03 January, 2007


I just don't think I will ever understand the sock industry in this country.

Of course, that is a bit of a misnomer. The textile industries of America have become nearly non-existent, and I know perfectly well that the socks I've been buying for most of my life have probably come from a sweatshop in Kuala Lampur or Bangkok. So I guess I should say that I will never understand the people who import the socks into our country.

This all comes up because today, I went into the local Target, looking for socks. Now, I certainly have plenty of socks, but they're all of the white, athletic, tube-sock variety. Perfectly good, yes, but they do look a bit silly when I'm wearing khakis and a pair of brown shoes. (And yes, I know...GAY) And I do, in fact, have a few pairs of brown and black socks which I typically wear with my khakis and brown shoes. But they are getting old, and I've lost a few to the ravages of time.

So, I need "real" socks. Target seems like as good of a place as any to get some, particularly since I was already going there to buy some pants, toilet paper, facial stuff (more gay, I know), &c.

[And as an aside, I do so enjoy buying jeans now that I've lost some weight, and actually have a bigger selection of jeans to choose from. I look forward to hopefully needing to buy more pants later on that are even smaller. But the most amusing thing about losing weight is when friends/family/co-workers notice and say something about it. Because often, they don't know quite what to say. "Hey, I notice you're not quite as much of a fat-ass as you were before...kudos!"

Or my favorite: "You look like you've lost some weight...are you trying to?" There's always that internal debate of should I respond with a) "No, it's the cancer" or b) "Yes, I've been working on an eating disorder. It seems to work so well for the kids these days".]

And I find myself going through the sock "department", and running into a problem. And that problem is, one size does not, indeed, fit all. There are approximately 100 different styles of socks to choose from. Of those, I could find only one that fits into the "you have big feet, motherfucker," category.

Yes, my problem with the sock industry, if there is in fact anything that can rightly be called a sock industry, is that for some unknown reason, the standard size for mens' socks go from six...to twelve. I wear a size thirteen. [These are all, of course, the shoe sizes that go with sock purchasing. A secondary mystery would be why the fuck can't they just size socks the same way they size shoes?] It's as if this is just one of the universe's little digs at me: "Oh, look, James. Socks! So many wonderous socks, of all styles and colors and comforts. But, OH! Sorry. You don't get to have any."

Not that I can't wear the socks that max out at a twelve. I can and have, because, shit, it's what I've had to deal with for the majority of my life. But every so often, I get treated with the wonder that is big-and-tall socks. And they're so nice. They fit just right.

I could, I guess, just go to a big-and-tall type store, and look for socks. Or possibly find an outlet store somewhere that specializes in socks. Maybe even find a society that has a sock-based economy, in hopes that they would offer custom-fitted socks.

Or just order socks off the internet. But damnit, I'm in Target already. Why not get my damn socks now?!

But Target, in it's infinite wisdom, has given me only one package of socks that are larger-sized, and they happen to be the gay little short-socks. You know the ones. They might as well have the fruity little pom-poms on the back of them, to make you feel like a pretty, pretty princess.

Now, of course, this is mostly market driven. I'm sure the average shoe-size for American men is something like a ten or eleven. But for the love of Bob, would it be so fucking difficult to just make the standard sock size go from six to thirteen? Sure, they'd still be a little uncomfortable, but at least they'd be close.

I don't think I really had a point to all of this. I mostly just wanted to write about socks. And I do, in fact, have new socks. The Gold Toe casual socks, which are kind of like dress socks but not quite, at least go all the way to twelve-and-a-half. So at least I've got that going for me.

Which is nice.

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