Musings about socks

Deep thoughts I am sure…


Yesterday’s photo was under captioned in my opinion, but I didn’t have time to write down everything that I was thinking about in relation to these two socks in the hallway, a mere 5 feet from a welcomingly empty washing machine, only 15 feet from the dirty hamster where they actually belong.

Socks whose owners suddenly couldn’t bear to continue the journey carrying them any farther. It was all too much. Those 3 steps they had to climb were the limit of their endurance, if they even made it up them, since the socks are at the top of the steps and the boys are taller than the 3 steps are high.

Perhaps their bare feet got stuck to the kitchen floor from the juice someone spilled & then wiped up in a half assed manner, keeping them from attempting the steps & all they could manage was to fling the socks in the direction of the laundry and hope for the best.

Maybe the weight of dirty socks is to great for males to carry.

It could be that only a woman is strong enough to lift & carry dirty socks great distances.

I’d think that the problem is dirty clothes blindness which effects people of both sexes, usually in their youth, though many continue to suffer from it all their lives, or it’s related issue – dirty plate blindness, the inability to notice dirty cups & plates in rooms other than the kitchen. But I rarely find dirty clothes anywhere else in the house. Dirty clothes all seem to end up in the hamper – except socks. Sometimes, socks end up near the hamper, but not so near you’d suspect a failed attempt at laundry basketball, unless the socks are so dirty they are bouncing back many feet when they hit the rim. Mostly though socks are everywhere else – the middle of the living room, under the kitchen table, around the beds, in the hall and a small colony in the main bathroom.

Then there is the nature versus nurture debate.

There were no dirty socks randomly scattered around our house when I was growing up. This is not to say there were not piles of clothes, both clean & dirty all over my room or my brother’s room, but the mess stayed in our rooms. I grew up in a home that was always so neat you though House Beautiful would be stopping by for a photo shoot later in the day. Though my room was the exception. Stray socks were NOT ALLOWED in my parents’ house. You can still occasionally find random footies by my bed because I have cold feet & sleep in them then take them off while sleeping because my feet get hot. But no where near the pile of socks on DH’s side of the bed or in the living room or in the bathroom.

I don’t know what the sock situation was in DHs house as a child & my ILs are deceased so I can’t ask them. DH is the youngest of 4 by several years, born to parents  who were old & tired & let him get away with everything. So I’m guessing, with many more important issues like my FILs failing health & MIL working 12 hour days, the sock thing was allowed to slide. I don’t blame them for that. But now I have to deal with it.

DH is 44 and for about 18 of those years has been living with me. I have made miniscule progress on the ‘pick up your dirty socks’ front. Mainly I have settled into a passive aggressive ‘I only wash socks that are in the hamper’ stance & leave the cleanliness of his socks up to him. If he wants clean socks, he knows where the hamper is. There are also far fewer of his socks in the main areas of the house than there were when we moved in here 13 years ago.


There are now two little males whose socks more than make up for the lack of DH’s socks. The little males take their socks off after school on the sofa and mostly leave them there. Or they push them on the ground, or they kick them over into a corner. Then they decide to go outside and put on NEW SOCKS, which an hour later join their compatriots on the floor, or halfway under the sofa. I then stand over the little males and direct them, step by agonizing step, through the challenging process of putting their socks in the hamper.

An hour later there are a half a dozen dirty socks scattered around the living room and NO ONE has worn any socks in that time! Where do they come from?

Sock wormholes?

Sock fairies remedying a perceived lack of socks?

The socks themselves preferring the bathroom floor to the clothes hamper?

I’ve been attempting to train my sons in the ways of socks and clothes hampers for about 3 years now, with no success. I have about 10 or so more years to go & I’m not hopeful. Some progress will probably be made. Hopefully.

But let me just say now to my future DILs, whoever they will be

I’m sorry. I tried. I really did.

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9 comments to Musings about socks

  • Aunt Becky

    I'm going to start burning all the socks I see. No, I mean it. I am going to. Because that's BULLSHIT. If I can manage to throw my socks down, THEY CAN FREAKING LEARN.

  • Mel

    It's my The Girl whose socks mysteriously appear all over our house…. Whenever we've been out somewhere, she knows to take her shoes off when we get through the door; usually she makes it into the living room before the socks come off. And stay there. Nowhere near the laundry basket. And then, if we have to go out again later, she finds a new pair to wear and leave lying around later! So you have all my sympathy – but apparently it isn't a boy thing. (Except that The Girl is The Tomboy, of course.) *sigh*

  • Helena

    I have come to the conclusion that sock pairs act like magnets and repel each other – hence rarely a pair makes it from feet all the way through the washing process to be returned to the sockbox

  • SciFi Dad

    I can't, for the life of me, get my hamster to wear socks either.

  • Ptooie

    My girls take after me in that we only wear socks when we have to (winter). But then I do find an awful lot in the living room or playroom. The hubby, somehow, regularly goes through 12 pairs of socks a week. 6 years of laundry duty and I'm still stumped. I even asked him about it, and he didn't know why I felt it was an odd amount.
    Bless him though, they almost always wind up in the hamper.

  • Andrea Chamberlain

    ITA with Helena. Rarely does a pair last as a pair in our house. More often than not, they're divorced by the second week and each one is carrying on with someone new.

  • Beth Zimmerman

    I tell my son, regularly, that he better marry someone who really likes me because otherwise … she's going to KILL me! And not just over dirty socks although we do have our share of those!

  • Aslansavz

    This is like diet coke cans growing up. My Dad could not manage to ever put up his diet coke cans. Sure, he had a sock pile next to his side of the bed. He put away all the other clothes as he undressed, but his socks always ended up on his side of the bed. But you'd find diet coke cans all over the house, most 1/2 full as he'd forget which was the last one he drank out of and just go get another one. He's been staying with us a few days, and while he picks up after himself with everything else so that he's not a burden, he still leaves his drink container sitting wherever he was sitting last.

  • Beth Zimmerman

    I tell my son, regularly, that he better marry someone who really likes me because otherwise … she's going to KILL me! And not just over dirty socks although we do have our share of those!