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It socks
Where do socks go? Who am I going to call? Sockbusters?

By Simin Habibian
November 7, 2003
The Iranian

I wonder if this only happens to me. I have not been talked about it publicly until now and I hope I am not in this alone. I am sure it is happening to many of you out there but you rather not talk about it. Maybe you think it is not that important of a matter. At least I am brave enough to bring up this mysterious issue. Believe me, it is real and not a cultural thing.

It is a universal issue that has no boundary. It is happening every day in every civilized and modern society, with just a few exceptions, yet people tend to ignore it. If I had not done experiments myself, I would not be writing about it when all these important events are happening in the world. It is there and it is real, so let's deal with it. Please help me help the world. Here we go:

Most of you have done your laundry at one time or another. If you are a normal human being with two feet or even one, then you or members of your family must own some socks. Every time I do the laundry and take the clothes out of the dryer, I fold them neatly and put them in the basket. I always fold the big pieces first and then go to the underclothes and then the socks... and it happens over and over again: I end up with a few lost socks.

At the beginning I did not think much about it and tried to ignore the issue, after all they were just socks. But years later, this mystery has become so intense that it has kept me up at nights. I find myself having recurrent nightmares about blue, brown and gray single socks laughing at me viciously and dancing around the washer and dryer and then disappear one by one, while Ralph Lauren, Calvin Kline, Tommy Hilfiger, Ann Kline, Liz Claiborne and other fashion designers make scary faces at me and sing: "So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehn, good-bye..." and I wake up all tense and sweaty, thanking God that it was just a dream.

Where do these socks go? Does anyone wear them? Who needs just one used sock of many colors? Who am I going to call? Sockbusters?

When my children lived at home, I encountered a bigger problem. They constantly accused me of throwing away or losing their socks. I convinced myself that the kids might have misplaced them somewhere. Now it is only my husband and I and the mystery goes on -- and on.

The laundry is being done every week and the socks keep disappearing every single time. For a while I thought I am imagining things or I am making a mountain out of a mole. So I decided to calm down and do some detective work and come up with a rational answer. First I tied each pair of socks to each other and put only a few pairs in the machine. You guessed it, they got lost again.

At times I have almost ripped the washer and dryer apart, looking for a hidden hole or a trap that someone might have installed inside, even though, they are Maytag brand and have never been repaired and no one but my family and I access them.

Our washer and dryer are in the kitchen and there is a long big white duct in the basement where the steam and lint are discharged. I made my husband to replace the duct with a new one. I checked every inch of the old duct and turned it upside down and inside out very carefully, but no luck.

Is there is a sock monster living in every washer and dryer no matter what brand they are or where in the world they might be?

I did some research and found out that these monsters, or whatever they might be, are multiplying in much larger numbers in the U.S. than anywhere else. I think the reason is that water is cheaper here and people wash themselves and their clothes more often than other parts in the world.

I am at the point of gathering more evidence to report the matter to higher authorities. I don't think it has anything to do with terrorists, since this problem has existed ever since washers and dryers were invented. It is like a close encounter of the strange socks kind!

My other theory, which makes more sense, is that there are creatures living on other planets and for some reason they have become attracted to smelly earthling socks and constantly steal them. How? I have no clue.

That is why I am desperately seeking help. Despite the trivial importance of the matter please take this matter seriously. Do your own experiments and investigations and come up with an answer. Take a few minutes of your busy schedule and help solve the mystery of the disappearing socks.

In the past few months I have collected all the single socks and put them away in a drawer that is now full. I think someday, somehow, somewhere, these lonely single socks will be reunited with their lost pairs.

Author

Simin Habibian is the compiler of One Thousand & One Persian-English Proverbs.

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