Year of the Fabulous Socks

Well, 2016 was a year of many things, most of them pretty bad. We lost Prince, and Princess Leia, Colonel John Glenn and Major Tom. Voldemort and his chess set of white supremacists gained entry into the White House when Russia took a page out of the US playbook to help make that happen, putting immigrants and queer folks and women and people of color at even greater risk of the kind of things that made Germany into an object lesson eighty years ago (one we have ignored, it seems).

In the midst of all this darkness, it is difficult, but not impossible, to light a few candles.

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  1. In February, my union got my colleagues and me a 26% increase in pay over the next three years, because, yes, that’s how little the school had been paying us.
  2. In March, I started playing Lesbian Dodgeball on a monthly basis (see #5) with a bunch of overeducated goofballs. This started my collection of Fabulous Dodgeball (and other) Socks.
  3. In May, I got a fabulous roommate and her Hello Kitty bestest buddy.
  4. In August, I went alone to Boston ComicCon, wearing an Agents of SHIELD uniform and had a pretty good time. This is also where I got my Wonder Woman and Groot socks.
  5. In November, I went to the Love Rally on the Boston Common with the abovementioned goofball friends, now in Deeply Serious mode. Then on Supergirl, the Girl of Steel’s sister DEO Agent Alex Danvers figured out that yes, she is into girls, as I had some months before.
  6. In December, I went on my first date in eleven years.

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Now, when I originally started writing this post, I had some vague idea about writing about the tradeoffs a gal makes shopping in the men’s section, but my pen had other ideas. Still, I stand by my title.

Because we could look back on 2016 as the year we lost so many of the best and brightest: Leonard Cohen, Muhammed Ali, Janet Reno, Richard Adams.

But I will look back on this past year as the year my sock drawer–that oft-ignored repository which, like a bookcase, tells the world through its changes how one’s life is changing–got a little fabulous.

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So yes, 2016 will go down as the Year of the Fabulous Socks. And as God is my witness, 2017 will go down as the Fabulous Year.

And when that starts happening, I will get back to talking about traversing the men’s section.

Styling Saturday: The Geometric Sock of Improvement

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At their best, men’s clothes have advantages over women’s—admittedly with grave exceptions. To my mind, good men’s clothes are structured rather than droopy. (The unfortunate trend among young men lately of wearing sweatpants with ankle cuffs is probably caused by a huge bribe to fashion designers from the Center for Population Control. Even my eighty-year-old father knows better than to wear pants like that.)

Another thing I like is that the colors are generally less saturated and more muted (think of a standard box of eight Crayola crayons. Add pale grey to each color). Such shades are kinder for my Celtic/Polish complexion and I find them much more restful most of the time.

The last advantage is the patterns, which are often calmer. If there are flowers, they are either on tropical shirts and the particular type of flower is recognizable, or the flowers are tiny, almost like irregular polka dots from a distance. None of this Women’s Section Let’s add flowers! And paisleys! To the same shirt! And matching skirt/jacket/pants! And you are much more likely to see geometric patterns as well.

But up until recently, it would never have occurred to me to attempt to shop in the men’s section (although in high school I bought my sneakers and Oxford bucks in the boy’s section; the sizes were better). But I recently bought some shirts in three different stores in the men’s section, to replace a bunch of shirts that I got rid of a while back because they either were too small or had been worn to rags.

And all these advantages in clothes even pertain to socks, which is good because the vast majority of my socks are fairly boring. And if I am going to be playing dodgeball once a month in my socks from now on, I am totally going to require New & Improved Sockage.