My Apologies to Merche

Here is an email that I just received from Anna, my daughter who is studying at the University of Barcelona this semester:

My host mom folds my laundry, like you and Dad do at home. She said, “Look none of your socks match! Where are the others?” and I said, “Oh, that happens at home, too.”

Aside from the sad fact that my husband and I actually DO fold her laundry when she’s home from college, there’s a more serious problem afoot (excuse the pun) here — apparently the sock disappearance phenomenon is an international occurrence.

I suddenly feel such a connection to Merche, Anna’s host mom in Spain, who is a mother to a grown daughter and grandmother to 6-month-old Oscar. I want to ask her if her daughter’s socks used to go into the washing machine together and come out as a single sock. What about little Oscar’s socks? How does that happen?

I had hoped that in Barcelona, the problem would correct itself. They don’t wear shoes in the house, but neither do they parade through the house barefooted. Anna wears slippers in Spain. So, logically, I thought perhaps she would take off her shoes and socks and keep the socks together, unlike at home, where shoes might come off at the door, while socks come off in random places, usually in different rooms.

My husband has tried to remedy the sock disappearance issue by folding his socks together before throwing them into the laundry basket. Somehow, he still comes out with single socks. He’s also tried the two extremes of sock-buying – choosing socks with unusual colors and designs, or getting socks that are all alike. It doesn’t seem to matter, they all end up alone.

Sometimes I envision all the lost socks in some gigantic sock whirlpool, like those plastic bags out in the ocean. This may not seem like such an enormous problem, but maybe it’s worth some scientific study. At the very least, an answer to the lost sock issue could bring some relief to moms all over the globe.

Categories: Editor’s Blog