The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

August 17, 2007


This isn't really about socks and sex.
I just thought it was a catchy headline.

However -- and I hope I'm the only blogger who has ever done two consecutive posts on socks, in which case I should be in the Guiness World Book of Blogging Records -- this IS DEFINITELY about those cloth things we wear to cover our feet.

I have actually blogged before about socks.

I mentioned them in my first annual spring male fashion series, where I touched on such critical issues as wearing socks and sandals, which is not the fashion faux pas women say it is.

Although I, personally, never do that, of course.

No, this post is all about socks and male virility which I suppose, in some way, is related to sex.

And in this case, my OWN virility, which was questioned by a co-worker this week but defended by another co-worker after my fashion sense and, therefore, my entire reason for being, was attacked by my daughter.

Let me explain.

My daughter, in the past year (I think it was last summer), looking at the supposedly far from cool calf-high white socks that I always used to wear with shorts in the summer, uttered this crushing comment:

"Dad, you look like a nerd in those socks."

Being deeply offended by such a remark, I cried, then asked: "Why?"

"They're so old-school. Guys wear anklets now. They look cool. You don't."

I went and tickled her into submission and dismissed her words, then promptly went out and bought about 18 pairs of anklets, some with the Nike swoosh so I could look super hip and give Nike free advertising.

I've worn these socks now all summer, figuring I was the hippest, baddest 51-year-old cool guy wannabe on the planet.

Until this week, when I was out having a cigarette at the side of the building at my workplace, where they herd all us smokers to hide us from the unwashed, pure masses who are going to die tomorrow from our second-hand smoke.

The conversation went something like this:

(DISCLAIMER: the following is a direct quote and is not intended to offend anyone of any sexual orientation.

The word used was said in a spirit of the measure of a man's level of masculinity or femininity only, and in humour):

Woman 1: "Those socks look gay."

Me: "WHAT!!??"

Woman 2: "No they don't, my husband wears those. They don't look gay."

Woman 1: "Yes they do. They look gay."

My boss, hopelessly out of his league: " son wears those all the time."

Me: "WHAT??!!"

Woman 2: "Everyone wears them. They're not gay."

Woman 1: "Yes they are. And you buy his underwear for him too?"

Woman 2: "Yeah, but...(to my boss): Do YOU wear anklets? Do you even wear socks? And what about on the days you wear your cowboy boots?"

My boss (pulling up pant leg to reveal calf-high socks with his golf shoes): "No. Never would. But my son does. And so do all his friends. I think you're in trouble here, guy. I'm staying out of this."

Me: "Wait a minute. My daughter told me I looked like a nerd in the socks I used to wear. Now I'm cool. I'm hip. I'm happenin'. And now you're tellin' me they're GAY?"

Woman 1: "They're gay. You're not gay, but your socks are."

I went home that night and contemplated this question.

The fact is, when my daughter told me I looked like a nerd and I should wear anklets, I too thought they were "gay." But all the football players I cover and know wear them.

Most other athletes I know wear them too, male and female. But most males over 50, I'd wager, don't wear anklets.

They wear thigh-high socks, Bermuda shorts and t-shirts they shouldn't be allowed to wear that just expose their mammoth pot bellies.

I have spent hours (OK, minutes) researching this complex topic.

And I direct you to this Sock Dreams website,, which appears to be an authority on socks.

I do point out that while there is a specific section on anklets -- it says, excitedly, that EVERYONE should own at least a couple of pair -- the great majority of socks they display are regular-height ones.

Maybe I should be wearing these anklets? Or maybe...not...

As an enticement for my 2.3 male readers to go the link above, there's a brilliant section, with pictures, on fishnet stockings. So check it out. It's all quite mind-numbing and potentially arousing.

The variety of socks is, in fact, almost incomprehensible. It's so overwhelming that I have a headache.

But let's boil all this down to the question at hand. And in a completely unrelated thought, view the video that shows you how to fold socks, including anklets.

Here's me in anklet socks and in regular socks, the kind I used to wear...what should -- WHAT CAN -- a man do?

I throw this universally pondered quandary out to the millions of people who read this blog:

Are anklets gay? What socks do you wear?


  1. Screw the socks.

    Tell us where you got that scar?

  2. MJ:

    That's the smallest scar I have on my right knee, which will be the subject of my next post...

  3. In a word, Fascinating!
    How is it that you are so cutoff from society?

    You can NEVER EVER EVER wear those knee-highs with shorts unless you are being exhibited in your f***n casket with the bottom lid closed...then by all means knock yourself out.

    Secondly, give that beeyotch a slap upside her head for saying that your socks are gay! If you were gay you could laugh at her but you're not so you have to look insulted! Don't you know anything? Straight, caucasian, middle class, males, of european descent, must always stick up for homosexuals, gypsies and carnies? We are the last line of defense. If we falter the whole politically correct thing implodes, society crumbles, and we're back to the Dark Ages so quit being so f***n retarded!

  4. Did HE say f***n?


  5. I think Woman1 is just bitter because she's not hot enough to have you in those anklets. She only wishes you were gay so that she could feel better about not being hot enough to have you.

    I agree with HE and with your daughter. Do NOT wear knee-high socks with short... EVER. The anklets are much more flattering. I just think there should be a more masculine name for them for men's anklets.

    I used to have those lacey anklets back in the 70s/early 80s, when I was a kid.

  6. Homo Excruciating:

    Maybe I should have had a picture of myself posing with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.

    Woman No. 1 was teasing me, of course, and I was not insulted. She's a good friend of mine.

    However, this little exchange, which actually continued over a couple of days between those involved initially, did give me another opportunity to write about men's fashion, one of my areas of expertise, as you know.

    And it offered another opportunity to talk about the gulf in generational dress codes between me and my daughter and the whole issue of what's a 50ish man to do.


    Yes, HE did say f***n, twice, and went on some long-winded diatribe about political correctness.


    No, I don't think so. She was just teasin' me and got quite a conversation going that caused a lot of laughs in the end. :-)

  7. I'm sorry, WW, but I hate anklets. I think they look silly and they're impracticle. I have a strong tendency to wear hiking boots as often as possible, and anklets just don't work with hiking boots! Mid-calf socks do the trick quite nicely. However, not with shorts. If you're wearing shorts, for god's sake wear sandals with NO SOCKS!!! Thongs are also acceptable, I mean what you probably call flip-flops, not a bikini. God, what have I suggested, PLEASE DON'T WEAR A BIKINI. Anyway, don't forget that mid-calf socks tend to fall down and scrunch up around the ankle anyway, so they can have the same effect as anklets. This may possibly be the worst structured piece of writing I've ever put into the public eye. I'm sorry! I hate socks anyway, I love going barefoot when I can but it's been so cold here lately. Good luck!

  8. Stace:

    No need to be sorry!!! As usual, you're one of the few who actually answer the question I posed!

    In the summer, I wear shorts every single day, no exceptions. So I usually do wear sandals, NO SOCKS!

    But it's been cooler here lately. For the first time all summer, I wore pants one day last week.

    And the other days when I DID wear shorts, I wore anklets and runners, and that's when this exchange happened.

    Now, on to your comment about THONGS!!!! Ha Ha Ha Ha! Yes, you suggested I wear thongs! So I will!

    Bikini shorts! Comin' right up!!! What will my daughter say? HA HA HA!!! She'll die!!!!!!!


  9. Thank You Stace!
    I still refer to flip-flops as thongs! My goodladywife constantly corrects me but flip-flops is a Yankee term.

    Sandals are fancy thongs that usually disguise disgusting male feet and unattended toenails. Sandals can be worn with shorts to casual events however this combination is still NEVER appropriate for a gentleman to wear in an office environment.

  10. HE:

    Are you sure that isn't you demonstrating how to fold socks in my accompanying helpful YouTube video (which I know everyone has watched), feigning a British accent?

    What a Fashion Floozie and Modern Male Malcontent you are!

  11. btw I think you should wear the long socks pushed down :o)

  12. ok, i say stick with the anklets, and damien agrees.
    as for moi, i have a huge sock & stocking collection. everything from special toeless lacy sock thingies for sandals and knee high glittery striped ones to thigh-high non-slip stockings and stockings that need garter belts.
    i do love accessories...

  13. Ziggi:

    "You smoke?", she said, with utter disdain and shock. "Yes," he replied, his shameful head bowed.

    Still. Horrid, isn't it? If you could cast a spell, I'd find it easier to quit...

    And thanks for your socks suggestion. I might just do that then.


    OK, I'll stick with the anklets. But in winter I'm goin' back to the regular ones.

    And you have a sock thing, do you?

  14. Ankle socks are good for cycling, and is the only time i ever wear matching socks....

    KNee high socks go well with rainbow suspenders, and stomach high 3 quarter pants. Just dont forget the cardigan and the bow tie.

    I am suprised at the smoking, with H "oh my god imagine all the chemicals" E as a best mate. ALthough i am partial to a good cigar:)

  15. Aidan:

    I'll try to remember your advice about rainbow suspenders and stomach high 3/4 pants (HELLO!)

    You sound like that goofy black kid with the high-pitched voice on that funny comedy that used to run, the fashion nerd...

    I don't want to tell any tales out of school about HE, but...umm...ask him if he smokes...

  16. Oh god. Smokers! And I thought you guys were civilised! ;) WW, I'm going to try reverse pshychology: WEAR A BIKINI, your daughter would think it really cool. And post photos of it. Because everybody loves somebody to laugh at! :)

  17. Stace:

    OK, you asked for it...HEY! What do you mean LAUGH AT??!!

  18. (Thongs are still thongs here -have always been thongs and always been thongs. What people in other places call thongs I call "a piece of dental floss that gets wedged up your crack")

    ww-wear whatever socks you like -even ABBA ones if they take your fancy

    My preference -long and stripped socks under jeans.I wouldn't be caught dead in shorts, so it isn't an issue.

  19. dear me -had to come back -meant to write "always will be thongs".

  20. Lee:

    I don't know what ABBA socks are, I'm not so culturally enriched, but OK.

    I like your definition of thongs. I don't get why you wouldn't get caught dead in shorts.

  21. Anklets socks are better for you. They highlight those BEAUTIFUL scars.

    Why should it matter if those are gay or not? You don't have to conform.


  22. Gautami:

    My scars are what they are, no matter what socks I wear...

    And it's not about having my virility questioned, despite what my post says :-)

    Believe me, I definitely don't conform...

  23. ww-ABBA socks are socks with a picture of the members of the band ABBA on them :). I had some myself, thought they were pretty hot stuff at the time. I won't wear shorts because they just don't suit me;I look like a goose in them-some people look great in them -I'm not one of those people.3/4 pants are more my go.I'm sure that you feel better now that you know what ABBA socks are ;).

  24. Lee:

    Thanks for informing this modern culture-deprived pisant of the obvious on ABBA socks.

    I don't understand why you'd look like a goose in shorts, but 3/4 pants (aren't they called capris?) wouldn't be too shabby.


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