All week you’ve been sat in that office in your grey suit, stripy tie dangling from your white collar bound neck, shackled to your desk by the oppressive chains of conformity. Bowler hats may no longer be the mode but routine still binds. The 7.25 to Waterloo is still the 7.25 to Waterloo. There are leaves on the line and signal failures at Clapham Junction remain a blight on your ever lengthening commuter day.
The weekend is here. The suit now hangs safely out of sight in the wardrobe and the pair of jeans has made it out of the drawer for its weekly outing. It is spring in the Kingdom of Elizabeth II. The cherry blossom is out and it is time to add some colour to your drab and uneventful life1.
The time has come to break free. The time has come to wear odd socks. It must be confessed that in my student days odd socks were a regular feature of my costume. This was down to a couple of reasons: namely a total lack of fashion sense and the fact that the act of pairing socks after they had been in the drier was not considered a good use of my time.
An absence of fashion sense has remained all my life. It’s what happens when something is drummed in an early age. That is why we are forced to read and learn the two times table in our first years in education. The whole odd socks thing however is something that can easily disappear once you have settled into the routine of adulthood. Marriage is often the spur as is the need to provide sustenance to the ensuing family by remaining in full employment2.
The marriage affects the wearing of odd socks because whilst a girlfriend will put up with such an idiosyncrasy she is merely biding her time until the ring is irremovably on her finger and she has the power to mould you into the person she really had in mind all along. She will often assist this process by pairing your socks for you. An unheard of intrusion into a bachelor demesne but something not worth arguing about once under the matrimonial bedspread.
I repeat. Now is the time to re-establish your own identity and start wearing odd socks again. You will find that once the first steps have been taken it will be come easy again. After all you never forget how to ride a bike.
I did have favourite combinations of odd socks. The beauty of the system was that if one sock was lost this did not affect your ability to wear the combination although it would affect the frequency in which this could be done. The wearing of odd socks also allows you to expand your wardrobe with countless combinations of clothes. It will save you a lot of money.
If odd socks seems to be too great a step at this stage, or indeed a step too far then you might consider the less visible alternative which is to swap feet. In other words put the sock destined for your right foot onto your left and vice versa. In this way you can walk around knowing that the rebellion is happening but that as yet it remains unseen. Only you will know. Unless of course you tell someone but knowing your cautious disposition I consider this to be an unlikely scenario.
Only you can decide. It is the weekend. Cast off your chains and unpair those socks. Pic below – a pair of socks but which one goes on which foot?
1 Signal failures at Clapham Junction are not considered to be events worthy of registration in the Big Book of Interesting Things to Have Happened
2 In other words you don’t want your boss to think you are
a bit of a knob a bit odd.