It’s ten to nine on a Monday morning, and I am thinking about work, of course, not sitting sockless, typing away about my barefooted state, making myself late. That would just be silly.
However, it is raining outside and I need to wear my boots and I CAN’T FIND ANY SOCKS. I’ve decided to blame my stepson, whose feet fairly recently grew to the same size as mine, at the same time as my socks began to disappear. It’s only logical to blame him.
I tried buying pink socks, trainer socks, stripy socks – socks that were very clearly distinguishable from his own, grey socks. It didn’t work. He is comfortable wearing pink, and if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s MY socks he’s wearing I would think that that was a good thing, showing that he is not fenced in by strict gender roles.
I tried complaining loudly about people stealing my socks. ‘It’s not me,’ he said. I tried hiding my socks, but then I couldn’t find them either. I mentioned at the dinner table that I had a nasty foot fungus which was really catching, especially by sharing socks. But still, every pair of socks I bought disappeared within a week.
Where were they all going?
The answer came to me a couple of weeks ago.
‘Time to go now, get your shoes on!’ yelled his Dad early in the morning. My stepson heaved his heavy schoolbag onto his back, and hunted around for socks – he couldn’t find any and running up two flights of stairs to his room was out of the question, so he grabbed a random pair from the dirty laundry.
‘Ew. They’re mine!’ I said ‘caught you!’ but as he ran out of the door, I thought about him for the first time, rather than my sockless state. I thought about his life, in which he is constantly on the move, shuffling belongings from one location (his mum’s house) to another (ours). He gets so confused that he now carries ALL of his schoolbooks in his bag every day, to avoid forgetting anything. His rucksack is bulging and he gets backache. Socks are the least of his worries. He now has a drawer in the living room full of clean socks which we replenish regularly; maybe a considerable amount of them end up at his other home and don’t return, but it’s one less item he has to think about and worry about carrying on his back every day.
As for me – it’s 9.10am, I’m still sockless, my stepson hasn’t been here for days so I can’t blame him, and I’m now well and truly late.
(next instalment: my daughter steals all my make up)