These little socks mock me. I get them warm from the dryer or slightly stiff from the drying rack one by one and line them up like little soldiers on the bedspread. Some of them obviously match others, and I am ecstatic that those pairs made it safely together through the washing and drying process, but others sit there aimlessly wondering where their solemates are. I feel badly for them and send them back to the bottom of the basket to wait for the next load. But regardless of matches or not, that’s just the beginning of my issues.
Once I find the socks that actually do match I fold them up together, one single fold so that the socks are facing the same way and disappear into each other. They look pretty that way, and besides, it doesn’t take as long as some other techniques I’ve seen. And my socks are easy because they’re huge, clearly the biggest ones, and because they’re all white (okay, and dingy too. Don’t judge me). So I do mine first and put them neatly away in their nest before tackling the much more difficult task of separating my ladies’ socks.
I swear all female socks are the same, or at least as close to the same as to be indistinguishable to the layman’s eye. They sit there with their frills or their fringe or their ridges looking identical to me, so I take care of the colors first — -white with white, gray with gray, etc. Usually one black sock will look reasonably close enough to another black sock so I tentatively put the two together. They frown up at me like I’ve done them wrong, putting them with an ex-girlfriend or something, and are only appeased when I find their true matches later in my sock sorting exercise. Finally I find the ones that are toe-shoed and twinned, folding them in my fashion, but I can’t tell whose are whose.
“Argh,” I think to myself while studying them as a bird-watcher observes pigeons and crows, trying to differentiate them just enough to say “Madeline’s,” “Alexa’s,” or “Heidi’s.” Oh wait. Heidi is the only one who has the small athletic socks. Check. And Alexa once told me that none of hers have lacy fringe. Check again. Those socks that fit the bill head into Heidi’s sock drawer, all comfy and cozy after having to fraternize with the “lesser” socks on the bed for so long while I deliberated. But some of the socks are neither athletic nor have fringe, and those are so close in size that I cannot go any further in the organizational process.
So that’s where they sit until Heidi comes home and decides things like a general setting forth marching orders. Within moments they are assigned to a girl and placed carefully into each of their bins. And the next load comes out all warm and toasty from the dryer, ready to mock me all over again.