Thursday, August 8, 2013

Left Sock, Right Sock

Somehow it had just never occurred to me that it might be desirable or even necessary to designate socks as left or right. Of course I know that feet are so designated - I'm not an idiot. But for all the rest of my life, all the hundreds of socks I've worn, any sock is a sock is a sock. They all seem to have fit just fine, as long as I pick the right size, meaning ever-so-slightly snug. A wee bit loose means bunching and blisters. But you knew all that already.

So why the switch?

I buy my socks in the sporting goods store. They have to be thick so my shoes don't rub and my dermatographic uticaria doesn't kick in. (Allergy hives to the uninitiated, caused by pressure, irritation, pinching, rubbing, and resulting in itching like hell. Kinda like under the bra on a hot day, if that's not TMI.) The only place which supplies proper socks is the one which sells to hikers and hunters, and of course they are only in the men's department. Nevermind, because that's the only place I can buy proper shoes too, is the men's department.

The sporting goods store doesn't have motorized shopping carts. They do sell on-line, but I want to feel the actual sock to know what the thickness and quality is. Of course, the socks department is at the far wall of the store. And the store is not tiny. As a result, once I get there I am NOT in a mood for browsing. I only go every two-three years, when the last batch has worn out, and I go determined to buy the best thing I can find quickly, in an acceptable color and price, and about a dozen pairs of whatever that turns out to be.

Have I mentioned before that I hate shopping? No? Well, I hate shopping!

This latest expedition I lucked into two things: a very helpful store clerk, and some seating in the socks department. Once I found something adequate, there were only two pair of them left in the store. Yes, he checked the stockroom. I grabbed them. So what else might he recommend that were within my parameters? He found several pairs on a display rack that were everything I needed, and I could walk out with as many pairs as I needed to buy.

Just as long as I didn't mind the left sock, right sock thing.

I didn't think I did. How would I know? Hard to imagine they'd be worse than regular socks, especially since they came with "L" and "R" sewn into the pattern near the toes. Even in a half-dark room I should be able to sort those out into folded pairs without a problem.

Well, being awake is part of it, I have discovered, but that's not the socks' fault. I quickly developed a system that makes it nearly brainless. The first sock I pick goes across my leg. The next one either matches it and goes on the pile, or is the mate and the two get folded together and tossed in the drawer. Yes, literally tossed. Who needs neat piles when folding over the tops locks them together until time to wear them?

Being awake is also helpful when it comes to putting the left sock actually on the left foot, I have discovered. Missing it is noticeable. But hey, they are not so tightly woven that it's hard to remedy. And laughing at myself does brighten the day just a tad. Just think: footwear and entertainment for the price of one!

What a deal!

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