“Socks of the Day” was inadvertently born during the early days of the pandemic – that time of fear and uncertainty, when the roads and neighborhoods were suddenly empty of traffic and life, people scurrying to opposite sides of the street in order to avoid each other. The news we were glued to was filled with grimness and foreboding. Toilet paper, alcohol and cleaning supplies were being hoarded. We became shut-ins, or at least as shut-in as we were able to. Any redirection from this great heaviness seemed a welcome distraction.
And so it happened that one afternoon, as I was lying on the couch (which I had dubbed “The Sun Couch” due to the bliss of taking a nap on it while late day sun streamed through the window to warm it), I glanced at my rainbow octopus sock-covered feet resting upon a Hmong fabric couch pillow, and found simple enjoyment in the color and art of it. I took a photo. I posted it on my social media. It seemed to generate some welcome feedback.
Before continuing, I will share here that I have many pairs of socks. Knowing my penchant for “stuff”, this might not surprise many. But the reason for this is pretty simple. When each of your children, your siblings and your friends all happen to gift you a pair of socks for your birthday or Mother’s Day or Christmas, year after year, they accumulate pretty fast and easily. I acknowledge that I enjoy buying a fun pair of socks for myself every once in a while if I see them. This might occur when I am buying a pair for someone else and get one for me too. Add in the fact that I keep things for years. This has allowed for a burgeoning drawer full.
After such a positive response to the octopus socks, I decided to also photograph the pair I was wearing on he following day. They happened to be butterfly socks. As soon as I put them on, I knew these butterflies wanted to be resting on the turquoise and pink cover on the bed in my sewing room. So I walked in there, took a photo and posted it on my timeline again. It provided an odd, if minute, source of fun for a few friends; an easy, silly relief. Thus “Socks of the Day” was officially born.
I could fill pages of this blog with my Socks of the Day. If anyone was really interested, I supposed they could be released in a few in different posts. Some of the ones that attracted the most attention were not necessarily my favorites – as a matter of fact, some of my top preferences elicited barely a response at all. While revealing all the socks, I discovered some of the coolest ones had also been the most worn. They had holes in the heels or toes – they really needed to be discarded. It would have been interesting to see if some kind of art could be created out of them instead of tossing them. Arm warmers. A sock quilt. Something. Of course I never got around to expanding on that idea. It’s been a slow process, but also has afforded the opportunity to winnow them down.
So the daily sock parade continued. The response was fun and heartwarming. “Love your sock show!” “Everyone’s looking forward to it!” “I could never have imagined staying home looking at different socks every day would make me happy”. “It’s about color games. Each one a painting!” “I’m so in love with your sock collection!” “Don’t stop”. So I kept going.
This silly daily event actually became something some people were looking forward to. I began really enjoying doing it too. “Dude. Your socks are killing me.” “FABULOUS!!!!” “You have a flair for creative art and design!!” “Great compositions!” “These are my favorite!”
The photos that happened to also feature shoes garnered their own attention and appreciation. There’s something about a fun pair of boots. They have their fans too. I could do a whole post on boots. “Love the boots!” “I’ll just take those boots though!
As the days dragged on through the pandemic, onward and deep into the winter, I continued to post the Socks of the Day. A day missed seemed to create a bit of disappointment. A strange loyalty to the sock fans out there (or fans of diversion, anyway) was an enticement. And so they kept on….and on…and on. The amount of socks emerging from my sock drawer was akin to clowns pouring out of a clown car. A little bit freaky and a little bit “wow”. They kept on coming. Sometimes I would post multiple versions of the same socks – both while wearing them and also just the socks alone before I put them on.
While this process was happening, some would periodically be pulled out and passed along to my children or a sister (who would not mind having my socks). Simultaneously, packages of socks from friends, fans and family began to appear in the mail or were gifted at occasions, which actually caused an increase in the sock collection, despite attempts to reduce it. Plus, they were all such fun, cool socks! So I kept going with it.
As this continued, people became more entertained, amused, incredulous. I became all of those things too. “The Scream” was a metaphor which embodied the current state of the world, generating comments like “Socks of the Year”, “Pandemic Perfection” and “How appropriate”. Men and women alike were enjoying the socks. It became both pleasurable and challenging to continue to accommodate. Rocking the socks……
As winter moved into spring, the supply of socks began to exhaust itself. Soon it would not be sock weather anymore anyway, which would close this crazy fun chapter. One of my sisters – the same one who has published a few years of “Daeja’s View” for me, took it upon herself to compile a small book of this zany sock collection. What you are seeing here in the blog is only a portion of what is in the book.
I learned a few things about socks as this went along. The discovery that there are actual “sock clubs” where sock fans have a pair of socks sent to them every month from companies that make cool art socks. I don’t think I could handle that kind of situation. Those collectors must have whole dressers full of socks. As it is, I am able to wear (and wear out) my socks as I go along – I think I would find that kind of situation daunting.
Back in my younger days, I used to darn my socks when they wore out. My mother taught me how to do it. Does anyone actually darn socks anymore? This worked fairly well for wool socks. But saving these cute cotton socks like the ones in “Socks of the Day” has not been a success, leaving uncomfortable areas that rub against your shoe, heels and toes. Also I have noticed that some of them wear out a whole lot quicker than the others. Someone knowledgeable about textiles explained to me that thread count, weave and material all make a difference in the quality and life of the socks.
It’s funny how something so small (and odd) can bring a little bit of sunshine into a person’s day. It ended up being a fun, unexpected project over about the course of a year, and I admit it helped keep my sanity. I hope you enjoyed a little taste of it too!