Socks, let’s just say, have evolved.
Back in the day, I recall there being only two types. There were ankle socks. And there were knee socks.
The colours were limited too. As a young woman, I recall my sock drawer being crammed with pairs that were navy, black, brown and white. Pink and purple were nowhere to be seen. Red had yet to be invented.
The most novel socks on offer were argyle pairings, and even those were mostly the domain of men. I never once owned argyle socks.
The sock was a simple thing. It was a practical invention, designed to keep your feet from sticking to your shoes and to keep your tootsies toasty.
It was as much a fashion item as a clothespin.
This past Christmas, the family opened the usual things. Books. Sweaters. Games. Scarves.
But we all opened something that had rarely been under the tree before: a pair of socks.
The daughter-in-law’s socks were what could be categorized as inspirational. I can’t recall the words, but they bore some pithy little saying. “Never give up.” “Live for today.” Something to that effect.
One son’s socks had pictures of Mr. Rogers. The other’s had some rude saying, which included a word I will not repeat here.
Today, in a world where we have food-themed socks and animal-themed socks and even Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtle socks, the argyles seem so old school.
I have no idea how this came to pass, but I can only imagine that apparel manufacturers, desperate to produce something a tad out of the ordinary, determined the common sock was decidedly blah, and opted to amp things up a bit.
“I know!” one of them might have suggested. “Let’s put profanity on socks! That would be epic!”
OK. Not quite sure what might happen if the son’s in a business meeting, sits down, and his socks become visible, but whatever.
I can’t begin to imagine what the apparel folks are dreaming up next, but I’m betting more change is in store.
Three-piece suits emblazoned with pictures of French fries or Mr. Dressup? Ninja Turtle wedding dresses? Bathing suits that direct a decidedly rude message at onlookers?
White ankle socks? How pedestrian can you get? The sock is making a statement these days — and it isn’t always polite.