Saturday, June 23, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on February 14th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 17, Issue 50 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 17, Issue 50

Laundry or vortex

Where oh where did Shelly's little socks go?


I’m by no means the first person to complain about missing socks. It’s a problem that parents have struggled with since the beginning of time.

I imagine it would go something like this:

Mother to son: “Wherest are thy cloths, which thou useth to cover thy feet? I seeth only but one bit of cloth.”

Son to mother: *Shrugseth.

It has become something otherworldly in our house, however. The rules of the universe do not permit anyone in our house to own more than two matching pairs of socks. You get your rationed two pairs, and an additional selection of 10 random socks, usually patterned with stripes or colors similar to each other, but not exactly the same.

To remedy this, at Christmas I purchased 20 pairs of socks for each member of the family, and then asked family members to buy socks if they were thinking of giving anyone in my family a Christmas gift. The result was every member of my family became the owner of 30 pairs of socks each—but only briefly.

I then made the ridiculous decision to dump them all into the wash.

Just a few weeks into the new year and we are yet again searching under beds and between couch cushions for socks.

Matching socks are a source of pride—and envy—in my household. If you find a pair, you strut out of the room and put your shoes on in the living room in front of everyone. It’s like, “Matching socks? Lucky!”

This has become such an issue that over a date night with some friends at a fancy restaurant, the talk turned to our sock shortage. Our friend suggested a logical theory: Some socks may occasionally flow out over the washing machine drum and out the drain.

But dozens of socks?

I remembered hearing about a local dog whose owners had taken him to the vet and found that their dog had eaten an unbelievable number of socks. I looked at our 4-pound puppy, Penny, and decided there’s no way. Besides, why would she want to eat socks?

I wish I could say I found an answer to the disappearances. However, I did notice a strange thing happening to the socks I do find. In the heels of each sock I’d find two symmetrical holes. At first I thought it was my son’s shoes, then I began to see the holes in all of our socks.

It wasn’t until the holes began to appear in our underwear that I realized Penny does have a thing for undergarments after all. She was behind the punctures. So now we are not only wearing mismatched socks with bite marks, but also underwear with bite marks.

Apparently, she sneaks the freshly laundered items off of the couch when my sons are folding clothes. And of course, as usual, no one ever sees this happen. Then again, I think they think it’s pretty funny, and they have no problem just folding the partially nibbled clothing and putting them back in the drawer.

Personally, I think my dog is trying to sabotage my self-confidence.

You don’t realize the effect your undergarments have on your confidence until you have to wear a less-than-proper pair, you know, like the kind that makes you remember what your mother said: Always wear good underwear in case you get hurt.

For some reason this advice has always resonated with me. Especially after reading an article in which emergency room doctors talked about the strangest undergarments they’ve seen on emergency room patients. The story that sticks out the most is about the man who was unconscious, and they had to cut off his pants to operate. That’s when they discovered he was wearing women’s underwear with little strawberries on them.

Now if strawberry panties made this guy feel confident, more power to him, but if they didn’t, then that could be an embarrassing situation.

I’ve always thought that just because people can’t see your mismatched socks, or laundry-day skivvies doesn’t mean those undergarments don’t cause clearly visible changes in your personality.

That’s why it was such a problem when Penny started chewing on our underthings faster than we could replace them.

I mean, at least you can get socks in bulk, but underwear? Those things aren’t an inexpensive necessity. And forget about it if you want a pair that has pictures of hamburgers, flaming hearts, or a superhero logo—you’ll pay premium prices. Or I’m just cheap.

Regardless, it’s an embarrassing situation to change at the gym, pull off your cute leggings, and find yourself standing there wearing one vampire-bitten black sock, one athletic striped white one that’s two sizes too big because it belongs to your son, and a pair of underwear with a bite out of the butt.

And not feeling confident underneath it all can affect your poise in other situations too. Last week I had an important meeting and not enough time to search for a pair of power undies, and all I could think was, “I have a dog bite in my underwear,” as if it was the answer to a question about to be asked.

I thought about it so much that I feared the words would actually come out of my mouth like, “Hi Mr. Smith how are you today?”

Mr. Smith: “Great. How are you?”

Me: “The dog bit a hole in my underwear!”

Fortunately for me, I didn’t over share. Also fortunately for me I have a husband, who upon hearing how much it troubled me, immediately told me to get in the car and took me shopping.

Of course, we know from experience that a shopping trip won’t solve our problem with the sock-sneaking puppy, so I’m considering getting a puppy-proof lockbox for the new garments.

Contributor Shelly Cone doesn’t understand why dogs don’t like the chew toys they’re given. Send her dog a new toy through Managing Editor Joe Payne at

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