Monday, August 27, 2007


I was sitting in an early morning breakfast meeting with a potential client, noshing pastries around one of those itty-bitty glass cocktail tables in the hotel lobby, when I looked down at my ankle crossed over my knee.

I was embarrassed to see at least 3-inches of my somewhat hairy but all too fish-belly-white calf shining out beyond the cuff, the sock gathered around my ankle like an old snake skin. I don't know if the client noticed, but I sure felt self conscious and awkward for the rest of the meeting. To make things only slightly worse, when I glanced down at the other foot I realized that I had dressed with one short blue sock and one medium length black.
Cheap socks in a $400 suit ruined the image I was trying to project and ruined my presentation because I became self conscious.
I didn't get the work, but I did fix the problem. I went home and took stock of my sock collection:
  • 24 pair of socks + 5 socks with no matching mate
  • short black socks
  • short brown socks
  • short blue socks
  • long over the calf beige socks
  • medium black socks
  • medium brown socks
  • one pair Argyle socks
  • one pair Christmas novelty socks
(I didn't count the white athletic socks or the white footlets that go with my--euphemistically named--"running" shoes.)
This is crazy, I thought. Who cares what kind of socks a 54 year old guy wears as long as you don't have to look at his calves?
So I took all the "dress" socks, put them in a bag, put the bag in the car and drove to J.C. Penney's where I bought eight 3-pair packages of reinforced toe and heal, over-the-calf, basic black ribbed socks.
Splurge a bit and get the the cotton/stretch nylon/spandex blend for long life and calf hugging abilities (cheap socks will eventually stretch out and fall down, so buy quality:
It's the cheap man who pays the most

  • No more pairing socks after laundry
  • No more matching colors
  • No more matching styles
  • No more pulling up short socks
  • No more exposed fish-belly white calves
  • No more sock problems, period
Look at the socks on the next homeless guy you see, odds are they're too short and miss-matched because I dropped that bag of old socks off at the Salvation Army drop box on the way home
Life's too short to worry about socks.

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