We received an email from Phil Hammerslough which made me smile. He was gracious enough to allow me to share his thoughts on lost socks on our blog. Thanks Phil and I hope everyone enjoys this as much as I did. I’ll probably be treating my left behind socks with a little more respect now.
From Phil: Thought you’d like this story. I’ve been wearing mismatched socks since the early ’70s. When I taught 8th grade the students started doing it too! However my mismatched socks are nothing like your beauties! Best, Phil Hammerslough
Odd, Even & Perception by Phil Hammerslough
It’s astounding to think of how many socks have gone missing in one’s life! Hopefully more than lost opportunities and friends, and fewer than good days or pleasant dreams.
Never-the-less, they disappear, and like lost moments they never show up again, except for an occasional one, like de ja vu, that seems to appear out of nowhere from behind a dresser or chair, and you could swear you looked there just the other day!
The sock that is left behind is always referred to as the odd sock. This makes absolutely no sense to me. After all, isn’t it only logical to call the one that went missing odd, or at least peculiar? As in, “How peculiar for it to disappear.” Where the hell did it go, and why did it leave in the first place? Now, that’s odd!
As for the sock that stayed hooray! It should be treated as a hero. A real mench for sticking around while the other sock goes gallivanting off to god only knows where. This is the sock jilted. This is the sock left, (or right), patiently for the return of the profligate. This is the sock, now abandoned, which runs the risk of the garbage bin, the rag heap or worse! For the few creative, talented socks, they could become puppets, or horse’s heads on broomsticks. But so few achieve this status you could count them on one foot.
But what of that sock gone missing? What if it really was the odd sock? What if it didn’t fit in, or was poorly suited for the sock it was matched with? What if it had enough of being part of a “pair,” and sought dissolution of the match? What if it said, “Darn those social norms,” I’m off to look for a sock of a different stripe, or color!” What if that sock wasn’t happy to weave well enough alone and went underground, or off to seek its fortune, calling, or simpatico sock?
Yes, what then? Would we still ascribe a negative connotation to that, “Odd sock”? This sock is the sock that has taken fate by the foot and has initiated a sequence of events leaving cosmic ripples of seen, and unseen consequences! What becomes of that odd sock? Does it even remain a sock, or does it change through some weird alchemy into a hanger or some other object? What fate has that sock-gone-missing chosen for itself? Herein lies the rub.