• Monica Fauble

Facing the (Cold) Hard Truth

When my boyfriend Hanbit arrived in Philadelphia a couple of years ago, he owned no socks. That’s right. The man owned ZERO pairs of socks. In his defense, Hanbit moved here from Florida, so I guess the no-socks, flip-flop thing kind of made sense. But, in Philly, not having socks does not really work.

Hanbit arrived in April, so it was getting warmer day by day. But when August came, I started having the “socks talk.” Knowing that Hanbit was resistant to all footwear, I guessed (correctly) that the socks might be a hard sell.

Our conversations went something like this:

Me: Um, babe, should we buy you some socks?

Hanbit: No, I’m fine. I don’t need socks.

Me: Sweetie, winter is coming, and it’s going to get cold.

Hanbit: I will be totally fine.

Me: You can’t not wear socks in the winter.

Hanbit: I don’t like to wear socks.

Me: Okay.

We went round and round and it got colder and colder. Hanbit kept telling me that he didn’t want socks, so who was I to interfere? But 2014 was super chilly, and, finally, it was icy cold outside. It was early November. I stopped asking permission and ordered a small assortment of socks in men’s size 11.

When they arrived, Hanbit again uttered his “I don’t need socks” refrain. What made me laugh was that he did this as he dug into the box and tried them on. When he got his feet into the fleecy ones, he admitted he liked the snug warm feeling on his otherwise-icy toes.

The problem wasn’t actually socks. It was winter. In some part of his brain, Hanbit thought that he could avoid winter by avoiding socks. Socks = Winter in his mind so, thereby, No Socks = No Winter.

Winter was always going to arrive though, with or without Hanbit buying socks.

And that’s how life goes. Cold, dark days inevitably arrive, and we can decide to accept them, or we can refuse to buy socks. Not buying socks won’t solve any of your problems, just as not facing what lies ahead won’t make it go away.

Even though it means facing up to the cold, hard, truth, I encourage you to go ahead and just buy the socks. Replace “buy the socks” with whatever it is you aren’t doing in your life right now that you know you would benefit from doing.

A few possible substitutes for “buying the socks” might be: Just go ahead and balance your checkbook. Just go ahead and go to the dentist. Just go ahead and tell someone that you love them.

I would love to hear from you if you have something in your life that you’ve been holding out against. Are you ready to take the plunge and buy the socks?

#winter #relationships #joy #emotions