Someone once suggested to me that I commit sock genocide. They said that if I got rid of all my different pairs of socks, all my socks of different colors, materials, hole-placements, and replaced them with a master race of identical white cotton socks, I’d never again have a problem assembling matching pairs after doing a load of laundry. Any sock would match any other sock and so laundry day would be considerably less frustrating. I thought this was a great idea. Unification of socks!
When I got home I walked to my dresser and I stared at my unopened sock drawer with unsound eyes, disturbed eyes. There was some kind of eerie smile on my face. Maybe I giggled madly, I don’t know. Actually I do know: I did. And when I pulled open my sock drawer I made the exact same face as the villain in Raiders of the Lost Ark when he finally pried open the Ark of the Covenent and peered inside. “It is the dawn of a new era,” I said aloud. “And there is no place there for you wretched uncoordinated misfits! Prepare for death!”
But then my crazy-face wilted into the visage of a mother gazing lovingly upon the skid-marks her beloved son generously left behind in his Hanes tighty-whities. I stared at my miserable sock-sty, at all the different colors, styles, at all the frayed edges and the loose threads and the holes, and I couldn’t help but wax nostalgic.
“Aww,” I said with a sigh, my eyes fixed on a brown wooly pair of Adidas-brand socks. “I remember the Christmas I was disappointed I got you!”
So I shook my head slowly, knowing damn well I didn’t have the heart for sock genocide. Some of my pairs are still kinda good. Still sort of comfortable. Some of them don’t even have any holes. I just can’t do it. And if there’s even one pair of socks that aren’t with the program, the proposed master race of white cotton socks would be tainted. For this to work, any and all variation must be terminated with extreme prejudice, and I am neither extreme or prejudiced.
Bottom line: my loyal gang of sock riff-raff stays! My hometown workin’ man socks will keep on truckin’. I support them. I am their Bruce Springsteen.
And then I had a new thought. Seeing as I really appreciated the theory of sock-unification, could I not attempt to apply the same principal to some other area of my life?
And it was all so clear to me. I said to the dust-caked oscillating fan atop my dresser, “Henceforth I will date only one type of girl. Only one genre of girl. I will tolerate no variation. And because of this my life will be much less frustrating!”
People come in specific, reoccurring categories. For any one person—man or woman—there is a whole legion of doppelgangers spread throughout the land. Sometimes the same city. The same neighborhood. People with similar body types, similar backgrounds, and similar opportunities end up developing similar personalities and ultimately end up making the same sort of decisions, because for that type of person those decisions are the most logical ones to make. People tend to veer towards logic, I find. They buy the same type of car because they have approximately the same amount of money in their savings accounts. They listen to the same type of music based on what’s trendy and hip during their most impressionable years. They get similar hairstyles because those are the sexiest hairstyles, considering their particular head-shape. They wear the same clothes because those are the sexiest clothes for their body-type. Everything falls in line quite nicely, and a person-genre is born.
I’m not immune. Once I came face to face with a Jeep-driving, beard-having, trendy-glasses-wearing, frayed-grey-sweater-donning, drug-period-Beach Boys-listening “me,” and it was like when Michael Keaton met his first clone in the movie Multiplicity. Me and my doppelganger, after staring at each other slack-jawed for a minute or two, quickly delineated borders we were and were not allowed to cross, bars and restaurants and parks we were allowed to continue to visit, and we agreed to make a strong effort never to risk crossing paths again. And then, with “business” finally settled, we smiled lovingly into each other’s eyes and gave each other a firm handshake and wished each other good journey. “May at least one of us make it to the promised land,” I believed is what I said. Or he said. Either way, an important part of me died that day – the part of me that dared assumed I was in any way unique. As hard as I might try to be original, my sad efforts place me more soundly into my own terrible category: “Guy that tries to be unique even though he already knows he can’t be.”
Knowing this disappointing truth about the human condition, and recently having come upon a new cutting-edge Sock-Unification Technology, it wasn’t long before I discovered a way to put the two concepts together in a way that would benefit me.
Skinny, pale, looks like the “girl next door,” dated a suspicious amount of “total jerks,” drives a beaten-up, oxidizing, 1998 Saturn. Okay, I’ll exclusively date that type. I’ll try that type on for size this year. I’d prefer if all of them even have the same name, though that might start to get a little hard to pull off. That’ll be like hitting the five numbers and then the mega-ball too. They can have different names.
Being that I’m not exactly the Michael Jordan of maintaining normalcy, each of these “relationsocks” will probably run its course within a few months, and then I will simply move to the next sock. My tears will dry and I will sort of pick up where I’d just left off. It’ll be a smooth, convenient transition. In time I will have developed a master race of identical, interchangeable ex-girlfriends, and then the true method to my madness will be revealed. If I am heartbroken over the demise of a recent relationsock, I will text all of my ex-girlfriends, looking simply for a clean sock to complete my pair. There’s always one lone sock buried in the drawer somewhere, right? Scrunched up and hidden in some underwear, perhaps?
It’ll be whoever bites first!
Chances are at least one of my ex-girlfriends will have come to regret letting such a nice guy like me slip away, and so we’ll get back together and I’ll have a matching pair again. Since the identical members of my “sock drawer” will all feel like the same person to me anyway. It’ll feel like sort of like my “girlfriend” and I had had a fight but now made up and everything’s back to normal. It will become literally impossible to not be dating the same girl! It’s a relationship that can’t fail!
Damn. It just occurred to me that my Jeep-driving doppelganger probably has a blog of his own. He’s probably finishing up the exact same post as I am right now. Our detailed treaty never mentioned anything about blog content.
Oh well. More exposure this way.
Long as one of us makes it…