I remember a couple of decades ago; (I’m old enough, trust me.) There was a commercial on the radio that offered to teach you a foreign language. The trick they used was to take words you know, and spell it out alphabetically it produced a phonetic, ready-made phrase to help you pick up the new language in a short amount of time. Some of you may remember this, but if not, the phrase they used in the advertisement was; “S-O-C-K-S; which means- That’s what it is!” Makes sense, right?
I disagree… Here’s why. Over the course of the past couple of decades, I have been engaged- happily, in wedded bliss. No joke. I am the luckiest man in the world. Believe it. In this happy arrangement, I have had to
relearn to perform some domestic chores. Of the options presented; laundry, seemed an easy choice. I thought this, because in my previous single world, the process was simple. Throw all of the dirty clothes into the washer with some detergent; transfer the same articles into the drying device, then stuff the completed product into the drawer spaces available. Simple right? Sure, sometimes things that were originally white changed…shades, if not out right colors. A cleaver marketing ploy, I thought. The clothing people could have capitalized on idea big time.. “Do you find white t-shirts to be boring? Just wait, after ten washings it will change to pink.”
After completing my first load, I awaited my evaluation with a casual eagerness born from confidence in my simple, stream-lined, efficient procedure. I was,
once again, wrong. The critique, however, seemed unfair, because of my simple, stream-lined efficient procedure, endless- running from improper folding creases in dress shirts, to mixing towels and knit-sweaters, and worst of all, a lack of fondness for the color pink. I was secretly impressed that I achieved this after only one washing, a personal best. S-O-C-K-S, That’s what it is!
In my former world, there were basically only two types of socks. Long black ones- for dressing up; and the long white ones for everything else. Back then separating the socks was a simple process. I even remember quoting the commercial as I folded my socks; proud of my bilingual skills after listening to the commercial only a hundred times. (I was confident that with only a few more “commercial” lessons, I would get the inflection right.) My new brides sock allotment, however, came with more colors than I believed possible. Why, I never knew that there were so many colors. I guess I can blame the small 16 crayon set for that.
When we were organizing our drawers, I snuck a quick peek, and was shocked! There black ones, and white ones; I already knew what those were for. But there were also blue ones, and brown ones, and tan ones- with brown stitching… not to be confused with the tan ones with a slight indention running down the middle, back and sides; or the other pair that had a lighter shade of brown stitching, and whose pattern ran in a nearly identical direction… but not quite. Or the half-size white ones with the pink toe; not to be confused with the half-whites with the lighter shade of pink toe, that had a “box-ier” shape in the aforementioned toe area .
For the first several years it seemed that each pair of socks was custom-made, an art piece, perhaps. I began envisioning a Picasso like sock-maker whose subtle touch could only be done twice, once for each sock; never to be created again.
“Now this is my pair of Mona Lisa’s.” She would say. “They look almost like my Mona Gina’s, but not quite.” Masterpieces- no doubt. The sock-Picasso out did himself. However, even the most utilitarian sock could not avoid scrutiny “You fool, these two blue socks aren’t even the same shade of blue!” She would shriek at me lovingly.
“There are shades of blue?” I would foolishly ask. “I thought there was just blue.”
S-o-c-k-s: That’s what
they are it is… A puzzle.