My Missing Socks

socksIt started innocently enough. I simply said, “I’m missing a sock,” but in marriage nothing is innocent nor simple.

“What are you accusing me of?” my wife asked.

“Nothing,” I said,  a little shocked by her reaction.

“I have no idea where your socks are.”

“Sock,” I said, “I found one, I can’t find the other.”

“Don’t look at me,” she said.

“But you emptied the dryer.”

“Did you check your pile?” she asked.


The pile she spoke of is the mountain of clothes heaped on my dresser. It is not to be confused with the pile of stuff on my desk nor the other piles that inhabit the basement, garage and shed.

You see, I never understood the logic of putting things away. We stuff things into drawers and closets, only to dig them out again. It smacks of make-work to me.

My mother was huge on this. She always pestered me to put things away and I understood why. She needed to parent. It is who she was and I was more than willing to put up with her nagging because I loved her and appreciated how much delight she got from telling me what to do.

We fought over the carpet of clothes in my room. We quibbled over whether dishes needed to be stacked in the cupboards or left dirty in the sink. We clashed about the stuff strewn across the yard.

It was glorious.

I fought the same battles with my wife – but while our children lived at home, I always granted her victories because like my mother, she needed to parent.

But now mom lives in a place where the staff picks up after her and my kids live a hundred miles away. It’s my time now and I have reverted to my native state. My wife grudgingly accepts this.

However, what she refuses to accept is any responsibility for losing my stuff.

“Yes, I checked the pile,” I said, “and the sock is not there.”

“Maybe if you would put your things away…..”

“Don’t start on me,” I warned, “my system works and I am only missing one sock.”

“Really?” she said, “yesterday  you wore a woolen work sock with a black dress sock.”

“Okay, so maybe I’m missing two socks.”


“What’s your point?”

“Not a thing.”

“Can you check your drawers to see if maybe one of my socks got in there by mistake?”

She just glared at me.

Like I said, nothing about marriage is innocent nor simple. All I asked was for help finding a sock.

But then it happened…..

It began at the top of the pile.  A pair of shorts I hadn’t worn since summer, slipped ever so slightly. They glided across my swim trunks and slid down the length of a silk tie. It is all it took.

Apparently my pile had exceeded its natural angle of repose.

From then on in it was all physics. An avalanche of undies, shorts, jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts and socks cascaded down the side of my dresser and went airborne across the bedroom floor, spilling out into the hall – and there were my socks. Every one of them.

It is in times like these when it is best to not say anything but do you think she could resist saying something?

“I am not going to say a thing,” she said and walked away.

She always has to have the last word.

Author: Almost Iowa

31 thoughts on “My Missing Socks”

  1. I always maintain that by leaving the clothes (which you are going to get dirty anyway) in piles, you are keeping the floor clean. It’s a win-win. Thanks for the laugh.

  2. Yup, by now I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing when that angle of repose is about to shift to The Grand Topple.

    I agree – drawers – highly overrated.

  3. Hilarious! I’m a female, so I hate to admit that I sometimes have piles too. It all boils down to the same solution that helped you find your socks. Drat! Why don’t we have clothes genies to handle these things for us. sd

  4. This has stirred up too many painful memories to comment. Just the thought that a lone sock may have been suffocating since the 90s under the pile of clothes behind me almost spurred me to action.

  5. I take care of the laundry in my methodical and orderly German hausfrau way. Socks do not get lost. They wouldn’t dare. Favorite bit in this post? “From there on it was all physics.” LOL!!!

    1. Great comment about the “orderly German hausfrau way”. My wife always complains, “How can you be so German about some things and not others?”

  6. Definitely laughing out loud at this one. Recently my husband inquired about the location of his stocking cap. He seems to think a wife can find anything. Kids think the same. This time I had no idea where he’d misplaced this item. Finally he conceded and I assisted him in selection of a new stocking cap. And did I mention that the son also recently misplaced his cap? But since he lives in Boston, I could not help him find it. Sigh.

    1. I can almost hear the conversation….

      “Mom, I lost my stocking cap. Can you help me find it?”

      “But you are in Boston. What do you expect me to do?”

      “Yeah, I know.. but when I lose something, where do I usually lose it?”

  7. LOL! You sound like my 27 year old son and his room and our “discussions” – His wife gets to deal with that now 🙂 Cute post!

    1. Uh-huh, but think of the implications.

      “Good Grief! Your mother is coming over in an hour? You attack the pile in the living room, I’ll clean the kitchen. Why don’t you give me more notice!”

  8. It must be a guy-thing. You could live at my house.
    This plays out at least twice a day at my house.
    My husband: Where is [thing he’s looking for].
    Me: Did you look in [most logical place]
    My husband: It’s not there.
    Me: Look again. It’s probably in [most logical place]
    My husband: I’ve looked.
    Me: Let me look. Ah – it was in [most logical place] all the time!

    1. There is an easy answer for that one.

      Me: Yeah, it was in [the most logical place] but not exactly where I put it, you must of moved it. Don’t do that, it messes me up!

      1. I’m working on the theory that men like my husband have a rare form of ADHD that makes it impossible to see what’s in front of their face. Your post makes me think the condition isn’t rare.

        1. We only see the important things. Our keys on the end table? Nope. A photo of a Victoria Secret model? Our x-ray vision could pick that up through a phone book.

    1. Exactly!

      I wasn’t aiming for color coordination – rather balance. Wearing a woolen work sock on one foot and a dress sock on the other can put a left or right bias on your day. Being a middle-of-the-road guy, I can’t have that.

    1. It’s a brilliant way to decorate the house. I wish I could convince her of that. Why put dollies on the end tables and toss throw-rugs about when you decorate with power-drills, workboots and dog leashes?

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