Family, Self

How I Learned To Accept The Chaos Of Life (Like Lost Socks)

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You’re a reasonably successful person. You’re gainfully employed. You adore your husband and he thinks you’re pretty okay, too. You’re nice to cats. You keep your house fairly clean. (Well, that’s a lie, but everything else is true.)

And yet, even the most careful and responsible among us can be tortured by the lowliest of belongings, straight from the clammy hands of Dobby the House Elf. We can be stressed and tortured by our socks.

Socks, you say? Yes. Socks.

Oh, you may laugh. Maybe you are one of those rare people whose life is so organized that you know where all of your wayward footwear is at all times.

But for me, socks have become a metaphor for everything I can’t control in my world. And I’m betting you’ve got something like that, too, even if you haven’t seen the deviousness of socks.

Umbrellas, maybe. They’re pretty duplicitous as well.

You see, it’s that little stuff that becomes insurmountable. Those ridiculous belongings that shouldn’t take any time or attention in our lives that can take us out. It’s the death of a thousand cuts, or a thousand mornings scrambling and swearing under our breath, trying to get out the door, late again, caught by that one stupid thing we never thought we’d need to worry about.

Life’s battles are rarely won or lost by huge noble gestures, in spite of what the movies tell us.

Our heroic journeys are about whether or not we can get our feet in matching socks (or at least ones similar enough in color that most people won’t notice the difference) in time to make it to our day.

So, while you may scoff at the idea that something so insignificant as a sock can be the agent of your despair, I assure you that it can. Socks just suck. Here’s how:

1. They run away from home.

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Or get eaten. Or hide. I don’t really know where they go. Maybe they’re kidnapped. Maybe they have every good intention of staying in and being good foot coverings but they’re weak and they hear the ice cream truck outside and they go and are kidnapped by some horrible serial sock nabber.

But whatever happens to them, I never, ever have as many socks in the house as I have purchased. Sometimes they run away even before I wear them once.

2. They turn into something else.

They may actually transmogrify into toothbrushes. 
I don’t have actual proof for this, but it’s a working theory. Toothbrushes mysteriously show up in my bathroom.

I’ve been married for over 20 years, so I know it’s not hot dates leaving bits behind, and we don’t get a lot of houseguests. I generally do the toothbrush buying in our house, so I know they’re not coming from official sources. And yet, they show up, randomly. Hanging out, without a care in the world, looking like they belong there.

Simultaneously, socks disappear. Is this coincidence? I think not.

3. I can never find the ones I want to wear.


When I look for socks, I can never find the wonderful warm black ones I got that will fit in my boots and not slide down around my toes. No, they’re long gone.

If I can find ANY socks at all, I can only find four white ones that are actually mine in the enormous pile of rowdy white husband socks. They’re having wild sock parties in there. Actually, that is where all of the hot dating may be happening in our house.

But of those four white socks — they never, ever match.  Sometimes they match the one that I rather liked, but finally threw out a week ago, because it had been five years since I’d seen its mate. But those first three never, ever match.

I hear them laughing at me. Okay, maybe I imagined that part. But I’m not convinced that the squeaking noise when I pull open my sock drawer is, in fact, the drawer. I think it could be them snickering. Snidely.

So, what is a sock victim to do? I personally think we should demand global sock submission. And mean it. Just get RID of them. ALL of them. Socks would be trembling in their boots.

Or we could all move to the Bahamas and never wear them again. And we could spend all the money we used to spend on socks on cool froofy drinks with paper umbrellas in them. But we wouldn’t care what would happen to the umbrellas afterwards, so they couldn’t torture us.

And then, in that moment, we will be in control. For real, this time.


Then, we will sail through our lives, launching new ventures, having grand adventures, and inventing new solutions to all of the world’s problems.

Who’s with me? Who's ready to take the power AWAY from the little things that torture us? Who’s up for the Great Sock Revolution? We will change the world.

Leigh Melander is a wild idea fomenter, coach, writer, and speaker whose work and play in the world is to help you bring your wildest ideas to life. Share your ideas with her on Facebook, and stop by her website for a gift to help you get started on making your dream idea happen, or check out her historic retreat center Spillian: A Place to Revel to see what programs might catch your fancy.