A Perfect Match

Don’t judge a foot by its cover

By Beth MacDonald

One of life’s goals should be to make friends whose stories are more interesting than your own. Kate is one of mine. She’s a rock star, not a figurative one, a literal one. She has traveled the world, partied with amazing people. She is a beautiful soul, a singer, songwriter, insanely funny and has the kind of looks most women dream of having. One day at lunch over Bloody Marys, we heard her on the radio. “Can you believe they are playing this garbage?” she said. I feel blessed beyond belief to be surrounded by compelling and intelligent people who brighten my days and color my world with their wisdom and grace. So, when Kate told me I was an interesting friend, I almost choked on my frittata.

Some days I think the most interesting thing about me is my sock collection. I have socks with artwork on them. I wore them to the Louvre thinking I was “dressing for the occasion.” I have socks with a monorail on them that I wear to Walt Disney World. Some of my socks depict women at work and have pithy, feminist quips. Some socks are more vulgar. I wear those to meetings with people I find less, let’s say, agreeable. I have found that my socks are a way to recognize the world’s kinder souls, odd as that may be.

I think I have an interesting life. I am a lucky woman. Mason, my husband, is kind, and one of the smartest people I know. He never talks about himself, but has far more interesting stories than I ever will. Most people don’t give him the chance to tell them. They look at his tattoos and beard and probably think he’s not much for intellect. He doesn’t mind being underestimated. We have been friends for almost two decades, and married for four years. Both of our previous marriages ended at “Till death do us part,” making us an unusual pair — young, remarried, widow and widower. We have an unbreakable trust in each other, having been through “the worst.” 

I recently made the mistake of leaving Mason unsupervised with my socks. I don’t pair my socks when I do the laundry; they stay in a pile in the laundry room. That drives Mason to the brink of insanity. He likes to have a certain order to socks. He actually numbers his. When I need my socks I just go to “the pile” and pick out what I need and go about my business. If I’m in a hurry, I don’t even match them. I just grab and go. That makes Mason even crazier. While I was gone, he seriously contemplated getting rid of “the pile.” I’m still shocked he confessed this to me. My socks are as sacred as his OCD.

“I didn’t throw them away,” he said as if that somehow made the conspiracy less brazen. “It’s proof of my love.” I was still in shock, trying to keep from plotting revenge for a crime that wasn’t even committed. My poor precious endangered socks.

“You wanted to!”

“I have your name tattooed on my hand, in a rose. I’m not throwing your socks away.”

“My name should be tattooed in a sock, not a rose,” I said, my voice still an octave above calm.

Mason sighed. “There are no cool songs about sock tattoos.”

“Kate will write me one.” The whole scene played out in my head. I would call Kate and ask her to write me a raspy-voiced rock ballad about a sock tattoo and how no one should ever look down on socks with disdain. Brilliant!

Mason was saying something but I wasn’t listening. I think it was about his OCD and suggestions about how to organize my socks properly. He didn’t get it. My socks were organized. I knew that my right monorail sock was in the bottom drawer upstairs and the left one was in the basket hanging over the edge, near the handle.

Since even the kind can backslide, soon he may be able to find a reminder on iTunes.  PS

Beth MacDonald is a Southern Pines suburban misadventurer that likes to make words up. She loves to travel with her family, read everything she can, and shop locally for her socks.

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