Saturday, September 04, 2010

Rentrée Moments

Some people are organised. They get everything prepared the day before. Bags are packed, clothes are laid out neatly, even ironed neatly. They wake serenely on time and waft about in a relaxed state of well-being and happy anticipation.

However, I don't know anyone like that. Including myself. Especially myself actually. My youngest went back to school on Thursday. On Wednesday I asked him if he wanted me to take him to school the next day. Affirmative. I didn't think about anything else really because he had no list to prepare, and it's still summer; he's been rampaging about in summer clothes for the last 2 months and the weather wasn't set to change. Except it did. So he needed socks.

Socks. I bought him 10 pairs back in June. That's 20 socks. Disappeared, evaporated, spontaneously combusted, dissolved in the washing machine, blown away on the wind, left behind chez daddy, grandparents, campsites, holiday homes, cars, trains... who knows! We found 1. One sock, not one pair. This was at 8.15am.

I didn't panic, I got annoyed. This is a great way to start the rentrée, getting annoyed with one's darling youngest on his first day back at school when he'll be starting a new class, new teacher with new stuff to get used to. Maybe he'd been feeling apprehensive. Maybe he'd have liked to have a quiet discussion on the finer points of integrating a new classroom.

Maybe, but he didn't get either. He got shouted at instead. How can 19 socks disappear? This has to be one of the worst cases of Disappearing Socks ever. Many people are mystified at socks going into a washing machine in pairs and coming out as singles, as though some massive Entity of Separation splits them asunder and consumes one out of every two. We have a more evil Entity at work which operates outside the washing machine as well as inside it.

The Sock Absorber and Evil Sock Asunderer have obviously been targeting my youngest's footwear. It's the only explanation I can come up with for such astonishing loss.

In the end, we found an old pair of white socks so he was able to go to school with comfy feet. To celebrate our luck, Ulysse puked an entire dish of food just next to his bowl as we were walking out of the door. The sod.

When I came back at lunch time, my cleaning lady who I'm never sure when she'll turn up, was there. She had cleaned up the puke (hurrah!) and she'd answered one of the great questions of the universe - where do all the socks go?

Under the sofa, apparently.

Not all of them, natch. That would be too convenient. But the sofa draws them in, tucks them away, and keeps absolutely quiet about what's it's doing. I'm now wise to its little ways however. Ha! It won't be getting away with that again, I can tell you!

The rest though, it's still a mystery...


  1. We also have sock thieves in not just the French house but also the new English house. I think they must go down the pipe or something.

  2. I used to be able to blame the dog...but he's given up.
    I hadn't thought about the sofa, but am slightly worried about what poking sticks into its innards might has its' baleful moments, reminding me of the Luggage in Terry Pratchett's Light Fantastic.

  3. FF - there must be some great sock repository in the sky, or in the bowels of the earth!

    Fly - you're right to be worried about poking about inside the sofa. My mother did that and found a cosy rat's nest complete with "Celebrations" sweet wrappers. She thought my dotty dad had eaten them all!
    She had to call in the rat man with a sticky board.

  4. Aargh!
    I'm certainly not going to touch it after that!

  5. Youngest is also good at sock evaporation: there is always a little pile of single socks sitting sadly beside the washing machine hoping their partner might turn up. But I recommend tackling sofas: they may produce some horrors, but they are often the source of loose change which is definitely mine.

  6. Fly - I think it's quite rare quand même! :)

    Hausfrau - Oh yes, loose change, that's a good reason to plunge into the unplungeable!


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