Going To Work In Sports Socks

I’m not saying I’m a needy dependent but my wife did make me change my socks this morning before allowing me to go to work. I thought I looked perfectly respectable. Dark grey suit, white shirt, black socks and shoes. Fionnuala took one look at my feet and shot me a horrified look – ‘You are NOT going to work in those socks,’ she proclaimed. ‘Why not?’ I replied. ‘Because they’re sports socks!’ she hollered back.

I was utterly oblivious I was heading into the office in running socks. My brain computes black socks as black socks. There is no further sub categorisation. My mind was blown. I’d been doing this for months. Had anyone at work noticed? Did my work colleagues gather by the photocopier to point and snigger as I walked by? Oh look, there goes Running Sock Guy,’ they would guffaw, just out of earshot.

What about running? Had I been hitting the roads in fluorescent tops, shorts and black business socks? I was probably the laughing stock of the local running community, a pariah to be mocked and shunned. Would I be forced to return my marathon medals for crimes against running fashion? I shook my head sadly, my dreams of a seven figure Nike sponsorship deal shot down in flames.

My father was the most resourceful and practical man I’ve ever known. He could turn his hand to anything. If you threw him an assembly manual and a spanner, he could assemble it. Garden shed, swing set, aircraft carrier, he would figure it out. The one thing he couldn’t master were matching clothes. Every morning he would walk into the kitchen and ask my mother if his outfit for the day met the required standard. Often, he was sent back to the bedroom to ‘try again.’

The other day Fionnuala caught Adam going to school in black shoes and ankle socks. It was up there with the cardinal sin – black shoes and white sports socks. Even I know that is a complete no no. Three generations of Black men, joined by the common strand of being utterly incapable of dressing themselves. Thank God for women, I say. The power behind the throne….and the wardrobe.

We fight all our lives to be independent, to break free of the apron strings of our parents and live our own lives. Yet, so often, we are lazy and allow ourselves to lapse back into old habits. We lean too heavily on others, and allow them to take responsibility for our decisions and actions. That way, it’s so much easier when the wheels come off. We can blame somebody else, as opposed to taking the hit.

Life is all about decisions. Will I take that job, will I marry this person, what socks will I wear to work today? They vary in levels of importance. Some we make without even thinking, others we deliberate over for weeks on end. In the end, we have to make a choice, choose a fork in the road and set off down it. Every action has a consequence. The only way to find out what that is, is to take a deep breath and go for it.

How independent are you?

Do you allow others to make decisions for you?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

31 thoughts on “Going To Work In Sports Socks

  1. Where is Fionnuala’s sense of fun. Of adventure? I rarely, if ever, knowingly wear grey or black socks. Blue, red, green, purple, yellow, orange, with faces, striped multi-coloured. I’m an introvert and this is my (not so) subtle way of rebelling.πŸ˜„πŸ˜†πŸ˜œ


  2. Oh good lord. I see nothing wrong with those socks. You’re wearing shoes & pants, right? Who’s going to see them?

    Where I live, nobody wears socks in the summer. Even with dress shoes. Unless you’re a lawyer or some other kind of professional. & even then, I see some sockless wonders.


  3. I had quite the chuckle reading about your inability dress self gene and how it has been passed down for three generations. In my family it is the upper arm backhand when you want to make a point or find something very funny. Everyone does it…..in the family….outsiders all say ow why did you hit me? and ruin the good fun. LOL How does Fionnuala feel about socks and sandals then? It appears to have become a ‘thing’ which is going to kill me. Cannot stand them. Want to tackle offending individuals and rip the socks from their feet.


  4. I love your take on everyday situations. You have me laughing this morning. My brother and his wife do this dance almost every day. But what I love most about this post is the way you took it a step further and gave me something to think about. Decision making and responsibility. As always, excellent post.


  5. I think I still own a suit, but it’s in the back of the closet and I haven’t seen it in years. Since I work from home, my general garb is Hawaiian shirts. When we go out in public, every now and then my wife will look at me and ask, “Are you going to wear that?” It took me several years of marriage to realize “Are you going to wear that?” isn’t a question, it means “You are NOT going to wear that!” and the correct answer is not “Well, yeah.” The only correct answer is “No, of course not.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ha ha ha!! And then my husband purchased dark gray/black trainers and wears white socks and shorts… oh well! As long as he doesn’t wear dress black socks!! πŸ˜‰


  7. I’m trying to be more independent. Historically, I weigh everyone’s thoughts over courses of action. I require approval. I read a quote recently, however, that resonated: “If you don’t need their permission, you don’t require their approval (or something like that)”. So yeah, independence and making my own decisions for everything is the goal.


  8. Ha! This a such a real thing. Thanks for the early morning feed chuckle. Made me think of how my husband looked when he came home from a conference last week. Grey on Gray-gray shirt, gray shorts. Only problem was it was two different grays…


  9. I’m so into making decisions for myself I went ahead and decided that I don’t like the task of mating socks. So I don’t. And I don’t care what society thinks about the state of my socks.

    And because my children didn’t have mated socks to wear they started wearing whatever they could find, because they also inherited the “don’t care about matching socks” detail so many get hung up on. They will literally wear one knee high pink and white striped sock with a neon yellow camouflage ankle sock with shorts and a shirt of different colors.

    I’ve taught myself and my children not to care what other people think. And to especially not care what other people think of your clothes. Because if people are busy judging you for the way you look, they are too busy taking the time to get to know the person behind the clothes. And people like that, it’s probably better to scare them away with offensive clothing.

    So I’m all on board for wearing whatever feels best and makes me happy and smiling sadly at those who would look down on me for something as silly as the garments I drape my decaying body with.


      1. I hope you find the ability to free yourself of the confines of what other people think. It is hard when you are living in the working world, because so much of who you are is judged by appearances. The working world is shallow and uncaring of the individual. It is a hive mind at its worst always hating on anyone daring to do their own thing apart from the generally accepted set of standards society has demanded of our workers.

        I seek to buck standards and show why society is better celebrating the individual rather than worshiping at the altar of physical beauty and generally accepted words of interaction.

        I live free to think about myself as I wish. I live free to adorn my body as I desire without fear of how I will be judged. I live free to love wildly the people that have become the family I care most about in the world. I live free to give all my time to the people that matter most to me without having to worry about chasing the ever disappearing dollar. Very simply, I live free.

        And as I list out my freedoms that I enjoy on a regular basis, I wonder about your freedoms. What do you give yourself the freedom to do without worrying how others will consider your actions?


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