I loved your thoughts on words versus pictures! Some real poetry going on in those comments; if you haven’t read them yet, it’s worth your time.
Today I have a story for you.
When I was a child, my mother taught me how to fold socks.
“You have to find which socks go together,” she said. “Make sure. Look over them carefully. Then fold the tops neatly inside out to hold them together.”
Folding laundry was often children’s work, and the tedious minutes we spent poring over socks appear in retrospect to have stretched out over several decades. This pile was all Dad’s socks, and all white Hanes with gray heels and toes, but which sock went with this sock?
There were small clues, slight pilling on the upper section, a darker sole, some more worn than others, marks where he wore a pair in the mud. We practically pulled out our magnifying glasses, comparing, agonizing, trying to get it right.
Later, when I was an enlightened teenager who could whip through a stack of clean socks, I said to my mom, “You know – when you taught us how to fold socks I didn’t understand that you meant just to match the same kind of socks together. I thought you meant like using clues to put every sock with the exact sock it was worn with before.”
She said, “What? I did mean that.”
You learn something new every day; but I did not switch back.
And so you see I am telling a parable (though it is also true) because sometimes living is like that. You study and hover and sweat trying to get it exactly right, and then sometime, perhaps much later in life, you realize what it was. It was just laundry.
And now the game is funny but you find that somewhere along the line, you made a promise to yourself never to play it again. You are done spending years of your life folding socks.
I’m not sure if you know what I mean.
But I do.
Posted with the permission of my lovely mother, who taught me 90% of everything I know about housekeeping. All but the socks. Love you, Mom.