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I was doing laundry today and realized a benefit of having children that do their own laundry, other than the obvious, is that I no longer have any missing socks to contend with.

I know!  It’s like a when Goober was invented and your kids thought you were the genius for putting the peanut butter and jelly in the same jar so they didn’t have to.

I was apparently really excited about this. (The sock revelation, not Goober. Although, I do have my own jar of peanut butter now that is neither jelly based nor generic, which is also pretty cool.)

I couldn’t seem to concentrate on anything else when I sat back down to my laptop except mateless socks, so here is the randomness that resulted from that thought wave. 

Plus, you’ll probably say Goober a lot for the next few minutes. You’re welcome.

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And We Wait

Throw away the socks, you tell yourself. You know the ones.

The tireless and lost that haunt each laundry day. Single and alone they appear slowly at first – one then two then three… eleven.

All shapes, sizes, and colors. Loneliness knows no limits.

Listless, they await the day they will reunite with their mates. You wait too. You wait… and wait…

…and wait.

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Pairless, sad, these stockings we’ve placed aside.

Some are gray with age. Some are broken, ripped at the sole from hard living.

[ Because your kids refuse to wear shoes outside to play even though you’ve told them time and again… Ahem. ]

Some are mockingly bright in color and whole. Only a few short days separates them from the memory of being first worn side by side with their mate, hope alive in their softness.

…and so we wait.

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Those left behind take solace in the heat of the dryer to warm their broken souls.

Sadness abounds, patience the only virtue.

Week after week staring at the fluorescent sun from the bottom of the laundry basket.

But, how does such pain come to be they cry?

…and they wait.

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There are legends! Stories of sock eating dryers that attack at random and without remorse.

Fits of heat driven madness, (apparently) consumed by rage.

Some say its misdirected fury at the lack of gum, crayon, or Chapstick to melt with glee.

So they steal the strips of cloths. And leave the survivors to wonder alone…

And wait.

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Others blame the relentless swishing of washers that whisk away only the most favorable of the crop.

We reach our hand in grasping at air then peer at the starry slate walls – wary.

The dark holes enlarge and then shrink again in our gaze. We blink.

We slam the lid, admitting defeat, eyeing the dryer with caution.

And then we wait.

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We return the widowed stockings again and again through “the cycle”.

Foolish dreams of a spontaneous reunion.

We hope that somewhere from the depths of the Whirlpool, from across the lands of Maytag…

But, no. These are myths.

And so we wait.

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We know that their mates are (most likely) somewhere in the house. Quests unimaginable that have separated the pairs.

Puppetry, the saliva of animals, the mismatched pairs stowed away in dark drawers – unknown atrocities!

We can only pray that the wayward missing have taken refuge under a bed or behind a dresser.

And we reassure ourselves that they will someday return.

So we wait.

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Occasionally, a pair is reunited.  Joy! We are briefly encouraged and begin searching drawers, closet floor… Alas, the search is arduous and uncovers more than we were willing to clean in one day.

We sadly hold the strays, wondering briefly if we should abandon the cause entirely.

Hesitantly, we toss them back to their lonely pile.  Summer is approaching and there will be lost sandals and flip flop. We sigh.

And we continue to wait.

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The forgotten mateless of winter return to memory as the autumn leaves begin to fall.

We sort and sadly remove the most aged or no longer fitting.

And yet we still don’t give up hope. The mates for the lost will return someday!

Hope is the beacon, compelling us to keep our faith… and a pile of mismatched socks.

And so we wait.

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