My socks don’t match today. And before you go thinking that’s just me being witty or contrary, let me say it was purely accidental. Having to get dressed in the dark within five minutes of getting out of bed can cause wardrobe malfunctions. You don’t need a scientific study to know this is true.
I fell out of bed this morning and into a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, rooted through a drawer for the socks, and then walked/tripped/staggered into the kitchen for coffee. I didn’t realize my socks were different. Not when they were propped up on the ottoman while I watched the morning news, and not when I put on my boots for work. It was only a little bit ago when I eased back in my chair here at work that I noticed it.
It’s not a complete mismatch, like snow at the beach or Sandra Bullock and Jesse James. It’s more subtle. For instance, both of my socks are gray. They’re even the same shade of gray. But the left one has two thin bands of black thread at the top, while the right one is plain.
No one here knows my socks don’t match. My jeans cover up the evidence. And no one really looks at feet anyway. But I know. And it feels funny now that I know. When I walk, my left side seems a bit heavier just from the extra weight of the dye in my left sock. I’m wobbling, if only just a little.
Crazy, I know.
What’s crazier still is the fact that so many things in people’s lives seem mismatched as well. It isn’t just two wrong socks that can make us wobbly. There are plenty of other things, too.
There are some people who don’t match their jobs, for instance. They spend their days toiling away at work that doesn’t suit them, won’t fulfill them, and will never bring them any true joy. They would rather be doing something else. Something special. Something that matters. Tell them they do indeed perform a valuable service, and they’ll nod and thank you on the outside but sneer at you inwardly. Because you don’t know the truths of their lives. They do. They have to live them. And the truth is that some dreams will always remain as such. Dreams are just the reverie to get you through the reality.
Some people don’t match each other, either. I know husbands who are either secretly or openly hostile to their wives and wives who are the same to their husbands. They put up with each other and may even love each other, but at the same time they realize love isn’t enough. They’re not a good match. Their personalities or their opinions or their worldview is simply different. That whole thing about opposites attracting? That might work for a while, but it seldom works for long.
I’ve thought about this sort of thing all day. It’s stuck in the cogs of my mind and refuses to budge. It seems unfair that things have to be so difficult, for everyone and for me. This life can be a lonely place, and it’s only made lonelier by the fact that we always seem to be bumping against everything but never get the opportunity to embrace it.
I was washing my hands a few minutes ago and happened to look into the mirror above the sink. I never do that. I hate mirrors. Glancing into them is a necessity, of course. But lingering too long there is a recipe for disaster.
I lingered. And I realized that it’s not just my socks that are mismatched.
One ear seems to be sitting a bit higher than the other. My eyes don’t seem to be perfectly centered in my head.
Then I remembered that my left foot is just a hair smaller than my right. And that my right arm is just a bit longer than my left.
Just for comfort’s sake, I walked back to my office and did some research. Turns out that almost everyone is much the same. Some part of everyone’s body is off kilter.
No wonder there are so many mismatches in life. We don’t even match ourselves.
I suppose this could be depressing, but I don’t think it is. I think it’s proof. Evidence that while we may be in this world, we are not meant for it. We are mere passersby, vagabonds on a journey from here to somewhere else. Somewhere better, where things are even and bright and good.
And where everything is made for embracing.