The Sock Graveyard

An argyle sock, knit using intarsia

Argyle Sock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know your secret. Oh, yes, I do. You don’t tell other people because they’ll think you’re crazy. I know you’ve been doing your laundry as usual, folding the clean clothes, but that one stubborn sock is missing its twin. Where is the stupid thing? Why, it’s one of a myriad of socks in the great sock mountain, probably underground, with a little hairless sock goblin perched on top. He’s got bulbous eyes, a wide mouth, and he’s currently rubbing his hands together in glee, croaking, “Mwuhahahaha.”

If you live in a house like mine, where there is a place for everything, even if everything isn’t always in that place, you’ll understand that odd socks just don’t belong. The sock drawers in our house have the socks neatly organized in pairs, or in my kids’ rooms, I just roll pairs together because I know that, otherwise, they’ll become hopelessly separated.

These odd socks, the ones that don’t belong, live in a sock graveyard. And where is the sock graveyard? Well, in my house, it’s in the laundry room. That’s right, those socks don’t ever have a chance of getting onto a foot, not while I’m on the case. I currently have four, one that belongs to my husband and three to my elder son. Now, I have a pretty good idea where those three little socks are, but that one poor, black dress sock? It’s been hanging out for months, wishing I would put it out of its misery already. Perhaps waiting for me to turn my back, and the little sock goblin will take it away to be with its brother.

But I’m smarter than that. I know that if I throw it away, either the matching sock will suddenly decide to come back from wherever it’s been, or another of Thomas’s black dress socks will have a hole or something, and then the joke’s on me.

Now, why is the full-time writer mom pining away about a few odd socks? Well, “mom” is a part of my title, right? And my job description does include laundry. But you know I’m going to tie it back to writing, like I always (well, like I frequently) do. If nothing else, the sock goblin makes a good story, right? It takes the socks and replaces them with those totally useless wire hangers that only serve to ruin my shirts.

But there’s more to it than that. Sometimes I get an idea on the road or while wrestling my toddler or when I’m desperately trying to fall asleep, and the only thing to do to get that idea to leave me alone is to jot it down. I have an entire folder on my hard drive that is full of these unfinished (or barely started) documents. Sometimes I’ll simply write a title, knowing that it will be enough to get me started when I finally have time to write the content. Sometimes I have a bullet list of points I don’t want to forget. They’re incomplete and would make absolutely no sense to anyone else. They’re so much clutter when I have more fruitful projects on the line. Yet they still belong. Throw them out, and I may lose something important. Wait long enough, and the story or article may bloom some day when I least expect it.

Little sock/idea goblin, I’m watching. I know you’re there, and I’m holding onto what I have for dear life.

3 thoughts on “The Sock Graveyard

  1. releaf1954 says:

    You’re making me think I should collect all my story ideas/fragments in one place. Maybe I’ll do that, as soon as I figure out where I left them. They’re all in notebooks somewhere — unless the sock goblin got them.

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