washing. After all, if they've missed the washing machine load, then what use is it to discover that there are renegades when out at the clothesline? May as well just hope they turn up together when I sort several days washing at once. (So now you are getting the picture of my domestic slackness!)

If I was an Alpha Mum, I'd probably have them paired and sorted before the washing machine phase. But I'm not, and I can't see myself changing. Besides which, I'm convinced they have a mind of their own, and at various times they will stray from the paths of righteousness and togetherness, no matter what I do.

A lot like humans, really.

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I've heard of pinning them together with a safety pin in the wash? But that sounds time consuming and prone to stabbing yourself. I don't have that much of a problem seeing as most of my socks are exactly the same and so are my son's. (the same as his own,not the same as mine. hehe)
ah the sock conundrum.
some days I pair them on the line, other days I don't. i don't like pairing them on cold days as they don't dry as well. not too many have been nabbed by the sock goblin (touch wood) but the odd one unexpliciably vanishes from time to time.
I'm only OCD about my own socks, if anyone else has a problem with my methods they are most welcome to sort it out themselves
I believe socks are coathanger larvae. However, since they sexually reproduce (how could they not, all cuddled there together in a dark drawer?), only one sock in a pair develops into a coathanger, leaving the other sock forever mateless and forlorn. That's why you always have a zillion coathangers.
Send some of your coathangers my way rootietoot, I never have enough. XP
Things get complicated when more than one person in the family has the same size/style sock. Eldest now wears socks my size - and now so does Middlest. Though Middlest can still wear Youngest's socks, and vice versa. And then they pinch each other's socks to wear when they can't find their own.(It doesn't explain away Marc's missing socks.. but anyway...)

I like that theory, rootie!
I loved the seven year itch analogy, how wonderful! YEs it used to frustrate the hell out of me, but now I throw the unpaired socks into the draw, in the hope that they find each other and rekindle their lost romance - distance making the heart grow fonder and all that - it sometimes works, but mostly...not.
Nice theory Rootietoot.

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