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Comprehensive analysis data gathering on the age, sex, race and gender ramifications of foot underwear…

So there‘s thIs weird thing that’s been weighing on my mind for the last month. It started as one of those deep philosophical questions that one just ponders from time to time but over the last 24 hours or so it has become something of an obsession. And now, I need your help, oh great and wise internet, for I fear if I do not figure this out it shall consume me.

And so, I am doing a very important survey. How do you put on your socks? While sitting or while standing? This is very important, let me explain…

So a few weeks ago, I was teaching my first year writing class about “definitional arguments.” I started with what in the past has been a fairly straihtforward and innocuous question: “”How do you know when someone is an adult?” I expect some pretty common answers to this question with which I can start to formulate the critieria for adulthood. Typically, the answers are things along the lines of “when you’re 18 and can vote” or “when you’re 21 and can drink.” Things along those lines. Some other answers I get pretty frequently are “when you move out of your parents house” or “when you take financial responsiblilty for yourself.” Stuff like that.

This time I got a very curious answer from one student whom I’ll call “Buddy.” Buddy’s answer: “When you can put on socks standing up.”

Uh….. what?

Yeah, so, Buddy went on to clarify: “See, I still feel like a kid because I can’t put on socks while I’m standiing. No matter what. I have to sit on my bed and then put them on. It’s a thing. And I figure when you can do that… when you can put on your socks while you’re standing… then you’re an adult.”

I was completely thrown by this. I forgot everything else I was teaching and was just stuck trying to remember every morning of my life “do I sit down or stand up when I put on my socks. I think I may sit. Is there something wrong with me?!?”

Yeah… so Buddy ruined my life…

I mean, I don’t necessarilly think about this every second of every day… not even every day. But this was like a month ago, and it keeps popping back into my mind. I think I probably sit most days… but that’s because I get dressed in bedroom, where my socks are… and my bed… and it’s just convenient. But do I always do this? Like the next morning I know I stood up to put my socks on and it felt weird. But does it really feel weird or did I just think it felt weird because Buddy’s proclamation was in my mind?
But then something weird happened yesterday. I decided I needed to drive to the store on a day where I had been working at home and I didn’t have socks on. So I went upstairs and got some socks out of the drawer and then hopped and put them on as I was walking towards my stairs. And then though “Oh shit! I’m doing it! I’m standing and putting on socks. I’m a grown-up!”

So today I discussed this with my friend Amy, who teaches the class with me. She admitted that she’s actually had the same thoughts popping into her mind every once in a whole for the last few weeks. Only from the opposite direction. She *thinks* she usually stands when she’s putting on her socks. But then she said “unless of course, they’re knee highs or something, because that’s harder.”

So then we had a long discussion where we were trying to figure out if maybe it isn’t age at all (I’m older than Amy) and maybe there is a gender component. After all, I don’t really ever wear kneee high socks because I’m a boy and this isn’t the 1970s. Maybe there’s a gender component? Except, the point was that knee high socks were harder, so you’d think I would stand and Amy would sit. And I thought “what about stockings and pantyhose?” Those have to be even harder than knee high socks, right? Because they need to be smoothed and adjusted and they’re more delicate and you don’t want them to run. So it at least *feels* like maybe women should sit more often to put on socks than men, if only for fashion reasons.

But then that made think, is it a race thing? Buddy is also black. Are my people just somehow impoverished in a weird way that makes it harder for us to put our socks on while standing?
Amy also theorized that it was maybe a flexibility thing or balance. But I don’t really have problems with those… and really, if it was, you’d think that this would actually get HARDER with age and not easier.

So I really need this needs to be solved… It’s been killing me and I don’t think I’ll be able to get anything else done until I know the answer. So consider this my pilot study before I try to get funding to run a comprehensive scientific experiment.

Do you sit or stand when you put on your socks? Does it matter based on the kind of sock? Do you think there’s some demographic thing about you that is relevant? Why?

Please help so I can sleep tonight. (Goddamn you, Buddy!)

(Also, thanks to my good friend Kat for allowing me to use one of her old 365days self-portraits for this post. Kat is very much sock addicted and used to take lots of pics to prove it. And admit it, a lot of you just read this because you saw a pic of her being sexy and showing off her legs — which is why I picked it. Thanks Kat!)





40 comments for “Comprehensive analysis data gathering on the age, sex, race and gender ramifications of foot underwear…

  1. October 10, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Sit. Unless it isn’t possible or practical. I can do standing of I must, but my feet are just too damn away.

  2. October 10, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    So, yes?

    My preference is to put them on while standing, however that isn’t always feasible. Because my balance sometimes sucks.

    I’ve put on nylons while standing up so I don’t think that matters.

  3. October 10, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Sit, with one leg resting on the bed. And then pull them up snugly before putting on shoes. And I need to elevate my feet to tie my shoes. Unless they’re my house shoes, those I just slip on. Also I wear athletic socks while wearing regular shows but diabetic socks when walking around the house.

  4. October 10, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    I always sit. Putting socks on while standing just seems strange to me. I don’t think it has anything to do with being an adult.

  5. October 10, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    I only wear ankle high socks and I sit every time I put socks on.

    1. October 10, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      Also, I hate putting socks on while wearing pants, though that isn’t really relevant to the question at hand.

  6. October 10, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    The first time I felt like an adult was when I had no more friends living on Chesterfield St.

  7. October 10, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    also, I always sit to put on socks and shoes.

  8. October 10, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    I usually sit. The exception is when I’m changing shoes/socks out and about. This usually involves me standing next to my car.

  9. October 10, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Almost always sitting. I _can_ put my socks on standing, but I only ever do so in situations where there isn’t somewhere for me to sit or I have an injury that makes the process of sitting and standing again difficult or painful and I’m already standing.

    I’m also not particularly well known for my coordination. I sometimes just walk into walls for no clear reason. So sense of balance could be the deciding factor.

    Next step: find out if there’s a correlation between standing/sitting to put socks on and people who can and cannot ride a unicycle.

  10. October 10, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    “And old is when you can no longer put on your socks standing up,” perhaps?

  11. October 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Before I answer, have you considered Buddy is the problem and not the socks? I’ve done both, but probably sit 98% of the time.

    1. October 11, 2017 at 2:46 am

      Yes!! ?

  12. October 10, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    I stand to put on socks and even stockings/pantyhose. BUT, I am clumsy, very clumsy. Like fall-while-standing-still-and-sober kind of clumsy. So, sometimes I limp around while putting socks on and near-fall and brace myself on stuff. My bf (a bit older at 41) always sits to put his on. Idk if that helps, but I think sleep is important, so I hope it does.

  13. October 10, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    We can count on our students to bring up the important issues.

  14. October 11, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Why would you stand to put on socks? Makes no sense.

  15. October 11, 2017 at 2:49 am

    I stand most of the time. White woman who is as old as you. I am decently flexible. It is nicer to put them on sitting but I don’t usually take the time. My husband – white male same approximate age always sits and always had. His is a flexibility issue I would say. (Buddy is either getting an A or an F depending on the amount of satisfaction you get from this survey! I hope you share this with your class!)

  16. October 11, 2017 at 3:17 am

    I always stand but I don’t wear socks that often. However I never sit to put on shoes either. My husband is 50 and he always sits. I think its just personal preference no demographic correlation.

  17. October 11, 2017 at 3:49 am

    I can sit or stand. Like others have said, I have good balance most of the time. John can probably only sit just because of the balance thing, plus he’s got much longer legs. I could see him falling down if he tried to put on socks while standing. Sorry, John!

  18. October 11, 2017 at 4:51 am

    This morning I literally put on one sock while standing next to the couch and then said “the fuck am I doing?” and sat down to put on the other because it is easier. These are not knee high socks or anything generally hard to put on.

    So maybe I think being an adult means choosing for yourself the best way to put on your socks in any given situation?

  19. October 11, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Sit, mostly because I am fat and lazy.

  20. October 11, 2017 at 8:14 am

    When I wear socks (which is rarely), I sit to put them on. I don’t really like taking the effort, though, so I make a point of choosing shoes that I can wear without socks. Shoes I usually put on while standing up.

  21. October 11, 2017 at 9:40 am

    I am flabergasted that one might think it necessary to stand to put socks on. Why? Getting dressed is not some sort of athletic challenge. Why put yourself through that?
    Not only do I sit down to put on my socks, I particularly relish this moment of sitting down, as in general I’m rushing to get dressed and get ready, and I’m standing over by my dresser/closet area putting on most of my clothes, but then, *then*, I get to have one more moment of sitting down, to put on my socks & shoes (if they are in my bedroom) before going out to do kitchen things and walk out the door. I love this moment.

  22. October 11, 2017 at 11:17 am

    I stand, typically while walking up the stairs in a hurry, or while balanced on one foot, using one hand, while petting a cat with the other. But I suspect that says more about my inability to slow down and focus on single tasks than it does about adulthood.

  23. October 11, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    I’m disabled. There is no way in hell i can put socks on while standing. Although I could & did when i waa younger & healthier. So I don’t think this has anything to do with age. I think it’s personal preference, physical ability & maybe laziness.

  24. October 11, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    I sit, usually, or at least lean against something. My balance is not what it used to be.

  25. October 12, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    I sometimes stand, sometimes sit. if the socks are mid-calf or lower, OR if I am putting on tights/pantyhose, I am more likely to stand, but it’s by no means 100%. if the socks are knee-high or toe socks, I usually sit. This probably approaches 100%, esp. in the case of toe socks.

  26. October 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Sit for socks. Stand for tights.

  27. October 12, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Hmmm. Since several women are saying basically “stand. Especially for tights” I wonder if maybe people who wear tights more often are more likely to stand when putting on socks.

  28. October 12, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Sit. For sure

  29. October 12, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    I usually sit for my tight socks, and stand for looser ones. You don’t expect me to slip and fall just to prove I’m an adult do you?

    Anyway, I was standing for them at age 11 or so, but it was pretty easy for me with stretchy white athletic socks.

    Perhaps part of being a grown-up is knowing when it’s okay not to care whether you seem like one?

  30. October 12, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    While I stand putting on socks, I sit for tights.

  31. October 12, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    I stand, since I don’t keep a chair (or other sittable) in my dressing area.

  32. October 13, 2017 at 12:56 am

    Sometimes stand, like when I sm changing in a public restroom after biking. Now that I have kids, I am way more likely to sit to put on socks and shoes – probably to avoid being knocked off balance by one of the kids.

  33. October 13, 2017 at 4:45 am

    I prefer to sit to put on my socks, but if I am rushed (and I am usually rushed) I put them on while standing.

  34. October 13, 2017 at 5:31 am

    This is a tricky questions and I’ll definitely have to make a point of paying attention but I typically only sit for knee highs or thigh highs. For short socks and for tights/stockings, I always stand.

  35. October 13, 2017 at 6:05 am

    I stand and walk while I put on socks when I am in a hurry, I sit down when I have excess time.

    As for mark of adulthood, I have always believed that it was clearly defined by how you remove tags. Do you rip the tags off, hoping not to snag or rip your brand new product, or do you use scissors like a decent human being? I am at a point in my life where I currently use scissors, but that is subject to change depending on depression and stress levels.

  36. October 13, 2017 at 10:56 am

    First of all When I saw the pic I was like “hot chick” and then i was like oh ya, heh. 2nd of all it is not a sign of adulthood as being adult lends itself to being fully developed and mature according to Webster. What it is Absolutley, is a question of common sense. It is much easier to put your socks on sitting down. Unless you’re that person that is looking for a challenge why wouldn’t you sit. You’re not an adult because you can leap frog into your boxers both legs at once instead of putting them on one leg at a time,.That’s nonsense, the next argument will be i’m an adult because i don’t use a sippy cup anymore. Id say a good sign you’re an adult is when you take out the trash, not because someone told you but because it needs to be done. Or pay a bill, again not because of some consequence but because you made an agreement you would. The list can go on but it think ive made my point. I like Websters 2 part definition of being fully developed AND mature.

  37. October 14, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I prefer to sit on the edge of my bed, except when my wife is still sleeping, since the resulting jostling will wake her up. So, I stand when putting on socks first thing in the morning, and sit once she’s out of bed.

  38. October 15, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    I stand when REMOVING my socks almost every night in order to practice balancing. Sometimes I put them on while standing as well. Just so you’ll know, I’m no spring chicken. I have four grandchildren and another on the way.

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