This is how we know for sure that the weather here is a bit cooler than we are accustomed to. (And yes I know, I just ended a sentence in a preposition). It's the pile of socks I just matched up when I was finishing up the laundry yesterday.
The key to knowing that the temps around here are cooler than usual is not that I'm wearing a sweater or a sweatshirt. Seriously, that's not the clue. Even on the hottest and most humid and miserable days of August, there are places that I bring a sweater or sweatshirt with me. There are some places, restaurants are the worst culprits, where they crank the AC in a desperate effort to pretend that the temperature outside isn't really 95 with a 98% humidity level. And the over compensate so much that I, and people like me, instead of being refreshed, are frozen. So yes, even in the worst of the summer heat and humidity, there are times when I could possibly be wearing a sweater. So it's not sweater wearage.
And it's not the long pants stacked up in my ironing pile. Nope. Definitely not a sure fire indicator because once the worst of summer is over and it's just normal and lovely out, I am just as likely to wear jeans as shorts and just as comfortable in them. Mostly likely, I will be wearing long pants with a short sleeved or even sleeveless top and sandals (and bringing along a sweater, just in case). I like having more wardrobe options each day. And here, other than the actual worst part of summertime, I have all of my options every day. Shorts, jeans, skirts, dresses, pretty much anything goes. And I love that.
It's not even seeing me wearing closed toe shoes that is the absolute give-away on what our temperatures are here. I often wear sneakers if I am hiking or biking or taking a really long walk. Or I could be wearing a cute pair of close toe flats (I have several). So it's not my footwear choice that is the clue.
Nope, it's the socks.
Generally speaking, unless I am cold, I do not wear socks. I'm not wearing socks with sandals for sure. And not with my cute little flats. And frequently, not even with sneakers. But if I am cold enough to wear socks, I want the kind of socks that cover my ankles. Because to me it's ridiculous to wear long pants, closed toe shoes, a sweater and be toasty warm everywhere EXCEPT the ankles. If I'm cold enough to wear socks, it's winter time in Florida. There it is.
So yesterday I did an enormous pile of laundry of all sorts. Sheets, towels, white and colours. And the last thing I did was match up all of the socks. First I did Tim's. Other than dress socks, Tim wears white cotton sneaker socks. The kind that you cannot really see. And since he wears sneakers 99% of the time, I am accustomed to matching up his socks in the laundry. And it's an easy job because he buys his socks by the giant bagful. I don't know how many pair are in each bag but it's a lot. And the socks are all exactly the same. So "matching" socks is not really what I'm doing. I'm actually just slapping two random white socks together because I already know that they match. They all match.
But yesterday I also had a pile of my socks. Which is unusual. And mine did not come in a giant bag of all the same socks. So mine have to be actually matched. The differences sometimes are minute, I mean, a white sock should be just a white sock after all. But no, there are subtle differences. The thickness of the sock. The length of the ankle part. The colour of the heel (there is a pair of white socks with gold heels in this pile somewhere). One of them has these little puckery bits all throughout. All of them work. None of them are the same. The only thing they have in common is the colour. White.
There is nothing inherently wrong with white socks. Clearly. But I was dismayed to find only two pair of socks in this pile that weren't white. One pair of black & white houndstooth and one pair of well, all sorts of colours and designs - stripes and polka dots both and red, white, blue and tan colours. Both of them were gifts from friends. I was surprised to realize that I only own two pair of socks (regular socks not sleep socks - totally different thing) that aren't plain white.
There was a time in my life, a really long time as a matter of fact, when I owned exactly zero white socks. Every pair of socks I owned, and they were legion, was striped, or polka dotted, or patterned in some way. All of them had colours and personality. I referred to them as "jazzy" socks. I only owned and wore "jazzy" socks.
And thinking back I find it a little odd that I was so particular about wearing such eyecatching socks since the clothing that I chose to wear was anything but. I wore almost exclusively over sized clothes in black, grey and navy blue. I did everything I could to be as invisible as possible. BUT I wore the snazziest socks I could find. As if the socks were my sole form of personal expression. But since I wore shoes or boots the vast majority of the time, almost nobody ever saw them. It's as though I secretly knew that I was silly fun person on the inside but the outside was a plain boring serious person. I was such a weird kid.
And this jazzy sock thing continued well into my adulthood.
I don't remember when it changed. Did I just wake up one morning suddenly repulsed by my brightly coloured and designed socks? Or was it a subtle thing, slowly and subtly moving away from jazzy socks to boring socks? Maybe there was an era when it was hard to find jazzy socks and I was forced, by default, to replace any holey or otherwise worn out socks with plain white ones. I honestly do not know how or why it happened.
In fact, until I was faced yesterday with that pile of primarily boring white socks, I had forgotten about my jazzy sock days. And I also realized that I really liked the fancy ones. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with plain white socks, but boy those patterned and coloured ones are fun!
So I have decided that I am going to make a concerted effort to replace my white socks, as they wear out, with jazzy ones. I don't know how I misplaced that fun silly sock person inside of me but now that I have found her again, I'm not letting go.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.