Thursday, August 19, 2010

I got a penguin pair and a Red Sox pair.

I toured a sock factory.

Don't hear that one every day, do you? But there you have it; I toured a sock factory. For Bare Feet is an Indiana-based company with several stores near my BFF. (And they actually make really great socks...well worth checking out!) As we wandered around one of them, we heard people talking about a tour. When we checked out, we asked for more information. Were we interested in touring the sock factory, we were asked? Were we ever! There's no reason not to tour a sock factory! It would be $6, an hour of our lives, and we would walk away with a free pair of socks--along with, hopefully, a wealth of wisdom about the sock-making process.

Sign us up.

The next day, waiting outside the factory felt like waiting for Willy Wonka to appear.
I will admit, though--they were punctual! The door opened at 12:50 on the dot. The BFF and I learned a great deal about the history of the company (the building used to be an elementary school!) and the steps involved in making socks. Based on the reactions of her husband and others, I will not go into detail about these things. Apparently not everyone wants to learn about the wonder of cotton footwear? (Even though some of their socks are made of recycled cotton? Or soy? Or recycled plastic bottles? ...Come on guys, that is cool!)

Whatever, it was awesome. You guys suck.

But yesterday I promised you a particular anecdote from my adventure. And even though nobody wants to hear my Sock Factory Fun Facts, --This company makes the licensed socks for pro teams! Such as my beloved Boston Red Sox, which are the socks we saw them ironing!

Come on, your life is better for knowing that.-- I will not deny you an amusing anecdote.
During our tour, we learned that (seriously stop rolling your eyes this is PART OF THE STORY, not another Fun Fact!) this company makes custom order socks. (And I can promise you that someday, for some occasion, my friends will be getting socks with my face on them.) Our tour guide picked up a pair from the nearby shelf, saying it was an example of a custom order. Those socks? Had Barack Obama's face on them. And I smiled because it's quirky and eccentric and hello I love that sort of thing.
"A group ordered these," she explained. Her tone turned snarky, her smile tighter. "I'll keep my thoughts to myself."

And everyone else in our tour group laughed. Not awkward pity laughter for our red state tour guide. Real, appreciative laughter. I froze in horror. Really? Was I...the only one in the room...who voted for that guy? Wellllll ok then.

I'm not one to bring politics into this blog much. Your decisions are just that--yours. I'm happy to judge your relationship decisions, but I'll stay out of your voting booth. However. Didn't my guide realize that by saying she'd keep her thoughts to herself...she really spoke volumes? And that she was, at that moment, a mouthpiece for this company? This proud to be an American company, welcoming visitors from all over? Guys, it was super uncomfortable. It was like witnessing a married couple fight during a dinner party. Like, sure, they're allowed to disagree and they should absolutely have that conversation. But...the timing? Is a little inappropriate? And you're forced to awkwardly drink your wine and exchange glances with the other guests until one of the contenders suggests that they are being rude to our guests now would you please go get the apple crumble, which is when you assure them that Hey, don't worry, we're not feeling weird here or anything! Yeah sure, put ice cream with mine.

I guess politics and socks don't mix. Lesson learned.

...But you know what does mix? Socks and craft projects! Did you ever make those potholders when you were--ok fine fine I get it! Nobody wants to hear Fun Facts. Losers.

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