Why I Started Wearing Mismatched Socks Every Day

 Photo by  Michael Wright  on  Unsplash

I’ve always been rigid. It used to be much worse. And it was hard to admit. But over the years I have tamed the ugly beast. A little bit.

It’s hard for me to release control. It’s not so much that I like control. It’s more that I don’t trust others to do it the right way. So maybe it is control. But I am actively fighting it.

When you are rigid, it’s a lot. Inflexible, unbending, unyielding, fixed, firm, unchangeable. It’s a wonder I have any friends at all. Rigidity is a curse. It’s not a choice.

But I have made the choice to temper it. As much as possible. A lot of it has to do with reactions. But I have found the smaller things can act as a reminder about the larger task at hand. To loosen the f*ck up.

Why I Started Wearing Mismatched Socks Every Day

Subtleties in life can make all the difference. But they can also go unknown or be overlooked. That’s the whole point of the word subtle — difficult to analyze. And that’s why I like to give myself a subtle reminder every day.

I had been thinking about this little step for years. But I continually rejected the notion because matching is like a rigid person’s wet dream. It just feels so right. Even though nobody even knows or cares.

There is even a mismatched socks company. I used to get my daughter socks from there. She only wore them a couple times. Probably because she has my genes. Sometimes I wish there were personality traits I could choose to eliminate as a genetic burden on my children. Rigidity is one of them.

So I started.

I went into my perfectly organized sock drawer. Curated courtesy of Marie Kondo and the KonMari Method. Damn, it looks so nice. With all the pairs lined up and rolled in a way where I can see them all. It’s f*cking hot.

This is what gets rigid people going by the way. Organization. Tell me how you alphabetized your books in your Match profile and I am trying to connect. With a list.

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“If you want to change the culture, you will have to start by changing the organization.”

— Mary Douglas

Read that quote above again. It’s not what was intended for. But it really fits.

So I started. Really this time.

And I paired a blue and white striped sock with a royal blue sock with light blue polka dots. What’s that you say? Big f*cking deal. Congratulations on your “achievement.”

Why This is Harder Than You Think For Someone Like Me

It is an achievement. For someone like me. Let me give you a few examples:

  • When I go into the doctor’s office waiting room and a painting is crooked, I fix it. The receptionists always laugh. But I wasn’t laughing. That crooked painting was really f*cking bothering me.

  • When someone picks up a photo in my house and puts it down in a different spot, even if ever so slightly to the right, I move it back. Unbeknownst to them. Because they are the type not to pay attention to my orderly ways.

  • All my pens face the same way in my jars. Points down.

  • When I was a prosecutor, my friends would get in earlier than I would some days, on purpose. (P.S. — this meant like 4:30 a.m. so you know we liked to mess with each other.) And they would rearrange things in my office to see if I noticed. Haha. Of course I did. The one file going the wrong way. The pencils with points up. The cup holder on the wrong side. Bastards.

    Are you starting to get it?

 Photo by  Samuel Zeller  on  Unsplash

This looks brilliant. With its numbered binders looking back at me like I am their long lost father.

But you know what p*sses me off about this photo to the left?

Number 210 on the top row. The tan binder among a sea of black ones. Who did this and why?

There are others that annoy the sh*t out of me too:

214 for those messy lower labels

230 for its off color

224 for being so damn skinny

243/244/245 for all reasons that are so f*cking obvious

248 because there is white in the hole

There are more, but I’ll stop.

Do you see why putting on mismatching socks is good for me?

Why The Mismatched Socks Are Good For Me

It forces me to be technically disorderly. And that is pushing my personality tendencies in the right direction. And that is what I want. I want to make myself grow. With small steps.

I was sitting on jury duty the first day I did this. And when I would cross one leg out of boredom in the box, I would see the mismatch. And it made my happy. It made me proud.

Yes, the minutia in life of wearing two different socks made me proud. Guilty as charged.

“I’m also a fan of ridiculously coloured and patterned socks.”

— Daniel Radcliffe

But Harry Potter probably doesn’t wear mismatched ones. I do. And it helps me be less rigid.