Melodie Somers

Is Your Sock Drawer Neat?

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There’s a lot in the media lately about what, why and when we are attracted to one another.  The various websites and self-help books for choosing, cruising and hooking-up are filled with questionnaires to supposedly help the process along and to guarantee some modicum of success in one’s search for the perfect mate or flavor-of-the-month. 

The problem with all of the questionnaires designed by “experts in the field of human relating,” is that they are so dumb-downed in their inquiries and the multiple choice answers so equally banal, that the possibility of the results having any honest resemblance to the subject or to any real person is very slim.   Or let’s put it another way:  would you want to date the person you appear to be from the questions asked about your socks and your sock drawer?  Maybe you don’t even have a sock drawer or what if you have two of them – one for sports and one for dress so there’s a certain order to your drawers but maybe the socks are not lined up neatly in little bunches but just hang out with similar socks.  But is there an answer choice that reflects this more complex sense of order – no.  You’re either compulsively neat their way or a hopeless slob.  You either hate order, because it’s not the one that is pictured by the survey or you are such a symmetrical neat freak that anyone with any sense in their head would run wildly in the opposite direction heaving their socks to the wind. 

Or maybe you don’t even wear socks or you live out of a very neat suitcase.  Or maybe you throw all of the black socks into one drawer and all of the white ones into another.  There’s still order but not all tucked up and cozy. 

Or what if you just resent the stupidity of any particular question that is asked – none of the answers represent even one fraction of your brain time and there’s no option for checking off – “This is the stupidest question I’ve ever heard.”  Or “I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that it will lower my IQ by 10 points.”  No, you don’t get those options.

The other one that comes up in various ways is:  “Do you like to plan way ahead or do you like to do things on the spur of the moment?”  What if you do both?  What if you have a very regular, busy schedule and you schedule in your social time with friends for the month ahead but you spontaneously decide what you are going to do one hour before you get together?  Or what if you have tickets to a play a month in advance but you don’t know who’s going with you until the weekend?  Or what if you planned to stay home and watch all seven seasons of Mad Men again but you get a call in the middle of Season Three to go to a cocktail party where there's sure to be one interesting person to meet and you say yes?  And  Season Three is your favorite and you're really into it?  How do you answer that question:  “Plan or Don’t Plan?”  “Explorer or Home Body?” 

Then there’s sex.  “Is sex an important part of any marriage?”  When did we start to talk about marriage?  What if you’ve been there done that and you think that sex is an important part of something but you can’t picture it in a marriage?  (Remember, you’re supposed to be divorced or single or separated by 25 miles from a former spouse to enter the site.) 

 And what do they mean by sex?  What if sex to one person is intercourse and to another it’s only oral and it’s only in one direction?  Or what if sex means flirting but no one ever does anything?  Or what if sex is the absence of any conversation, curiosity or interest in another person except as a vessel or tool for their own masturbation?  Or what if sex is a lively, physical conversation with two consenting and curious adults who really like other people and the person who’s in front of them and their bodies are what are talking?  Or what if sex is the activity that makes someone who’s obsessive about their sock drawer tolerable to someone who runs wildly heaving theirs?  You don’t find those choices in any of the questionnaires.

Melodie Somers
Telephone: (973) 715-8106