Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Nobody's Sock

The mysterious lone sock found in my laundry.
Typically, during laundry time, one sock that belongs to a pair of socks mysteriously goes missing. It happens to 100 percent of everyone who both owns socks and does laundry. On the rare occasions when all my socks pair up during my laundry-folding chore, I feel celebratory. Then I toast my success with a glass of cabernet sauvignon. Sometimes it's cabernet franc or zinfandel, but you get the picture. 

However, as they say — "they" being the elusive group of wisdom seekers who said, rather than wrote, much of what we quote —there is a first time for everything. 

During my last laundry catch-up adventure, after having folded all my pants and shirts, piled up all my underthings for which folding would be futile, and paired all my socks, there was one sock left over. What made it different from all the other times was that this sock was not my sock. It was a boy sock.

Faced with an alien stray boy sock, I did what most parents of a certain age with a smartphone do. I snapped a picture and sent an SMS to the grown son that lives upstairs. 

"Is this your sock?" I captioned the photo.

"No," was his response. Well, that made sense. The sock really wasn't his style. But he had finished his laundry just before I'd started mine, so it stood to reason it could have been a stray that stuck to the drum and then dislodged when introduced to my jeggings. 

Next, I asked my college student, who'd done piles of laundry just a few days before in preparation for returning to campus after the holidays. 

"Is this your sock?" I queried once more with the image. 

"Not mine," he replied. I was surprised, because, while the colors were not as bright as most of his foot wear, I thought it might have been one of his business-dress socks. I thought it could be from a pair he selected during those times when he had to wear a suit and neon yellow and green would be less than appropriate.

Lastly, I decided to ask the one who lives a few towns away in the outer reaches of the county in the condo he bought close to where he works. Or, as the younger generation describes it, the condo he bought to finally free himself of the drudgery of living at home after college.

"Is this your sock?" I asked, doubtful it could belong to him. 

Although, he did do laundry when he was visiting during Christmas weekend. I was surprised he brought laundry, as he owns his own washer and dryer. He explained, however, that it was cheaper for him to use our utilities. At least he has and sticks to a budget. 

"Nope, it's not. But when can I pick up that couch you said I could have?" was his response. 

After suggesting the next weekend for the couch pick-up, I sat perplexed. Hubby was in his recliner during the entire ordeal. He had been the first to deny sock ownership.

There the sock sat alone for days on the coffee table. How did a stray sock that belongs to no one end up in my laundry?

I'm not sure if it was the fact that he was tired of looking at it, or if he had genuinely not recognized the sock as his when the mystery began. However, one day, as we headed to the den with our gourmet homemade, empty-nester, healthy, low-carb meals, Hubby surprised me.

"You know, I think that is my sock." Then he picked it up and took it to the bedroom.

"Seriously?" I thought to myself, the words ricocheting off the sides of my brain. I said nothing. I put my plate on a high shelf where our bubby wubby doggies couldn't reach it, and then headed back to the kitchen for a glass of dry, red wine. 

It was partly celebratory — the sock mystery was solved! — and partly the need to soothe the frustration. Then again, had he recognized the sock as his evening I found it, I wouldn't have had an excuse to communicate with all my boys.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
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Copyright 2017 Michele Bare