As I continue to think about simplicity (see here) and continue less and less to care about what others think of my looks (see here), more and more things doors seem to open for me to try, especially when you’re up for using some creativity. I’m big on practicality, so I try to do things that are practical even if they might be seen by others as odd or “weird.”
One of those things lately has been socks. Living out of a suitcase, I had room for only so many things, one of them being socks. Last year someone got me wearing short white socks instead of longer “tube” socks, so for the winter here I decided to bring a mix of both. For the “style,” I suppose, I’m supposed to wear the super short socks, but when I’m biking, I like to wear a longer pair so I can tuck the bottom of my right pant leg into my sock (in itself a defiance of style) so they don’t get caught up in the greasy chain. However, sometime last month after about a week or so after doing laundry, I realized I had run out of pairs of long songs.
So I did what every thinker of common sense would do: I decided to make the long socks last longer by wearing a long white sock on my right foot and a short white sock on my left foot each day. In effect, I doubled the amount of days I could successfully tuck my pants into my sock before I ran out of socks and needed to do laundry! And that got me to thinking more about sock in general — why do we match socks?
I’m a pretty particular person when it comes to sock matching, and just because they’re long and white doesn’t mean they’re a match in my book. But why must we even match socks? Why not just have them in a nice drawer (or pile) where you can pick out two to wear, and that’s that? We talk about socks disappearing in the dryer or wherever they go, but if we never matched them, it wouldn’t really matter (if we noticed at all). Why not wear a long green and white striped sock and a short blue one? Does it really matter?
Like so many things, we’ve been cultured to think in a certain way under a certain framework, but why not examine that framework, even to the minutest scale? If we don’t ask questions, then what’s the point? As Socrates said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” True that.