And, yes, it goes beyond the funny little quirks you or I may have about socks. Waaaay beyond.
-For starters, I am not "allowed" to match his socks when the whites come out of the dryer. Six months or so into our marriage, I was relieved of that laundry duty. Apparently, I don't do it right. Right defined as: actually I don't know exactly how right is defined. I do know it's beyond making sure there's a right and left sock in each pair. No, Russell's definition has something to do with ridges, and seams, and weave, and making sure each pair will reside in the drawer in the harmonious melting of soulmates.
Even after many 'a tutorial, I still don't get it. Or perhaps I just don't have the patience to try to get it. Either way, when the whites get folded, Russ's socks don't. They get dumped on his side of the bed.
-Russ's socks cannot return to his feet after they have been removed. This doesn't mean that he won't dig them out of the hamper to re-wear his used socks the next day. No, normal people have that sock rule. This means if he puts on a pair of socks and for some reason has to immediately remove them, they cannot be put back on. CANNOT! I asked him one time what would happen if there weren't any more socks and he had to put that particular pair back on...what would happen? He looked at me like I'd asked him what would happen if he had to give a lecture to the Department of Energy naked.
When he was able to shake off that unimaginable horror and speak, he informed me, "That would never happen." I guess that explains why he always packs 15 pairs of socks for a five day business trip. He may be underwearless for a day or two, but by golly, he won't be re-wearing socks!
-Socks have to be a certain height to be worn with slacks. Not a certain color. Not a certain pattern. It's perfectly fine to wear blue socks with black pants or argyle socks with striped pants. They just have to be tall enough "not to let air in" on his legs. Needless to say, I'm not really allowed to buy his dress socks either because, well, I have no idea what height tall-enough-not-to-let-air-in is. One time when I discussed this little detail with him he told me, "Well, if you don't know, I can't explain it to you."
I'm sure he's right about that!
There are other sock rules that Russ abides by. Oddities that used to catch my attention that now, sixteen- married-years later, go by virtually unnoticed. However, despite those sixteen years of marriage (and the fact that I know him inside and out), he would "prefer" I not purchase socks for him. And so I don't. I just let him take care of that little shopping task.
Or at least I used to...
Yesterday when he returned home from work, he had a bag in hand. I asked him what he had purchased and he said "socks". All was well until he walked out of the bathroom looking like this:
I thought he was making a joke. So I laughed.
He said, "What?" I said, "Are you kidding?" He said, "About what?" (And he was serious, y'all. I could tell from the look on his face, he had no clue what I was talking about.) I pointed down to his feet. I told him I didn't think this was an acceptable look for anyone under the age of ninety-five. Maybe when he was a little old man with a cute white mustache and a cane, maybe this look would fly.
That's when he told me (direct quote), "Kristy, this is what's in."
Granted, I've been sick for awhile now and keeping up with current fashion trends hasn't been high on my list of priorities. But, "in"...? Midgey black socks that, bless their hearts, kind of remind me of the rolled-down way we used to wear them in the 80's worn with brown Merrell shoes and shorts are IN?
He elaborated. "This is how I wore them in England."
I looked in his bag. He had purchased twelve pairs of black Old Man socks. To be worn with shorts. Exclusively. (Because they couldn't possibly be worn with slacks. The chance of air getting in would be too great.) I asked him if I could take a quick Facebook poll to find out what others thought of his sock choice. He encouraged me to.
Interestingly enough, it wasn't the sixty (that's six zero) exclamation-filled, horrified NOOOOOOO!!!! responses or the lone "My son has cute legs!" yes-vote from his mom that convinced him of his fashion faux pas.
It was the very elderly man that we spotted in our neighborhood on our drive to Sonic that evening. Mowing his yard. In his shorts, brown shoes, and, yep, wait for it...
I about spewed Cherry Limeade all over the windshield.
When we got home, Russ changed his socks.