Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sock Monster

Like every family home, this house has a sock monster.

Son (age 10) seems to have suffered the most from it's shenanigans this year and for the past three or four weeks his sock collection has dwindled mercilessly.

You know what its like, if you save up family sized washloads - moreso when one style of item is in short supply - you end up counting how many go in the wash and doing a double check under beds and behind things to make sure you have as many (in this case socks) for the wash as possible.

You would expect my husband's socks to suffer the most - there are only two places were he removes socks from his feet, but these are at the sofa or beside the bed - he either comes home bewailing his hard day at work and slips socks and shoes off whilst angling for three quarters of the family sized sofa and control of the TV remote, or he waits until bedtime and the items end up under jeans, the newspaper crossword, a tea cup; you name it, as they begin their nocturnal migration to the darkest nether-regions of the world under the bed. In his mind the laundry basket is a bullseye - a target to aim bundles of stuff at on a weekend when I have that laundry-manic look in my eye.

Still, no, it's been Son who has managed to lose all but five or six odd socks out of the two bumper packs we bought for the start of school this autumn and whatever else survived the year as still wearable. I sent him to school in his Batman slipper socks once last week - that's about the only pair that always seems to turn up intact.

Husband doesn't believe in the sock monster. He believes in messy housekeeping (that would be me, then?), disorganised kids (that would be Son?), and a general curse on the home. He regularly berates Son for never keeping his bedroom tidy, never using the laundry basket, etc etc, whilst Son scowls and swears he isn't guilty. My darling other so quickly forgets that its normally his own stuff that disappears by magic, that his favourite grumble, especially on weekends and early mornings is "You can't put a bloody thing down for five bloody minutes in this bloody house."

Unfortunately, when he's late out the door for work and in a total flap, it never seems to be the right time to tell him that perhaps having a single place for some things, or not wandering round the house with his electric shaver every morning might be erm, better planning. Weekends I have learned to look him in the eye and say "Well lets tidy up together, then" although the phrase has to be used sparingly as it guarantees he will think of something we need from the shops, or else 'just' check his email for a couple of hours.

Husband has gone away on yet another training course. He left on Tuesday but took until Monday night to announce that he was out of decent socks etc, so I did a washload, and just before bed we sat on the sofa sorting enough pairs for his trip. He never sorts pairs otherwise, just chucks them all in his drawer and fumbles for two that match when he gets up. I noticed a couple of pairs of Son's socks had emerged with the load, so that was something. I left the lot on the sofa, meaning to finish the job in the morning.

Tuesday morning comes, and Husband leaves.

I turn to the pile of smalls waiting to be sorted and..... its not there.

The point of the story is this: that Son and I put two and two together and went and raided Husband's sock drawer. No pairs in there, as I said, so this involved tipping the whole contents out onto my bed.

Result? It was like child sock Christmas. Every missing sock was there at the back of the pile - at least five pairs of identical grey school socks and plenty more, even a couple in an olive green, a colour that Husband would never buy for himself.

No, their feet are nowhere near similar in size or any other way. No there is no way that Husband can actually say he looked at anything he threw in the drawer, except to briefly acknowledge that it was grey (or at least not pink or white,) and sock shaped.

So now I have a second reason to look forward to his return. Something to drop into the conversation on Friday, I think, just as a by-the-by. What fun.

The worst of it is that I can't get angry at him. When I watch this man with a Mensa level IQ look completely blank and bewildered; when the cogs move so slowly as he works to shift the blame that you can actually hear them grinding if you stand too close, then all I manage to do is marvel. Homer Simpson would be so proud.


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