Searching for The Perfect Sock
There is something comforting about folding socks, about matching them and holding them so that the heels face each other, then lining up the tops before rolling the pair into themselves as far as the feet, which hang free. There is something calming about knowing each sock has a mate. Sometimes they lose each other through being sorted incorrectly into the wrong drawer. On rare occasions they disappear into the Great Sock Vortex, never to be seen again. Mostly they find their way home after being stuck underneath a dresser or hiding at the foot of the bed.
Socks are incredibly diverse. Some are short with heels cut low in the back, some are long, reaching above your knees. Some are thin and stretchy while others are thick and warm. Socks can be bright, fanciful or utilitarian. Some imply a story like my New Mexico socks with their orange, purple and green horses running free. I wear them when I want to feel like I’ve escaped from my paddock to run across a pinon-covered mesa in summer.
I learned about rolling socks from a dear college friend who was my roommate for a time after graduation, and was also the object of my affection for many years. My romantic love was not returned, as he was gay. Like our unrolled socks, we got lost for a while because I needed to go away. We eventually reconnected, which is when he taught me about loving and staying. For a long time, growing that wisdom in myself was enough. Now, well past the midpoint of my life, I am finding I want more. I want to align with another sock that is colorful, sturdy yet attractive, great to wear while hiking in a red rock canyon or curling up to listen to music on the couch. I want us roll ourselves into each other while leaving part of ourselves hanging free. Perhaps we even get lost on occasion, but we always know the other is waiting, knowing we will find ourselves together again.
So now my challenge is to hunt for that other sock, and I’m having a hard time getting myself into search mode. It’s been a long time since I’ve looked. It’s been a long time since I’ve opened myself up to vulnerability. I imagine some of you found your mate long ago and know what it means to be rolled into one another. If you haven’t had a mate for years, how do you prepare yourself to look? If you’re not interested in a mate, what makes your singleness so rich? I do believe there is huge wisdom in all states of pairing and singularity, and would love to hear yours.