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Recognizing the Tragedy of the Missing Sock

May 9th, 2019


Today we mourn the missing sock and comfort their lonely partners pining away in dresser drawers across the land.

May 9 is National Lost Sock Memorial Day.

It may not be a holiday any president has proclaimed, but perhaps one should for not a person amongst us has escaped the heartbreak of a lost sock. Indeed, it is an established scientific fact that Americans lose an average of 1.3 socks a month. That adds up to 15 broken pairs a year and an astonishing 1,264 over a lifetime.

After researchers studied the laundry and other sock related activities habits of some 2,000 ordinary citizens, they devised a formula to predict the likelihood a sock will go missing: Sock loss index = (L+C)−(PxA)

  • L = laundry size
  • C = washing complexity
  • P = positivity towards doing laundry
  • A = degree of attention

Though the formula would suggest washing machines and dryers are the culprits, the research tells us socks disappear due to our carelessness. They slip beneath furniture, under radiators, blow off clotheslines and get mixed up with other laundry.

We, however, are not willing to exonerate the mechanical laundry devices. For one, the research was funded by Samsung, maker of many fancy and high-priced washers and dryers. And you'll note the researchers slyly included no radiators, furniture or natural events in their formula.

As our evidentiary piece de resistance, we quote a GE Appliances engineer who cautiously admitted on the Today Show, “Tears, slits, holes [in the seals found in washing machines] would be bad. This could lead to disappearing socks as well as water leaks.”

So grieve the missing socks, but celebrate the remaining ones. Give them new life by wearing them together and tweet your fashion with the tag hashtag #RockYourSocks. Turn them into sock puppets. Fill them with catnip for your feline friends. Just don't discard them. Someday, the prodigal sock may return.

Image by Claus Juntke from Pixabay

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