One morning my husband and I hopped in the car to leave for our respective places of employment when suddenly a string of expletives issued from his mouth.
Alarmed, I asked, “”What’s wrong?””
“”My socks don’t match!”” he bellowed, raising his feet above the pedals. Sure enough, one sock was dark blue, one was black. Obviously, I had made this egregious error while folding laundry the night before.
I controlled the urge to laugh. My spouse was not amused.
“”Do you know,”” he snarled, “”what would happen if I showed up at my office with socks that don’t
Before I could respond, he headed back into the house to fix the problem. I resisted the temptation to call out, “”I’m guessing you’ll find a pair just like it in your dresser drawer.”” Some things are better left unsaid.
I did of course know what would happen if he went to work with unmatched socks.
As he entered the office, his co-workers’ eyes would be on his feet, drawn there by those socks. Horrified, they would gasp and look away. His boss, equally horrified, would have no option but to immediately terminate my husband’s employment. Company policy specifically excluded such fashion blunders.
Jobless, with no chance of finding other employment in his chosen field (word gets around!), my husband would make futile attempts to hire on flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant or pumping gas at a local service station. Of course, no respectable business would want someone on their staff whose dark past included wearing mismatched socks!
My job would not support us and besides, my boss would not keep an assistant whose husband had committed such a fashion faux pas. I, too, would be unemployed.
We’d lose our home, forced to leave town in the dead of night. Eventually we’d have to sell all our possessions and take up residence under a freeway overpass in the nearest big city where no one knew us. Our children would stand on street corners holding tin cups, their haunted eyes staring up at passersby as they begged, “”Please sir, ma’am, we are homeless and haven’t eaten in days. Please, could you spare some change?””
Indeed, the whole scene played out in my mind as I awaited my husband’s return to the car with properly matched socks. Thank goodness his keen eye had spotted my gaffe before our lives were reduced to rubble.
And I learned a valuable lesson. For many years after that near disaster, my husband folded his own socks. Our future was thus in his hands.
But to this day, when I hear about people living under freeways, I breathe a sigh of relief.
I was, after all, only a pair of mismatched socks from being one of them!