“I’ve nothing to wear!” – the familiar cry in the face of a heaving wardrobe and in a nation that spends more than £30 billion on clothes each year.
For me, it’s socks. My sock draw is overflowing, but all too often I have no socks to wear. And this is odd, because I only ever wear three types of sock – black ones for everyday use, running socks for running, and walking socks for walking. It is not that I am spending hours agonizing over what colour or style sock to wear each day – there are only three types of hosiery in the Hosier universe, and that is enough.
But my sock draw is overflowing, partly, I think, due to a lack of discipline in disposing of those socks that have served their time. There are rogue elements lurking there that do not fit my three required categories, but somehow I cannot bring myself to dispose of them – “I might need them one day, in an emergency” – despite knowing, in my heart of hearts, that wear them I never shall. And I must also admit to a great fussiness about my socks, in that I cannot abide them to be scratchy or uncomfortable in any way, or to wear an oddly matched pair, which means there are old socks languishing in my draw, never to be worn because they are shrunken or misshapen, lacking a partner, or in some other way below the necessary quality quotient, yet – again – they are allowed their place in the sock firmament in case, one day, I might need them. Which I never will.
Sadly, this fussiness about the comfort of my feet does mean that there are days when there are no socks in my drawer that I can wear, even though the drawer is full.
I think this is the kind of scenario that Solomon had in mind when he penned Ecclesiastes.