Never Give Up Hope For Lost Socks

by Kevin Burton

   For me, it’s not that easy.

   Some of these heartless people at were spot on in pointing out that May 9 was national Lost Sock Day.  But then they went on to say it was a day to get rid of the unmatched socks.

   No, no, no, no, a thousand times no. That is so wrong!

   Next they’ll say if some kid falls down a well you should just leave him there.  What is wrong with people?

   This is a rescue day.  This is a day in search of a happy ending. Don’t we all love a happy ending? 

  Tossing the single socks is like giving up on old friends. I could never do that.

   So let’s put some thought into this.  This can be done. Hey, I went to college (Here I would normally tell you which college, but I’m not sure they’d be pleased by that.)

   First, look behind and under the washer and dryer. An obvious move, but all I found was some general dust and detritus, including fragments of a deceased Christmas ornament. 

  OK, check the sock drawer. Maybe one sock was rolled in a ball and looked like a pair of socks. You’re saying you’ve never done that?

   Nothing there. No single socks, but we do have the makings of a quite impressive sock museum.

   OK, we turn to science. Static Cling.   Socks stick to other pieces of clothing.  Are there shirts or pants that I used to wear that haven’t been in the rotation for a while?

   No luck.  Nothing stuck together, nothing on the floor underneath. I’m not going to be able to report the happy sock reunion ending I was looking for. But we do have some good news.

   I found four pairs of work pants that have shrunk while hanging in the closet unused over these many months. I’ll be able to move those on to their forever home next Monday or so. 

   Having failed to find any sock mates, I turn to that evil website for ideas of what to do with the single socks.

   “National Lost Sock Memorial Day reminds you that it’s time to move on. Let go of those lost socks,” the heartless website reads.

   “Where do all the missing socks go? Is there a washing machine heaven?” asks the website, injecting its ghastly whimsy into a tale of death and separation.  “This is a question people have been trying to solve for many centuries.  An answer may never be found to this problem, and life will go on.  How sad to have lost such a close-knit friend!”

   The website suggests new, solo uses for the unmatched socks such as making sock puppets, wrist warmers or sock moneys.

   What is a sock monkey? I don’t get out much.  OK, the sock monkey example that shows on Wikipedia is well beyond hideous. 

   I don’t think we have a current need for sock puppets, but I’ll check with my wife.

   They suggest making socks into chew toys for pets. Well ours is a two-cat household. I would never have a cat dumb enough to chew on a sock, especially my sock.

   Other suggestions: turn them into dust rags (no go, that implies intention to clean), fill them with beans and use them in a corn hole game (don’t have one, and what a waste of beans), fill them with rice and make it into a door stop (if I needed a door stop I’d use a phone book, and what a waste of rice). 

   “Open up both ends of a long sock and make a plastic bag holder,” is perhaps the website’s silliest suggestion. The best: “Choose to never wear matched socks again.”

   Now there’s a thought! That’s the kind of outside-the-sock drawer thinking we need as a culture.

   But before we leave this subject, one question: which sock is actually lost? 

   If the one sock has met its maker or manufacturer or whatever, is it lost? 

   The one left behind is the lost one.  That one is ready for duty but no longer hears his name called. Always has to watch those paired socks being deployed.

   I am sad to have failed my unpaired friends, but no I did NOT throw them away. They went back where I had them carefully stored, bottom drawer, left side. 

   In their name, I continue my quest. You never know.

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