Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The tyranny of socks & everyday radicals

so much depends on
the color of our socks

we'd get them at Christmas
and by January first,
we lost nearly half

knowing this, they'd get us
all the same color
so what was left, could still go together

and i remember enough
of what little
fashion sense we were given
to know they should match

in case the pant leg climbed up
when you crossed your leg at the knee
or in one of those growth spurts
where you found yourself ready for high water
whether it came or not

there was always someone
that had nothing better to do than notice
if you were not careful in your selection
or rushed to care

'heaven's child, your socks
are the wrong color,' or

'why your mom let you out the house,
i will never know.'

off to our room we'd go
or be sent to change

at the library, today, i saw an older gentleman,
cross legged and peering at the news through
nose end glasses, sporting
one black an one green.

garnering his attention,
his bushy brows raised ever so slightly, i said

'sir, you are beautiful.'

questions filled his face,
but before he could ask
i was already on my way
out the door to enjoy
a new day
in the revolution of living.

written for Poetry Jam.

91 comments:

Suz said...

oh that was delish
...always observing...good good

Suz said...

oh that was delish
...always observing...good good

Daniel said...

Just lovely! This sounds so much like you.

The Bug said...

I have a jillion pairs of black socks but they're all DIFFERENT. Maybe one pair is blacker than another pair - or maybe some are fuzzier than others. It's a chore to keep them straight. Maybe I should quit trying & just pick a different color sock to go with a black one - I could follow that gentleman's trend!

Jinksy said...

I think you might enjoy a look HERE LOL :) It says it all for me...

Pat Hatt said...

haha that's the way to be
Who cares if others disagree
Wear the green with the black
Although he may have been a little confused by your word pack
But we won't go there..haha
Also don't care if they make a pair
Socks are socks
All pulled from the same box

RD said...

Nice !...guerrilla kindness...the right thing is always available

no surprise you would gravitate to it

Peace

*tube sock boy*
yes, stripes and all

they made me run faster

Claudia said...

smiles..this is why i only have black socks..my boss came once to work with two different SHOES..!! but he was still relaxed... did you really tell him he was beautiful..love this..think we should do this more often in a kind of everyday radicals attitude..i like..smiles

The Silver Fox said...

Like "the bug." above, all my socks are black, but several p[airs have unique designs! But one would have to get really close to notice it... and I don't let anyone do that.

deb colarossi said...

Brian , so are not only prolific, you are brilliant and intuitive and wise.

Tara Miller said...

I'm just glad no one looks at Cole's socks!

that was sweet my love....

happygirl said...

Sweet story and honor to the elderly. I always buy my kid socks in one color, as he is color blind and uninterested in matching socks. btw, one day I wore different color shoes to work. Nobody said anything. :)

everedwater said...

Fantastic poem Brian! So much life and detail in an otherwise mundane (but nonetheless charming!) object. I really like it. :)

Daydreamertoo said...

Awww I bet he smiled when you said that and couldn't for the life of him think why ... A lovely moment.
My teen thinks it's sooooo cool to wear diff coloured socks. Not a bit like us in our youth LOL

Lisa Golden said...

This is loaded with memorable lines.

The title is wonderful. And I love, LOVE the phrase the revolution of living.

hedgewitch said...

HA!Got a kick out of this brian. I remember I had to stop buying striped white socks for my son because he's end up with one green stripe on and one red stripe. Love the ending--it's fun to be the grown up and just not care any more. ;_)

hedgewitch said...

because *he'd* end up, not *he's--*yeesh.

JeannetteLS said...

There you go again. My dad always wore one red and one green sock intentionally throughout the Christmas season, even to work. My daughter took that up when he died.

But one day we saw him with a black and a brown. I asked, "So Dad. Is this some other two-colored sock season I don't know about?"

He looked down, smiled and said, "It is now."

I LOVE this post of yours. Careful, Brian. Your kindness keeps showing.

Carrie Burtt said...

I can soooo relate to this one Brian....an awesome write for the prompt!! :-)

Shawna said...

Mismatched socks and "older" are both beautiful things. I am a big fan of the Punky Brewster style of life, dress, and thought.

~Shawna
rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Tabor said...

So poets are those weird folks who make gentle comments to strangers...now I know.

Grace said...

I like how you captured this everyday scenario and made it meaningful. I used to be fussy about matching socks but my tweenie is cool about it. She thinks its so fashionable to wear mismatched socks..he..he...

Hope you are having a good day ~

Tigerbrite said...

When I spent some time as a tour guide I worked with a guy who only had red socks. How weird is that.

gayle said...

What a nice thing to say!

nerima roberts said...

I'll bet that old guy in the library KNEW he was wearing different colored socks. Sometimes we just don't give a hoot! :)))

I once packed one pair of brown shoes for a weekend trip out of town. When I arrived at the destination and unpacked my suitcase, I discovered the shoes were from completely different pairs...
AND they both both left shoes! LOL LOL

Jenny Woolf said...

Wonderful, you let the poem's point emerge so quietly.

Magpie said...

Your title was perfect! I'm glad you chose to reaffirm instead of correct.

lori said...

Aw, you are awesome, Brian :)

signed...bkm said...

there is no larger waste of money in my mind then on socks - disposal and forever lost - holier then any person i have ever met - but putting on a new pair always feels so good...bkm

Tom said...

you sir are one fruity dude.

ha, no really.

just kidding

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Wouldn't it be nice if the whole world reacted that way?

Mary said...

I love this poem, Brian! And yes, so much depends on the color of socks. My granddaughter has various patterned socks, and sometimes her mother puts different ones on if they can't find matches. This drives me bonkers. I agree with people who are saying buy all the same color sock if you can't keep pairs together! And, on another note, I KNOW you made that elderly gentleman's day! That story made me smile.

kaykuala said...

Buy them of the same color and you'll never go wrong. Of different colors we just need take 3 and we should get them to be matching. Pity the elderly guy! Great write!

Hank

ayala said...

Love this....questions filled his face,
but before he could ask
i was already on my way
out the door to enjoy
a new day
in the revolution of living.
Awesome!!!!!

Betsy said...

You always have WAY too much fun in the library! lol..

Brandee Shafer said...

You should buy stock in LittleMissMatched. I went out, once, in one brown shoe and one black; they were a perfectly matched pair but for the color.

Laurie Kolp said...

I think the older we get the less we care whether or not our socks match. Then there's my daughter who wears one hot pink and one bright orange...

Sandi McBride said...

Mr Brian go look in your washing machine and I'll bet that you have a whole family of socks stuck in that agitator thing...Mamon says that the washing machine thing eats Darlin's socks and her stockings...hope you find them, maybe if they are green you can share with the nice man in the library
JJ
visiting from my very own blog

Yousei Hime said...

Love it. Socks, they are my nemesis. I hate matching the little blighters after laundry. Sure in enjoyed them in your poem though.

KB said...

I love my stripey socks.

Lolamouse said...

My daughter wears mismatched socks on purpose!

janaki nagaraj said...

Nice and sweet.

joanna said...

in love with that ending, brian.

my favorite professor used to wear mismatched socks every day, intentionally. only the coolest ones do, you know. :)

Laura said...

Smiling here. Right now sitting saucily on the steps I have a pile of mismatched singles waiting for their mates to be salvaged from the laundry. This could change my life, Brian. Really.

PattiKen said...

Ha! Didn't anyone ever tell you not to sweat the small stuff, Brian? I've been known to go to work in shoes of different colors. And once, i taught a full day training class -- to customers -- with my shirt on backwards.

Ed Pilolla said...

haha! that's awesome. what a greater closer.

Steve E said...

Your talent for surprise finishes, and uncomplicated observations so DAMMMM well written astonish me, even though it is now what I expect!
Regularly.
Daily.
I believe if I went to the website of the +Pope's blog, your comment would be #1...........

Gotta say that I pretty much always had same-color sox. Once at a Cincinnati Symphony concert, Saturday nite, all wearing formal full-dress, in a very gala atmosphere.

There in the 2nd violin section--but quite up-front-stage was a guy sawing away on violin, wearing the 'brightest' of RED sox. You guessed it--ME! c.1958

PEACE!

tera said...

...sigh. So nice. I suspect that's one of the perks of being old: not that no one cares what you look like, but not caring that they care - or not- about what you look like.

On that note - I wear boots a lot.
:)

Dolly@ Soul Stops said...

chuckling as I read this because my husband thought he should have only one color for his socks... hard to do...apparently, there are several shades of black...thanks for the smile, Brian :)

Adam said...

I wish I had more socks. I don't know what is about them but they always go missing.

farmlady said...

Oh yes! Delightful.

Anne said...

My Hubby never wears matching socks, it's his one small act of defiance against conforming to norms and standards. It drives his mother batty, but I don't care, I love him for it. Our daughter does the same thing, just to be like him. I really love this one Brian.

Valerie said...

Wonderful ... and amusing. I loved it. Did you know that manufacturers are now making pairs of odd socks? They must have read your post before I did.... smiles.

Daydreamertoo said...

RYN ;)

Pauline said...

I always tell folks I have another pair in the drawer just like the ones I have on :) I like your telling the old geezer he was beautiful ;)

Kat_RN said...

Smile. Good job.
Kat

Dave King said...

I was half hoping you'd mention socks that proclaim the day of the week, but no, nothing so naff!
Enjoyable though, thoroughly, from beginning to end.

LadyFi said...

Brilliant! I love wearing mis-matched socks.

mo.stoneskin said...

Brilliant and I love

"why your mom let you out the house,
i will never know"

Genius line.

The only answer is to buy ten packs of black socks. They go with everything and never mismatch.

manicddaily said...

Very human subject and metaphor, well explored. So sorry about your fire.

Alan Burnett said...

Odd socks are all the trend my son tells me as he steals all mine and leaves me with a few orphans.

Come At Me Bro said...

This is great!

AmyLK said...

giggle....... I love mismatched socks!

SueAnn said...

Fabulous!! Now if we could all graduate to different colored shoes....what a revolution it will be. Ha!!
Hugs
SueAnn

william said...

lol well observed and very true mate, were do they go?

Heather said...

I am joining your "Living" revolution...this post is so timely, my daughter went to school with mismatched socks today and they were showing, and i thought, "I wonder if anyone will notice..." hope you and the fam are doing well - getting things back in order!

Geraldine said...

a sock it to me poem and post! love it. sounds like you were always a free thinker. :<)

www.myreallifereviews.com

Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil said...

Brian, saw you at DDToo and didn't know about your gram. I'm so sorry. Having said that, I LOVE how you put the perceptions of youth in their place. "Sir, you are beautiful." We should all say that to each other more often... peace to you, my friend, and thanks, Amy

Helen said...

It's good to have same color sox .. when the washing machine eats one!

Grand Pooba said...

Ha! Love it.

(What always bugs me is when the boyfriend puts his socks on inside out....drives me nuts! LOL)

Luke P said...

very intriguing and excellent, descriptively. Enjoyed thus Narrative v much

Mama Zen said...

So good, Brian!

Sue said...

My eldest grandson likes to wear socks that don't match. Best of all, his mom happily lets him.

=)

Nezzy said...

Oh how I enjoyed this prose. Mismatched socks!!!

It was fun and ended in a beautiful flair sir!

I remembered the time my FIL came out all dressed for church with different shoes. Farm Boy said, "Dad, do ya have another pair of shoes like that in your closet???"

God bless ya and have a terrific day!!! :o)

Pop looked down and proceeded to go change his mismatched shoes.

turtlememoir said...

:) if only mismatched socks were the worst of our worries... and I've known people who do it deliberately - I admire that (but not so much I follow suit)

Mystic_Mom said...

I am in love with this...and he is, you are and it is beautiful!

Peggy said...

I feel my comment will be lost among the many but just wanted to say I enjoyed your poem on the color of socks very much. I esp like the man in the library!

Blue Cotton Memory said...

Oh, how I love this! Your post reminded me of how I knew my son was truly independent - when he was in charge of matching and finding his own socks! LOL - I gave up long ago of getting the boys all the SAME socks - and because of all the different foot sizes - would get them different color styles, white, black, mixed, anklets etc. I bet there's a post in that!

I think the man at the library was beautiful, too!

a.n. flores said...

Awesome! Made me go around and take sneak peeks at people's socks. Loved it.

Fred Rutherford said...

Love the ending, a revolution of living, right after questions…for the socks I totally feel ya there. Really nice write. Thanks

poeticlicensee said...

The olde gentleman (experienced citizen) was lookin' good, no matter what color his socks. Enjoyable read, "The tyranny of socks & everday radicals"...

Birdie said...

such a fun lovely post Brian! my son loves to wear different socks all the time ... he thinks it's more fun and maybe he is right ... lol

Katherine Krige said...

Love that small way that we can buck the system. One sock at a time.

I fear that I am condemned to be forever slaved to the system, as I cannot stand 2 socks of different heights upon my leg. Soon enough summer shall banish the nasty creatures gone though & only the hairy legs shall remain...

derrickjhines said...

Yes, yes , yes. I love it.
I think they should sell socks already mismatched; that way the anal retentive can buy the packs that match with each other and the rest of us can go about life.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I have a friend who always wears socks in bright colors and patterns I like that about him.

Syd said...

Nice. I'm glad that you told him that. Noncorformity is a beautiful thing.

CiCi said...

This is so cool. Why do some people impose so many silly rules in life?

Simply Darlene said...

Good night, Irene, (well, I know your name is Brian, I mean I read it right over to the right--but I rather fancy the phrase "good night, Irene"), you've got a lot of comments.

Anyway, we don't care about matching socks 'round here. Sometimes my son even lets me wear a pair of his. And "pair" means whatever two he grabbed outta the sock drawer, usually in the dark.

I think we're all a bit mismatched, but God loves us just the same, aye?

Blessings.

jerry said...

Ha! wish I could've seen the guys face! Don't even start with the sock thing...geez, 12 kids, many special needs. We are definitely over the sock thing...we still check other appropriate social clothing cues though.

Goofball said...

my choir conductor always wears 2 different socks on purpose.


I better buy them indeed in big stocks since my laundry machine eats socks apparently; They do get lost magically.


Someone once taught me that you indeed need to give someone (a stranger) a compliment and then walk away. if not they might become suspicious that you have a different agenda and want something from them.

Myrna R. said...

This was cute. I love it when kids, or old people dress just because they like what they're wearing. Mismatched, revolutionized individuality.

(Brian, I read your previous post. Sorry about the fire. It must be hard to clean up.)