Thursday, February 09, 2006


I am capable in some areas of living, in others—no. For instance, I am mercilessly incapable in the area of sorting socks.

I can distinguish Melody’s socks from those of my sons because Melody’s socks have a feminine look and feel. The best news for me is that Melody wears a certain variety of black, lacy sock. I know the socks are hers; they better be. I enjoy folding Melody’s socks; I linger over them. I do not do the same over the socks of my sons. I love my sons, but I am afraid of their socks and avoid them. All of my sons’ socks look alike; I cannot distinguish them.

It is an experience of evil that Elohim has given to the sons of humanity, to humble them by it. –Ecclesiastes 1:13.

Darn those socks! There are too many of them. Each of my sons has two feet, making six feet in all. Each foot has a sock, and each sock looks like all the others. To make matters worse, one size appears to fit all. Compound this with the fact that my sons change their socks every day (a habit they learned from their mother), and you can appreciate my dilemma. I am not a patient man, at least not when it comes to sorting socks. I tried to be patient one day last month. I attempted to sort the socks that day; I made an honest effort. But I ended up throwing the socks against the wall and talking loudly to them. The static electricity made the socks stick to the wall, and so I cursed the stuck socks; I cursed them verbally where they vertically lay. I wondered if it was worth it, this sock-sorting business. In a short time, I decided it wasn’t. I was willing to serve Melody, but was unwilling to lose my mind over underwear made for shoes. It was at this time that I devised Plan B.

Plan B, stated flatly, is this: GIVE UP. This strategy has worked wonders for me. I have used it several other times in life, to good result. So I began gathering up the socks and plopping them on the dryer in a pile, much like a sock hodge-podge—a sock-podge. “It’s a free-for-all,” I told my sons. “A sock-podge. It’s a sock give-away. On top of the dryer, you will encounter sock hell. If, by some mad gift of God, you are able to distinguish what is yours from that of your brother, then do so. Now!

Melody did not like this, at first. She tried to persuade me that I was capable of sorting the socks.

“I am incapable,” I corrected her.

“Try it,” Melody said.

“Oh, Melody. I have tried.”

“What happened?” Melody asked.

“I failed miserably.”

Melody asked if I could demonstrate my conception of “failed miserably.” Being more than happy to, I grabbed a handful of socks, threw them against the wall, then cursed them where they vertically lay.

Melody was impressed. “Does this happen every time?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” I said, “I’ve only tried it once. And once is all I intend to try it.”

So now the socks somehow disappear from the top of the dryer, and everyone is wearing clean socks. I don’t know how this happens, and I don’t care.

I only care that it happens, and that I have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

© 2006 by Martin Zender