As we sing Auld Lang Syne and sip mislabeled California “Champagne”, another year comes to a close. Maybe you’re the type of person who makes New Year’s resolutions. Some promise to go to the gym more, eat better, and make themselves miserable while extolling the virtues of pulled muscles and small portions on social media. Many make it a point on January 1st to erase all the numbers in their cellphone of people who will no longer accept their calls. Still others organize their bookcase, removing so-so reads from 2016 in order to make room for so-so reads they’ll mistakenly purchase in 2017.
Me, I rearrange my sock drawer. I start this process on December 31st, so in case anyone asks me to leave the house on New Years Eve, I can tell them that “I can’t. I’m rearranging my sock drawer.” An uncluttered, organized, happy new year begins with an organized sock drawer.
Sometimes we reflect upon the year past and say a last goodbye to family or friends we’ve lost. I find myself doing that now as I say goodbye to my favorite pair of socks. There will be no darning of these well-worn winter warmers, which is a shame but even if I could sew the large hole in the pad, I couldn’t do anything about the threadbare areas at the toe or the heel.
It wasn’t until these well-used foot covers were on their way to the trash bin that I pondered concepts like loss, parenthood, and the meaning of life. Before you think my New Year’s imbibing has reached substance-abuse levels, let me explain. My mother bought me these socks for Christmas over eighteen years ago. Now while receiving a pair of socks doesn’t seem like a bellwether moment, Mom passed away fourteen years ago. She didn’t leave me a summer-house by the lake, or a lock box full of precious stones. She left me loving memories and those socks.
It may have been a subconscious decision by me to put on these blue beauties on December 30th, which was my Mom’s birthday or maybe my feet were just cold. Either way, when I slid them on I recognized, and not for the first time, that they were getting old and were soon going to outlive their usefulness, at least as hosiery. I’m sure some DIY’er reading this can come up with 7 1/2 things to do with old socks but we’re not going there.
For almost two decades, without even realizing it, I thought of my mother every time I put on those socks. You may think “Kire, that’s so sad” or “Kire, that’s so nice” or “Damn, those socks must have been expensive to last almost twenty years.” Knowing my mother they weren’t expensive but I’m sure they were a good value for the quality. On a side note, those socks were damn comfortable. Perhaps that’s all we can hope for. A life that is of quality and damn comfortable.
So to recap: New Year, reflection, loss, parents, life, socks. Got it? Good. Let’s make 2017 our bitch.