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My Big Toe Eats Socks

Feet with holey socks
No, these aren't my actual feet. But the result is the same...

They say happiness writes a blank page. So it was with considerable relief that I welcomed back my old emo self from whichever bed of roses she’d been hiding in. She made her reappearance on Friday the 13th, no less.

There are many reasons for her return, not least the sudden crippling insecurities that come with starting a new job, the depressed awareness of the end of much-needed morning sleep-ins, Julius Malema and Steve Hofmeyr’s latest bon mots…

But mostly, sifting through a mountain of socks looking for a suitable pair to wear, and realizing: there are none. Because the big toe on my right foot (henceforth called The Toe) has eaten holes in the right hand sock of every pair I own.
It’s hereditary, from my dad’s side. My big toes aren’t monsters or necessarily disturbing to look at. They’re just solid, handsome toes that assert their considerable independence with a slight upward tilt of toe-tip and –nail at the end. You don’t really see it – but it makes me very aware of the pressure points of shoes if and when I go shopping for new ones. This is especially true for The Toe. Pick the wrong pair, and Toe will do its best to eat right through the faux leather.

Socks don’t stand a chance. This is also why I steer very much clear of sheer stockings and dainty hose – if you’ve never experienced a sudden inexplicable stocking ladder running up from the vicinity of your right toe, you just won’t understand the trauma. It’s terribly depressing.
As a kid it wasn’t much of a hassle: I walked around barefoot a lot, okay. Maybe cos I grew up in Die Platteland. But mostly, I think, because I wanted to save my parents some money when it came to sock purchases. I was noble like that.

As a grown-up though, I’ve learnt that it’s frowned upon to pitch up barefoot – or even in flip-flops – at work. So sock shopping’s become a must.

I’ve tried everything. Really expensive pairs of socks made of 100% bamboo fibre and dyed with the eco-friendly harvested spit of an angry Ibex. That particular pair lasted one wear: there I was prancing away on the treadmill, when The Toe made a leap for freedom and broke on through to the other side. I had to remove said sock once The Toe’s bloodflow started getting restricted. End of gym session.

Really cheap bulk packs that could probably be used to improve your roof insulation – and waterproof it too. Yes indeed, these cheapos have the unique ability of containing any and all footy sweatiness on the inside. It’s like sloshing around inside a little self-contained foot baggie.
Reinforced toe sections that make it hell to try and push your foot into a slim-toed boot and could double for toe-knucklebusters. They play havoc on any and all latent bunions or blisters, but The Toe still ate them up.

Sticking cotton balls into the tips of my shoes “to take the pressure off” (as a friend suggested) didn’t work… It just made the lady in the shoe shop look at me funny when fluffy white balls went bouncing all over the room when I wanted to try on a new pair.

The only socks that last a bit longer are those special slipper socks that keep your feet all warm and toasty at night. But as fashion statements go, wearing those with a pair of pumps would probably only pass muster in kindergarten.

The main reason for the emoness surrounding my sock situation is mostly that I hate having to go shop for them. Because I know that no matter how much I pay, or how much I love the cute grey pair with the owl design and the fluffy pink ones with the hopping bunnies on them, they will not last. It’s a waste of money, but a necessary one – wearing shoes without socks is just not a fad I care to join.

This time, however, I went into acute sock avoidance mode. Which is to say, I bought two pairs of jeans, a sweater with Bambi on it, a love-letter necklace and a pair of cute pink ballerina-like pumps instead. Take that, socks.

And it’s only when I arrived home that I realized that my last pair of secret socks had finally given way with a sigh and a whimper… Yes, the only pair of socks that would make my ballerina pumps wearable. And even that might not have been so bad, if hubby didn’t make it clear that cold feet in bed were a clear dealbreaker… Socks. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t find someone to swop me their right sock either…

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  1. margaux margaux

    hahahaha yes indeed , dads toes… patch the socks with funky things… little bunnies or heart or random stuffies…could start a new trend – the exposed toe mwahahahaha

  2. Hmmm maybe you should look at those foot plaster thingys for The Toe or your shoes. Hope it starts behaving soon 🙂

  3. Eric G Eric G

    The eternal sock drama, mine is not so much a hole issue but more the loss of one member in a healthy sock relationship. I even do my own laundry and it still happens, I sense a conspiracy!

    Thanks for the entertaining read.



    • A conspiracy indeed! Happy to entertain, even happier that I’m finally back to writing some blogs again!

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