# who’s counting?

A few days ago it suddenly struck me – in my family there is a minimum of 70 socks per week going through the “laundry-cycle”. Sounds simple, but the socks involved set out on an uncertain journey – starting out as a couple, many of them lose their sock-friend, get lost and end up waiting for weeks in some basket or hidden in a bedsheet.

What spurred me to think about socks in the first place was not some sort of extra sympathy for this type of garment. It was more the result of a quite profound frustration concerning the non-functional sides of this household. I am not a particularly tidy person. But I like the house – especially kitchen and bathroom – to be clean. And I like finding things I need when I need them. For example the matching sock…… My husband is on the same wavelength as me concerning this. We do however tend to put things down, and forget about them for a while. Things pile up. The hallway for example is always cluttered. The kids naturally have our genes (and from time to time it seems as if this untidy gene grows exponentially). In addition we do not set the best of examples. The result is that we do find ourselves in chaos sometimes (and even more often than that).

Our struggle with the socks is a sort of symbol of how we deal with the house logistics. And it annoys me, pisses me off even. I am a bit ashamed. Because we’re not up to par.


I am not really sure that calculating how many socks we actually need to put in the laundry basket, bring down to the laundry room, put in the washing machine, hang to dry/ put in dryer, retrieving them in pairs, and (not to forget!!) finally getting them into their correct drawer – is very constructive.. .. But thinking about things in numbers comes natural for me, maybe to give me an illusion of control?

The fact is that there are 70 socks to deal with per week. And that fact panics me. The pile of unsorted socks makes me understand Cinderella when she was given the task of sorting beans from peas by the mean step-mother. With socks there are no quick-fixes that I know of. Of course one could handle it like some friends of ours, not nerds enough to get annoyed by household chaos. They just put all the socks of their kids (unpaired) into a drawer. Kids can chose either to pair them (good luck) or to just randomly select two socks. It’s the waldorfian solution.

But I’m a nerd. My only hope is that the kids more and more will understand that socks do not find their sock-friends on their own – they are in need of some assistance!

On the other hand, the socks should also take some initiative to stay together and stop hiding in places nobody can think of.