Not just any socks. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been wearing Gold Toe Fluffies. Soft, luxuriant, fluffy dress socks. But first, have you ever noticed that if your shoe size is 6-12 that you wear a sock size 10-13? What’s with that? And if you get your socks too big, that the heel makes the back of your ankle look like you’ve got a golf ball sticking out?
Anyway, I put it off as long as I could. I mean for the better part of a year I didn’t wear them. I was unemployed—who needs dress socks when you’re unemployed? The rare times when I wore socks at all they were white athletic ankle socks with shorts. Most of the time I didn’t wear any at all.
So we head to the Westfield Mall in Carlsbad—only about 10 minutes away. This is a big adventure. We haven’t done any shopping in months and months. There’s a J.C. Penney store and a Macy’s. First into Penny’s. We’re looking for “Men’s Furnishings”. (What a sissy name—how about just calling it what it is, the sock and drawers department). We take the escalator downstairs (you know this is more upscale because you never find an escalator at WalMart of Target—neither of which carries Fluffies). I spot a sign hanging from the ceiling (it took me 3 times pointing it out for Mrs. CB to spot it). A big 3 foot by 3 foot sign. It says “Gold Toe Socks”.
My heartbeat goes up. It’s like when you’re walking along a swale next to a corn field during pheasant season and it just feels “birdy”—you know you’re going to kick up a rooster. That’s what this feels like.
We inspect the racks and racks of socks. There’s thin dress socks. There’s thick cotton casual socks. Where are the Fluffies? There’s Gold Toe and there’s Stafford (the Penney’s brand). I find one package of 3 fluffies in my size. I’m looking for dark brown and black. Penney’s socks are all buy one, get the second one for half off (why don’t they just say 25% off, damn!). I find one 3-pack of brown fluffies and one 3-pack of black “faux fluffies” (store brand). Hmmmmm, what to do. We confer and decide to hide these 2 in the back of one of the racks and head over to Macy’s.
We head out of the store wandering down the mall towards Macy’s. God, I’ve always hated going in the main entrance of Macy’s or any major department store and having to walk through the cosmetic session. We got laughing and had the bright idea that if a store like Macy’s really wanted to sell cosmetics they should hire some experts at how to do make-up really well rather than the “sweet young things” they employ to show customers how to do it. Macy’s should hire transvestites who (a la RuPaul) really know how to apply make-up in such a way as to cover and highlight. If you can make a guy look really sexy with make-up just think what you could do with a woman. (Just a suggestion Macy’s, that’s all.) Plus, it would be a lot more fun.
So anyway, we find the “Men’s Furnishings” at Macy’s more easily (at least here it’s on the main floor). And another huge sign promoting Gold Toe socks and a much bigger selection. And they’re 33% off. AND they’ve got both brown and black. I’m in Fluffy heaven. Kind of like the cat in the cartoon “Mutts” who’s always cuddling his “lil’ blue sock”.
So, I do the math. At Penney’s the socks were $16 a pack. Let’s see at buy one, get one half off that would come to $24. At Macy’s they’re $18 a pack and 33% off. OK, that comes up to $24. It’s a wash. But damn, that’s a lot to pay for socks. $4 a pair! Carolyn looks at me and says something like, “Hey, Cheap Bastid you wear each pair one day a week and they last about 2 years—you do the math on that!”
They’ve been sitting in their bag next to the bed for a couple of weeks now. I hesitate to take them out and wear them. They’re new and perfect. Once I wear them and wash them, they’re not new anymore.
But today’s the day. It’s New Fluffy Day! I’m going to tear the wrapper and take out a pair of brand new Fluffies. Then lovingly roll each new pair into a ball and put it in the dresser. Ready. Waiting. For tomorrow. When I get to do it again. My toes and feet are going to be happy. My wife is glad too. She won’t have to look at that damn bag on the floor anymore and listen to me bitch about needing new Fluffies.