Sock Connoisseur? Or Just Gullible?


“You shoulda seen it, Rayleanne, you shoulda seen it with your own two eyes, this Yankee just paid $22 for a pair of socks! Walked right up to the clerk girl, slapped them socks down on the counter and never blinked when she told him they were $22! That sumbitch charged ’em, too, can you believe that? And this big ol’ boy walked out the store with them socks, Rayleanne, walked over to this fancy Lexus and put them socks in the trunk! Couldn’t believe what I just saw, the boy put a pair of socks in the trunk! Who does that, Rayleanne? Dumb sumbitch pays $22 for one set of socks and then puts ’em in the trunk of a fancy car! Lord, they get dumber every day … “

Yes, that’s right … I paid $22 for a pair of socks! I’m retired for all of 24 hours and the next thing you know, I’m grossly over-paying for socks! Here’s how I ended up in this mess …

If you recall (yeah, like you all are living so vicariously through me that you remember this kind of crap), about a month ago I went with Sheila to Statesville, NC while she was doing an audit for her job. The first morning we were there, I was putting on a pair of socks and they were pretty worn in the heel, so Sheila suggested I go to the Thorlos Factory Outlet store in town and get some new socks. “They’re not cheap”, she said, “but they are really comfortable and will last forever.”

Thorlos is like the Rolls Royce of socks, I come to find out. Now, I’m used to paying, like, $9.00 for 5 pairs of socks at Walmart or JC Penny, maybe $12 if they seem special. Plus, when I was growing up I would get all of Buzz’s (my older brother) (he’s #1 of 6 kids) old socks to wear, handed down to me after he got them all full of holes and stretched out. Luckily for me, our Grandma (Mom’s mother, lived with us my whole childhood) would always iron our socks, effectively killing whatever toe-jam related disease Buzz tried to export to the next used sock recipient.

This what my feet looked like every day as a kid

So, knowing I’m not a sock connoisseur, when I walked into the Thorlos Outlet and saw socks for $11.75 a pair I thought to myself, “no friggin’ way I’m paying that much for a pair of socks”, but then I also thought that I should at least get something so Sheila wouldn’t think I blew off her recommendation. (When you’re an old fool like me with a pretty girlfriend, you don’t take a lot of chances in getting her pissed off) (Not that she would get pissed, but why take a chance, right?) (Right?) ( #firstworldproblems)

Problem #2: When I walked into the factory outlet store these two clerks, who were, umm, senior ladies, were in a deep discussion and didn’t hear me walk in. No one else was there so they weren’t being discrete talking about “Smooth Move” tea concoctions … Apparently one of them was, uhh, hmm … a tad “backed up” and they were talking about, err, “results” in pretty specific fashion. Not exactly the type of discussion you’d expect to hear from two elderly Southern gals 1st thing in the morning.

So now I’m in this store, alone, listening (not willingly, mind you, but you couldn’t avoid hearing them) and I can’t just walk out without it looking like I’m grossed out, plus, there is still Problem #1, the pretty girlfriend thing to consider, so here I am actually shopping for crazy expensive socks in some factory outlet store in Statesville, NC.

The two Southern belles realize I’m there and ask if they can help. I tell them, no, I’m fine and I proceed to look at the worlds most expensive socks.  Mind you, they are “only” $11.75 a pair here, because it’s a factory outlet, but I’m still aghast at the pricing and my morning breakfast is heaving up and down a little after listening to the Smooth Move talk.  But, I think to myself, this is a factory outlet so that $11.75 will probably be another 50% off, right?

Wrong. The $11.75 was the discounted price, so my two pairs of socks that I took to the register cost me $23.50 plus tax.  The clerk lady who was free flowing told me that the socks will last forever, the clerk who was … jammed up … was ringing me up and they both took the moment to apologize for the topic-du-jour underway upon my arrival. I played stupid (you have no idea how easy that is for me to do!) and feigned ignorance. They seemed relieved. I felt $23.50 poorer and somehow violated.

When we arrived back home In Georgia I opened my footware investment and tried on a pair of these Thorlos XDOM over-the-calf dress socks, just to see what the hoopla was all about. What!!! What the heck happened??? These socks were the most incredible gift my feet ever received!!!  They felt amazing and my feet, after 65+ years of dragging me around, didn’t hurt at the end of the day! And no fear of toe-jam disease!

That’s right, $22.00 a pair

I told Sheila, “These are the best socks I’ve ever worn!” Sheila just looked at me with an expression that said, “Of course they are, I told you they were great”,  but said “I’m glad you like them”, which is Georgia passive-aggressive for “You’re an idiot”.

For the past month I’ve been wearing my Thorlos XDOM socks almost exclusively when I’m not home.  At home, I’m usually barefoot, something super easy to do since we rarely wear shoes in the house and working from home you don’t really need to put on socks.  But I found myself making excuses to extend the wearing of my magic socks; “I can wear them again tomorrow, I only had them on for 3 hours today” or “They don’t stink too bad, I can get another day out of them”. Clearly, it was time to give in and get some more socks.

I looked EVERYWHERE for a discounted price.  Thorlos obviously has a protected marketplace … These socks are list price only, except for the factory outlet shop in Statesville NC, and I’m not driving 305 miles one way to save $10.00 on a pair of socks. That brings me to yesterday, paying $21.95 a pair for my socks. I could only buy 1 pair since that was all they had in stock, and while I admit to creative license in my opening paragraph, I’m pretty damn certain that the Bubba behind me was definitely thinking something awfully similar, if the expression on his face was any indicator.

“Dumb sumbitch, paid $22.00 for a pair of socks” ….

Buzz, still trying to creep me out …

2 comments on “Sock Connoisseur? Or Just Gullible?”

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