We don’t know where they go, but we know they’re always disappearing there. Is there some kind of vortex created within the whirl of hot air and tumbling wet clothes that exists within the dryer? Or perhaps within the washer there is some form of strange kraken-like creature that exists that eats them, and only the left one. Whatever the case, it is an inevitable fact of life that somewhere out there exists an ever-growing pile of missing left socks, and Lost Sock Memorial Day is your opportunity to mourn your dearly departed foot warmers, wherever they may be.

History of Lost Sock Memorial Day

History? There needs to be a history? If so the history stretches back through the history of knitted footwear through every culture and nation until it finally disappears at that most glorious (and yet soon to be vexing) moment when the first pair of socks was created. The first Lost Sock Memorial Day was held two days later when Og failed to find the sock his cavemother-in-law knitted for him, doubtless it had been eaten by a mammoth.

In the 8th century, socks were made of matted animal hair, and called piloi. Maybe the animals they used were envious of how beautiful their old hair looked wrapped around human feet, and their ancestors have been stealing the socks in the dark of the night ever since. About 1,000 years later, the Romans were the first to use woven fabric to cover their cold little toes, but inevitably, one floated away each time they took their clothing down to the river to be washed. 

Socks have that unique trait amongst all our adornments that they are rendered utterly useless without their companion. Not only would you look ridiculous wearing only a single sock, but your other foot would be cold! So lost socks are a serious problem! So serious, in fact, that some scientists have performed studies to evaluate how many socks are really lost each year; with estimates as high as 1.3 socks creeping off to neverland each month! At that rate, there is a whole community of lost socks in some other dimension, holding missing sock memorials themselves. 

If you want to make sure you always have a matching pair of socks, sleep in them! We can’t promise a sock eater won’t come and tickle them off in the middle of the night, but if you make it through the night without that happening, you’ll also have a better night’s sleep, since socks help encourage healthy blood flow to your feet, and actually help keep you asleep. Now that’s a win-win situation: a healthy night of sleep with at least one matching pair of socks to your name.  

The concept of the ‘lost sock’ is so ubiquitous that in Terry Pratchett’s Disc World series of novels, a creature called the Eater of Socks was birthed into existence as a result of an excess of belief rolling around. 

There are countless children’s books illustrating the disappearing socks. Take, for instance, Land of the Lost Socks by Neira Williams, in which a pair of socks fight against sock-bullies to find their way back together, or The Sock Fairy by Bobbie Hinman and Kristi Bridgeman, where the disappearance of lonely socks is explained by a mischievous and magical creature who is responsible not only for taking individual socks but also responsible for the occasional toe hole. Sock holes are certainly not caused by wear and tear, or the occasional long toenail, so it must be that darn sock fairy! 

Comics have been made illustrating the missing sock monster, illustrating them eating, hoarding, and even wearing all the socks lost throughout the world. Other simple comics show large missing sock posters at laundromats, and people putting up surveillance cameras to keep an eye out for the disappearing sock perpetrator. 

Lost Sock Memorial Day is a chance to spend some time in contemplation as to the ultimate destination of the world’s missing socks.

Celebrating Lost Sock Memorial Day

Well first you can sit down and come up with some wild conjectures as to what happens to your socks at the end of the day. Then you can start coming up with ways to prevent this from ever being a problem again, just like this mom did! There’s no reason to just sit down and take it when your socks go missing, fight back with clever ideas and technology! 

If you can’t beat them, join them: consider only wearing solid white or solid black socks, so if you lose one, you still have a matching pair in the drawer, even if it weren’t its original twin. That way, your feet stay nice and cozy, and you’re not stuck with one plaid sock and another polka dotted one. And, if you’re still unsure where your socks go, check behind the washer and dryer. They might just be lurking there, along with bundles of dust bunnies and lint to keep them warm. 

Whatever you do, don’t leave a single sock out at night; that’s just asking for a sock monster to come and grab it, and you’ll be mourning your newly departed sock all over again tomorrow. 

However, we don’t suggest folding them together when washing them, that just winds up with still dirty socks, but at least you’d have a whole, albeit dirty, pair of socks… at least until the next time they go through the wash.

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