Not Just a Pair of Socks

One of the great gifts of writing is connecting with other writers. This normally happens online through others. But oh, what joy when you get to meet them face to face! Today I get to introduce Anna to you – a friend who lives in the same city like me with such a unique view of the world. Her thoughts and pictures are truly amazing. If you speak German, you should definitely check out her blog

A few years ago I decided that it would be easier to simply wear two different colored socks. I don’t have to sort them after doing the laundry and I never have to worry about vanishing socks in the washing machine. Life can be so easy.

Then I realized that society doesn’t work that way.
You can’t just wear what you want, because you have to follow the unspoken rules of normality.
So mismatched socks is like a code for a mismatched understanding of the world. You can even find forum entries asking “Is it wrong to wear mismatched socks?”
As you can see, deep ethical discussions start from here.

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People started looking down to my feet and then all the way up again, checking me from head to toe and toe to head, as if they could discover any other abnormality.
Once I was laying in a MRI scanner waiting for final instructions, when the doctor started laughing at my socks. Let’s talk about appropriate behavior here.

Another time I was the preacher at a women’s retreat. The average age was around 40, not quite my age group, and it was a challenge to measure up to them anyway. I was about to give another talk in a room where everyone had to take off their shoes.
And there I stood, 21 years old, wearing mismatched socks, when I noticed that I had a hole right by my big toe, impossible to hide.
Pure professionalism.
I didn’t have time to change, but I was close to a drawer with office supplies. So I fixed the hole with a stapler, went on stage and pretended to be like a normal grown up, despite the different colored socks with a stapled hole in it.

Socks – you barely notice them and still, they tell so much about who you are, what you are required to pretend and if you follow the norm. Don’t underestimate the power of socks!
And if you want to do something really rebellious, try wearing two different colored socks!


Welcome to Day 19 of 31 Days of Mundane Narratives! For the month of October I will be a storyteller. Together with a few friends we will browse the forgotten photos in our galleries and tell the stories that are so often lost in busyness.

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Author: Katha von Dessien

Teacher. Believer. Third Culture Kid. World Traveler. People Lover. Writer.

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