Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where Do All The Socks Go?

I'm the only person in my house who can find anything. Seriously, I'm the only one who thinks to look for Brooklyn's shoes in the bathtub. I'm the only one who would think of looking on the back of the toilet seat for Lexi's glasses. No one else in the family can see the orange juice in the fridge when it's behind the gallon of milk. If something doesn't jump out and bite them on the butt, they'll never find it.

"Where's my hairbrush, Mom?"
"Behind the couch."

"Where's my homework?"
"Look on the shelf with the video tapes."

"I can't find my headband."
"It's outside on the swingset."

I think I should start teaching classes on how to look for missing objects. I should show my family how to actually move things around in order to find the missing item. "If you don't see the yogurt, it doesn't mean it vanished from the fridge. Try moving the leftover pizza and look behind it. There you go! That's it! See? The yogurt's still there in the fridge and you can find it. All you have to do is look!"

I can find stuff. I'm good at finding stuff. So, why is that I can't seem to find the match for this many socks?!!!





Where do they go? Where on earth do all the stray socks go? And not only that, but I often find extra socks that don't even belong to anyone in my family! "I don't remember anyone having purple argyle socks! Where'd this sock come from???"

I suppose if I was a Martha Stewart kinda gal, I could sew cute little animal buddies out of the stray socks. But I'm not that deranged crafty. I've been hanging onto these things, optimistically hoping their sole mate (Get it? SOLE mate! Not soul mate. SOLE mate, like the sole of your foot! BAAA HAAA HAAA! Oh I just crack myself up! Hey, it's late.) would magically appear one day. I think it's time to give up the dream though. It's time I acquire some new dust rags, I believe. I mean, it's not like I won't have a brand new crop of singlets by this time next week...

84 comments:

Monica said...

I can't laugh. It's too familiar.

:)

Christina from Vegas said...

We solve the problem here by all 3 kids (closer in age to your kids) have the same socks and they're all the same color. I never have to match socks again! Yeah me!

Isolet said...

I think the reason mom's know where everything is, is because we create this little file in our heads as we move through the house. "There is that thing, they will look for it later". It happens in our subconscious without us even knowing, we are storing this information somewhere in our brain.

It is for survival, where must we still find the time to look for everybody's stuff?

Patricia said...

I'm really looking forward to reading the comments on this one... *grin*
My theory is: the washing machine eats the socks.
I kept all the single socks until we moved to another house, thinking they'd show up then. A few even did (under the washing machine & behind a shelf), only they were my eldest son's baby socks and my youngest was 4...!

ffroggie said...

Oh the orphan socks, know that one sooooooo well Dawn!

I am now convinced that there is a cupboard (invisible of course) that all the odd socks go to to hide, just long enough for you to give up waiting for them to reappear, before sneaking out of said cupboard.

Ditch the odd socks! Or someday when you are least expecting it, you will find the cupboard (it will by now be full to overflowing) and will be either killed or at least maimed by the avalanche of falling socks!

Chris said...

In Australia (well, my corner of it at any rate), if someone is "looking" for something but not actually trying, we call it a "bloke's look" - as opposed to a girls' look which involves picking things up, moving things and so on. My kids are masters at the bloke's look *sigh*
-Chris

Anonymous said...

I so feel your pain! I always tell my husband, "Look with your hands... NOT just your eyes!"

Frau Mahlzahn said...

The worst thing about the missing socks is, that once you toss the single socks out -- the missing ones reappear!

At least by the end of the year I'll have enough single socks for a Christmas calendar for the kids...

btw: "Just open your eyes and take a look" must be the one sentence I repeat over and over again...

So long,
Corinna

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

My youngest loves to make sock puppets out of her singlets...although I'm beginning to suspect that her sock puppets are creating a bunch of singlets!

Inna said...

I say just wear mismatched socks. That's what I do!

JenT said...

The dryer eats them. No joke. I had a friend that needed her dryer repaired. When the Sears guy came out and took the dryer apart, there was like a ton of socks and other things that had gone missing. Maybe your dryer really did eat them.

Jennifer said...

You are too funny. My son is the same way, and it's really hard not to yell "Are you blind!!" or "What is wrong with you!!!" or "Turn your eyes on!!" I would never say those things. ;)

Tamara said...

It's because moms have a sixth sense about these things. Once my sister, living in a different city, called my mom and asked her where something was that she had lost. My mom knew instantly where my sister should look, and she was right. The item was found.

Gayle said...

I have that same problem in my house with the socks and the kids not being able to find anything because they just WON'T look!
I've decided the sock's matches are taken by the laundry fairy. It's common knowledge that washing machines and dryers eat socks!

Bailey's Leaf said...

First, I have a friend who will claim when an item is missing that she will "pull out my uterus" so that she can gon on the hunt. Her idea is that only a woman has some sort of missing object finder device and she thinks it is linked to her uterus.

Secondly, the missing sock gig? I think that the washer eats them. If they make it to the dryer, I think that there is an evil force that monkeys with the remaining matching pairs. It's a plot, I tell you. Call Homeland Security. They should get right on it.

Anonymous said...

Note that as soon as you start using the socks as dust rags, their partners mysteriously appear from the land of lost socks:) Oh, and I actually have a theory about the disappearance of socks, by the way: I think the washing machine eats them. There. Problem solved.

And I must also say that I've now read your book, it really was just as good as I expected and now I am looking forward to vol 2. How long do I have to wait? Until Christmas?

Kind regards,

Ingrid (from Estonia:)

BJ Hamrick said...

Good luck! Erma Bombeck used to say that her socks disappeared, but her hangers mated and only created more. If only that worked with socks too!

Marla said...

I think missing socks are one of the world's great mysteries.

Garden Faery said...

There was a silly cartoon on years ago called Ren and Stimpy. On one episode they traveled to a planet where all the stray socks go to. Indeed the planet was made of stray socks.

Maybe we can all get together some time and swap socks?

Anonymous said...

OMG I think the sole mates to your socks are in Spokane WA at my daughter in laws. Looks like the ones I couldn't match when I was there in April.

Anonymous said...

The surest way to find the mates is to throw away that batch of socks. I can guarantee that within a week the mates will all turn up...and then you'll have to throw them away, too!

KLM said...

it's the theory of the uterus. you have the dominant uterus of the house, so you, and only you, have the ability to find things. but apparently not when it comes to socks....

TheQueen@TerrorsInTiaras said...

I'm the only one in our house that can find anything. My kids now roll their eyes when I say, "Next time look with your eyes OPEN." But, I really do think it would work for them if they tried it.

Kristen said...

lol. I have have been pondering where the socks go as well. My only guess is if you take the washer or dryer apart you would find a sock cemetery! As far as the socks that do not belong to any household members, I would assume they belong to a house guest!

Anonymous said...

I think I have the matches to those socks at my house!

JDub said...

At our house, I remind all those searching for things to "look with your eyes, not your nose!" Of course, when they canNOT find it AT ALL, they holler for me, wherever I am (2 states away, doesn't matter) and I simply turn on the homing device in my uterus, rotate back and forth while making the pinging noise and magically announce where the missing item is. That's right, eyes in the back of your head, homing device in the uterus - the magical parts of being a mom!

Kaitlin said...

It is true that the dryer eats socks. I have found my lost socks in the nooks and crannies of the dryer before. I know someone who found many of their children's socks in the lint trapper. Maybe you should just take the whole thing apart and you might find some socks! Good luck!

On Stage said...

Sole mate.... funny! I have one of those front loading washers. After searching for missing socks for months, Brian found them inside the rubber thing (it probably has a name, but I don't know what it is)that surrounds the inside of the door. I know some people that actually have their kids put their socks into washable bags... one bag per kid. Wash and dry the bags, then hand each bag back to the kid. No sorting and matching involved. Sounds too good to be true!

Jennifer from Hurricane said...

I can completely relate!! Thankfully my husband builds plastic scale models and he is always looking for an odd sock to put over his hand while spray painting the parts. Otherwise, they stay at the bottom of the clean laundry basket for months/years (keeping the mending company) until I get tired of seeing them.

Mom Taxi Julie said...

I keep finding underware that don't belong to us in the wash. Pretty sure they are coming from my teenagers friends that spend the night but WEIRD.

Jennifer said...

I think the dryer grinds up the extra socks, which is how the lint trap gets so full. At least, I'm sure that's what happens in my house!

Christin said...

Ooh! I know! I know!! They're at MY house! I have those exact same piles of orphan socks!

A Mom in Jacksonville, FL said...

ROFL..."Sole mate." What a hoot!

Kristin and Co. said...

Oh yes. What is it with the helplessness of the household?

"Honey, what time is it?"

"Honey, there is a microwave right in front of your face and a coffee maker 2 feet from your face, both with clocks on them."

"But.."

"No, it is time that you learned to use your head just a wee bit in order to prevent mine from exploding."

Mayberry Mom said...

If your luck is anything like mine Dawn, as soon as you turn the sock into a rag, it's SOLEmate will show up!!

Wendy said...

I think there is a song there somewhere. You know the song, "Where have all the cowboys gone?"?

Maybe, while you do laundry, you could sing "Where do all the stray socks go?"

Hope you have a great day,
Wendy in Idaho

AuntyM said...

I know a gal with 7 children. She buys all white socks for everyone in her family. They always match. There may be a stray one or 2 every so often...

Just an idea FYI.

Anonymous said...

Dawn you make my day! I firmly believe that there is a "seeking" gene or a hormone or something that doesn't kick in until adulthood in females & a very few males...my family (all male) can NEVER find anything! And I also believe that there is a different dimension for socks - once in a while they magically fall back into our dimension to once again be with their "solemate"! (Ha Ha love that- solemate...)

Have a great day!
Chris P - Burnsville, MN

Rachel said...

man, i got really excited when i saw the title of this post, hoping that, in your inifinite wisdom, you might actually ANSWER the question!!!! ugh. i know the feeling!

RubiaLala said...

My husband doesn't even look first, he just asks me. Where's this? I'm like it should be where it's supposed to be. He looks. Oh, yeah. Thanks. GRRR! >:o

And I always expected that once I had a kid I would have the dryer eats the socks problem, but I have NEVER lost a sock. Now I've just jinxed myself.

Keren said...

Even after almost 11 years of marriage, I still can't quite fathom how men are laughably, horribly, inexplicably unable to see things that are right in front of their faces.

This weekend, my husband brought the baby out in the stroller to meet me at our synagogue (I had gone earlier). He claimed he couldn't find the Baby Bjorn, although he had looked "everywhere." So we had to switch off holding the baby the whole time we were there. When it was time to go home, I went to put said baby into the stroller, only to immediately notice that the Baby Bjorn was in the bottom of the stroller where it had been placed the previous week when we went to synagogue! For some reason it never occurred to him to look there, and I didn't even bother to ask if he had looked there, thinking (or rather, not thinking) that of course he looked in the most obvious place before turning the house upside down!

The best part of this story is that I started chatting with another mom and we were commiserating about our husbands' inability to find anything. She was saying something to the effect of "He can't find things that are right in front of his face!" At that moment another mom came up to us and said, "Oh, my kids do the same thing" (get it? she thought we were talking about our kids! But really, what's the difference?)

Anonymous said...

Tthe stray socks go to the "Hose Zone"

Mel said...

Ah yes the great tragedy of no one being able to actually move an object to find an object......

as for the socks, I really think there is a black hole in the dryer, I can have all the socks come out of the washer and into the dryer to not have all of them come out of the dryer......and yes, they show up as soon as you through the mate out

mommeeof9 said...

I have found missing socks inside winter boots, under the couch cushions, behind the washer and dryer, between a car seat and the Van seat, etc. Hubby had a matched pair of socks yesterday, so occasionally miracles do happen. :)

Meg said...

I *think* I'm teaching my children how to locate things by answering their questions with questions. Example 1:

Kid 2: "Mom, where's my baseball uniform?"

Me: "Did you put away your clothes like I told you to TWO days ago?"

Example 2:

Kid 1: "Mom, where's the pancake syrup?"

Me: "Where is it normally kept?"

I don't know if I'm really teaching them anything, but I hope one day they'll stop before spouting out "Mom, where is..." and think 'What would Mom ask me?' and then find whatever it is on their own.

As to the socks, I have no idea where they all go either. I keep stacks on top of each dresser hoping the lonlies will lure their mates home. It hasn't worked yet...

LaLa said...

I do the same thing, I keep all my stray socks in a drawer in the bedroom and once in a while I'll find a match!

Anonymous said...

I had the same problem growing up. I was the finder. Everyone would ask me where things were.

One day I couldn't find something for my older brother.

But you HAVE to know where it is. He told me. It's YOUR JOB!!!

Wholly cow. I wondered what my job was. At the age of 11 we all need to know. ;)

Tabby said...

I read a great quote from somebody's grandmother the other day; "Two clean socks match."

Anonymous said...

Sock Eater
by Betsy Rosenthal

On laundry days
my mother says
the dryer is a crook.

It’s all because
a sock is gone—
the one the dryer took.

I tell my mom she shouldn’t
let the dryer
see us eat.

It’s sure to munch a sock or two
because it craves a treat.

Kristine said...

My oldest needed a hat - any hat - to wear to scout camp. I told him to go find one. His answer? "But I don't know where it is!" Yes, finding requires searching, and implies not knowing the exact location beforehand! Yesterday, dh decided to look for one in the boys' toy baskets (where I had suggested to my son to look). My husband, who has trouble finding many things, found 3 within a couple minutes!

Sunshine said...

I think moms have the magical ability of remembering, though not consciously, where stuff is once you see it. "Where is my medecine?" "On top of the dryer"....We bare just good like that

Purple Quilter Queen said...

I'm guessing the partners to those strays may have not ever made it into the laundry basket. That's how it happens in my house. I find crumpled up socks in all kids of places from my 8 year old. Jenn

Laura said...

I couldn't find my shoe one day and my daughter told me "It's in the kitchen cabinet with the bowls." I said "No it's not!" And I kept looking. After another 15 minutes I gave up and my daughter went into the kitchen cabinet and pulled out my shoe LOL!! My girls had been playing with it and left it in the cabinet! Now I always check the kitchen cabinet and toy box when I've looked every place else.

Elleah said...

When I was little, I could never find anything. Now I'm a Mom and I can find almost everything except for matching socks! Ya, where do they go?

Health Test Dummy said...

Yup.

I have a 'catch-all' sock 'basket'.

After depleting EVERY bit of laundry one day (it took a lot of help from my hubby), I found that there STILL were no matches AND, like you said, I had some "Who's are these???". I finally threw out some, but alas, my muddled mind made me keep a few 'stragglers'! Sigh...I'll get help...someday...

Anonymous said...

I "had" this problem more with my husband's socks than my kids (them, too, just not as much). My husband buys new socks everytime he can't find a matching pair or if they're dirty. Well I stopped matching them because he had over 20 kinds/sizes and with that many, the matches disappeared. He had SIX, yes SIX sock drawers. So about two weeks ago he comes down and says, "I need to buy new socks because I can't find any matches" (this from the man with six drawers already). I told him over my dead body unless he got rid of all his old socks first. So thankfully he did and bought all the SAME new ones. I'm now matching his socks again because I can't get it wrong. The little things in life make me happy.

Anonymous said...

Why was it that Veggie Tales "O, Where is My Hairbrush?" was running through my head the whole time I was reading your post?

Melanie said...

It's called sock bankruptcy at my house.

kirine said...

LOL It's nice to know I'm not the only one that has a "Thunderwasher" (think of Max Max Thunderdome) 2 socks enter, 1 sock leaves.

I also do the misc sock basket, in case any turn up. Most of the time they don't.

Christy the Mommy-Muse said...

I'm pretty sure the other half of those socks are stranded at my house - somehow - maybe they swam out through the water system? Seriously - I'm looking for the same missing ones!

Kimmerie said...

I now say what my mother used to say to us:
"Mom, I can't find my (hairbrush/homework/shoe/whatever)!!"
"Did you look?"
"yes!"
"Did you MOVE things and look??"

Do you know the song "One Shoe Blues" from the latest Sandra Boynton album (Blue Moo)? Awesome song!!

plainprecious said...

My favoriote tv show of all time has to be Roseanne. When one of her kids would ask where something was her reply was always What is my uterus a tracking device. So that has become my slogan. My kids ask mom where's my.......I look at them and they say on clue I know your uterus is not a tracking device.

Although like you I normally know where whatever it is they are looking for is. Or I have seen it sometime during my daily grand but cant remember where exactly it was. Somehow its my fault. My older kids are always looking for their shoes too which drives me nuts. I have a reply there as well when was the last time I wore them. Lets see NEVER. Tho my daughter and I where the same size shoes I cant always say that to her. LOL
Oh the mystery of the missing socks. My younger 2 drive me nuts cause they never take their socks of in the same place. Meaning they will be running around with one sock on til it falls of or somene pulls it off so they neer get in the same load of clothes. URGH I have 2 grocery bags full of mismatched socks. I will get them cute little charactor socks and think ok I will keep track of these. YEA right. My hubby just bought 2 packs of socks for them today, Lets see how long it takes for them to come up missing.

Susan Raihala said...

The lost socks go to the hozone.

Thanks for letting me know I'm truly not alone.

Kila said...

I have odd, lonely socks, too. Maybe we could get together and make a match.

I can find things from my office over the phone that the boys can't find right in front of their faces, sigh.

Belinda in Brisbane said...

What Chris from Australia said waaaaaaaaay back up there. Though in my corner of Australia we call it the 'Daddy look'.

"I can't find it."
"Did you have a Daddy look, or a Mummy look."
"A Daddy one."
"Right, well go back in there and have a proper look."
*Groan*
OR
My persoanl favourite...
"It'll always be in the last place you look."
Well duh.

My solution to the sock thing is to just keep rewashing the socks until the partner shows up. *the strays are usually found rolled up in the fitted bed sheets that my hubby hangs on the line without checking.*

Becki said...

You can take your mis-matched socks and donate them to homeless people. They don't care if the socks match, all they care about is layering them on to keep the feet and hands warm. Just an idea! Our Campfire group goes around and collects donations every year for this.

Michelle said...

Oh! Dawn! I have the matching socks to a few of those. I'm thinking somehow my socks ran off and hid in your dryer. Wanna swap? ;)

Jennifer said...

Here's an easy solution to the mismatched sock problem: http://www.socklady.com/

I love these socks, and love even more that they ARENT supposed to match!!! :)

Nancy said...

It is amazing how much your sock pile looks like my sock pile. I think they must have wandered over here.

Tiffany said...

LMAO at the uterus comments - how true I've never thought of it that way before. HAHA

I have a nice pile of unmatched socks on top of my sons dresser. After a while I will get rid of them and then and only then their mates will show up! I don't worry about my husbands socks - I just put his in a pile and he can worry about matches. Zilla is only 3 (nest month) so in the furture I plan to buy all the same socks so that I don't have to worry too much about matching them up. We'll see how that works!

Mama said...

I held onto a lonesome sock for almost a year hoping to find its sole-mate (yeah, I thought it was very funny) and finally threw it out. Approximately 2 weeks later we got a router and moved the computer desk to install it & I found the sole-mate, go figures, the message "Don't give up hope & try looking behind the computer desk"

Anonymous said...

Missing socks- that is an age old question. I have an over-achiever friend that pins her socks together b/4 washing~ even her DH does. I'm jealous, but content if I find clean socks, matching or not.

Jennifer said...

Hey Dawn. I have the same problem with my Dear Hubby. I ask for sugar from the pantry, he can't find it, and I say, "Seriously, please don't make me come in there!"

Regarding the socks, we have a "Sock Singles Club" in the top dresser drawer. The Singles go in there, and just like match.com, we hope for a match! If someone lingers too long in the Club, they become a cat toy!

Happy Hunting! Jen

tonya5015 said...

i keep a total bag hanging on the door knob of my closet and that's were all the odd socks go. Every so often i dump the socks out and play cupid by matching them up. i don't know why it's so hard to put BOTH socks in the dirty clothes hamper. one always lingers under the bed, under the sofa, in the clothes. i swear my husband and kids take their socks off in different rooms of the house and at different times of the day just to annoy me.

marythemom said...

I felt completely unable to toss socks until one day about a year ago. My youngest child at the time was 9 (son) and there were little girl beaded socks in the overflowing laundry basket! Since my daughters both wear adult sizes (12 year old daughter wears size 13 men's shoes!). I decided it was finally time to throw out every "single" sock in the house.

I searched every drawer, every toy box, every basket full of single socks we owned. I did play match party and found one or two matches. I discovered "single" socks living in sibling's drawers whose match was in the owner's drawers. I also discovered that a lot of the socks belonged to my young niece and nephew - who came to our house wearing different socks and then left them there. No wonder we couldn't find matches!

Now I just throw out socks with holes in them and don't worry about the matches. Doesn't seem to bother my kids to wear unmatched socks so why should it bother me?!

We labeled everyone's socks with initials. The "singles" sock basket gets emptied every month or so - I lay them on the table and tell everyone to come and get them. Unlabeled/ unmatched socks get trashed.

Hubby gets all the same brand and we wash our laundry separate from the kids.

Mary in TX
http://marythemom-mayhem.blogspot.com

Mom to biokids Ponito(10) and his sister Bob(12)
Sibling pair adoptive placement from NE 11/06
Finally finalized on Kitty(14) on 3/08 - 2 weeks before her 13th birthday!
Finalized on her brother Bear(15) on 7/08. He turned 15 the next day.

" Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."

Shellie said...

So, all those singletons' twins that were never even worn by us are at YOUR house??? Have any of your socks ever had babies? Mine do, it's really disturbing to find two identical socks except for one is obviously too small to even be a younger sibling. We could have an online sock swap, I'm telling you...

Yvonne said...

I refer to this phenonmenom as "uterus as homing device"... if you have one, you can find anything, anytime, anyplace (but... it must be 5 years after puberty and when the mother figure is not present!)

moonduster said...

My kids have an aversion to doing anything more than a quick glance around where they are standing when looking for something.

And I have an entire bag full of socks that are waiting for their matches to be found!

Anonymous said...

haha! Sole mate!! The answer is that the dryer eats them. My dad took apart our dryer once when we were little and found a ton of nursing pads and socks that my mom swore the dryer ate.

The solution: use mesh lingerie bags. I know. I hate doing that, but if you don't want a ton of missing socks, you have to. When I slack off and quit using mine, my babies' socks start to disappear.

Anonymous said...

HA HA HA!!! My husband needs that class on actually moving things around to find stuff! I love it. You're hilarious.

Christine said...

Well, have you ever just tried matching up socks that don't really match? That's what I do. As long as they're sort of the same size it should work out... matching socks are overrated.

The Boyer Crew said...

In our home, we call these "orphan socks". I have a drawer full of orphans all with the hope that a match with come about.

Chelf said...

I have this vision in my head from the series Charmed. It is three witch sisters... they cast a spell once to find lost things. Their dog came back from running away years ago, they found every pencil and pen they couldn't find when they needed it near the phone.... and they found a HUGE mountain of sole mates (good joke!) of socks. The pile that exploded out of the laundry room, and the rest of their stuff appearing out of nowhere made the whole house look like a garage sale!

Janell said...

hahah. I have the same problem. I just give up and use them as rags. some sock I dont remember haveing ether. I think it happens when my brother comes over and spends the night and his dirty laundry ends in my laundry basket. That drives me crazy im not his mom i dont do his laundry.

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