On the Pleasures of a New Pair of Socks on a Cold Winter Day

I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that when it gets cold, one of the absolute worst things in the world is a pair of lousy, thin, holey socks. In this regard, I’m fortunate to have a decent supply of white athletic socks, most of which are in pretty good shape. These are good for the gym and the grocery store and for general lounging about. For casual activities, they certainly get the job done. But because I work in an office that requires me to wear suits (an incredibly annoying obligation in its own right), five mornings a week I have no choice but to wear dress socks. And it just so happens that almost all of my dress socks have, for quite some time now, been either too threadbare to effectively serve the purpose for which they were intended (warming and protecting one’s feet), or feature massive holes, or, worst of all, exhibit both traits (once a sock reaches a certain level of thread-bareness, holes are soon to follow).

My rapidly diminishing dress sock collection is probably due to the fact that I obtained most of these socks in junior high, and the socks have (understandably) suffered much wear and tear over the last twelve or thirteen years of my life. Sadly, these past few months, during which I’ve been thrust into the ol’ 9-to-5, have not been kind to them. These socks weren’t of a particularly high quality to begin with; they were certainly not equipped to withstand their current twice-a-week-since-September usage rate: the holes that appeared around October have since rapidly expanded. In any event, because I was getting sick of having to traipse around Baltimore day after day in these overmatched and over-worn socks, last weekend I decided to finally bite the bullet and buy some new ones. And buy them I did—eight pairs of decent, reasonably priced Costco dress socks (four pairs for $7.99, if you’re interested in snagging some yourself).

I’m now at work for the first time since the purchase (we had another snow day yesterday), with a pair of fresh socks on my feet, and let me tell you: It’s a joy. I can no longer feel the insides of my shoes scraping through the sock-holes in my heels and toes. My ankles, no longer encased in transparent, threadbare, sock-imitation fabric, remained cozy and warm as I walked from the train station to the courthouse. In an unanticipated benefit, the new sock-elastic has kept my socks high up on my calf all morning, without me having to pull them up even once (the old ones would fall around my ankles every fifteen minutes). The new socks also stretch way, way up there—like, almost to my knees—which adds a certain comic effect. Their design is nice—a subdued plaid of nicely matching brown and tan hues. Much better than the stained monotone of yesteryear. Any way you look at it, there’s just a really good situation happening on my feet.

The point of all of this is just to say that sometimes it truly is the little things in life that bridge the gap between normal Tuesday ennui and having a pleasant day at work. Now that I’ve experienced this sock transition, my next job is to convince Carolyn—whose sock situation is even worse than mine was—that it’s time to make the leap. I’ll keep you posted.

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