Socks. Socks used to be an afterthought for some. Now, both men and women, strive to have a decent sock collection. For my friend, Jamie, she had always avoided the plain world of white and black socks. The only time she wore those colours was when she playing sports.
Jamie and I shared a lot of classes in freshman year in university. That’s how we became close and that’s how I knew about her obsession on socks. Well maybe it was more my obsession that revealed itself to her. By that, I mean she caught me staring at her feet during class.
How Jamie caught me was because I was spacing out in class. This was common for me, and that probably explained why my grades weren’t up to par (but that’s a story for another time). I remember staring blankly ahead, but with my head slightly angled downward. The lecture auditorium was angled downward. Jamie, however, had worn her Adidas Superstars sneakers with slightly cropped jeans. Her legs were sticking in front of the table and I could see her purple ankle socks peeking through the edges of her sneakers. She moved her feet slightly and my eyes followed. Then she lifted her foot up, directly to my line of sight before she gently pushed me and broke my trance.
“You like my socks?”
I was caught.
To my surprise, Jamie casually slipped her shoe off to show me the rest of her foot.
“They’re my Easter socks,” she said proudly as the toes of her purple socks displayed a cute white bunny.
“Nice,” I replied, trying to hide my embarrassment.
Jamie quickly slipped her shoe back on. Soon it became a thing for us. Jamie always had colorful socks or themed socks. If she remembered, she would slip her heel out slightly from her shoe to show off her sock of the day. On the days that she forgot and I had to ask, she would make me guess what they were.
And yes, there were obviously times that they repeated, but Jamie was proud of her collection. And without a doubt, thought I was weird for liking them. But as her friend, I guess you could say she let it slide.
Out of all the times we played this game, only once did she ever have white socks on and Jamie was embarrassed to show me. She refused outright, it wasn’t until I told her I didn’t believe her that she took her shoe off. I don’t know why she was embarrassed, I actually found it cute.
Jamie was very outgoing so working at a retail clothing store suited her well. She was charismatic and could carry a conversation with anyone.
I wasn’t there for this story, but Jamie shared it with me during class, during one of our regular sock guessing games.
On Halloween, Jamie had to work, but she made the best of it. She wore a long black skirt, long black boots, and black tank top. She said it was her version of being a fashionable witch. Underneath the boots, she wore her Halloween socks. They were orange with white stripes and had a Halloween character on them (these were the closest I could find to that description on Google).
“So, someone stole my boots on Halloween,” Jamie started.
“Stole your boots?”
“Like, off your feet?”
“Kind of… well… not exactly.”
Jamie went into her story about how while she was at work, there was a cute little toddler, who seemed really bored while waiting for his mom to finish shopping. Jamie decided to create some excitement for the boy by taking her boots off and showing off her Halloween socks. Her plan was a success and the boy giggled and laughed. The mother, appreciative of Jamie’s efforts, wound up purchasing a lot of clothes, which meant a bigger commission for Jamie.
So Jamie decided to use this as a tool to close some more sales.
She tried it on a group of women, who found Jamie’s enthusiasm contagious. They complimented Jamie’s socks and asked where she bought them. Each time, Jamie would put her boots back on, but like clockwork, each time it led to a big sale. Jamie then tried it on some teenage girls, and same result. Except this time, the girls also asked where Jamie bought her boots.
“So were they the ones that stole them?” I asked.
“No, I’m getting there.”
Jamie’s error in judgment came when a group of young men, around our age, came in to shop. The group talked to Jamie for a few minutes and judging by her story, it seemed like at least a couple of them were interested in her.
“Check out my socks,” Jamie said as she removed one of her boots.
“Cool,” one of the guys said.
“Are both of your socks like that?” another asked.
Jamie pulled the other boot off to confirm that indeed, both of her socks were the same.
As she did so, one of the guys grabbed her empty boots and ran off. The other guys followed, laughing along the way.
Stunned, Jamie ran to the front of the store in just her socked feet. She could see the guys outside the store waving her boots in front of her. Jamie didn’t go after them and instead, embarrassed and defeated, went to the employee back room area.
“Did you call mall security on them?”
Jamie actually wound up working the rest of her shift in just her socks. It didn’t seem too out of place as it was Halloween and her customers still found her charm to be irresistible. Despite only wearing socks, Jamie wound up having the biggest sales day of the year.
“Judging by the conditions of my socks that night, I think I cleaned our store floors pretty good,” she smiled.
“Did you check the lost and found?”
“No,” Jamie replied, “the mall was already closed by the time I was done.
So poor Jamie had to walk through the closed mall, through the empty parkade, all the way to her car in just her socked feet.
I could tell Jamie was still upset that she had lost her favorite boots and then had to ruin her Halloween socks, but I think there was one thing that Jamie was missing.
“I think they liked you,” I said.
“They wanted to get your attention.”
“By taking my boots?”
“They were clearly teasing you,” I replied, “they wanted you to go after them.”
“Then you would have to take a break and spend time hanging out with them.”
“That almost makes sense.”
“It’s a guy thing,” I replied, “sometimes we do stupid things like take your shoes to get your attention because we don’t know how to do it with simple words.”
Jamie still wasn’t buying it.
“Listen, next time you go to work, check the lost and found at the mall. I bet you your boots are there.”
Sure enough, Jamie’s boots had been there. The key word being had. Apparently another lady claimed them. It wasn’t hard to describe a pair of black boots so the mall security office handed them off to the wrong person.
So at the end of it all, Jamie did get her boots stolen. It’s just that the thief turned out to be someone else.