Friday, July 6, 2012

The Sock Gremlin

As I’ve mentioned I’ve been making a real effort this week to get things organized and tidy.  This endeavor has involved catching up on laundry, which has included a mission to match up all of the stray socks that have been floating around.  

Unmatched, stray, or lonely socks seem to be a common household problem, and seem to have various names attached to them.  When I was a kid we kept them in one of the big popcorn tins, known as the Lonely Sock Bin.  Periodically (I think largely when my parents needed us quiet and safely occupied), my sister and I would be parked somewhere with the Lonely Sock Bin, on a mission to create pairs.  It seemed that regardless of how full the Lonely Sock Bin was or how long we worked on it we rarely matched up more than a few pairs of socks.  The socks stayed lonely.

I’ve heard many theories as to the cause of the lonely/mismatched/stray sock problem.  To name a few:

They get sucked into the drain of the washing machine and are gone forever.  I don’t think I believe this one.  First, I’m pretty sure that many socks being sucked into the drain of the washing machine would eventually clog it.  Second, similarly sized items don’t seem to disappear at the same rate socks do. Third, my dad worked in water and wastewater for most of my life.  We saw a lot of weird things floating around in some of the tanks and ponds, but never socks.

One of the more interesting theories I recently read (on someone's blog, I can't for the life of me remember which one) is that dryer lint is in fact the cremated remains of your missing socks.  This theory has some potential, though it’s a little hard to explain the dryer lint from the loads that didn’t have socks.

Then there’s my dad’s pet theory; that your missing socks have actually been thrown behind the dryer by your spouse or children when they’re frustrated, angry, bored, annoyed, etc.  My dad has some definite conspiracy theory leanings.  We really didn’t throw his socks behind the dryer.  As far as I know, my mom still doesn’t, though we like to joke that she has to work triple time tossing them behind the dryer since my sister and I moved out.  Oddly enough, there has never been a stash of socks found behind the dryer any time it has been moved, though this isn’t enough to make my dad abandon his theory.  

I think, though, that I have discovered the real reason why socks disappear, or at least the real reason they disappear at our house.  We have a sock gremlin.  He runs around when we’re not home, feasting on socks, thereby gaining power to run around faster and feast on more socks.  It’s a vicious cycle.

I suspect our sock gremlin is invisible; there has never been a sighting and he hasn’t been hunted down and killed by the quirky quartet of cats.  I think it’s because he’s invisible, which it makes it impossible for them to catch him. 


Our sock gremlin seems to like variety in his diet; he very rarely eats an entire pair of socks.  No, he much prefers one sock from several different pairs, especially if they’re totally different and the survivors can’t possibly be passed off as matching pair in a pinch.  

So what about you?  Do you have a sock gremlin?  Do you believe any of these theories?  Do you have another theory?  

24 comments:

  1. So sock Gremlins prefer a balanced diet of mismatched socks? It would explain a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they must! It seems to be the only reason socks disappear at the rate they do.

      Delete
  2. Interesting theory about the cremated remains of socks; I hadn't heard of that one before, LOL. We have the same problem with lost socks. We've never been able to figure it out. I have thought it would be neat to invent some type of pin that would pin the socks together while being washed so they wouldn't separate and make sorting and folding so much more easier.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the idea of some sort of pin to hold them together. That would make the sorting and folding much easier.

      Delete
  3. Really, I believe the Sock Gremlin may have some validity. We have tried a variety of sock connectors, but all failed. Gremlin revenge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the gremlin is a very vengeful creature. Gremlin revenge totally explains why the sock connectors fail.

      Delete
  4. I think it's a gremlin, I agree. :-) It's eery. I just read recently that one mom buys the same socks, several pairs, exactly the same, for her kids. They all match, which is nice. Extras get laid on the dryer until more come along to pair it. The joy of sox! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sock problem does seem to be fairly universal. That's a good idea to buy the same socks. I guess it works for kids, but not so much for adults.

      Delete
  5. What a great post. For starters, please send some vibes my way to get organized and tidy. I need a HUGE dose.

    Also, DOH! That sock bin drove me insane. I had that for a while, but when my kids would come hunt for a sock, they'd toss fling the socks out of the bin in all directions. My laundry room would look like a battleground of fallen soldiers in the Great Footwear War. Now, I am more prone to either just immediately use them for something else - like dusting or just toss them. Less clutter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with your getting organized and tidy. I'm still working on it myself.

      I love the Great Footwear War! I never thought about using the unmatched socks for dusting; that's a really good idea.

      Delete
  6. haha, hilarious theories---i tend to think, they hide in unsuspecting blankets and sheets, hanging on for dear life :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It makes sense that they'd rather hide out in nice clean, warm blankets than spend their days on smelly feet stuffed into smellier shoes. :-)

      Delete
  7. I'm on board with the sock gremlin theory because I like myths better than hard facts. And there can be no hard facts on this. Although, I wonder if we are also missing a bunch of underwear or other small items and just don't notice because only socks come in pairs. Either way, I think that we should get Josh Gates from Destination Truth to come investigate. I need it to be at my house though because I might be in love with him just a little bit. And I love paranormal shows!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sock gremlin is on his way to becoming an urban legend! I've never thought about other things disappearing, though socks seem to be the one thing we continually have to search for around here. I'm not familiar with Josh Gates or Destination Truth, but i may have to check it out.

      Delete
  8. Cute post! Have a great week! I'm a new member...how about stopping over and saying hi. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is one of the mysteries of life. Have you ever found a stray sock stuck to one of your sheets? It doesn't show up until you choose to put this particular set of sheets on your bed, which may be a month or more later depending on how many sets you own.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I've ever found a sock in the sheets, but they do occasionally show up in a pant leg. They're sneaky!

      Delete
  10. It really is one of the great mysteries! I like the invisible gremlin theory :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really think it's a valid theory. :-)

      Delete
  11. Danielle, I knock on wood as I write this: we never lose socks. Even if a sock is alone while I'm folding laundry, its mate always turns up in a later load.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, Linda, I think you may have superpowers! Or very well-trained socks, though I'm leaning more toward superpowers. That's amazing! Or maybe you're just much better organized than I am. I hope your good sock fortune continues.

      Delete
  12. I like the dryer lint theory because I want to believe, even if there's no evidence, that something ate/shred/incinerated them.

    I want to inform you that I've nominated you to receive the Versatile Blogger Award - see my new blog post. Congratulations. Please ignore if you’ve received it before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is an advantage to the dryer lint theory.

      Thank you so much! I have never received the Versatile Blogger Award before. Thanks!

      Delete
  13. I've always just figured something 'ate' the socks. And the something only picks one because they only have room for 'one' in their tum. ;)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment! Please leave your link so I can visit you as well.