“My socks aren’t matching. It’s that point in the laundry cycle,” I fibbed to Dustin yesterday, as if laundry has anything to do with my occasional habit of sticking it to the man by refusing to follow his Byzantine sock laws. “I noticed,” said Dustin, with just a hint of judgment in his voice. “And you have holes in one of them.” I pretended to find this surprising—as if I hadn’t been feeling the inside of my shoe making direct contact with my skin in four places earlier that day. Then Dustin revealed that he’d once spent a night at home darning socks and waiting for the permanent to set in his hair. Then he drew lines up the back of his legs while sipping on bathtub gin. I didn’t even know you could darn socks. I figured you just wore them till they disintegrated and then threw them out. “But aren’t you left with a very little sock?” I asked. Apparently the sock’s stretchiness allows for the darning though. Still, there’s something depressing about the idea of sewing up the holes in a sock. I prefer to indulge myself by never coming face to face with a needle and thread. In fact, I’ve watched various men sew buttons in my presence and felt like something less than a true woman upon realizing they were better at it than I. Which is not to say that I didn’t once take a sewing class where we made skorts and then made scrunchies with the leftover fabric, because I did.
“We had to do it in the army,” explained one guy. It was yet another reason I’d have been terrible in the military. But I know there will probably come a day when, under duress, I will have to sew a button or a sock. I hope there’s a serviceman nearby.