Some of my socks have gone on safari. They’ve left their better halves behind to form a sad, dejected pile of unwearable socks. Unwearable, that is, if you like your socks to match, which I do. I suspect at this moment the missing socks are forming a Coalition for Disillusioned Socks. They are tired of being worn in smelly shoes and stretched beyond their breaking points. They want equality with other bits of underwear, like bras. Bras always get top billing, so to speak. The socks are jealous. Trust me on this.

Recently, my husband started a new job which required us to move from Philly back to Dallas, TX. We put our house on the market, if it can be called that these days, and made the long trek across country with whatever we could cram into the car. I didn’t expect to be in Dallas long before the rest of my clothes joined me, so I brought minimal amounts of everything. Three bras, five pairs of socks, and a week’s worth of underwear (in girl speak that’s about tend pair, give or take). It should have been enough. I mean, we had a washing machine available so I knew I’d be doing laundry a little more often, but so what. It was only temporary, right?

In the spirit of non-permanence, we found corporate housing to tide us over while we waited for the house to sell. It was a tiny, one bedroom, ant infested, dark, smelly, old, worn out excuse for a roof over our heads but we thought “hey, it’s temporary.” Six months later, our belongings remained firmly entrenched in our unsold home 2000 miles away, and the corporate housing people were running out of patience. They don’t really expect you to stay in corporate housing for over six months. At least, that’s the impression I got when they suddenly informed us the lease was up and we had to get out. In two weeks. Fine. I didn’t like it there anyway.

We immediately embarked on a marathon apartment hunting expedition. Tucked behind a strip mall a few blocks away lay Shangri-la. Or as close as we were going to get to it. We got to paint some of the walls, and as a bonus we didn’t have to worry about an army of ants or other assorted bugs marching over us as we sleep. After we moved in, I did laundry and realized the only bra I could find was the one I was wearing. Huh. No matter, the others were probably in a box, I thought.

A couple of weeks went by. All the boxes and bags stood empty. No bras. Somehow, my other two bras went off on their own. They and our wayward socks and at least ten hangers are probably organizing as we speak. I suspect any day now to be hit with a list of demands: better living conditions, longer breaks, more pay, better detergent, more fabric softener, possibly breast reductions.

I’ve never understood exactly what happens to the wayward socks but it didn’t seem extraordinary to me to have them vanish occasionally. I have to admit, however, that I am flummoxed by the missing bras. Has some fraternity done a bra-raid that I’m unaware of? I don’t live near a college, but there are several elementary schools in walking distance. Some kindergartner could be walking around with my bras right now. They could be using them as a backpack or something.

How many pairs of underwear have joined in the March against Melinda, I wonder. I never count them and it’s not like they come as a set so that I’d notice them missing. Are the missing pens there too? What about the hangers? Every time I try to hang up the laundry I find I’m short by at least 5 hangers. Is there, somewhere, an entire community of Missing Items? If someone finds it, could you please send my bras back? The socks can stay, I’m used to going barefoot now.