Socks are the underwear of the feet, but without any of the sexy associations that come with being worn so close to your naughty bits. Not all underpants are alluring, of course, but along with granny panties and blousy boxers the category also encompasses G-strings and jockstraps.
As for socks? I suppose some people might get an erotic charge from the knee-high pairs worn by schoolgirls or soccer players, but the appeal there is of the niche variety.
Far duller and more utilitarian than underpants, socks occasionally try to appear more fun by sporting playful designs, but they don’t fool me.
On the whole, socks are unsexy and lame even though necessary—three things they share in common with the office of the vice president of the United States. Bold colors and cute prints only veil the truth. You can paint Mike Pence pink and stamp him with rainbows, but he’s still Mike Pence.
A happier Mike Pence embracing his most authentic self, maybe, but still Mike Pence.
The lamest yet most necessary socks of all are the kind you put on when you want to look as though you’re going sockless but you still need fabric to absorb the sweat and accompanying stinkiness of your feet.
I’d say that encompasses several human failings at once, from our vanity to our tendency to generate unpleasant odors.
Now that I think of it, feet themselves don’t make the best case for the beauty of the human species.
“Simian” was the apt (albeit cruel) word I once heard an acting teacher use to describe the feet of a young woman who wore sandals to a class I took during college. As I recall, the teacher was trying to crack the sandal wearer’s cool facade while they were working on a scene requiring a display of vulnerability.
“Look at Helen’s feet,” the teacher said to the rest of us (I’ve made up a pseudonym for the student because I have compassion and could therefore never be an acting teacher). “They’re almost simian, aren’t they?”
I would have died of shame on the spot, but ol’ Monkey Toes just took the abuse with calm, masochistic dignity. Which, under the circumstances, was a far more impressive performance than any display of vulnerability would have been.
If you ask me, actors don’t get enough credit for the strength it must take to pursue a profession filled with physical appraisal and rejection. I mean, sure, there’s also probably something wrong with them emotionally, but the strength!
As for those no-show liner socks, they could learn a thing or two from the actresses of the world about holding steady while getting walked all over.
The socks don’t even stay on your feet most of the time, and shouldn’t staying on your feet be a baseline expectation for a sock?
But since no-show socks just barely cover your soles, they don’t have your ankles to hold onto, so it doesn’t take much—approximately seven steps, say—for each sock’s elastic band to snap over the heel and bunch up in the vicinity of the foot’s arch.
And then for the rest of the day, or until you can take off your shoe to make adjustments, the sock just kind of slides around under your foot, like you’re walking on a handkerchief or a Stayfree maxi pad. With wings.
Sexiness-wise, it’s about as far from a jockstrap as you can get.