In the last 40 years, I’ve never lost a single sock. Ever. Maybe losing socks is your Achilles heel, but don’t let anyone pull the wool over your eyes; it doesn’t have to be. Instead, pad along in my footsteps.
Step number one: Whenever a pair of socks is not on your feet or in a laundry appliance, roll the tops together enough that the two socks will stay paired. Every. Single. Time. I sometimes wear socks to bed, and if my feet get too hot in the middle of the night, even though I’m half asleep, I still pair them as I remove them. Possible issues can arise, but they’re rare. Once I awoke with only one sock on. The other sock had been stolen by the foot of my bed. That’s what I said—the foot of my bed.
Step two is a little more complex but also more fun since this is your opportunity to hone your detective skills.
To best clean your socks, you’ll want to unpair them as you put them in the washer, so this is when you’re most vulnerable to sock loss. Yes, there’s many a slip between the washer and dryer. As a matter of course, always double check the washer. You should also familiarize yourself with every hidey hole in your laundry room so you know where to look first when a sock goes on the lam. My escape artists most often hunker down between the two appliances or between one of them and the wall.
Once, when I used a powerful front-loading laundromat washer, I discovered a sock clinging to the almost-impossible-to-see top of the drum. I had to squat down and look up inside the washer. (Two of my briefs were also stuck up there, but that’s another story—“Where Oh Where Is My Underwear?”)
I highly recommend that you fold your laundry right away so that your memory is sharp. I have found socks hiding inside pants legs, inside the sleeves of long-sleeved shirts, and inside the corner “pockets” of fitted bedsheets. You need to be able to remember what clothing you’ve already hung up or put away so you know whom to interrogate. If you suspect your wife’s clingy skirt of complicity, just say, “Ma’m, are you perhaps harboring a fugitive?” If she appears uncooperative, you may have to pat her down—if you’re feeling frisky.
During the missing-socks portion of this process, it’s crucial to feel confident. You must believe in yourself and take pride in your sock-retention abilities. Your mantra must be “I am not a loser. I am not a loser.” Remember that no fast getaway car or helicopter is going to get involved, and, really, how far can your sock get on foot?
You should be able to run it down even if it’s athletic.
Once when I lived in an apartment building with a community laundry room, I ended up back at my apartment with a sock missing its mate. I retraced my path and searched every likely cranny, but no luck. Then I remembered that an impatient neighbor had removed my laundry from the dryer and put it in my basket. Since I am not a loser, that meant my neighbor was the loser. I knocked on her door and asked, “By any chance do you have my sock mixed in with your laundry? It’s a blue crew with a gold toe.” Though my words were polite, I believe my tone conveyed, “I know you have my sock. I want it back.” In a minute she returned and remanded the abetted footwear back into my custody.
The single life is no life for a sock. They should be mated for life. When one goes missing, I don’t rest until I track it down. I’m Bill Spencer. Sock detective.
Join me, and never be a loser again.