The Sock Hunt

“Remember those socks you sent me four years ago?” This was the answer I got when I asked John, my deployed Marine, if he needed anything. It seems the ones I sent him last deployment had finally started wearing out and well, he loved them. Unfortunately, my memory of those socks is both good and bad at the same time.

What I DO remember:

I remember the ones he had were taking a beating. I remember me wandering into a random store and staring up at an entire wall of socks. When the salesman asked me what I was looking for, I told him the most comfortable and toughest socks he had for my Marine in the desert.

It turns out the salesman was ex-Israeli Army and had very strong opinions about this. Keeping your feet comfortable, dry, and healthy matters. He also served on a joint forces mission with some American troops. Since he knew Americans so well, he felt confident that what he selected was the best choice. He rang me up at the register in the back and gave me his employee discount as a way to thank John for his service. He had dark hair, dark eyes, and was wearing a gray sweater.

What I DON’T remember:

The brand or style of sock, the name of the store, or even what part of town the store was in. And by “town” I mean, “the island of Manhattan.”

I had asked John to send a picture but he hadn’t. Then I wrote again asking for a brand name and description.  I went online and didn’t see it.  Could it be that over the past (almost) half-decade, they changed their products?

Maybe if I could find the store, I could find the guy and he could find the sock or make another great recommendation. I tried to think of the places I went four years ago. I narrowed it down to: the East Side. If you divide Manhattan in half, that would be the piece on the right.

Manhattan Neighborhoods

Manhattan Neighborhoods (Photo credit: estimmel)

I picked different neighborhoods and googled the clothing stores. Then I went on google street maps to see if I could recognize the storefront. Nothing. But I wasn’t giving up. A friend once told me, “you know, sometimes you’re like a dog with a bone.” I can only assume that meant, “gee, you can be determined and I find that trait delightful.”

Go West!

I decided to expand my search to the West Side. The third store I street-mapped looked familiar. Very familiar. I ran there after work, excitedly burst into the store and….they’ve reduced their magical sock wall into a small area with four offerings. Apparently they’ve also made a few changes in the past (almost) half-decade.

So I decided to make a change too. I found what I thought were good options someplace else and got those. Will it be the exactly the same? No. But without change, how would we find new things to love?

© Gina left the mall, 2013

10 thoughts on “The Sock Hunt

  1. Without change how would we find new things to love? That is a great way to look at life. I am going to remind myself of this daily!! Thanks for your insight! As usual, you have lifted my spirits and put a smile on ny face! Thanks, Gina!

  2. I would call it tenacity with a dash of Semper Gumby. I hope your deployed Marine loved whatever you found. I agree with the salesman; socks are critical downrange. A pair of good, dry, relatively clean socks can make the difference between happy and sad little piggies.

    • “Tenacity with a dash of Semper Gumby” …lol, LOVE that description, thank you! He hasn’t received the box yet but I hope that it’s a hit. There are a lot of things we can’t do from home. But happy piggies? We got this 🙂

      • Btw, I lived in my smartwools in winter and summer especially since the socks issued were lowest bidder quality. Didn’t even need sock liners and never got blisters. And it took at least a week before any foot funk was noticeable, at least to me! 🙂

  3. I am also notorious for losing socks, especially brand new ones! I’ve always heard that keeping the feet warm, dry, and well-protected is extremely important for soldiers in the battlefield. I like what you said about how “without change, how would we find new things to love?” Being flexible and adaptable are two highly underrated character traits, IMO. But, they’re really what gets us through life!

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