Attack of the sock monster…
The mystery of missing socks has sparked more theories than anything else – from black holes to shoddy housekeeping skills. The phenomenon has even been given the term MSS – Missing Sock Syndrome. But honestly – where do they go? It is impossible for everyone on the planet to lose socks at the rate at which people do. Do sock gremlins really exist in a parallel universe and do they reach down through the vortex of your washing machine to swipe your socks?
There are so many people losing socks that there are numerous websites dedicated to the syndrome. A really funny one is the Bureau of Missing Socks http://www.funbureau.com/ which gives fun ideas on where they could possibly go to as well as some funny clips on stand up comedian socks.
Honestly, I have tried to be mercenary about NOT losing socks – insisting that I will only put socks into the machine in pairs. The hope behind this approach is that if the socks partner is behind the sofa, under the bath or on the pelmet, it will be found first, put with its partner and washed together. This regimented approach worked for a while but the minute I let my guard down, socks started disappearing again. Sometimes, even when a pair is put in together, they may still come out alone – did the partner come apart at the seams and flow down the outlet pipe? Unravel into little balls of lint and escape via the filter? There is no way it could fit through the little holes in the drum of the washing machine so where did it go?
I am lucky I don’t take this too seriously or I could end up spending a fortune on a psychiatrist’s sofa (instead of in the sock department at Penney’s). I have 8 pairs of feet in my household – that is 16 individual socks used per day which adds up to 112 socks a week which adds up to 5824 socks in a year. The chances of losing socks from foot to clothesline to drawer are exponentially high (add into that that laundry is usually last on my to-do list!) and so I have a permanent basket of single socks.
Some of my young entrepreneurs have asked to earn their pocket money by getting paid 5c for every pair of socks they manage to match up in the “basket case” – as enthusiastic and desperate for cash as they are, they still cannot empty the basket. It would also seem that every household has a spare bag, drawer, basket in which they hang onto the odd socks in the hope that their mates will magically turn up again – they never do. The singles pile keeps growing by the day!
I have tried to solve the problem by buying single colour socks – colour coded for each member of the family but even then you are left with 5, 3 or 1 white socks and their disappearance is still not explained. Buying the variety packs with designs and patterns on them seems to create a greater hex as the socks disappear in such a way as to maximise the number of odd socks left behind. There is no way that two of the polka dot socks would go missing – no, one of each design will go and keep going until there are no pairs left!
A Tampa police officer, Rich O’Connor, was so tired of his wife complaining about lost socks that he invented a plastic clip called The Sock Cop http://www.sockcop.com/ . The clip, which essentially works as a sock “handcuff” can withstand high temperatures demanded of it in dryers and can remain clipped to the pair of socks through the entire washing, drying, clothesline process. It can even stay on the socks to keep them together in the drawer. Now that is what I call diligent sock policing. (PS, I am going to try a safety pin instead of buying the clips and see if that works – will keep you posted.)