Notice, friends, that we didn’t say “socks it to you”; May 9th is Lost Sock Memorial Day. Today we take a moment to consider the tragedy of the thousands of socks lost every year (and the unfortunate mates that are left behind).

Like the meaning of life and the quandary of chicken and the egg, all those missing socks lead to philosophical musings: where do they go? Are they eaten by gremlins? Do they ascend one by one into the sky to form the rings of Saturn? What?!

The explanations for this phenomenon are rather prosaic, sadly. As any appliance repair person will tell you, there’s a small space just under the agitator in your washing machine in which a single sock occasionally gets stuck. More commonly, however, the wayward socks are victims of static cling: they stick to the insides of other clothing items, and when those items are folded and put away, the socks seemingly disappear until the item is later worn.

There are, of course, a few solutions. Check underneath that washer agitator from time to time. Safety┬ápin those pairs of socks together while laundering. Try using a zippered lingerie bag to keep socks paired up. But if you’d like to start from scratch with a new washer or dryer? We’ve got you covered: Appliances.