When I take dirty clothes into the laundry room, I try to make certain every item makes it from the bathroom to the hamper. When I sort the clothes into their designated piles, sometimes I pair the socks as a double check that each duo goes into the wash together. My laundry room, a petite rectangular four by eleven, cannot provide hiding places for anything. Yet . . . at least once a month a sock vanishes. I’ll shift the hamper out of its tight nook, slide a hanger between the washer and the wall, remove the vacuum and the mops, and scour the tiny room with vigilance in search of a missing sock. I’ll retrace my steps from laundry room through the kitchen, retreating to the master bathroom with eagle eyes peering into corners and under the bed. I’ll check the dogs’ toy basket in case Koi kidnapped a sock from the pile. Nothing. I keep the unmatched sock in the clean clothes basket in the belief that its partner will miraculously reappear during the darkness of night. After another week, the lonely sock gets placed in my drawer, sitting in neglected isolation.
The hide-n-seek game with the missing sock may continue for several weeks. Yesterday, I stripped my mother’s bedding and shook out the fitted sheet of the clean set. A black sock soared through the air and landed on her dresser, knocking over her Chantilly in playful abandon. I immediately scooped up the wayward footwear and placed it in my pocket with a victorious grin. I felt satisfaction as I reunited the lonely sock tucked in my drawer with its partner. A quick inspection revealed that only one more sock sat segregated from the other sets. Prior experience made me pragmatically predict that days may pass before the wayward companion surfaced. However, yesterday turned out lucky for me. The last missing sock nestled in the arm of one of my mother’s nightgowns. Imagine her surprise when she pushed her hand through the sleeve and captured a sock in her hand!
I feel smug satisfaction in knowing that when I go to bed tonight, every sock in every drawer nestles closely with its mate.
Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman