I’ve been writing about dating for the last three years plus and you’d think I’d have it somewhat down by now. But sometimes, especially nights like tonight, I feel like one of those lonely socks that tumbles out of the dryer and sits on the bed, just waiting to be matched, as all the other socks find the other half of their pair.
Approaching 33 this year, I’m ecstatic for all my friends that are pairing off. It’s as if two magical, mystical, mysterious hands are plucking them up, laying them next to their match, rolling their ends together and placing them in the happyland of socks neatly tucked away into domesticity. What they end up doing in there I’m not so sure – I’m still laying here waiting to find out what awaits in that sock drawer mysteryland; on the outside looking into the land of frolicking, happily-matched socks.
On nights like tonight when I realize how unmatchable I may be, I like to imagine myself as an argyle knee sock, purple with triangles of blue and green and just a hint of orange. Glaringly obvious as to what is NOT a match, I’m open to another sock that compliments my thrift store individuality, but white tube socks and black dress socks just don’t seem to cut it.
And still, just when I start to feel sorry for myself, I look around at all the other unmatched socks. A red lace topped dress sock, an athletic sock accidentally-dyed pink, a teal toe sock with the pinky toe missing and an ankle sock decorated with dancing Santa Clauses. We’re a ragtag bunch, but the stories are interesting and varied and there’s not a dull one in the bunch. Maybe we haven’t found our match yet, maybe we never will, but the stories we have to share, the support we offer one another and the absolute pageantry of our patchwork assembly is something to hold in awe.
A veritable community of unmatched socks, I know I wouldn’t trade them for a bland or awkwardly made pairing. We’re what’s left from those first few decades of dryer loads tumbling out and being sorted – some, like me, were matched early on and then thrown back to try again, to find a better fit.
It’s somewhat comforting to know that whoever I do end up being matched with will likely be a “throw back” – someone who it took a few tries to find aesthetic synchronicity in nestling into a sock-rolled bunch. A hole here, a bleach stain there, a few frayed edges all around. That actually sounds like a perfect match for me.
And until he comes flying out of the dryer, proud in his scarecrow sockness, I’m happy to watch others find their matches and hang with my ragtag community of unpaired socks.