Punxsutawney Phil made his annual somnambulant appearance last week and since he didn’t see his shadow, he decided we’ll have an early spring this year. That’s fine with me. The cold weather is one thing, but for me, the real issue with winter is wearing socks.
The older I get, the farther away my feet are. Every morning in winter, I have to add an extra five or ten minutes to my getting dressed routine just to struggle with putting my socks on. That’s at least a half hour every week, at least two hours a month. Multiply that by five months of winter, and I’ve spent ten hours just putting on my socks. With the warmer weather that Phil has promised me, that’s a considerable chunk of bonus time for me and my bare feet. Like my groundhog pal, I plan to spend it snuggling down in my warm and comfy bed next to my wife.
Speaking of my wife, she, too, has a sock issue. Her socks have a way of disappearing, one at a time. Two go in the dryer and only one comes out. The other one goes mysteriously missing, transported somehow to another universe, never to be seen again. Or so she thinks. To be stuck with one sock does her no good, so she throws that poor, widowed soul away. But then a day or two later, the sock that was lost somehow finds its way back home, but now, it’s too late: her mate is gone, so now there are two socks at opposite ends of the trash can, separated for eternity. Sigh.
If I were wired differently, I’d figure this out and make millions. I’d either design a smart-phone app which could electronically slip my socks on in a jiffy, or I’d start a company that would sell socks in sets of three so that if one got lost, I would still have a pair. Genius! If there are any brave investors out there, let me know.
We take socks for granted at our own peril. We live in a cold clime and socks are simply a necessity at certain times of the year. On some really cold mornings, I contemplate moving to India where socks are superfluous, and I could eat curry three times a day. I like curry. But you-know-who draws the line at running away to India. “Do yoga,” she says, “then you can put your socks on without all that stretching and straining.”
“A lot of people in India practice yoga,” I say. “It’s practically the yoga capital of the universe!”
She just gives me that look, and I know the discussion is over for good.
So back to socks. I must admit that socks have come a long way in the last few years. It used to be that the only way for men to admit even a hint of color to their bland wardrobe was to wear a snappy tie. That’s changed, thanks to socks. Since I retired, I have almost no need for a necktie, but I still need socks which have now become the new way for a man like me to show his wild, colorful side. Personally, I favor bold colors—pink!—or ones with a light motif, like penguins or martinis. Now when I walk into my favorite watering hole, my socks make women swoon and other men jealous. It’s the silver lining to my sock dilemma.
I’ll be right back.
Jamie Kirkpatrick is a writer and photographer who lives in Chestertown. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Washington College Alumni Magazine, and American Cowboy Magazine. His new novel “This Salted Soil,” a new children’s book, “The Ballad of Poochie McVay,” and two collections of essays (“Musing Right Along” and “I’ll Be Right Back”), are available on Amazon. Jamie’s website is Musingjamie.net.