Left and Right Socks

Did you know that until the mid-1800’s, there was no differentiation between left and right shoes? This seems odd, especially if you’ve ever carelessly, without looking, slipped a pair of shoes on “the wrong feet.” You can immediately feel the discrepancy.

Not true with socks. You can grab a pair of socks in pitch blackness, thrust your feet into them, and you’re good to go.

Unless you’re my husband.

One morning I watched my new husband dress for the day. He carefully flattened a pair of socks out on the bed, and I asked him what he was doing.

“I’m find which is right and which is left,” he explained.

“But they’re socks,” I pointed out. “There is no left or right with socks.”

“Yes there is,” he insisted.

“But when I do laundry I just grab a matching pair without checking. What if 2 lefts are paired up?”

“I go through the drawer til I find a right,” he said.

I”m not the only to find this odd because, as coincidence would have it, Ann Landers wrote a column about this very thing shortly after this (circa 1986-87). I wish I had saved that column. I was happy to know I wasn’t the only one with a spouse whose socks must go on the right feet.

I was reminded of this recently when I got a free 3-pack of socks (one pair pictured in this post) with words printed across the toes. Now THERE is a case to be made for socks on the right foot, since I’m just neurotic enough that, to switch them out, would drive me nuts.

We all have our own proclivities and idiosyncrasies. They’re what make us unique. Without them, life would be as boring and uncomfortable as wearing shoes on the wrong feet.

And in the case of some people, the same goes for socks.

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