In youth we learn; in age we understand.

~ Marie Ebner von Eschenbach ~

Where Do Socks Go?

October 21st, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 23 secs

Well they were here a minute ago…

Come on, where do your socks go? Are they hiding under the bed perhaps? Or, maybe they’re buried under the others at the back of your drawer. Wherever they’re hiding, that odd sock you desperately need won’t be to hand when you want it most. So, why does this happen?

If you’re not the most organized person in your neighborhood, you probably won’t think twice about the odd thirty lost socks that you’ve got. Your mantra: it happens, okay. So, I deal with it.

But if you’re more the fastidious kind, who keeps an inventory on almost everything, then you’ll be consumed with curiosity. Therefore, the mystery of where your lost socks have gone is more than annoying; it’s a vexing question.

You might not be surprised but some funny scientific theories have actually been suggested to explain the lost socks issue. Apart from microscopic black holes popping up in the spinning vortex of your washing machine, another doozy explains it with string theory (the fabric of the space time continuum had to come into it somehow). But according to this kooky concept, your lost socks have wiggled their way through a wormhole into another part of the universe, never to be seen again. Simple really.

More plausibly, perhaps the scientific concept of entropy might be a better fit. That is, anything complex (and socks have their subtleties) breaks down into simpler things over time. So, that explains why a nice pair of neatly folded or balled socks is here one day. But, in a few weeks from now, they’ve gone their separate ways. Why? Well, the level of organization required to keep these little furry beasties together as a happy pair will slip now and then.

Eventually, when you least expect it, you innocently turn your back for just a moment and what happens? They’ve split. Even if you’re a ninja sock monitor, when an odd couple of socks sneak off to do whatever socks do, hey presto! The pairs that were once so happy together becomes suddenly, sadly separated.

Because socks are terribly tricky to reunite in a hurry at 7.00am, I propose the following workarounds:

  1. Buy multiple pairs in the first place. So, you lose a sock? No problem when there are five other pairs to share the wear.
  2. If you can be bothered, always hang your socks together. Whether it’s washing, drying, or folding, don’t let them escape! Even bag them in a mesh washing bag if you have to. Just keep them on a very short leash.
  3. Rummage through everyone else’s socks. This is likely to induce a domestic argument or two. But it depends how precious your particular socks are to your wardrobe (up to you).
  4. Set up a lost sock depot. Then when one goes AWOL, put its partner in the lost socks box. At least you won’t be constantly fighting your way through odd socks in your sock drawer when you need a pair on a hurry.
  5. If all else fails, simply ditch your odd socks. Anything you’ve been hanging onto since Methuselah was a lad needs to go. But if they’re the clingy type, recycle your odd socks into glove puppets, cleaning mits, garden ties, and the like. After all, odd socks never really die. They just tend to multiply.

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