Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Life laundry

It's funny what the little things you do reveal about you. I always imagined my obsession with hanging my washing out in such an orderly fashion - by type, socks hanging in pairs - was just a bit of control freak-ism, a touch of OCD, a desperate attempt to give the illusion of control midst the chaos and unpredictability of life. Not that my life is especially chaotic - just life in general.

Badger hangs her washing out to different rules. Firstly, each item must have it's own personal space: no touching, no sharing clothes pegs. Ever. Secondly, items are hung the right way up, even if they have a hood and would dry much better upside down. Apparently they might get dizzy the wrong way up. Whilst I don't understand either of these rules, they don't actually upset me; what does cause me genuine distress is Badger's socks.

For starters, they aren't hung in pairs. But worse, frequently the other half of the pair is not there! I'm sure the second socks exist, just Badger doesn't see fit to wash and wear them in matching pairs.

I brought this up with Badger a few days ago. I was bringing her washing in and was feeling rather stressed by the number of unique socks, which I took to be a sign of carelessness and slipshod attitudes to the Rules of Socks (as I define them).

Badger smiled, as she does, and said "You think it is important for them to be with the things they belong with don't you?". I nodded and she carried on. "You see, I think it's important for things to be just fine on their own. They shouldn't be dependent on the other sock. They are ok just as single socks."

So, I draw the conclusion that my laundry is not afflicted with OCD, but codependency. I don't fear my clothes being out of order, I fear them being alone.


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Blogger Badger said...

Aw!! This is just the sweetest post ever. I smiled all the way through.

Bless you and your socks. I suspect its just that my mother never taught me how to hang, just like she never taught me how to cook (only how to heat things up).
I would hang my spare sock with a lonely one of yours any day. :)

Badger x

ps. I do believe I am your first to comment!!! yey!

03 May, 2007 00:22  
Blogger Badger said...

Oh and i didn't smile 'all' the way through. I was a little sad at the end. You're not alone, and neither are your socks, cos, you see, you have a Badger to look after them (and you).


03 May, 2007 00:27  
Blogger The Cornish Cowgirl said...

qjrtmeI'm with you Stray - I can't wash or hang my socks up on their own. Had never thought of it as a sign of co-dependency but I think you're right!
Of course, having socks all the same (or nearly the same) colour makes life a lot easier for the unique sock washer!

03 May, 2007 09:31  
Blogger The Cornish Cowgirl said...

That first bit was a problem with the word verification (my problem!) Hee!

03 May, 2007 09:32  
Anonymous la-que-sabe said...

That's so sweet I think I might cry. But I think I agree with Badger. I think I'm compelled to. Otherwise, I'd have to find pairs for all the odd socks in my house and it might take forever.

On the other hand, I do always make sure my kids toys are always in pairs and sitting or lying comfy-ly together when I tidy their rooms. I always worry in case they get lonely!

03 May, 2007 10:14  
Blogger Böbø said...

Awwwwwwww + Arrrrgh = ♥♥♥

I notice the socks aren't hanging facing the same way. I notice that though similar, they are not identical.

My socks share a Star Trek style space-time continuum with a Parallel Universe. Their eccentric visits to it used to distress me. But now I own my insecure attachment and abandonment scare. They have a right to exist multi-dimensionally and I'm just lucky to have any odd clean sock, ever.

03 May, 2007 10:15  
Blogger Stray said...

Badger - Bless you. Yay! You were first! I shall reassure my odd socks that Badger is at hand to make it all ok :)

Cornish Cowgirl - I love the word verification thing - don't you? Oh I am glad I am not alone in this - it's good to know that you understand. Yes, my socks are all the same - size 3 boys black sports socks. They vary in colour slightly (as hyper-vigilant Bobo noticed, because some are older than others, but I basically have 20 identical pairs and replace them as they wear out about half a dozen pairs at a time :)

l-q-s - Bless! The thought of little paired up teddies brought a tear to my eye. My mum refuses to throw lonely socks away. At the bottom of the washing pile is a slowly growing mass of single socks, waiting, just in case their 'friend' turns up one day. (She does actually say "Friend" in reference to the other sock ... hmmm - I wonder if this shaped my beliefs?)

Bobo - No, there is no need for me to face them the same way. As I said above, they're pretty close to identical, though I do prefer to pair them exactly according to age / fading / stretching. If you're interested in the wider space-time existence of those missing socks, you might be interested in this post from last year, which expands on that important topic.


03 May, 2007 17:18  
Blogger Ms Melancholy said...

When hubby does the washing - which I admit is most of the time - the socks always come out oddly paired and all my socks end up in my son's drawer. I can never find any. He even put my step daughter's knickers in my drawer the other day. I was flattered that he thought I had such a small arse - she is 9 - but perturbed that he thought I owned knickers with days of the week on them. What does that say about him? I am just grateful that he is vaguely house trained and don't complain. We just quietly do a swap around after wash day.

03 May, 2007 21:28  
Blogger Stray said...

Oh Ms M! You must have a very small bum indeed, and a penchant for little-boys socks, like I do.

I couldn't be doing with days of the week on my underwear. There is no way I could possibly wear a 'Monday' pair on a Thursday. The chaos would be too much to bear!


03 May, 2007 21:40  
Blogger Random Reflections said...

Awwwww! I feel really bad for being rubbish at pairing my socks now. I do wear them in pairs, I just usually spend ages in the morning looking for two that match. Perhaps I need to rectify this now, they probably sit in the airing cupboard pining for their other half.

Oh and... You have size 3 feet??

03 May, 2007 23:03  
Blogger Stray said...

Oh RR, I am a mini-person!

Today I lucked it big time in Gap Kids.

I need a new dressing gown for hospital as the wards are tropical and I only have a big heavy winter towelling one. Anyway, £2.99 it cost me in the sale for one lightweight very nice boys age 12 dressing gown.

In most kids stores I am actually age 10, but I wear age 12 because I like things a bit baggy.

I know I know. It sounds ridiculous. But it's true!

And it's cheap, and there's something uncannily ironic about wearing an age-12 boys dressing gown on a gynae ward!


03 May, 2007 23:15  
Blogger brumcunian said...

(Hides chaotic pile of single man washing). I used to have days of the week socks. I would rejoice in wearing a Friday sock with a Saturday sock on a Monday so my feet would feel like the weekend was fast approaching. I don't think they got lonely or missed their day of the week sock counterpart. They were too busy being smug and taking the piss out of Monday socks.

04 May, 2007 13:07  
Blogger PurpleSparkleBright said...

My socks mysteriously commune with Other Socks whilst on radiators. And it doesn't matter how hard I try, I have a certain number of singleton socks, gossiping in the bottom of the sock drawer about their exes. There is lots about socks, here:

13 May, 2007 21:45  

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