I believe in the Hozone

Posted: under Housework, Large family.
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People frequently ask me why I haven’t posted anything to this blog in a while. Maybe it is because I have been so busy MATCHING SOCKS!

I have 134 un-matched, and un-matchable, socks. They have been sorted by color and size, and believe me, there isn’t another matchable pair on the table.  For this reason I must confess that I BELIEVE IN THE HOZONE!  Are you familiar with the Hozone?  It is that magical dimension which captures at least one sock from every load of wash.  I first became aware of the name of this mystical realm in a book called Sniglets, a wonderful book full of useful words that should be contained in a dictionary.

If there isn’t really a Hozone, I  don’t know where all of these missing socks could be.  You would expect that some socks, like a Captain America-themed crew sock, would be highly visible, but that is not so.  Furthermore, you might expect that my nine children would have drawers full of unmatched socks, but that isn’t so either.  With great regularity I tidy-up their drawers, usually when they are so overstuffed that they have pulled the knobs off.  If there is an enormous cache of lonely socks somewhere in my house, I certainly can not discover it.

White socks are the worst! Many may appear to match, but there are variations in sizes and cuffs. I can attempt to sneak them into the drawers, but un-identical socks are always rejected.

I used to know a woman who bought her three children identical white sport socks.  I thought that was, well, dysfunctional.  On laundry day, she gathered all their socks and dumped them into the washer with a cup of bleach.  At sorting time, she divided them into three equal piles and sent them to their rooms. Now I know there is a lot of wisdom to that “no nonsense” approach, but I was amused seeing her son’s white socks shining beneath his navy dress pants, or seeing her daughter vigorously stretch her mid-calf socks up to her knees beneath her skirts.  I don’t think that approach would work with my children.  Not only do my children cover a wide range of sizes (from men’s shoe size 11 to infant size 5), but  different children prefer distinct styles of socks (one prefers terry cloth, another wears only dress socks, another likes shorties…)  And I must not overlook my children’s fashion preferences!  My three-year-old’s socks MUST  thematically match his underpants.

While matching socks seems like a most elementary task, I have had little success delegating it to my children.  Even asking my twenty-year-old son to help is a recipe for disaster.   He will boldly match a 6-year-old’s navy sock with a 15-year-old’s navy sock.  Never mind that one is striped and the other is checkered! I suppose it is an outlet for him to release pent up resentment.

And so I labor on.  Whenever I encounter an unmatched sock, it gets held in a holding zone, and when that holding zone is full, I attempt to unite those socks with my enormous basket of long-time offenders.  This method has satisfied me for many years, but no longer.  I am near the breaking point.  On July 4 I am going to break with tradition and throw away all of the unmatched socks in my laundry room.  Either that, or donate them to a ministry for amputees.  But nonetheless, I am going to purge myself of unmatched socks.  And probably this time next year I will have a basket full of another 134 unmatched socks.

So what will I tackle next on my agenda?

My unmatched glove collection!





Comments (6) Mar 08 2012