Lost Socks on Laundry Day

My husband (who affectionately calls me the Laundry Fairy) says his socks are missing. I remember hearing tales of lost socks from others who were living in a different chapter and carried far heavier loads than I did as a single person. Where could it have possibly gone? I always wondered.

(How did your life get so cluttered that you misplaced a sock? I never said.)

Now, here I am, married to a husband who makes dirty clothes daily and I don’t even have children with mud smears and blueberry stains, and yet, I am already losing socks. I sort our darks and whites into multiple plastic baskets, and in they go, one load at a time. There’s really no reason that socks should go missing.

Maybe it’s in the sorting where it all gets messy, the split-second decision, “Dark? White? Or color?” Some weeks, there’s enough for all three: darks, whites, colors. Others, there’s not enough laundry or time, so I combine where I can based on simple questions: Have I washed this 8,000 times? Will it matter at all what it’s washed with if I simply use cold water? Do I actually care about this piece of clothing?

But the questions and the answers happen at a rapid pace, especially to make time for the load of towels and load of sheets, so it makes sense that the black socks and the white socks might wander away. Or, maybe they make it through safely with their mate, but then I’m dumping all the warm clean laundry into a pile on our bed to fold and his black sock mixes into the sleeve of my dark gray t-shirt, which gets folded and tucked (or shoved) away into my drawer that would make Marie Kondo shudder. The possibilities are endless, including the tale I’m starting to believe as truth: the dryer eats socks.

Has this happened to you? Do you lose socks? I’m not talking to the people who have lost socks once. No, I’m looking for the people who have made it a habit.

“Before we got married, I never lost socks,” my husband says.

“Me either,” I say.

Perhaps we’re both too proud of the people we were as independent singles when laundry was simple: if you wanted clean clothes, you washed them. If you didn’t, then you didn’t. It’s hard to admit that combining laundry is messy business, what with double the load and preferences and expectations.

(How did I end up as the lost sock wife? I dare not say out loud.)

So I’ve known for some time now that I owe an apology to those people who lose socks, the ones I silently judged for their carelessness. Perhaps I thought you intentionally took on more life than you could sort, but I was very wrong. It’s inexplicable, the missing socks. I still don’t know where they are. And I have a feeling that as soon as I get a handle on laundry for two, our baskets and dirty clothes and loads will multiply, and I’ll raise a family where all of our socks go missing.

I can hear my friends now, the ones who already have a whole gang of tiny dirty humans, reading this confession with a smirk and a head shake, Bless her heart.

2 thoughts on “Lost Socks on Laundry Day

  1. Poor child, you take after your grandmother. Years ago, when I was the laundress for a husband and 3 sons, I was driven to dump their drawers, sort and match socks. I strung a line in the laundry room and pinned up the 17 singles. I can’t remember a mate appearing.

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