I might be living in a Twilight Zone sock episode.
Do you remember the Twilight Zone TV series? I do. Each week, from 1959-1964 Rod Serling would bring a Kafkaesque story to me via our black and white TV set. Like the Prague-born German novelist, Franz Kafka, Serling would tell a complex surreal story in which the participant, and those of us watching, would experience feelings of helplessness as the character underwent bizarre conditions.
One of my favorite episodes was Wordplay, in which a salesman is frustrated by his new difficulty understanding people due to the increasing insertion of totally unrelated, wrong word choices in speech (e.g. identifying a dog as a trumpet, or a restaurant as a dinosaur, etc.) . The incidence of random gibberish increased until finally, he could not understand anyone. The episode ended with him picking up his son’s reading book in an effort to relearn how to communicate with his confusing world. The camera zoomed in on the page of the opened book and we saw a picture of a dog. The picture caption read: Wednesday.
TZ was such phenomenal hit that other shows spoofed it. My favorite TZ spoof was found on a 1967 episode of The Lucy Show, entitled Lucy’s Substitute Secretary. Lucy planed a trip to Hawaii, but Mr. Mooney really liked Lucy’s pretty blonde replacement, so fearing she might lose her job to the new girl, Lucy skipped her trip and “twilighted” the sub. One of the things she did to her was willy-nilly changing out the same type plant in several different sizes. It was great.
So what does this have to do with me living in a real life TZ-inspired sock episode?
I think my middle-aged, double-wide, clod-hoppers have grown—either that, or The Sock Industry is “twilighting” me.
Okay, so maybe they are not targeting me personally, but something’s going on. Maybe it’s an instance of attempting to raise flailing profit margins. Perhaps The Sock Industry has started making socks smaller, but still calling them the same size in a misguided effort to manage their resource utilization. Kind of like cereal, or laundry soap being sold for the same price but the box is an ounce or so lighter.
Or, perhaps The Sock Industry has started supplementing the costly cotton fibers with cheaper lycra®. You know lycra®—it’s that stretchy fabric that molds to every bump and bulge on your body. It’s not a great look for anyone. The overweight stretch it and every fat pocket is revealed. Anorexics wear it, and their bones poke out. It is not a kind fabric. Some have said it was developed by the devil.
While I am not convinced The Sock Industry has resorted to these devious business practices, I do believe they have enchanted their socks, and entice them to go off on adventures never to return. With the rise in Sock Run-a-ways, I would not think that The Sock Industry would have a problem making money—let’s face it, unless you have no fashion sense whatsoever, once a sock goes missing, it has to be replaced. I myself have several singles. Some are really cute because since my last sock-rant, a sweet friend bought me really cute matching socks. Unfortunately, one by one, they too have split up and disappeared.
I blame it on the Sock Enchantment Spell.
Rather than rely on the kindness of my friends toreplenish my sock stash, I went to the store to purchase more socks. That's where I learned brand new socks are smaller than they used to be. The first set: three pair of brightly colored and patterned socks—they shrunk to infant size after the initial washing. The second set: diabetic socks (one white pair, one fuchsia pair) got separated somewhere between the washer, the dryer, and the sock-drawer. This is a prime example of why I usually only buy the same style of one brand of black socks—contrary to what you might be thinking of my fuddy-duddy-factor, when a partner goes missing, a Plain-Jane black sock can be replaced. Easily.
Alas, the store only had one set, so I couldn’t buy two sets—my rationale for wanting two identical sets of the socks: back-ups. That was not the case and subsequent trips to the store to purchase their twins, have been unsuccessful. I apparently bought the last non-black diabetic socks in the retail world. The singleton fuchsia and white socks left behind have been given to Bandit and Moggy. I’m pretty sure when they have been shredded, their partners will return—which is why I keep all the other fudd-duddy black partner-less socks in the sock drawer—I keep hoping against hope the partners will one day The Prodigal Socks will return to the fold. Or ball, as the case may be since I fold the socks into a ball. I’m pretty sure if I gave the rest of the singletons to the FurKids, the returning partners would arrive as soon as the FurKids stopped their shredding.
Why all this talk of socks?
I’m wearing one of my oldest pair of matching socks. They are almost thread-bare. And they are currently molded so tightly to my feet that my toes feel crushed. You would think since they are so old they would be stretched out, beyond the point of RTTOSAS (return to the original size and shape). These particularly hideous black socks are oversized men’s socks. They are not a cute look. But they are usually comfortable. As the day has progressed, the comfort factor has been reduced, and the un-cute factor has increased. To make matters worse, they are jeopardizing my job.
When my feet are not comfortable, I’m grouchy. When I’m grouchy, I could say or do something that might jeopardize my job; therefore, for the sake of my job, I once again need to purchase new socks. Socks that are larger. And cute.
I long for cute, comfortable socks.
Actually, I have found cute and comfortable socks—I just didn’t wear them today. You’ve probably seen then in the store before. They are the fuzzy aloe-infused socks in the foot care section. They are thick and comfy…and meant to be lounging socks.
Which is why I didn’t wear them to work today. I made that mistake yesterday.
The aloe they are infused with makes your feet really soft; however, they also make for poor traction. In fact they are downright slippery inside your shoes. Slippery lounging socks and icy parking lot/sidewalks at work aren’t a very good combination
Rest assured I did not fall.
But the people that saw me slip-sliding across the lot were highly entertained by my Twilight Zone inspired strut yesterday. Their laughter is the reason I have returned to wearing my ugly socks.
Socks, that seem to have shrunk.