Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sock It To Me...In Matching Pairs

Sox. I have a huge drawer full of them. I like them to match my clothes, and also to match each other. But WHY? This kiosk in New York's Grand Central Station suggests otherwise. Why NOT wear two different sox? I even saw an article in the New York Times Style Section, my guide to the trends, that featured non-identical footwear.

There's the squishiness issue, of course. You don't want a fat, furry anklet on one foot, and a thin, smooth knee sock on the other. It could give you a gimp.

You don't want a warm winter hiking sock on one foot, and a summer rainbow shortie on the other. You could get befuddled. Or, with one foot, walk in a puddle.

combining halves of pairs causes other complications. If you're the type, like me, who has enough trouble deciding what to wear--which shirt, which bottom part (skirt? jeans?) having to make TWO choices about sox just adds to the frustration. Then, you have to decide if the sock you pick actually matches or clashes with the other sock you're considering, and seldom do you find mismatched socks that actually harmonize.

There's also the bravery issue--if you DO find two compatible halves, is this something to be proud of, or keep
secret? In other words, do I wear the two new-found friends with my low cut flats so they reveal my non-conformity proudly, or does such a daring maneuver call only for the discretion of high boots?

The orphan issue also arises. Is this a means to employ members of the lost-sox pile that grows after each laundry day? Or do I intentionally relegate the unused member of a perfectly synchronized set to that sad fate by calling its buddy to service?

I have a plastic box that is populated with socks that are mate-less, though many are so similar that without scrutiny, they could be combined. I've got the sport sock with the ribbing that's thick, and the similar one with the thin ribs. The lo-riser with the logo, and its nearly identical twin that goes nameless. The gym sock that looks big enough for a man's size 12, and another abandoned individual that is its exact replica, though sized for a petite feminine pied. Dare I plumb the depths of the plastic box for exciting near-perfect but curiously off combos?

But look! The kiosk cunningly called "Little Miss Mismatched" displays...only matching sets of socks! What a boo-boo I've made, it isn't "mismatched," but "Miss Matched!" The sprightly miss is MATCHED! The name is a clever come-on, designed to bring sock-crazed ladies lured by stripes and dots and rainbows and vibrant hues! Well, they got me...and I'll keep buying those dynamic duos and maintain them in rolled-together bliss in my bountiful sock-drawer, because life is always more fun in pairs.


  1. Okay, back to work...yes, this sweet sox-liloquy was entertaining, amusing, and colorful but methinks thou doth escapeth too much from your prison of prose that beckons, steering you irrevocably closer to meeting your publisher's deadline - make haste as Pesach awaits and this doppelganger of yours will resist all efforts to draw her into our mutual web of non-divestment. But never fear, dear, someday soon we'll allow ourselves to wallow in Walmart WishListing and seek out craft fairs and other whimsical pursuits in the summer sunshine.

    Meanwhile, know that this OLD friend of yours began wearing non-matched sock pairs about 20 years ago when I was taking a calisthenics class (how long has it been since you heard THAT ancient term) and was so bored with all the repetition I began wearing differentiated socks so I'd have something amusing upon which to focus while counting "1 and 2 and 3 and 4..." This habit was soon adopted by Eldest Son while he was in preschool and I had to often remind well-meaning teachers that no, he wasn't color-blind, he was copying Mommy's eccentric habit. BTW, as you know, I also often sport differentiated earring pairs, quite a few of which YOU have bought me. And as far as I'm concerned, "mis"matched pairs of anything will NEVER be shamefully concealed under high boots or bobbed hair -- let's hear it for DIVERSITY of expression and the YIN YANG of it all!! HA and HA!

  2. Oooooo, this was so funny. What a great little teeny-weeny mystery story. Do you have yellow gox-box socks, perchance? We are looking for some. BTW, that was me saying hi anonymously - testing something - didn't mean to do dat. Kisses on your footsies...