Most of my socks have holes in them. Every time I need a pair of socks, I have to go through this giant pile, they all look identical, and I have to try to match a sock that’s equal to another sock. It’s my own fault, I’ve dug myself a pretty nice sock hole here. Every time I go to Costco, I buy another pair of socks. Right out of the package, these socks are great, the elastic is really snug, the fabric firm. But after a month or two months of use, they get a little thin.
And so my problem is more than just socks with holes. My problem is that I’ve been buying new socks every month for the past two years or so, without ever having gotten rid of any of the old socks. I’ve got a huge pile of socks, all with varying degrees of wear and tear. When I’m trying to find a pair of socks, I’m laying them all out, and again, they all look exactly the same, so I’m trying to feel a seven-month sock against a five-month sock, and then after going through twelve or thirteen potential pairs, I finally get a good three-month to three-month match, but then I put them on and the left one has a premature hole, and so I’ve got to throw it out and start from scratch.
All of my pants smell really bad. I’m six four and I have a thin waist, so buying pants isn’t the easiest. Every time I go to a clothing store, I always try on a pair of jeans. On the rare chance that there’s a decent waist-to-length combination that actually makes it all the way down to my feet, I’ll always buy them right there.
But I can never put them in the dryer. Clothes shrink, jeans especially, and I’ve learned the hard way that the only way to ensure that right-from-the-store fit is to make sure that they never go in the dryer. So how do I get them dry? I have to hang them up in the basement. And for most of the year it’s not a problem. I take them out of the wash, hang them up, and then a day later they’re dry.
But it’s been so wet lately, so rainy and humid and gross. I’ve been trying to wash my pants for weeks, but every time I leave them to dry, I come downstairs the next day and they’re still kind of wet. And then I come down a day later and, maybe they’re a little dryer, but they’re still kind of damp. After day three, I need a new pair of pants, and even through they’re not super dry, they’re dry enough, and so I just put them on.
And then I notice that smell. It smells like an old basement. It’s that smell that you get when you put a load of laundry in but you forget to move it to the dryer. So I keep it there in the washing machine for like four or five days, and then later that week I’m out of underwear, so I really need to do another load, but that first load is still sitting there in the dark, wet washing machine. I don’t have any time to run it through again, and so I just throw it in the dryer, whatever, I tell myself, maybe the heat will somehow make things cleaner.
But it never does, it’s gross, that smell is worse than just regular basement. It’s regular wet dirty basement, and maybe I’m in a rush and I’m late for work and so I take a shower and I’m running even later than I thought, and so I don’t have any time, I just grab something to wear, anything, and then when I’m finally out of the house, I finally make it to the subway, it hits me, what’s that smell? It’s me. I stink. I smell like gross dirty laundry that’s been sitting in a wet, dark corner of the basement for a better part of a week. And there wasn’t enough time to match a pair of socks, and so one foot feels great, just really bundled up in that brand new sock feeling, but other one might as well be going commando, there’s a hole at the tip, my big toe can’t stop moving around in there, squirming, trying to fit itself through the hole. And did that guy standing next to me move because he can smell the laundry smell? Is it really that noticeable? Am I really that unpleasant to be around? Of course I am. I wish I could walk to the other end of the subway, but it would just follow me, because it is me. It’s me. These clothes smell horrible. My socks are the worst.