Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Making Statements With My Slacking

I have been doing laundry for other people for almost fifteen years. It can wear on a woman. For the last couple of years I have been a lazy sock woman, in that I have a large bin in my laundry room where all the clean socks go and I throw them in there. It's up to the kids to find socks each day.

Bob somehow manages to keep his dress socks intact and in the armoire upstairs (and this irritates me, his ability to selectively match only his socks) but everyone else is usually stuck wearing mismatched socks. It's just one of our weirdnesses.

My good friend, Just Seeking, has pointed this out to me before. It cracks her up that to a person (again, Bob is exempt) we're the family who looks great from the ankles up, but we're sad sacks if you judge us by our feet.

The only time this has bothered me was when I was watching Jacob play on the playground, and as he crawled along the play equipment, I noticed that he was wearing one white lacy ankle sock of his sister's and one large adult-sized tube sock. I went to Target that day and loaded up on fresh matching socks.

It doesn't last long, no matter how many trips to Target or Old Navy I take. Someone invariably takes a sock off, oh, say in Egypt, and one off in the car. They are never to be matched again.

For years, my oldest daughter, Maddie, has always struggled socially in school. She was the first grader who was in character as a T-Rex all day while her co-horts were playing jump-rope or planning sleepovers. For a long time, she lived in her imagination and could have cared less about the boring ways the popular girls conducted themselves at school.

In the past couple of years, this has all changed. Maddie is a superstar with her junior high peers. Unfortunately, I liken this to the poor trailer trash family who suddenly wins Powerball and can't manage their money, but that's another story.

I was talking with a mom of one of Maddie's classmates the other day and she told me a story. She said recently her daughter, a quiet girl who is well-liked but on the fringes of the class, has been coming to breakfast each day wearing mismatched socks.

"Meagan," she asked. "Go back upstairs and put on matching socks. Why do you keep doing this?"

"Mom! Don't you know anything? Maddie M. wears her socks like this and she's cool. This is how they do it now."

Who knew, my ineptitude as a laundress has been spun into social gold by my offspring.

29 comments:

the dragonfly said...

AAAAHHHHHHHHH!! I *hate* folding socks. I think that is why I wear "different" socks (Halloween, Christmas, Care Bear, Dr. Seuss, etc)...it takes no effort at all to match them.

Strangely enough, I think the Sergeant would be happy if I just threw his socks in a box after washing them. He doesn't care at all if they match.

Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

My socks have to match each other, but in no way do they usually match my outfit. I keep meaning to get a mesh laundry bag and put all the socks in that when I fo laundry, but I never remember to pick one up.

suburbancorrespondent said...

I love the Powerball analogy. Tell us, tell us!

And, yes, socks drive me crazy. They're all over the house, but never there when you need them.

jakelliesmom said...

It's like the scene in "Can't Buy Me Love" when Patrick Dempsey busts out with the dance he learned from watching a National Geographic special (thinking it was American Bandstand), and everyone else starts doing it, too. Good for Maddie to be cool and still be herself.

Do you think having wild hair (and occasionally ill-fitting clothes) will make my kids popular?

Nancy said...

Maddie, such a trend setter =)

Audubon Ron said...

ARCI for NovBlow&Go

You write it, I read it!

There is a microwave in my dryer that vaporizes certain items, mostly socks. It is a zero-sum (no win) game. So, we adapt. In fact, just this morning, my wife dressing for work says to me, “I hate wearing short socks with long pants!” I look down, one sock was black, one was blue, one looked cotton-ish, the other nylon-ish. I said, “You look great honey.”

Crystal said...

LOL, this post really hits home. I told Amelia to go put on her socks yesterday so we could leave, it wasn't until she came home from the play date that I noticed that she was wearing 2 completely different kind of socks. The best part... I wasn't at the play date. She was there all alone and when I picked her up my neighbor offered to come over today and watch the kids and do some laundry so I could get my work done. I love her. She is really the best neighbor I could ever ask for. She always looks out for exactly what I could use help with and always offers. But this time I couldn't take her up on it (even if I did desperately need it). I am going to make a Old Navy sock run tonight. :)

Jennifer said...

Hilarious! I love the "just let them be mismatched" approach and will have to implement it immediately. For now, whenever I have an unmatched sock come out of the dryer I toss it in a paper bag, to be matched later. There is currently a full-to-overflowing paper bag in my closet, containing unmatched socks...

Lela said...

ROFL! That is great! We have a laundry basket in our room that collects all things sock-like. I hate sorting socks. But somehow my husbands always end up in his drawer as well. Perhaps it's a male thing where they can only see black socks?

Mrs. G. said...

I hate to even comment, because this is a subject that can lead me to bump up the dose of all my "keep it together" medication. At many points in my life as a laundress, I have been faced with large laundry baskets of lone socks...LARGE laundry baskets. Where did all their mates go? I had never considered Egypt, but maybe you're on to something there.
Now that my kids are older, I make everyone in the house safety pin their socks together. I keep little dishes of safety pins in strategic locations (everywhere) and, VOILA, problem solved. It took only took sixteen years for me to come up with this solution. I'm fast that way.

dawn&brian said...

I love that Maddie is a trend setter with her mis-matched socks! Do you think Cyndy Lauper's mom had a poor shoe organizing system? Wasn't she the queen of the one pink hi-top and one black and white checked basketball shoe?
I have said quite a few times that I am going to throw everyones socks out and buy each of them 3 bags of only one kind of stinkin' socks.

Family Adventure said...

I would be furious at my hubster for only matching his *own* socks. So much so, I might be tempted to hide some singles of his socks...but that's just me.

Yeah for Maddie who's become cool! That gives me hope for my baby boy, who is pretty much exactly as you described - a T-Rex at a tea party.

Great blog!

Heidi :)

Cathy said...

You've just convinced me that rather seeking therapy in 15 years, my children will instead pay homage to me for enabling them to become the trendsetters of homeroom.

(Our socks, including mine, don't match either.)

Jenny Dagle said...

I'm an obsessive sock matcher, but as time goes by I end up with more and more unmatched socks in the bottom of the laundry baskets.

I used to have a dryer that really did eat socks. It drove me insane because I would know for a fact that all socks had matchers going in, and then would come out as singles. I finally called a repair man, and he found a gap at the back of the dryer where the socks were dropping down ONTO the heating element. Yikes!

Marie said...

LOL! What a little trend setter! That used to happen to me quite a bit, my family was poor so I had to be pretty inventive about style. I cut off some jeans to make shorts but the hem looked awful so I sewed lace there. Next thing lace-hemmed shorts were IT! LOL

Kellan said...

This is exactly what I do with the socks in our family - it is pitiful. I have a post very much like this coming up - about all of our socks and how I never get around to sorting them and putting them away. Nice to know that I am not alone. Great post - see ya.

Jen M. said...

It feels soooo good to see I'm in good company. The pin idea is awesome, but I fear that my younger ones would impale people for sport with them.

BetteJo said...

I just taught my kids to do their own laundry at about 12, and washed my hands of it! La la la ... see me skipping away? La la la ...

Jen M. said...

I think I might just go and hide some of Bob's socks.

I want to be like Beete Jo when I grow up ;)

Circus Kelli said...

Heehee... that's funny! Apparently, I'm the only one who's feet don't match in our house. And I wasn't even wearing socks.

crazymumma said...

I hate putting socks together at laundry time.

Hate. Pure. Unadulerated.

andi said...

Your sock bin intrigues me. I may have to try it out - I'm always looking for more outlets to express my slackerness.

Sarcasta-Mom said...

LOL. All right, that is priceless. See, you're not a slacker, you're a trend setter!

All of the socks in my house live in a pile on my bedroom floor. Now and again I'll get ambitious and patch a few pairs. Socks are evil....

Rose Daughter said...

you made me laught. Sock, I hate folding socks. There are always some left over. Grrrr...

But I never match my socks to my outfit, let alone the kids socks to their outfit. It's whatever I pull out of the drawer.

AuthorMomWith Dogs said...

And I thought I was the only one who had a sock basket where everyone fends for themselves. Add a couple of dogs who like to hide socks to the mix, and it can get pretty interesting.

)

T with Honey said...

Sweet!
Now if only pinking colored clothing could become the next 'in' thing because once again that pesky missing red sock rematerialized in the washing machine while a load of whites was being washed.

Kate@TurnUp.TuneOut said...

I love this. On so, so many levels.

Anna said...

It is my dream to live in a climate that requires no socks. Actually, no clothing at all, really.

Just Seeking said...

I absolutely LOVE this story! Yay Maddie! and Yay mommy!
Your family is so dang cute, of course people want to emulate you!
By the way, you don't want to know how we handle socks around here. It just might make you say, "Just Seeking!"