UN-SOCK-SESSFUL

When Kat and I first got together, I had a brilliant idea that I thought would bring more fun into our lives.
A communal sock drawer.
Well, what is the fun in that I hear you ask? Yes, the sentiment is beautiful – socks of different colours living peacefully together in one drawer, but let’s be honest, you’ve already sort of got that with your own sock drawer, so why bring your wife’s socks into
it?
Because – get this – it is not just a communal sock drawer, it is a lucky-dip communal sock drawer!

STEVE HILI -Vida Magazine
The rules are pretty simple, you open the drawer, close your eyes, stick your hand in, and the first two items you pick up, you wear!
And I don’t just mean colours – I mean styles, lengths, and even thickness. Some of my more memorable sock-wearing days where when I wore one anklet and one thermal number (I am nothing, if not committed).

“WE WERE MADE WITH TWO SEPARATE
FEET, SO WHY ARE WE TRYING TO MAKE
THEM UNIFORM?”

The way I see it, we were made with two separate feet, so why are we trying to make them uniform? To take away their individuality? Why are we trying to impose the worst aspects of communism onto our feet? News flash…the Berlin wall went down years ago, and freedom won! U.S.A! U.S.A!
Some people climb mountains, some people go deep sea diving, I mix up socks.
But why?
Well, perhaps for the average everyday person, there is no point. Socks are often not even seen. But for someone like me, someone with the perception of a particularly perceptive
perception monster, it is thrilling. I notice things. I notice socks.
Noticing everyone playing by the rules whilst breaking them, is one of the most thrilling feelings of all.
So, being a loving husband, I thought that if I brought Kat in on the merriment, it would be a fun thing for us to do together…like a couples’ dance class, but requiring less commitment. And less co-ordination. (Literally.)
Also, because I am sometimes lazy with putting clothes away after they have been washed, there have been occasions where I have absent-mindedly chucked boxers or undies into the same drawer, and when these are pulled out during our early morning ritual… well rules are rules.
Okay, confession time. I have to admit that sometimes, when I am not happy with my selection, I throw whatever I chose into the laundry basket so I can choose again, although I don’t really regard that as cheating per se. Rather, it is just ‘playing the system’. It does, however, mean that the sock drawer can deplete quickly.
I am a big fan of the communal-lucky-dip and I feel that it has been a cornerstone of our relationship. Whatever happens, we know, we’ll always have the sock drawer.
Except…
A few days ago, I woke up and Kat was getting ready for work. I happened to notice her socks.

They were matching.
Now of course, fluke sock selections do sometimes happen. I once pulled out two brown socks and had to wear them all day, much to my dismay. (I threw them into the bin at the end of the day, much to Kat’s dismay – they were hers.)
Then I remembered that she had worn matching socks the day before.
And the day before too.
I was shocked.
“Have you been…choosing your socks?” I asked, dismayed.
“Yes,” she said, hardly looking up from her cornflakes.
“But…what about our communal lucky dip sock drawer?”
“I told you years ago I didn’t like it. I need my own socks.”
“No, you didn’t!” At this point I was hyperventilating.
“Yes I did, and you started hyperventilating and rambling on about the Berlin wall”
“Doesn’t sound like me.”
She shot me a look.
“But why?”
“Because sometimes I might have a meeting at work and I can’t be wearing your football socks.”
“Argh bloody capitalism! It as bad as communism.”
“And because your feet are bigger than mine, and you don’t always cut our toe nails, so sometimes… well, you ruin my socks!”
I gasped at the accusation. To prove that she was wrong, I pulled off a pair of her socks from the clothes horse, put them on and promptly ripped them.
“So whose socks have been in the drawer all these years?”
“Yours. They are all yours”
“Really?”
“Yes! Socks are what your aunts buy you for Christmas, you complain about it all the time!”
“Oh,” I said.
“How is this a surprise to you?” She continued, “how have you not noticed what I wear on my feet all these years. I thought you called yourself the perception monster or something.”
At which point I defiantly went to the sock drawer, stuck my hand in and (much to my dismay) found that there was only one sock left. (I had had a few bad selections that week, and the laundry was full)
So the communal-lucky-dip-sock dream is over.
And also, that is why I am writing this with one very cold foot.

STEVE HILI

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