Sunday, 26 April 2009

Sock Shock


When we were on holiday at my daughters over Easter, I found myself alone. Deb and Harry had gone out for some supplies for the garden project and I was looking after the boys. Well in actual fact, they were looking after themselves, doing their favourite thing, heads pressed against the computer screen, eyes down, playing a game of some sort. They seemed happy to be left alone to get on with what they were doing.

I noticed a huge pile of ironing that needed to be done and after a while I had turned it into a lovely stack of pressed clothes, ready for the airing cupboard.
Deep down at the bottom of the washing basket was a net bag, full of socks.
"Oh," I thought, "Deb must be too busy to sort these out." I proceeded to empty the bag and intended to put them out into pairs. Only there weren't any pairs at all. Each of these socks has lost it's mate. Some of them were toddlers socks so they must have been lost a long time! As you can see, there were dozens of odd socks of assorted colours, shapes and sizes.

She told me later that she kept them just in case the matching ones turned up.
Where DO the missing socks end up, though? Does anyone know? Does the washing machine eat them up? If so, you'd think that the machine would have died of indigestion by now. Or is there a sock snatcher at large, breaking in at night to take what he fancies?

Short of wearing odd ones, what can be done with all these lovely socks?
Any ideas?



39 comments:

Mickle in NZ said...

For years my Dear Dad referred to "socks disappearing in the system". So Dear Mum used to count in and out of the washing machine the numbers and pairs of socks to try to avoid it.

I must find out if she still does this when I'm up with them in about a month's time. And what happens when Dad puts on the washing!

Maybe there is a sock monster lurking in your Dear Deb's washing machine?

Care and huggles, xxx

MarmiteToasty said...

:) Huge smile - we just have a sock box and when I pair up those with a matching friend there will be left about 35 odd socks with no partner.... now we just wear odd ones LOL

Everyone has hunted their rooms for the missing socks and they are nowhere to be found.... but cant just lob the others out..... so we are the odd sock family lol

x

Sandi McBride said...

I have this sock drawer in my bureau that is only mismatches...but I tell people rude enough to bring it to my attention that my socks don't match "I have another pair just like them at home"...lol...loved this post!
Sandi

Retiredandcrazy said...

Send them over to my daughter. She has the matching mates.

Mickle in NZ said...

In the late 1980s/early1990s fashionable mens socks were sold with the 2 deliberately mismatching.

Or was that a ploy of the Brit chain brand "SOCKSHOP" to lure Antipodeans in the UK on their Big OE?

Granny on the Web said...

Socks! Don't remind me. When my five were small it was the bane of my life every time I washed.
Then it was onto matching bra and knicker time and the girls never could match the sets up again after the first wash.
I think it is inbuilt in every washing machine, to hide a sock or two.
Good post
Love Granny

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Great post Maggie! I have the same problem.

CJ xx

The Gossamer Woman said...

I only used to have the missing sock syndrome when I had a dryer. Now that I have a washing machine only, I never miss a sock anymore. I have a front loader, if that is any help. I put them in and they come out again. Sometimes one is caught in a duvet cover, but I quickly discover it, or in a pillow case, or in the rounded corner of a fitted sheet, but if you look hard, they always show up.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

If little ones are around, make sock puppets...and put on a puppet show...otherwise...give them to a charity shop and let them sort it out...LOL... ;-) Happy Sunday!

Akelamalu said...

Missing socks is one of life's mysteries! :)

Suburbia said...

Give them to this lady :http://kittywrinkle.blogspot.com/ she makes beautiful monkeys out of them!!!

Kitty said...

I have a pile of odd socks too. I think almost every home does. I'd love to know where they go - my theory is that they fall out and one of them leaves home :-O x

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

I am down to my last few pairs.
You can probably use wash bags. I know it's designed for lingerie and hosiery but maybe it'll help separate socks from the rest of the garments and solve the mystery of the disappearing sock.

Eddie Bluelights said...

I guess it will have to be a case of "Socks and Stares" or die them all a different colour, like grey!

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

I just got done doing my laundry and I came back here to report that I am not missing any pair! Whew! So proud of me today! ;-)

Word veri: paries
paries of socks. :-)

Wendy said...

Puppets! I'd make sock puppets with them. But really, I do think the washing machine eats them all up. How often do we find one gone missing??

What on earth is an airing cupboard? I've read that particular term in books, but did not know what it was. Is it just a cupboard that you put linens in? Or some kind of cupboard that has air blowing through it? Please enlighten me.
Thank you.

Hilary said...

Do you have a cat.. or know anyone who does? Socks make good catnip toys. Just fill the toe with catnip and then tie a knot in the sock. Instant high. ;)

Cath said...

Sock puppets. Or donate to 3rd world charity - they won;t care if the socks match. Or for use as a spare pair when wearing wellies - did you do that? We always had "wellie socks" on top of our usual socks when we were kids.

Sock puppets is best though.
I think there is a phantom sock eater about!

Daisy said...

It is so WEIRD the way they disappear like that isn't it! Gloves too, but slightly less often. I say we all shake off our fear of wearing odd socks and beat this thing together!

The Things We Carried said...

I gave up on sorting with my family of seven back in the day. (Now we are 8, but less live at home.)

I kept them i a basket an let the kids find the matches if they could, on an as needed basis. It saved my sanity. Every so many months I went through them all, matched each one, and threw the others away. No green thinking in those days. Just survival of the fittest!

Mya said...

There's a portal into another universe - look closely around the back of the washing machine and you'll see the entrance - don't fall in though, we'd miss you!

Mya x

david mcmahon said...

There is a land called Missing Sock Land. Trust me. Lots of mine live there!

Expat mum said...

They have about a three month cycle in my house. I have a basket on top of my dryer for single socks. Some of them have been in there so long they wouldn't eve fit the little guy, but I know as soon as I throw the odd one out, its mate will turn up.

lakeviewer said...

I wear odd socks around the house instead of slippers. I love the feel of slippery feet, still free, but warm and cozy. Sometimes I wear two pairs at once. (Actually, four different ones.)

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

It really is a puzzle isn't it? I just chuck the odd socks out after a while and if the partner turns up, it's curtains for that too!

Mickle in NZ said...

The Folks phoned me last night so I asked Mum and, YES, she still counts the socks into and out of the washing machine!

Indrani said...

Awww! Same story here too! :)
Many others too have this problem, i see from the comments. I am slightly relived. ;)

Bina said...

And this, Dear Maggie, is why I only buy my kids white socks now. Because if I DARE to buy a cute pair of colored or designed socks, one will more than likely dissapear forever!

Maggie May said...

Many thanks for all your comments!
I see that I am not alone with this problem.
Puppets sounds like a good idea!

I like the sound of the Sock Monster from Mickle, Mya's Portal to another Universe and David's Missing Sock Land.


Marmite Toastie & Sandi, wearing odd ones!

Retired and Crazy made me laugh as did Socks and Stares from Eddie Bluelights.

I haven't a cat, Hilary.

Well done the others for having the guts to throw away the offending odd socks, even though that tempts the missing ones to show up immediately afterwards.
And buying pure white socks might not be a bad idea, Bina!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Hi Maggie, Just seen David has awarded you POTD. Many congratulations on a very funny post. Hmm! I've got some odd socks lying around somewhere. Can I interest you? Probably not!

Jeni said...

I don't know how this post slipped by me on my reader but I didn't see it till today when reading David's Post of the Day Awards!
I always had a big sock bag with the mismatches for years and years. Funny thing is sometimes a mate would show up, virtually out of no where. Even if I double checked the washer and dryer for leftovers, I never found anything left behind there and then, months later, usually, a stray sock would just up and appear. I think the washer and dryer were programmed to drive me a bit more nuts than my kids already did.

VALKYRIEN said...

I really know what you so brilliant is talking about!

Congrats with the Post Of The Day!

lime said...

my theory is that they transmogrify into an abundance of wire hangers. ;)

found you via david's place.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Terrific!!!! It is absolutely obvious why you should be named a POTD! Congrats! I enjoyed reading this again!!!!! And I enjoyed it as much the second time as the first! You make me smile.

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

Congrats on potd dear Maggie May!

Merisi said...

I can see them missings socks sitting in front of their computer screens, somewhere in a cave faraway, laughing themselves silly over our sock problems! ;-)

The Washington Post published years ago a "Sherman's Lagoon" comic strip in its Sunday Funnies:
Laundry room with toilette,
Sherman's "hand" reaching out of it, grabbing a few socks from the pile in front of the washing machine. The next picture table showed Sherman's "home", underwater, a pile of socks in the corner of his room, with the caption, "Where the missing socks are" - or something along that line.

Congratulations on David's POTD!

Cheffie-Mom said...

I can totally relate to this post! Congratulations on the Post of the Day Award from authorblog!

Lavinia said...

I could populate a desert island with all my stray socks. No idea where the mates go. One of the universe's ultimate mysteries.

One use I have for socks which are missing their mate is slipping them on the feet of furniture when its time to drag furniture across the floor in moving it. Saves scratching the floor.

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