This morning I was looking through an old Good Housekeeping Cookbook (Printed February 1926). Thanksgiving is only a couple of weeks away and I thought maybe the old cookbook might have a new recipe that would be fun to try. After paging through it briefly I was drawn to the back of the book where there was a household discovery section which included About -The- House Discoveries, About-The-Laundry Discoveries, Bath-Room Discoveries, Bedroom Discoveries (Not what you are thinking!), Cookery Discoveries, Discoveries Concerning Children, Kitchen Discoveries and Sewing-Room Discoveries. The entire section was 26 pages long.
The title of one discovery in the Sewing-Room Discoveries caught my eye. It was on darning socks. When I first got married my mother-in–law talked about the socks she needed to darn. I thought I don’t know how to darn socks. My mom never taught me how to darn socks. Not wanting to be a bad wife and let my new husband run around with holes in his socks I learned how to darn socks. My husband asked me to please not do that. He hated the way the darned socks felt in his shoes. He said I think we can afford to buy some new socks when these have holes in them. That was fine with me because I didn’t like darning socks.
In 1992 when my husband and I were in the middle of a major demolition/remodel/building project we moved in with my in laws for three weeks with our four children. One morning as I was leaving for work after I sent the kids off to school my mother in-law said she would scrub our socks for me before she washed them. I said I could handle the laundry after work but inferred that she thought that our socks weren’t white enough without scrubbing them. I never did. I just made sure they were turned the right way for washing and put them in the machine. My mother in law is the Laundry Queen. She does laundry like no one else I know. Her whites are always the whitest and everything is always mended and ironed.
I felt compelled to meet the challenge of her whiter whites so before I left for work that morning I filled the scrub bucket with a various of cleaning agents, mostly bleach and soap, added our white socks and left them there to soak until I got home from work that evening. I did the laundry as usual that evening and I was wowed by how white my white socks were. I may be onto something here. Cleaner socks with no scrubbing.
The next day my oldest son was at the neighbor’s home afterschool and removed his shoes as was the custom in their home. His friend’s Dad said “Curt, What happened to your socks?” My son looked at his feet and all that remained of his freshly cleaned white socks was the ribbing around his ankle. The rest had disintegrated into dust within his shoes. My husband came home from work that evening and noted that his socks felt funny inside his shoes. He took off his shoes and his socks had also disintegrated within his shoes. He looked at me and said “Its okay if our socks aren’t scrubbed white like Mom’s, clean is good enough.”
I am so thankful for my husband and his unconditional love for me. I don’t feel compelled to live up to someone else’s way of doing things. I’m finally okay being me. I still have high expectations for me but they are mine not someone else’s.