It started innocently enough when my wife and I were getting dressed to go out. I did what every good husband does when getting ready to go out.
I put on the clothes my wife has pressed and hung on the back of the bathroom door. The only thing I picked myself was a handkerchief and socks. I quickly learned I only got one of those wrong.
"John," she announced, "you don't want to wear black socks with brown pants."
Although I didn't say it, the color of my socks ranks right down there with my concern about the color of Kim Kardashian's next wedding dress.
It is obvious that my wife and I assign different importance to the color of socks. In my case, one sock on each foot with no visible holes is acceptable. If the colors match, that is a bonus. Sandra, on the other hand, is concerned with weight, texture, thread count, color and shade. A sock with even the hint of a hole is immediately tossed in the trash with the same ceremony as a dead mouse found in the bread drawer.
I have suspected for a long time that socks don't like being socks. I think when socks were born, they wanted to be neckties. After they found they were assigned sock duty, they keep trying to escape. After all, there are better body parts to cover than stinky feet.
Did you ever notice that you can put 12 socks in a load of wash, but you will only get 11 back? You might double check the washer and the laundry basket but to no avail. My wife comes from the laundry room on occasion and announces: "You seem to be missing a sock. Check the hamper, and see if you can find it."
Based on years of experience, I know the sock is not there - it is gone - it has escaped. I think that socks draw straws when they go to the laundry, and the winner gets to climb out of the dryer vent on a "sock ladder" formed by the other socks.
"I don't have any brown socks," I told my wife.
I only buy black socks, so if a sock gets a hole in it or "escapes" during laundry, the lone sock can still find a mate in my sock drawer. After all, socks don't mate for life. Having only one color sock also means I can reach into my sock drawer in the dead of night and pull out two socks and always get a color match.
Although I thoroughly explained this to my wife, she insisted that she had purchased some brown "dress socks" and placed them in my sock drawer.
"You never look," she added as she opened the dresser drawer. Much to her horror, she was staring at a drawer full of unpaired socks. It kind of looked like a box full of black night crawlers all crawling over one another.
"How can this be?" Sandra asked as she dug through the pile. "I always fold your socks in pairs when I put them away."
I knew it wasn't smart to admit that when I emptied the dryer the last time, I didn't fold or match the socks but just "dumped" them into the drawer to fend for themselves.
"It could be that someone broke into the house while we were away and while searching for jewelry, they messed up the socks," I explained.
I was saved by the bell when out of the twisted pile Sandra pulled a pair of folded brown socks. Handing them to me she turned and said, "Hurry now, or we will be late."
Moments later, I pulled on the thin silky socks. On closer examination, I saw that these "dress socks" were similar to the ones my dad wore when I was a kid. They had a single row of tiny gold diamonds down the side.
However, I failed to make mine straight and a row of tiny diamonds wrapped around my ankle like a snake on a limb.
"I think I have the answer to these sock problems," I said to Sandra. "Monday, buy me several pair of black pants. They will match my socks, and I won't have any problems getting dressed. If it worked for Johnny Cash, it's good enough for me."
John Kasun writes from his home in Duncansville.