An Abstract : Lost Love

Laundry & Society, Vol. 17, No. 2, 187-208 (2003)
DOI: 10.1177/0891243202250730
© 2003 Sociologists for Humans in Society
The Missing Sock Syndrome and its correlation to the longevity of a Union.

Author: C Silva

This article examines the complexity of The Missing Socks Syndrome in the context of global unions. Based on a qualitative study of people engaged in the chore of laundry, it demonstrates how one's practice upon the discovery of the unmated sock, has a correlation to how one might handle a relationship.

Studies* show that people who tend to set aside the unmatched sock in the hopes of reunification with its mate are more likely to be:

- a hopeless romantic (at times to a fault--dogged determination to make sh** work)
- extremely sentimental (at times to a fault--has kitchy dust gathering ideas)
- messy (this is a fault--a mental pack rat, does not let things go easily)

Those that immediately toss out the old maids are more likely to:

- call it like it is.
- pull the plug.
- be neat and organized mentally, has a systematic method for finding love.

Research is still being done on those that do not categorize easily, i.e.

- people that ruthlessly deny the lone sock a chance at love and are mentally messy.
- people that have an entire closet of socks waiting to be matched yet pull the plug on their own relationship at the first sign of trouble.
- people that wear mismatched socks (perhaps in the hope that the socks bump into their matches at a yoga class or at work)

Where do you stand on the reunification of the unmated sock?

*dubious source at best considering it is from the ramblings of my brain


  1. Anonymous8:48 AM

    I know your birthday was 2 months ago but better late than never. Perhaps this can be payback for the time you abandoned me on the bus in camp for fear of being seen with a puti.
    Readers, I met (or should i say saw) chesca in the Philippines in a vietnamese refugee camp where we both worked. I saw her playing tennis one night and for me it was love at first sight. Truly the pain of a recently ended long-term relationship back home began to fade the minute I laid my eyes on her. The feeling, unfortunately, was not mutual and it required quite a bit of research in the local library to figure out how to court a girl in this country. The fact that the textbook I used was from 1920 didn't help matters. However she eventually buckled under the pressure and a whirlwind romance ensued. Sometimes i would think- Am I Crazy- I don't even know this girl. But what I did see was, beyond her stunning beauty I could sense a good heart and soul. We have been married 13 years now and I can honestly say I still thank God for all the turns of events that had to come together for us to have even met. My wife is as beautiful now as she was when I saw her at that tennis court 14 years ago. She is immensely talented (playing the piano or guitar without being able to read notes and without lessons) and creative and I suspect she could parlay those talents into a lucrative career if she chose to. What she has chosen to do instead is raise our 2 girls.

    (You have almost singlehandedly raised the kindest young girls who love you and admire you. There is no job more important in life than that and there is nothing that I admire more about you than how you've loved and nurtured our girls.)

    I am extremely proud of Chesca and I don't tell her enough. I am unfortunately a man of many flaws but perhaps my most glaring weakness is my inability or unwillingness to share my affection and my feelings for her. So Chesca, in front of the entire blogging community, on bended knee, I want you to know that I Love you with all my heart. You are the love of my life and life for me could not continue without you in it. It is I, not you, who is lucky to be in this relationship. I am not an easy man to live with for many reasons that go beyond the long hours I work. I do not show affection and love readily. I am quick to criticize and slow to praise. I am at times selfish. But Chesca when I'm alone and reflecting on my life I always thank God that he brought you, my angel, into my life. I cannot imagine living this life without you by my side- you have been there for me any time I felt stressed at work or for tests and eased my mind. Chesca I loved you the first time I saw you and I love you even more today. Belated Happy 40th.

  2. Pulang Gubat8:56 AM

    Wow!! What a beautiful comment. You two are really made for each other and that is what makes us happy for both of you.

    About the unmated socks, I put it aside until I find the match. After a year if I still don't find it, it becomes a dust rag.

  3. tsbowser11:51 AM

    What about the person (me) who tosses one sock because it has a hole in it and RETAINS the other one, knowing it will never have a mate?

  4. I never throw away an unmated sock :) I thought it had to do with being the oldest of 6 kids in poor family as a child...and socks didn't grow on trees! :)

    Oh- but now you have me thinking...
    I am very sentimental- wanted to build a shrine or something when the kids outgrew their baby clothes. I cried heavy tears one day over them...folding them one last time- knowing I had to give most of them away.
    (that was more than you needed to know- I'm sure! lol)

    I've bookmarked your page on my computer-
    this was a lovely visit...thanks for the post- made me think :)

    Oh- and Happy Valentines Day! :)

  5. to the anonymous commenter, thank you.
    you never cease to amaze me (actually shock is a better word.....so it IS possible to squeeze water out of a stone)

    clearly pulang gubat and mayden are consistent with the study :)
    but tsb,
    tsb is someone worth examining...

  6. I have this theory that if we could find the place where all the Error 404 Pages wind up we'd find all our missing socks in the same spot.

    Could just be me, though.

    You're a nice couple. Good for you guys.


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