I went on a date with someone who wears matching socks. And not in the sense that he only wears one style of black, Hanes socks that he buys in a bag every time he goes to Target so he can push back doing his laundry for one more week. I mean real matching socks. The kind you buy in a pair. And wash in a pair. And fold in a pair.
They were green. Green, matching socks.
These socks represent my arrival to the world of grown-up dating.
My past boyfriends/fuck buddies/one-night-stands (the sexual trifecta) were not the kind of people to wear matching socks. Come to think of it, most of them didn’t wear socks. My hookup past is painted with smelly hippies with hobbit feet and trust funds. In the rare opportunities that socks were needed, their mother’s came to the rescue. Think I’m kidding? My ex-boyfriend once complained about not having socks. I offered to pick up some up at the drugstore. “No,” he said. “That’s too weird. My mom buys me socks.” We were living together at the time--splitting rent, pooping in the same bathroom, and using sex as a sleep aid—all those things you do when you’ve been dating someone for two years. But socks? It was as though I offered him breast milk with a side of Freud.
So imagine my shock when I
looked at picked
up from my bedroom floor my date’s matching socks. Grown-up bells went off
in my head. It sounded like the classical
music parents listen to at dinner parties. Granted, he’s 29, has gone to grad
school, and holds a steady job that offers dental insurance (Dental insurance!
The luxury!) But those are just logistics. The socks are what make him a grown-up.
I first began realizing I was on the road to grown-up dating when my mom called. A friend of hers has in a son in law school in NY that she thinks I should reach out to. “Most of his friends are ‘hooked’ (my poor mother tries so hard to understand 21st century lingo, thinking that ‘hooked up’ can be rephrased as ‘hooked’), but you should contact him. Maybe there is someone.” My parents are setting me up. This shit is real.
I don’t come across as a grown-up (or particularly sane) on first dates. Truth is, most people aren’t grown-ups or sane, but they can hide it behind their career path, interests, and a secure mask of stability. I am currently a full-time nanny. This means that on a date, I will talk about babies. Baby yoga, baby food, baby noises—I am baby obsessed. I will shove my phone in your face and insist you watch videos of her crawling.
“What else do you do?” these gentlemen ask, eager to steer the conversation away from ovaries. Enter feminism, sex, and porn. You may think that these things would interest a young man. They like porn. I like porn. It’s a shared interest. However, listening to a girl blab about the socio-political nature of the cum-shot isn’t exactly pillow talk. Most of the time it scares them into thinking I am a porn star with a sex addiction problem and a closet full of whips, none of which is true (as of yet).
The weird thing is, I actually enjoy the company of the sock-wearing type. It’s a pleasant change. Their adult demeanor balances out my quirkiness. Best of all, folks who wear matching socks pay for drinks—drinks that aren’t PBRs with money that isn’t kept in a duct tape wallet.
But I order PBR. And I keep my money in a wallet held together by duct tape. And I don’t think I will ever wear matching socks. I worry that my naked, carefree feet will leave them running for some preppy lass who doesn’t own period underwear.
Side Note: Period underwear are giant, stained, diaper-esque panties. The weak elastic allows you to bloat like a menstrual balloon while simultaneously wearing a pad that doubles as a floatation device. Girls who don’t own period underwear are stupid. They make me feel like I’m a failure at menstruating, which means I’m a failure at life because my period never seems to end (looks begrudgingly down at my faucet-of-a-vagina).
So what am I to do? Should I compromise my own sockless feet and comfortable underwear in order to snag an “adult”? Or can I keep letting my freak flag fly, hoping that someday a socked man is going to fall in love with my mismatched, dirty feet?
I’m going to go with the latter. Cinderella’s glass slipper never would have fit if she were wearing socks.