Socks: I love you

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Smart Wool socks

I really love good socks. I L-O-V-E socks. Everyone gets socks from me in their Christmas stockings, I look at socks online, in stores, and at booths, and I talk about socks all of the time. I really love quality socks. I know that a lot of people like funky designs on their socks and I like that too, but a well-engineered sock gets me excited!

A well-engineered sock has features–features that solve problems. After all, socks were invented to solve problems, right? Socks were invented to keep your foot from blistering in your shoes, as well as keeping your shoes from dying a pitiful, uncleanly death from foot perspiration.

A poorly-engineered sock is truly irritating, both literally and figuratively. Poorly-engineered socks have caused many toddler meltdowns from my oldest son who is now 34 years old, and I am still suffering PTSD over one of those episodes. They also twist on your feet while you are walking, or they slip down under your heel. They also make your foot uncomfortable because they are too small, or too large. The yarn that they are woven with might suddenly break, creating holes. The type of yarn might not provide breatheability, or warmth. The weight of the yarn as well as the pattern of the sock might be too thin, or too thick.

You can see that we don’t give sock designer-engineers enough thanks. A perfectly engineered sock should come in sizes — Germany does that particularly well. I can get a sock that is just right for my foot, for my husband’s foot, and my giant-of-a-middle son’s foot. I can’t easily do that in the U.S.

The U.S. does have an excellent wool sport sock that is washable and durable. I do absolutely love this brand of socks, and I in no way have been compensated to feature this brand. I love this brand because of how well it is engineered. After I sat on the plane next to a designer for this brand, I really started believing in this brand. It is a pricey sock for the average person, however, these socks are durable, comfortable, and convenient to use. All of those factors reduce the overall cost of this sock. The brand is local to Coloradoans, it is sold at Nordstrom as well as from their own boutiques and online. It is Smart Wool — the perfect name for this product.

I hurt my foot over a week ago here in South Africa, where it is winter, and chilly, and uncomfortable. Part of healing my foot is wearing my comforting Smart Wool socks. They provide support, warmth, and since I purchased them in happy colors and designs, they lift my spirits a little. Also, these socks aren’t the thick wool socks that won’t fit into your shoes. These socks fit, stretch, and launder. I have many other socks that I love, and maybe I will write about them — especially my cotton athletic socks from Germany. But right now, I am grateful for my comfy wool socks.

 

P.S. I will debrief my 5-week packing for this trip when I get home. Lessons learned and successes to celebrate!

 

Leaving Crazytown

It makes me happy to see a resident of Crazytown taking the actions necessary to move out. After all, moving requires preparation and work. No one wakes up one morning and says, I’m moving today, and successfully changes from point A to point Z. I love this resident and have been coaching him to move out for years. At first, he just didn’t believe he was living in Crazytown. Crazytown was hip, it was where all of his friends lived. The nightlife was exciting and unpredictable.

He went through a phase in which he couldn’t make Crazytown work for him — so he wanted funding. Just help with a computer. Help with a couple of bucks for food. Help for heating. He needed socks. That went on for a few years, punctuated by bouts of shouting, crying, outrage, anxiety–the whole emotional rollercoaster at the carnival.

Next, he drowned his sorrows. He self-medicated. He destroyed relationships without acknowledging his rage. He blacked out. Often. One year, the day before Thanksgiving, he called me. Someone had broken into his apartment and left the deadbolt (which had been pried off completely) in the middle of the living room floor. In the living room had been two laptops — his and his girlfriends. His laptop had been stolen — his whole means of making money as a DJ. His girlfriend’s laptop hadn’t been touched. Apparently, the thief had entered his room, and stole a pair of his very expensive hipster jeans — waist size 28. He was so drunk, he didn’t hear someone steal his pants! The worst part, in those pants was his Louis Vuitton belt, still threaded through the belt loops.

Out of curiosity, how many thieves can actually wear a size 28 skinny jean? I mean really? I’ve seen meth addicts who couldn’t fit into those jeans — they were like leggings!

Anyway, this seemed to be the Crazytown cycle. Get to “rock bottom” and quit drinking/drugging. Go to church one week in a row. Feel better for two weeks. Repeat.

Girlfriends lasted about 2 years and then moved on.

And then the big 30 began to loom on the horizon. After 9 years, he was still cycling, still living behind the 8 ball — worse than paycheck to paycheck. Less than zero, less than zero, when it came to his budget. Light began to dawn, and the false shine of Crazytown looked cheap, like the fake gold that peels off of a plastic dish. The disguises were frayed, filthy, and cracked. He quit drinking. For weeks, over two months. He was clear headed and began making good choices.

He is packing his bags. He is serious this time. He is moving. He is not perfect, there has been a short lapse and a quick revisit to his own self-tortured agony. But with that, a renewal of commitment, and a fresh perspective of why.

Why do we do what we do?