I think this is very, very, fun

Socks life
Talking of scientific research, I am about to undertake my own. I have been married for three months and I’m already on the brink of a discovery about the workings of the husband mind.

It is my hypothesis that men’s brains change when they marry, which leads to a particularly annoying behavioural trait: leaving socks just next to, instead of in, the washing basket. I genuinely thought this was a weird thing that only my dad did, but my husband does it too. On carrying out preliminary research, other married friends say that their husbands do exactly the same.

I am therefore determined to prove that this is a worldwide phenomenon and readers, I need your help. Do you — or your husband — exhibit the same behaviour? This research could be a huge step forward for society. It could save marriages. My findings will be published in the coming weeks.

2001 and all that
I’ve discovered the best way to be reminded of exactly which generation you belong to: world events. With the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, my mum was talking to me about the change it made to the world. “Everyone felt freer, didn’t they,” she said. “Wait, you weren’t even born then. Oh God, I’m old.”

I’ve found I do the same when I look at kids starting university. “Wait,” I’ll say, “they don’t remember 9/11? But, but, but I can. Oh God, I’m so old.”

I’m sure this has been happening throughout history — “Thou recallest not the day fair Anne Boleyn was slain by a sword? Forsooth, how my years are great” — and will continue in the future. Yet what will the kids of today use as reference points? Brexit? Extinction Rebellion? Barack Obama? No. It’ll be the historic day a giant baby balloon version of Donald Trump flew through the streets of London.

Well, yes, I’m so old I’m on the fifth – maybe sixth – iteration of newly married female columnist raising the socks question. Only another three or four iterations to go I expect.

29 comments on “I think this is very, very, fun

  1. My socks go straight into the wash basket along with everything else that is in need of a wash. Mrs. Stonyground, on the other hand, tends to leave her stuff on the floor so that it needs gathering up.

  2. lots of angst about the pickupartistes but wait till this young journo finds out about the the spouse trainers. Of course they start with the socks near the bin. Baby steps.

  3. Lady Jackfield has an iron rule – “if it’s not in the washing basket it doesn’t get washed!”. Consequently, all one’s togs in need of washing miraculously find their way into said basket.

    “Under the thumb”? Moi?

  4. @BJ

    It’s worse than that. I am capable of distinguishing between those things that have been worn and will bear wearing again from those that will not, and therefore need to go in the basket.

    I suspect that the problem here is combination of
    a) the unwarranted proximity of the washing basket to the pile of the former and
    b) wife’s inability to distinguish between the former and the latter.

  5. I never would have thought that the Pedant-General would wear the same socks two days running! However I do wish it would be possible to erase that thought from my mind

  6. Socks are placed next to the wash basket to prove that there were two of them. Despite this, there will still be one sock which disappears during the wash, at roughly the same time a wire coat hanger mysteriously appears in the wardrobe. In over 40 years of marriage, this occurrence has never been solved.

  7. It’s a relationship or living together thing. My wife confirms that my socks rested on the floor for years before our marriage, and continued to do so after it.

  8. Penseivat

    Once I counted each sock into the machine. Lo and behold, one sock was missing when I counted them out. And yet, three months later, there it was in the sock drawer. I guess socks are one of those lifeforms waiting for their Attenborough moment

  9. A “wash basket”?

    Anyway, as for calibrating age, I have a method that works quite well. Ask people the population of Australia. For example, if they say “eight million” they were at school in the early sixties. It doesn’t work with the sort of obsessives who aim to “keep up” with the population of Australia, mind.

  10. A more significant issue with socks, in my view, is that I bought, some time ago, around two dozen pairs of identical black socks. A few washes later, they had all faded to different colours and shrunk to different lengths.

  11. Funny thing is, her example tends to prove the opposite of what she thinks it does.
    You live on your own, everything goes into the washing basket & you sort out what wants what wash when you wash. You live with someone & you are a bit domesticated, you don’t put your socks etc in with everything else because you don’t want them in a hot wash along with the bed sheets & you might not be doing the wash. Which is what we do here. She does much the same with some of her stuff
    So all it shows is there’s a lot of men who don’t treat their partner as a washerwomen & take more responsibility themselves

  12. Ian Bennett,

    “A few washes later, they had all faded to different colours and shrunk to different lengths.”

    That’s well understood. What gets me is that the very pattern of the weave around the top seems to change as well…

    Diogenes

    “I never would have thought that the Pedant-General would wear the same socks two days running! ”

    I exude only a light cologne.

  13. It is my hypothesis that men’s brains change when they marry, which leads to a particularly annoying behavioural trait: leaving socks just next to, instead of in, the washing basket.

    Lady, you have way too much time on your hands.

  14. “I am therefore determined to prove that this is a worldwide phenomenon”

    Well, I just shit on your parade luv, so to speak.

    In my household ’tis me who puts his socks in the hamper and my lovely wife who leaves them scattered all over the floor.

  15. And never, ever, in the history of time, has a woman’s brain changed after marrying, from wanting sex to not wanting sex.

  16. BiS has it nailed, my missus separates out the clothes from the washing basket into dark and light, so a pile of (dark) socks outside the basket matters very little, you need to think of them as being “pre-sorted”, and get into that way of thinking now, especially if you want a marriage to succeed.

    For the record I always put clothes in the wash basket.

  17. A cynical friend of mine suggested putting a coin in a jar every time you have sex with your wife in the first three years of marriage and thereafter taking a coin out each time. His theory was the jar is never emptied.

  18. I too have seen this routine several times and with each iteration I grow more jealous of households in which stray socks sitting in close proximity to their proper destination is such a priority that it warrants comment.

    Anyone know of a “I Thought I Was the Slob When We Got Married” support group?

  19. It is my hypothesis that men’s brains change when they marry

    Reminds me of the joke about Greek* women (insert nationality of choice) who put on a pound in weight with every step down the Aisle.

  20. I calculate my age by the ever growing collection of articles I’ve collected as evidence of why there are so few female stand-up comedians to which the original article this post was written about shall be added. God, I’m feeling old.

  21. @Stonyground November 12, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Snap. Mrs Pcar aka Miss Messy is the same

    @dearieme November 12, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Population – good observation

  22. Sami said:
    “Anyone know of a “I Thought I Was the Slob When We Got Married” support group?”

    Not found one yet, but looking.

    My wife is so untidy (idle?) that even our 15 year old son has started tidying up after her, sighing theatrically whilst doing so.

  23. “It is my hypothesis that men’s brains change when they marry, which leads to a particularly annoying behavioural trait:”

    Your hypothesis is wrong.

    “I need your help. Do you — or your husband — exhibit the same behaviour?”

    That certainly won’t test it. That will just tell you the frequency of men leaving socks near the basket, not if this is behavior correlated with marriage.

    And it isn’t dear. Its just something men do. Be thankful he’s considerate enough to leave them ‘near’. Most of the time they end up wherever he was standing when he took them off.

  24. “Most of the time they end up wherever he was standing when he took them off.”

    Actually, I think Crun has it:

    “Socks are not placed next to the wash basket, they just land there if your aim is off.”

    I’m also baffled by the fact that mostly my aim is not off. It’s that these things can swerve in the air, a bit like a football, but I can’t damn well work out what’s causing it to swerve one way or the other? There is no obvious instep, or banana effect. Differential air resistance depending on the shape as you throw it? It’s just plain weird. Maybe the girl doing the article can do some research and report back. She might need to watch some football first, just to understand the basics…

  25. Uninspiring feminist author turns uninspiring single occasion or never event into uninspiring feminist drivel.

  26. She spent how many years of her life looking for a specific male with specific characteristics and now she’s got him she’s got the mutters.

    Next step, finding that the irresistibly handsome rogue she married is irresistible to other women too.

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