"Sven, why do you love socks so much?"
"It's simple. If your feet are happy, you are happy."
"Socks are the most important part of your wardrobe."
"Your wife mentioned that you are a bit of a snob when it comes to socks. That you turn up your nose if they aren't the best. That your socks have to be just the right length and the just right thickness. That you like to wear those expensive Smart Wool logos. That you have more money invested in socks than your college education. And that she can take a shower, get dressed and have her hair blow dried before you are done pulling up your second sock, because you do it with such care and precision."
"I thought this was supposed to be an interview with me."
"This is an interview with you."
"Then why were you talking to yourself? And what you said isn't true, Millie. You might be out of the shower and dressed before I have my second sock on, but that's because you are like a tornado in the morning since you stay in bed till the last possible second, moaning and groaning under the covers about getting up, so you have to get ready for work at the speed of light. And I can guarantee you that your hair is not dry by the time I have my second sock on."
"Well, you don't have to be so touchy, Sven."
"How many pairs of socks would you say that you own?"
"Oh, I don't know. Maybe thirty."
"Thirty? Are you nuts? You have a lot more than thirty pairs of socks!"
"That's it. I knew doing an interview with you wasn't going to work."
Well folks. It seems that the man with the most socks has an important call to take. So, why don't I just get the rest of the story from his wife.
Sure. Not a problem. I would love to give you the scoop.
You see, I knew that Sven had a thing for socks right off the bat. But he was so cute, I didn't care how many socks he had.
It was never really an issue. We had lots of drawers. But I think when he bought that big bag of white sporty ones to go with those new basketball shoes in Maine, while we were on our honeymoon with a meager lump of cash, it was a real eye opener.
Actually, it was nice for the first couple of decades or so of our marriage.
Christmas, birthdays and Father's Day were all a piece of cake.
"What should I get for Sven?" people would ask.
"Socks," I would answer.
"Socks? they would say?
"Socks," I would say again.
And everybody knew and still does know that if Sven draws their name, they are in for a nice pair of socks.
I bought socks for him too.
Because it was fun, and he always smiled so nice when he opened the package.
But, over the years his socks started to really pile up. I couldn't get his sock drawer to close even when half of them were in the laundry room.
It was like that fruit of the month club that Raymond bought for his parents for Christmas on his TV show. At first, he was a superstar and Robbie was pissed off. But then it turned into a disaster when Marie didn't know what to do with all those oranges and the fruit wouldn't stop coming.
It became clear that Sven had to throw some of his socks away.
So, he did.
Well, he tossed a few and transformed many into stain rags.
We still have an abundance of stain rags.
But the socks are still coming.
And Sven is like a woman who was once fulfilled by drinking Rose wine out of a box in her refrigerator, to a sophisticated Cabernet snob who would never dream of chilling it.
It's nothing but the best socks for my sweet Sven.
He never comes home from a clothing store without new socks.
And what is it that makes a marriage work?
It is the Yin and the Yang of it.
And that is why Sven is married to a woman who has shit for socks.
A woman whose sock drawer is almost empty.
He used to surprise her with socks. Really nice socks. She once had happy feet too.
But I think she might have told him that she had enough socks somewhere along the way. Or perhaps, knowing her, one time she said, "Oh. Socks. Thanks."
Anyway, her feet have been on their own for a while now.
And she never buys socks.
Because she can't remember that she needs socks when she is out shopping. And even if she does remember that she needs socks while out shopping, she puts them back on the rack. Because they are too expensive.
Put it this way. Her cart is already over budget. And she is absolutely keeping both the shoes and the purse.
Her sweet Sven doesn't know it, but right now, she is sitting at the computer wearing one white sock and one neon-green sock. They are two different lengths. They are both inside out. They are both the same thickness.
And they are both soaking wet.
That is why she is planning to ask Sven for a new cell phone and a pair of socks for Christmas.
She will absolutely get one of those items.
And now if you will excuse me, I think I am going to take a nice hot shower.
My feet are freezing.
But equally so.