We all need them, whether we acknowledge – and even more importantly, appreciate – them or not.
Doris Day parking.
Someone paying your coffee purchase forward.
A rain break when we forgot our hooded jacket or umbrella.
A familiar face in a crowd.
Or, in my case…warm socks.
Yeah, turns out that’s what really does it for me.
As we leave winter behind and look toward spring’s arrival next week, I’m reminded of all the times I cozied up at home with a big, fuzzy pair of socks. It’s a great cure-all, especially after downing a couple in a tent on the street outside of a favorite bar – while it rains and cold radiates through your shoes and up your legs.
It’s a chilling, but necessary evil to maintain some sort of mental health self-care these days. But luckily, these days are becoming warmer!
Another thing that struck me as I was cleaning up my pics, deleting things I didn’t need and putting others into folders that make them no easier to find in the future, was that the women in my life were much better at providing this small comfort to me than I was at accomplishing it for myself.
Go figure, once again women are better people than men. Thank gourd mankind is not limited only to the male of the species or we’d really be rogered, but good.
Case in point: here are some $25 Keen socks that I bought myself five years ago. Wool, tech weave, lifetime guarantee…
…holes in both big toes.
Compare that to these Gas Monkey socks my sister gifted each of her male relatives a few Christmases ago.
Stop judging my chankles. Chrisism: chicken ankles.
Knowing my sister, she’s not dropping $25 on a pair of over-marketed hoopla socks like her frivolous brother. She’s got the money to, but she’s more shrewd than that. These were three-packs, and I bet she got them for $20 or less.
She’s proud of her ability to find a deal. I think this perfectly highlights the Hunter/Gatherer difference between the sexes, too. I find something and jump on it because it looks good. Or good enough. She, meanwhile, looks around and finds the best option.
Maybe it’s not fair to state that as an absolute difference between the traditional caveman era gender roles. Maybe she’s just smarter about her love languages than I am – and mind you, I’m just talking to myself when it comes to love languages. My sister is kind of Oprah, by comparison. At least where socks are concerned.
And then there’s the Crocodile Dundee of warm socks and love languages: my mom.
‘At’s not a warm sock, *this* is a warm sock! – Crocodile Momdee
She used to work at the local Kroger, Fred Meyers, which is an early inspiration for the present day Target and Walmart concept of adding grocery departments to their Big Box everything-but-grocery stores. Only Freddie’s did it the other way: grocery to everything else.
Anyway, over her 20 years there, all us (adult aged) kids looked forward to our annual Christmas stocking stockings. You see, as part of their Black Friday offerings, they did a crazy half-off all socks from some crazy early hour until the store’s normal opening time.
Mom stocked us up.
Because that’s what moms do.
The pair pictured above were part of one of my Christmas care packages during the time in my life when I lived away from my hometown. I remember these particularly well, since they came with a very mom-usual card:
For Those Cold Texas Nights…
So…yeah, my Texas misadventures were back in ’93, which I think must be pronounced 19-friggin‘-93. Meaning these socks that were maybe $9.99 regularly priced, that mom likely got for $4.98 and paid $4.49 for after her meager employee discount have lasted me 28 years.
The secret quality control ingredient is mom.
Jesus, I’ve had these socks over half of my life.
And these stupid socks that people who love me have bought me over the years make me feel as loved and cared for as anything I’ve ever been told or shown. Even knowing they’ve probably long forgotten the gesture, I remember it each time I go to my sock drawer and pull on a pair of chunky heavy socks for an evening in.
It really is the little things.