It's More than Unmatched Socks

>> Thursday, July 30, 2009

I have two things on my mind today. Unmatched socks and tupperware.

I know the whole question about socks has been done to death, and we still don't know how socks go into the washer in pairs and come out of the dryer in singles. I know women who safety pin the socks together and it still doesn't always help. But ... I'm not here to cover old ground. You can read my hero Erma on that topic. She said it best. What I want to know is how do you handle all the single socks? I suppose we could set them up a dating service, but we are a pretty closed society here. I don't think we are ready to be supportive of mixed-color sock marriages. After all, as a society we still can't wear pink and orange together and shrink in horror when someone wear plaids and stripes on the same day. I admit to very strong biases in these directions, and I'm actually somewhat fashion-null. I'm sure I commit 1000 faux pas a week and don't even know, but I'm pretty sure we're still in a society where two different socks are only appropriate in the circus. So, I guess we can try to set up an internet sock dating service, but I think it might lead to disappointment and ridicule.

So, what do you do? How long do you keep the poor things before sending them to the rag bin or the dumpster? Does it matter how many you have? I think I'm staring at the largest pile of unmated socks possibly in the history of Western civilization. Rough justice, it measures two feet by two feet by 8 inches. Some of the socks have been in here for years, poor things, still hoping. I've seen some pretty far out reunions in the past, including one yesterday that was maybe a year old. I just don't know how long we should let the poor things hang on to hope before we break it to them that their buddy is probably not going to come back. And how big of a home do we give them in the meantime? Do we give them their own unmated sock drawer? What is the kind thing here? I don't know, but a huge pile on the coffee table just doesn't seem like the right answer. In this house, it is an invitation to more lost socks (at which time you know as well as I do the long-time prodigal mate will return to find himself alone).

Then we have the tupperware. I think tupperware is possibly a worse problem than the socks. First, the unmated tupperware is usually larger and harder to store and, if possible, they are even harder to throw away. After all, a bottom without a top will work in a pinch with some foil, or even as a mixing bowl if you are making one of those kitchen-clearing recipes. But I have to ask, because I don't know that anyone has yet -- WHERE DO ALL THE TUPPERWARE PIECES GO??????? I am looking at 9 tupperware bottoms, ranging from square, to oblong, to upright, to liquid, all without lids. Then we have 3 lids with no matching bottoms. Obviously I can't store them in the tupperware cabinet, because that will cause tremendous frustration when we need a mated set. Unlike even two feet of socks, I can't stick them in a plastic bag and hang them in the laundry room. And yet, how can 9 lids and 3 bottoms just disappear? Did they melt in the dishwasher? Are they hanging out in an interdimensional vortex with all of Erma's unmated socks? Is there a portal leading to someone else's dishwasher, as Erma suspected about dryers?

Of course, in my house, I have to ask a few other, more routine questions, like: Did I turn my back too long and Toddler grabbed them and threw them down the basement stairs? Did he filch them into his toybox? Is this some mysterious action by the forces of Entropy and Chaos? (If the last one is true, then as soon as I throw these unmated pieces away, the rest will show up stored behind the George Foreman grill or out on Darling Husband's workbench. You know I'm right.) Before the end of the day I need to decide what to do with this stack. Right now I'm bereft of ideas.


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