Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Sock Manual

A marriage is generally founded on the following two-part premise:
     a)      Every man – even the best of them – generates a certain amount of dirty socks
     b)      Most of those dirty socks are going to end up on the floor – your nice, clean floor!

Because of this universally acknowledged truth, I have keenly felt the need to develop a Dirty Socks Marriage Manual in aid of all you young wives and wives-to-be out there.

The first thing to understand is: This phenomenon will not change, no matter what you do or say. For generations wives have suffered, raged, prayed, even tried to bribe their men into compliance, but the problem remains, unaltered.

I once read a cute article (if memory serves, which it often does not, it may possibly have been on, but I have absolutely no recollection of who wrote it. Sorry!), wherein the writer described how she had tried various approaches to correct the situation, such as attaching a cutesy Post-it note to a sock, imploring her husband to “Pick me up!”. Dejectedly – inevitably, I would have said – she had to admit that even this humorous strategy had failed. (The funny thing was, though, that when I made an - unsuccessful - attempt at locating this essay again, and entered “dirty socks” in the search engine, I found countless digressions on the topic – evidently, there is a lot of dirty sock pain out there!)

Therefore, I hereby offer a radical approach to the problem; an approach that aims at preserving your sanity and your healthy blood pressure levels:
  • Do not let his dirty socks on the floor spoil your good mood – just smile serenely, turn your gaze Heaven-wards, and (here it comes!) blithely step over them!
  • You may increase the efficacy of this method by humming a little ditty as you step along.
  • Strive to ignore the twitch of duty that might bid you to bend down and retrieve them, while simultaneously ignoring the twitch of rage that bids you to yell your head off and tell him what’s what. Also strive to banish from your mind the highfaluting lines fed to you by rebbetzins, kallah teachers, and such, who may have told you that a good wife always feels it is a holy privilege to pick up her husband’s socks, the dirtier the better; indeed, she feels elevated by it! These ladies weren’t doing you any favors!
  • In a real emergency, such as when his mother is coming to visit, you may kick the offending article(s) under the nearest piece of furniture. Hopefully this will prove to be a bed, but sometimes it might even turn out to be the dining table (floor-length tablecloths are of the essence), or the living room sofa – just ask this experienced wife!
  • There is no cause for concern – if it ever gets to the point that he really wants his socks washed he’ll find them and bring them to you, don’t worry!
  • Don’t nag, don’t even discuss the matter – just try to find the serenity to let events unfold; then shrug your shoulders and smile innocently and say “Oh, really – you don’t have any clean socks? What a shame…” Then snicker quietly to yourself. Having to go to his niece’s wedding in dirty socks will resound more with him than anything you could ever say. In a worst-case scenario, he will find that he quite likes wearing dirty socks, and then you’ll never have to worry again!
  • Never use the word “never” (as in “you never pick up your socks”), because you remember, there was that one time, on your wedding anniversary, when he wanted to impress you, and proudly put three socks in the hamper. Obviously he overlooked the other seven under the bed, but still, you know – he did it!
  • Always avoid the word “always” (“you always leave your dirty socks on the floor”), because you know very well that once he left them in the car instead.
  • Learn to say “Do I know?” and “Do I care?” – but in a loving way.
  • As a last resort, play dumb. You know you know best anyway.
Since I like to spread pearls of wisdom all around, I also want to share with you a great T-shirt that I just read, the message of which seems to be uncannily applicable to the issue at hand:

“L-rd, give me COFFEE to help me change the things I can change;
and WINE to help me accept the things that I can’t!”

Did I ever mention that I drink quite a lot of wine? Serenity now!

Shalom Uv’racha!


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