Doctor Eclectic

Doctor Eclectic
Doctor Eclectic

Monday, February 4, 2013

Surprise Gift

Everyone likes a surprise, so when Mary told me after Christmas that she had one more present for me, I entered our bedroom with anticipation.  Not that kind of anticipation, but ready to be surprised.  What she showed me were five pieces of cardboard.

Turns out I was being prompted to complete construction on my very first sock divider.

Up until that moment I had never given the subject of organizing my socks much attention.  I had a memory flash of when I was a little child knowing that there was no need to remember whether it was my socks or my shoes that had to go on one specific foot, but I could never remember which it was. I also flashed on socks I wear for special occasions: like Christmas, or formal wear, or the pair I won at an Alliance conference because I had the silliest pair of socks at a contest party.  The fact that there were only two of us men lessened the impact of my victory.  I remembered that those socks went in another drawer and one reason they did was there was not enough room in the drawer for all my socks.

I began to understand why Mary had purchased a divider, and I prepared for assembly mode.

It was harder than it looked because there were these little vertical slits that allowed one section to connect with another and every time I tried to put a new section together, the old connection fell apart.  Eventually, I realized construction outside the drawer was complicating matters, so we emptied the draw and eventually completed the project.

As I began to see an end point, I tried to see some benefits.  Picking socks from the drawer in the morning was sometimes complicated because I had a hard time seeing what pair were gray or blue or brown in the semi-dark bedroom light.  Often it wasn’t until I was putting them on in my lighted closet that I realized I had brown socks with blue trousers.

“Why not separate the brown from the blue or gray by putting one on one side and the other on the other?” I asked.  This suggestion got little more enthusiasm than when I occupied my days after retiring from the Navy by alphabetizing Mary’s spice racks.  That project drove her to search the want ads for a job for me that eventually resulted in twenty-five years in the Insurance industry.

And then we realized that there were only 36 compartments and, even excluding socks for special occasions, I had 38 pair, none of which were worn to a point where my mother used to darn them.  Figuring that Mary would work out the washing cycle to correct that situation, we placed all the light weight socks in the container and laid the heavy weighted ones on top.

I gave some thought to buying the dividers in bulk and contributing them to a convalescent home because the project of assembly was very satisfying emotionally and took the better part of an hour to complete, but I remembered that many of my older friends only have socks of one color so they don’t have to make choices, and the gift would probably cause more confusion than value/.

We are now three weeks post socks-organizer and, while I still occasionally mix my browns and blacks, I have resisted those spontaneous sock purchases that I used to have on occasion.  Should you wish to organize your socks, the divider came from the Container Store and I have provided a hyperlink for your edification.

My next post will explain what all those strange noises are that I now hear and why they trouble me.  I hope you will join me.

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