Sock + Optimism = Socktimism

I consider it a good day when I remove an even number of socks from the dryer. I always put in an even number, that I know. With military-like precision, I unroll each and every sock from the hamper and verify its mate before throwing it in the wash. But somehow, by the end of the drying cycle, something’s gone awry. There’s usually one, lonely sock.

Photo by Rafael Lodos on Unsplash

I keep the single socks. What else can an optimist do? I once made a cardboard box to go above my wash machine and labeled it “Sock Orphanage.” Soon, it was overflowing with socks, yet when I dumped them all out to sort them, none of them seemed to match.

One day, I realized that my husband, also an optimist, had been stashing lone socks on his side of the bed in a drawer. I gasped with such wonder and awe at this discovery, emotions not typically associated with socks. I ran to my own sock orphanage, and dumped the two collections of socks on the bed. I nearly cried with joy. So many happy reunions!

Other than the isolated instance of the sock stash reunion, I mostly feel as though I lose just as many socks as I keep–it’s a little disheartening. Then came the game changer: crazy socks. My kids’ hampers have banana socks and goat socks; socks with unicorns and hamburgers, flags, avocados, and even bearded lumberjacks. We’ve lost fewer socks since this tiny tweak. Also, crazy socks are funny. And colorful. Also, there are entire stores devoted to crazy socks, and they are stores filled with whimsy and surprise and imagination.

What an unexpected place to find happiness.

I hope you find some unexpected happiness today. And may all your socks have mates.



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Related and for your amusement: 37+ Unusual Uses for Lonely Socks

4 thoughts on “Sock + Optimism = Socktimism

  1. benow10 September 19, 2018 / 3:16 pm

    I am a sock optimist as well and keep a box of singles. I can’t throw them out because of the memory of one time tossing a loner and then later finding its match and feeling oddly annoyed with my haste. It’s a waiting game
    Such a simple joy to match one up with a partner!


    • unwanting September 19, 2018 / 3:31 pm

      Yes! Throwing out hastily could be bad, too! I’ve found socks and undies hiding in the corners of fitted sheets before.


  2. kamcneil September 18, 2019 / 10:45 pm

    I have saved single socks for years, occasionally sorting to try to find matches, usually unsuccessfully. Once, I took that bag of socks to my sister’s house in a different state and spread all those socks, dozens, on her pool table. Suprisingly, we matched over 20 pair. We have 11 people in our combined families and live nearly 4 hours apart. We were amazed!


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