Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Sock Monster

We have a monster that lives at our house. His name is "Sock Monster". He even has descendants, they're called "Spawn of Sock Monster". Sock Monster is invisible but leaves traces of himself behind frequently. I'm the one who has to pick them up. I call this invisible creature "Sock Monster" because the presents he leaves me are dirty socks. Usually I find them by my husband's favorite chair, sometimes the socks get folded up in the footrest of the said recliner. The poor socks always look so tired and worn out, like they have been worn all day. The Spawn of Sock monster are not always found in the same place, they seem to get around a little more easily than their creator. Sometimes I find them under the dining room table!

I used to complain about picking up Sock Monster's leavings. But then a dear friend, who didn't have a Sock Monster living in her house anymore, reminded me that the gifts that Sock Monster left me really were reminders that he was around and was really thinking sweet thoughts of me. That didn't make much sense to me until I realized that her Sock Monster had died a few years ago, and the Spawn of Sock Monster had long since grown and moved away. She had chosen to see the leavings in a more positive light than I had. At first I didn't really like her words! I told her that she must not have had as prolific a Sock Monster as I did! I mean really, one day I picked up no less than five gifts from Sock Monster!! But, then I decided that my response to Sock Monster was a response that I would make depending upon my own attitude. (hate it when I learn stuff like that!!) Truly though, she had a very valid point and I'm grateful that she shared her positive outlook with me. Since then, I can't say that I look forward to Sock Monster's gifts...but I do see the gifts as more than just dirty socks now.

But, then yesterday happened! I awoke to the usual stillness of the morning. My husband had already gone to work and the children were still snuggled in their beds. I wandered into the kitchen to turn on the tea kettle. I looked out the window over the kitchen sink to see the hummingbirds and other morning creatures. I glanced over the sink...but then had to quickly look more closely into the sink to figure out what the mass of dark wetness I saw there was. There was nothing on the counter, nothing in the sink, nothing on the floor, all was clean.....but for the lonely mass in the sink. Perhaps you may be able to guess by now that I saw socks in the sink. However, I'm sure that you wouldn't have guessed the state of the socks. They were folded together (just the way my mom taught me) sopping wet, and draped across the sink divider. I picked them up to make sure that I was actually seeing what I thought. My mind fleeted backwards over all the gifts Sock Monster, and even Spawn of Sock Monster, have left me over the last 16 years. Never had he left me a gift like this. I was completely baffled about what could have caused this gift and the wretched state it was in. Poor Sock Monster! What on earth had happened to him??? All day long the children and I invented all kinds of stories about why and how Sock Monster's gift had come to be soaking wet. I meant to ask my husband if he had heard any unusual sounds in the night, or seen anything strange on his way into bed the evening before. But, my day got ahead of me and I forgot to ask him when we chatted quickly on the phone mid-day.

When my husband came home from work we discussed dinner and then he went upstairs to change clothes. By now, I had completely forgotten poor Sock Monster! As my husband returned to the kitchen he shyly said to me, "So...did you see my wet socks in the sink this morning?" I quickly looked at him and said, "Yes! We did! All day long we wondered what in the world had happened. We thought perhaps Sock Monster had actually drowned....or something!"

The story he told me was this: You may recall that I had posted that we are trying funny new ways of being green. One of them is to put an empty bucket in the shower to catch the water in as the shower water heats up. When the water is hot, we take the bucket out and then proceed with the shower. The collected water then is used to water a few plants. My dashingly handsome husband had done this for his morning ritual Wednesday. After he had gotten dressed, he put his socks in his pants pocket--the front one--and then picked up the bucket and gone on with the bucket down to the kitchen. As he opened the door to the deck to set the bucket out for me to water the plants later.....his socks fell right into the bucket with a sad little plop.

So, now we knew how Sock Monster's gift had gotten ruined. I must say that we had come up with better stories. I certainly hope that the poor Sock Monster is not so embarrassed by this one ruined gift that he doesn't leave me more gifts later!

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