The Case of the Missing Sock



Every aspiring writer has heard the phrase “Write what you know.”  That’s all well and fine but I often feel like I don’t “know” anything that’s interesting enough to share in writing. Then I realized that some of the most entertaining pieces I’ve read were about everyday things that we can all relate to. Take my routine this morning as I was getting ready for work.

At  7:30 am I was feeling quite proud of myself. One of my resolutions this year is to get things organized the night before a workday so I am not chasing my tail. Today, my lunch was made and waiting for me in the fridge, my clothes had been ironed the night before and I was having a perfectly pleasant morning. All I had left to do was brush my teeth, put on my socks and shoes and I was good to go. And then it happened. I could only find one of the socks that went with the shoes I planned to wear.

Socks go into the washing machine in perfect pairs, like the animals on Noah’s Ark. But how often does only one comes out? I’d be willing to bet it’s happened to all of us, which means it happens a lot. Where does the other one go? And what are we supposed to do with one sock?

Always an optimist, I save them in a “sock” drawer, hoping the partners will find their way home. The drawer is like a global village of socks living together in perfect harmony. Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder would be so proud. There is a black one with bold pink stripes; a light gray one; many different styles of white sport socks; a plain black one and even a Christmas sock. We humans could learn a thing or two wabout tolerance and acceptance from our sock drawers.

Some socks are happily reunited with their partners when they show up in the next load of clean laundry. There’s a certain satisfaction in delving into the sock drawer, plucking out a sock whose partner has turned up, folding them together and putting them in the drawer of matched socks, happily shared with underwear. Others turn up weeks later in my husband’s or children’s drawers. (Now why do they hang onto one sock they know isn’t theirs?) Others, sadly, never make it back.

But none of that was any help to me this morning. After a quick, frantic search through all my drawers, I waved the white flag. I quickly pulled on two different socks and replaced the shoes I had planned to wear with knee-high boots.

So there are two morals to this story: 1) Write what you know. The advice is sound and what you know could resonate with others, even if it seems trivial; 2) Don’t underestimate the power of a missing sock to mess up your morning.



Hippy girl clip art

There’s one in almost every woman’s memory. You know who I mean. The girl who came back to school after summer vacation one year with curves and hips while you were still in that awkward stage. For me, it was Donna C. I sometimes wonder about her. Is she still pretty? Is she a good person? I have no idea, but it once felt like she’d been put on my path for the sole purpose of making me feel like inadequate.

In grade school Donna and I were in the same circle of friends and everything was fine – until seventh grade. When we returned to school that September, I’d grown a few inches and gone from pudgy to beanpole. Donna, though, was almost unrecognizable.

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To walk with my father again


“Dad’s had another heart attack and it looks bad. You’d better come quickly,” my brother said when I picked up the phone on a gloomy November evening. I drove across the city as fast as I could but didn’t make it in time. When I arrived at my parent’s house I saw the flashing red lights of the yellow ambulance driving away into the dark, drizzly November night. I followed it to the hospital only to be told my Dad was gone, and they were preparing a room where we could say our last good-byes.

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