Pussers socks

I need to rant, a straight up rant.

Until very very recently I thought I was the only one who had a major hate problem towards an inanimate object, specifically clothing.

That was until I posted on a Facebook page for navy wives about my hatred towards said item of clothing.

I was amazed at the response. I am not alone in my hatred of pussers socks!!!! Other wives too have told me that they can’t stand them!

First of all, for those of you lucky enough to not have these items of clothing in your life/laundry bin, pussers socks are of the devil navy issued thick black socks.

“Olive, why all the negative nelly-ness? They’re only socks, how bad can they be?” I hear you cry.

Well they aren’t just any old socks, these socks may be self aware. Or at least up to no good. Let me elaborate.

They are basically made of something akin to Velcro, they attract ALL hair and ALL fluff that your husbands feet may encounter. And when you live with me (I’m a moulter) and a hairy Westie dog then the socks become a veritable lint roller for the floor.

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It doesn’t matter how many times you wash them, those hairs ain’t never coming out. Ever. Ever.

So then you end up storing all the socks up for when you’re doing a load of towels or, what is even more ridiculous, just doing a load of washing exclusively of pussers socks. Which obviously is a little bit bonkers because, well they’re socks for goodness sake.

Another strange quality these socks possess is that, once brought home from the issuing depot, and worn and taken off, they will never match again. Each sock is made of a slightly different weave/pattern/thickness and you will drive yourself crazy if you try to match them into pairs. Don’t even try. The different thickness would really annoy me, but if Popeye thinks I’m going to spend ages sorting out those beasts, he better get himself another wife!

And they seem to be able to move. One navy wife said that she swears they multiply in the drawer. I thought about this and it makes perfect sense. They separate from their pairs and then go in search of a mate that is biologically different from themselves, once found they disappear into the drawer, or, in my house (the reason for the original Facebook rant) under the bed, where they bump uglies (which is the whole sock I imagine) and make new, giant thick socks to annoy you. You will find nests of these socks only once your hubby has deployed and he is safely thousands of miles away.

All you can do is destroy the nests and return them to the sock drawer. We used to share an undies drawer but now, because of the socks, Popeye has a whole drawer basically just filled with them, bursting at the seams.

Another navy wife made an interesting point, that also applies to Popeye. Sailors, it’s seems love these socks. They think they’re comfy. And stylish, Popeye wears his even when not at work. And I can only assume, seductive, based on the reports of partners attempting to play footsie with the beasts on their feet. (Err no, I don’t think so, I’ve got a headache.)

In the interests of science I have worn them before, and I’ve just put on a pair now to evaluate their comfort level. Yes they are thick, and I imagine very nice and warm during winter. But these socks are issued year round, and below decks is usually a balmy mix of BO and farts, not exactly “snuggly socks” conditions. They are also scratchy and nylony. Ok I guess, but not anything I would get attached to.

I can only surmise that sailors get attached to these strange socks because they are navy issue, and therefore have almost a nostalgic place in their heart. They are reliable I guess, and they are practical. But they are still totally gross and far far too big for any normal footed sized man, they go past my knee.

I know it’s a really weird thing to be grossed out about, but they truely are massive, unmatching and seemingly never clean. The sheer volume of them is what really takes the mick. And the fact that I am sure they wait for hubster to deploy, before emerging into the light in their swarms.

The Cleanse

OK, so, breathe, you are now in the midst of a deployment. You are now a fairly experienced Phone Ninja. At some point you will go through “The Cleanse”. The Cleanse may seem cold and mean to non forces wives, girlfriends and mothers, but I argue it is actually a very important exercise.

The run up.

Personally, I give myself over to self indulgence and to be honest, self pity, for the first few days of a deployment. In my case this is 2-3 weeks where I drink an entire vineyard and dress like Daisy Bouquet from Keeping Up Appearances. (Please note that the length of time and style of dress may vary from person to person).

After all of that, you are ready, basically you come to terms with the fact that this is really happening.

Instead of bursting into tears every time you find one of their snotty tissues, instead of smelling and sighing at the dirty sock you find next to the wash basket and instead of putting off washing up “their mug” that they used just before they left………….You decide it’s time to cleanse.

How do you know it’s time?

You get annoyed at the fact that just moving around the effing house makes you want to cry.

More importantly, your house is beginning to smell just a bit ‘fusty’.

You realise you have been mostly wearing an eclectic wardrobe that look like a cross between what your Nan would wear and a 90’s charity shop (sorry Daisy).

AND you keep looking at the episodes of Game of Thrones, Match of the Day or Rude Tube that he recorded on Sky+, and you can’t bring yourself to delete them even though the final EVER episode of desperate housewives is on tonight and you need to make space to record it.

Here it comes!

At some point, you decide to stop being sad that they’ve gone, and also realise you are becoming increasingly annoyed with yourself, and you decide to JUST GET ON WITH IT.

Now if you’re reading this and you think this sounds harsh, then you are probably still in the run up phase, carry on! Enjoy it! I’m actually quite jealous. I always try to eek it out for as long as possible. Fairly soon you will start to do your own head in.

So….now you are ready.

Usually, for me, my “Cleanse” happens on a Saturday morning, after a Friday of one too many vinos on a night out with the girls. Which, although is very supportive and helpful, makes me feel even more like a sore thumb and martyr-esque than is comfortable (there’s another post coming about nights like these!).

Saturday morning, bright and early(ish); its time……

Dururururururrurrrrrrrrururr durrururrurur – (it’s a drum roll of course)

Cleansing therapy

To the bin! Go the snotty tissues and toothbrush!!!!

Banished! To the dark corners of the cupboard go the Xbox games and various appendages! (Can’t help but do a secret “hoorah” when this stuff goes)

Bye bye multiple giant designer man-coats! See you when you’re fished outta the wardrobe in 6 months! Mwah ha haa!

In the washing machine go the socks, trousers and pants!

-The T-shirts are exempt from The Cleanse. If you are like me (and I don’t care if everyone in cyber space thinks I’m weird) dirty T-shirts go back in the drawer for a later day of self indulgence, used frugally, as needed, for a “smell his smell fest”. This almost always happens when I’m feeling a tad concerned that I may have dreamt our entire relationship, wedding and marriage, my Phone Ninja senses are on high alert, and I just need a whiffy reminder that it’s all real. (If you are very clever you can actually ‘budget’ out the amount of smell to last you the entire deployment, but probably only if you’re a tad lax with housework like me and end up with a fair few stinky T-shirts before they leave.)

During The Cleanse, even receipts, notes, bank statements and “navy crap” are not exempt, just T-Shirts pretty much. By the way when I say “navy crap” I know you all know what I’m on about…random overalls, shoelaces, boot polish, socks as thick at my duvet, strange metal cylinders that you think may be some kind of bomb until you realise it’s just a flask. (By the way- please let me know of the weirdest “navy crap” you’ve ever come across in the comfort of your own home, mine was a flak jacket/waistcoaty thing last worn in Afghanistan, the dog smelled it then went and hid! He’s so clever!)

Ahh… After The Cleanse

Afterwards… you feel…refreshed, Zen-like and at one with the universe (but still a bit narked that they aren’t home). You feel invigorated, calm and confident that you can and will cope with the months ahead.

Yes, there’ll always be the random snotty tissue down the back of the sofa that you discover a few weeks later that dissolves you into tears. And yes, there will be nights where you spray the dog with Hugo Boss just because he’s taken to sleeping on the bed lately.

But because you’ve physically sorted out your home, mentally you’re now ready to knuckle down and get through the middle bit, the ‘meaty’ bit of the deployment.

The Cleanse doesn’t mean you’re forgetting your sailor, or that you’re glad they’ve gone. It’s a way of giving yourself a much needed kick up the backside and lets you get back to being the person your sailor loves.

Because, let’s be honest, the reason they’re coming back to you is because they know you can cope, even if at times you don’t know it. The Cleanse is my way of ending the self indulgent pity party (which don’t get me wrong can be a lot of fun!) and getting on with the job in hand. Supporting and waiting for your sailor, and most importantly, living your life.

Love and hugs,

Olive xxxx