Sex & Pink Socks

Occasionally, a woman may need to bite her tongue.  Although that may sound like a kinky sex tip, it isn’t — but I’ll get to that in a minute.  First, let me give you a little background on the Pink Sock Situation.

I was in Egypt right before all hell broke loose in January 2011.  While cruising down the Nile (the only major river in the world that flows to the north), my husband and I sent off seven days worth of dirty socks and a couple other items to be washed.  We were traveling light: five people for three weeks in two backpacks, and Egypt is very dusty, so we wore socks and shoes everywhere (except on the boat), and we thought ourselves very clever for planning down to the last dirty sock.
The very reasonably priced laundry service returned our clothes two days later: One pink dress, one newly pink polo shirt, and 70 bright pink socks.  We had a good laugh until my husband and three sons realized they would be trouping around the Great Pyramid, the Valley of the Kings, and the ubiquitous statues of Rameses II in glowing pink socks.  (To his credit, my teenage son wore his newly pink polo shirt without comment, but the pink socks were a stretch, even for him.)  When we got home, my husband tossed every last sock in the trash without comment.  That got me thinking about the unexpected, but ubiquitous…

Pink Sock Situation

Once upon a time a man did a load of laundry and one of his partner’s white socks accidentally came out pink.  She was annoyed: “How hard is it to separate whites and non-whites when you do the wash?” she asked him, shaking her head and holding the offending item up like a dead rat.

The guy was embarrassed (and frustrated, too).  He had tried to do the right thing, and instead of thanks, he got chastised.  How hard is it to just throw the damn thing away? he wondered.

Time passed.  Things went well for the couple and they decided to start a family.  They got pregnant and had a baby.  Suddenly, their ordered lives were tossed into a jumbled heap in the middle of the unvacuumed living room rug.  (Babies have a way of doing that to you.)  No one got enough sleep, and that was perilous.  He tried to help out at night, but the baby cried for his mother, so the man gave up and slept fitfully on the couch.  The woman had always wanted to have a child, but this was more than she had bargained for, and her husband wasn’t helping much.  He hated to admit it, but he was relieved when his paternal leave was up, and he could go back to work.

That first day alone, sore from giving birth and utterly exhausted, the young mother was still in her pajamas at 4pm.  She had just gotten the baby to fall asleep after nearly three hours of crying and was thinking that if she hurried, she could take a hot shower and change her clothes before the ravenous infant awakened and demanded her attention.  She tiptoed out of the bedroom to get clean underwear (she hadn’t done laundry in weeks!) and stopped in the kitchen, suddenly famished.  A number of months ago, her husband had brought home the wrong pasta sauce and an expired salad, so she had done all the shopping after that.  Now, she didn’t have the energy to walk to the garage, let alone drive to the store, and the fridge was an empty wasteland.

She stuffed some old Triscuits into the pocket of her robe and went back to looking for clean clothes.  There weren’t any.  She slumped down onto the massive pile of dirty laundry, tears in her eyes, and bit down on a stale cracker, wondering why her husband didn’t do more to help around the house.

Does this story sound familiar?  What if I switch the pink sock for a melted spatula or a low-rider diaper or a comment along the lines of “not exactly the clothes I would have picked out for little Emma”?

The moral of the story: If the work he’s doing in “your domain” is good enough, say thank you and then force your lips into a smile (and surreptitiously toss the sock or the salad out later).  If he does something that you think is dangerous, by all means speak up, but otherwise, think long and hard about complaining.  No one wants to be in a relationship where they are constantly in trouble for failing to live up to someone else’s (arbitrary and unnecessary?) standards.  If you want him to help out around the house, then don’t complain when he does.  Instead, recognize that he is trying to contribute and find SOMETHING to compliment.  Everyone makes mistakes, and pink socks aren’t the end of the world, even in Egypt.

What does all of this have to do with good sex, you ask?  Here’s the tip, guys:  Tired, overworked, resentful spouses (of either gender) don’t make for good sex partners.  If you want her to show more enthusiasm for a romp under the covers, then do what you can to lighten the load a bit, even if it means risking a pink sock now and then.  Men wearing aprons are sexy, and so are men pushing vacuums or carrying laundry baskets and grocery bags.  If you don’t believe me, try it out, and when she wraps her arms around your waist and leans her head against your back, grateful that you jumped in to help, you may find the perfect opportunity to take off those pink socks.

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