Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The post about Socks...with Barbara Cartland, Barbie and a fetish

When I asked Linda about today’s blog, she said, “Blog about socks.”


“You need fuzzy and thick socks!”

“I’m not blogging about socks!”

Well, actually it turns out that I am. And the blog post about 'what value does a person with a severe disability have in society?' can wait till tomorrow because, news flash: winter is coming!

It turns out that my feet have problems beyond this nifty trick where I can drop things on them and not feel it (a game Linda often gets quite cross when I play: “Come on, let’s drop the toaster on my foot and see what happens? I might feel that!”). The problem is that I don’t “feel” them exactly but because I have such poor circulation, they are actually slightly blue AND sometimes there comes a pain from my ankle type area which is just a dull roar. This roar wakes me up. It turns out that a) I keep the windows open to sleep because of heat intolerance, b) my feet are between my body core and the window and c) they are cold as in, “This body seems ready for dissection” cold.

Linda’s solution to this is these thick hiking socks in wild colours we bought when we were going to hike the West Coast Trail this September (yeah, that didn’t really work out, and thankfully I wasn’t in so much denial that I tried to convince Linda to haul my chair over the trails: “Arg! I will do this hike, I will fulfill my promise!” a.k.a. I am a nutcase!).

The problem is that I only have two pair. And (this is Linda talking) I need to protect the parts of my body that I can’t feel or I may not continue to have all those body parts. This was reinforced this morning when I was in the bathroom and I kept getting a weird waft of smell from….me! And the smell was so familiar but I hadn’t smelled it in years and years, a sort of apricot, dark fruity scent. Ah hah, my face lit up as I finally placed it. It’s the smell of exterior flesh starting to rot. Ohhhh, I thought, that is not good; I should probably check my toes…..later.

Anyway, I need socks and for some reason Linda thinks that my readers are a giant resource of non-grandmother looking thick or fuzzy socks. So here we are, the sock post! I actually started to search for Goth Fuzzy Socks. Guess what? Not a lot of hits. After a lot of searching however I did find a store called Sock Dreams which brought out a sock fetish in me I didn’t know I had. I mean, yes I have the thigh highs with bows and the latticed back with bows and some fishnets, and some rainbow and striped stockings. I got the sort of basic goth kit they give you at Goth Camp up at the Castle. But then I was seeing socks with bones on them. And socks with muscles on them (and suddenly I thought of Sara at Moving Right Along for some reason). These are my kind of cool and creepy socks.

There are Princess Knee Highs direct from Japan and socks made entirely of Cashmere (If you want to buy for me, there is no medical reason except….cashmere socks….oh how decadent, I feel like drinking absinthe) . There are some very cute spider-web socks as well as Pink socks with the Skull sewn into the socks, so it lasts longer. Because that is what important in thick bright pink socks, making sure you don’t have those tacky peel off skulls that flake everywhere (trust me it is really annoying and then when they are half flaked people say, “how nice, is that a map of the island on your sock?” or something like that). Pink skull socks are supposed to be scary, because 1) they are Barbara Cartland Pink so people are already looking for your 4 pounds of make-up and small dog. BUT 2) you have a skull on the socks which means maybe you aren’t either so cute as Barbie pink or as creepy as Barbara C. but some sort of twisted soul stuck in the middle!

There are also skull knee highs which are not to be overlooked. I know I sound like I have this total sock fetish now and it isn’t like that (well, after looking at Sock Dreams for a while it was). I just need socks that won’t socially embarrass me in public. Okay, it is winter, but I get some tacky fluffy socks and I am a lap blanket away from being accidentally wheeled into a bingo hall by someone collecting up all the old ladies. How can you groove with your Leather and Lace Corset when you have on your double knitted fuzzy orange knee highs? Yes, yes, Linda, I know you say toes are forever, but aren’t fashion first impressions as well? So can anyone aid me in a reasonable compromise; some socks to look forward to, or some thick socks you have found to do the trick in keeping your toes AND not have people patting you on the head or women in their 80’s saying; “How lovely dear, I have a pair just like those!”

I actually like the Pink Skull ones more and more, perhaps because they go with absolutely NOTHING I own (who does own that much pink?). If you have a sock opinion (or even a fetish), or experience, now is the time; Linda needs you and I need you (mostly to get Linda to stop hounding me). Until then, I am going to play; “Hunt that bit of skin necrosis!” – it is a fun game, and you get to use a knife sometimes too!


Zephyr said...

I own a pair of those pink ones with the skulls on 'em!

Elizabeth McClung said...

oh that is SO unfair, I am already in envy of you for so many things, and now I have to be in sock envy TOO. So how do you rate them, keep your toes warm?

anabel said...

I love new socks. You know the one's that hug your foot perfectly in just the right places.

em knit me some that are my favorite. I've seen some with flames on them that were pretty cool. Good luck and have fun on your search!

Casdok said...

Wow! I will look at socks differently now!!

Lisa Harney said...

If I keep reading your blog, I'll end up spending my money on stuff you're already buying.

Yeah, I need socks too.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Anabel: I love nice socks too - especially ones that are cosy AND cool - where can I get ones with flames?

Casdok: let the sock fetish overwhelm you, it will only make you more cosy!

Lisa: No, no, you aren't suppose to spend your money buying socks just for you - we split the loot; you buy the socks, I take the ones with skulls! Doesn't that sounds like a good deal?

Lisa Harney said...

It's been so many years since I've owned socks, I just have no good advice. I admire your aesthetics and strongly suggest you hold the line, even while seeking the warmest footwear possible.

elizabeth said...

OOOh. Socks. Right up there with shoes... or down there if you want to be literal.

I have tagged thee.

mental mosaic said...

I just love a gal with socks appeal! ;)

I, too, love cute socks (and stockings.) I even have a pair of the black ones with pink skulls that you have pictured in your post.

Zephyr said...

They're not bad. I don't think mine are the exact same ones - mine are hot pink and black.

JackP said...

My sock plan (being the lazy bastard that I am): buy 15 pairs of identical dark grey socks for work.

Then, no need to waste time pairing 'em. Just grab the first two you see...

Artistic Soul said...

I like the pink and black striped ones. I was just lamenting today about how I need more socks -- the fuzzy slipper kind -- to wear around the house now that it's getting cold!

Marla Fauchier Baltes said...

I had no idea there were that many cool looking socks out there!

Kay Olson said...

Sock Dreams is entirely responsible for making me a sock fetishist a few years back.

I have a pair of Smartwool socks (bought elsewhere, I think -- Title Nine?) that are most excellent for keeping feets warm. Not so goth, though.

YummY! said...

Considering that my favorite pair of thick socks are fluffy and green and have a frog face with a crown at the top of them...I might not be the best person to ask for sock suggestions. -grin-

Speaking of I want some sexy socks.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Lisa: I'm trying to come up with a life where a person doesn't own socks for "so many years" and can't do it - do you live in a cult commune where they take your socks to stop you from escaping. I know some people who wear nylons/tights every day but even THEY go to the gym or to the park - serious no socks? Do you want me to send you some - I can do that, I have many funky colours - let me know.

Elizabeth - yeah, now you have found the perfect cashmere socks to go with that $600 purse you got! Arg! I have been tagged!

Mental Mosaic: Ah, how is it everyone got these cool pink and skull socks before me - it is like high school again and I am the one wandering around going "Jordacde makes Jeans? What are you talking about?"

Zephyr: That just makes me more envious - hot pink - yeah, that goes with nothing I have! It would be perfect!

Jack P: Well, that is plan which works whether it is night or day or even if your light bulbs all burn out - you have an emphatically practical side. I hate to say it but, you will probably NOT win a fashion award (and remember when summer comes, dark grey socks and flip flops are a big no-no!)

Elizabeth McClung said...

Artistic Soul: I think as we have seen by their popularity, you simply can't go wrong with the pink and black ones stripped with skull - they are something every girl needs to OWN, even if she never wears it.

Marla: Nor did I, this is how the fetish started.

Kay Olson: This is great, you are like affirming enabler only instead of cocaine we are talking about a sock fetish. And look, you gave me ANOTHER sock source to find them. My doctor wanted to look at me feet today becuase one turns purple and the other yellow and peeling back my hiking socks I told him "Linda makes me wear these because she says you have to protect the parts of you that you can't feel, or you won't keep having them." And he laughed and said; "She's right you know!"

Yummy:, those green ones are not something I could take on the bus - let's ALL get sexy winter socks - and pray that Linda accepts the $120 order with my "But it is a 'medical' need!" line ("Cashmere is a medical need?")

Lisa Harney said...

Elizabeth, I wore tights all the time for a long time, although I've recently stopped that and haven't purchased socks to pick up the slack.

The last time I did buy and wear socks, I had joined a gym, back in 2002. I know, it's freakish.

Also, I did not intend to ignore your business proposal, but I could easily just choose to not buy any enskulled socks!

alphabitch said...

I do love the smartwool socks. And cashmere anything, of course, feels lovely. Although my advice with both is to get a size slightly larger than usual, as they tend to wear out rather more quickly. I tend to go for solid colors myself, and also, when the heels and toes wear out I cut off the foot part and wear the rest of the socks around my wrists, pulled down to show out under the sleeves of my shirt, on account of my hands and wrists feel a little less hurty if they are warm, and I can't stand to wear too many layers of shirts with long sleeves because the rest of me isn't too cold, just my hands & feet. And my neck. But I don't wear old socks around my neck, just glamorous scarves. Turtlenecks, most of them, sorta bug me if I do happen to get too warm, which I often do.

Also, for the potentially necrotic foot flesh? I have no idea if this has any clinical value, but it feels really really good. I use it just for fun, part of the whole self-inflicted pedicure experience. Do not use it on already open sores.

But I bet you could get Linda to do it, as it's not particularly time-consuming nor gross. Plus it's cheap, compared to similar products you can buy, which you can.

You take some moderately coarse sea salt (more coarse than table salt or even kosher salt, which dissolves to fast for this to work, but less coarse than rock salt, which scratch your skin and then rub salt in the wounds), and put it into a small jar. Say you have a pint jar: fill it three-quarters full; you'll need some extra space to stir it up. And then pour some oil over it, enough to cover the salt completely. The oil can be plain old olive oil or something fancy like almond or grapeseed oil, to which you may or may not have added a few drops of some pleasing essential oil that you like the smell of. I also like to add some lemon; I'm not sure why, maybe only because I like the smell of it, or maybe I read somewhere that it's good for your skin. Then you stir it up. Consult your health care provider before adding compounds containing caspaicin or menthol/minty things, as they may affect circulation on way or the other. I like to use a chopstick for stirring it up, but you or Linda might have other ideas for that. And then cover the jar tightly and float it in some hot water to warm it up to skin temperature or so. The bathtub, for example, is a good place to do this, whilst someone is taking a bath. Or you could borrow Sara's blue bowl and pour some boiling water from the teakettle into it and then put the jar in it, very gently.

Then you have someone massage the salt and oil into your feet and between your toes. You can do it yourself, but it's better, and I think more therapeutic, if someone else does it. If you can't feel them so well you might miss a spot.

After you rub it all in, then soak your feet in comfortably hot/warm water for a while, and then do it again before rinsing it off. If you don't like how it leaves your skin kind of oily feeling (which will soak in eventually, but might feel kind of weird if you put socks on too soon), just wipe it all off with a large-ish cotton pad or paper towel soaked in witch hazel.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Lisa: well, let's get you some socks first and see what happens.

Alphabitch: I will definately print these out and try it - particularly because giving each other foot rubs is a good weekend indoor thing to do! I also love how you know Sara's blue bowl as well as I do - I think her blue bowl is probably the most famous Moving Right Along artifact!

The only thing is that today my doctor said I have errr (some "disorder" starting with an R, about 9 letters?) - it is an autonomic dysfunction as well as why my feet and fingers are permanantly cold, and another symptom of Shy-Drager's. Live and learn. He said during winter some people get ulcers on their toes and fingers which, while it sounds lovely, I think I will try your solution first.

Lisa Harney said...

Pornography is bad for you. - Just a random link.

Also, I believe you're talking about is "Raynaud syndrome."

... I know too much about medicine.

Sara said...

Excellent selections! Very cheering.

My favorite socks, personally, are all bright red. I have a completely illogical belief that cozy red things are innately cozier than cozy blue or green or any other color things. Red flannel sheets. Red flannel bathrobes. Red wool socks. Red wool hats and jackets. Red leather gloves.

I also affirm the greatness that is Smartwool.

Further, I affirm once more the greatness that is a giant blue glass bowl. So many uses! So many! Not innately cozy, though.

cheryl g. said...

Mmmmmm... soft, fuzzy, warm socks...

Have you checked out Just do a site search with the keyword "Goth". They have some cool socks.

Gaina said...

Oh my, you just made ALL my sock dreams come true :D. I must admit I'm quite neglectful of my poor little tootsies when it comes to fashion because....well quite frankly they're kinda ugly and I'd really rather not be associated with them :P.

I usually get mine from DAMART (not sure if they ship outside the UK) because they are thermal and I can get them in black. I live for black and red clothes :).

Recently I tried some socks that are supposed to aid your circulation, and they were ruddy uncomfortable and didn't work!

I tell what else I get that really helps to stay warm in the winter, the light thermal t-shirts that go under your day clothes.

alphabitch said...

Yeah, Reynaud's phenomenon. Or disease, or syndrome, whichever. Highly entertaining. I get it sometimes from holding a cold beer. Or holding on to something too tightly.

I guess it makes sense that it would be part of the mix with Shy-Drager's.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Wow Lisa, you nailed it - that's the one! And I thought I knew too much about medicine.

Sara: I think Red makes sense, for me the thought of warm pulsing blood does give me a glow, like how Carrie was a kind of "warm" film. No seriously, I think Red is a comfort colour (but then for me, so is BLACK). And yes, your big blue bowl seems to have an almost infinate range of uses, from science experiments to staging prize finalist!

Cheryl G: Thanks for the link, it turns out that Linda was right and there is a mighty sock knowledge in my readers.

Gaina: Yes, I like the basic black, though I have heard of flame socks so I want those just because it will make people go "OMG! your legs are on fire!" which would be a fun way to break up the day. I distrust anything overtly "medicinal" or good for you - it is an attitude which has served me well since I adopted it at the age of 2!

Alphabitch: Yes, Reynauld's whatever, it seems that I am stuck on stage 1 or 2 and never get to 3 for some reason, which is why even after you put my hands in a bowl of hot water they are still ice cold, and my feet are apparently permanantly ice cold, even in a bath (when one turns reddish purple and the other yellow) - I do get that wierd mottled green/purple pattern on my hands which is why I wear gloves because it looks like I am starting to turn into a jelly fish and I have enough problems asserting my humanity. I had no idea it was a Shy Drager thing until my Doctor who had read up on it this week in a BIG RED BOOK, said and showed me it was a symptom - wow, Doctors are good for stuff - didn't say how to stop it or make it better but now I have something else I can add to my business cards (will people think it an extra qualification I wonder?).

Lisa Harney said...

If only my late night grammar equaled my ability to name medical conditions.

I swear, somewhere in my brain is a vile little imp that blocks certain words from reaching my fingers. Damnit.

Anyway, this page talks about treating secondary raynaud with calcium channel blockers, alpha blockers, vasodilators, etc.

It looks like there are options.

alphabitch said...

I've had it for about 20 years; it's fairly common among people who get the kind of migraines I get, but it's also a fairly common (and permanent) sie effect of the medication that they used to use to treat/prevent migraines (ergotamine compounds, which I used to take tons of). It's also often one of the initial symptoms of yummy, fascinating things like MS and lupus, both of which I have been (mis)diagnosed with in the past. Also associated with seriously inconvenient stuff like scleroderma, etc. and a lotta your autonomic system dysfunction type things as well.

When it occurs by itself, though (which it does fairly frequently), it's apparently not all that serious. Merely seriously annoying.

I've never tried any long term treatments that are particularly effective, but I find the fastest and least painful way to warm my hands is to press them against warm bare flesh. Immersing them in hot water, or using hot packs, kind of hurts, and doesn't work very well. The usual response I get from others when I try to put my hands on their warm bare flesh is, um, hostile, so I frequently put my hands up my own shirt.

It happens mostly to my hands, but sometimes also to my feet and, lately, to my nose and face. Which my doctor reminds me is, technically, an extremity.

This last fact might never have occurred to me.

Elizabeth McClung said...

well the link Lisa posted for secondary raynaud talks about arteries shutting down, lower legs turning blue due to being in oxygen deficit (sic) - which is common with me and then on to ulcers and gangrene - not really the most cheery of reading truth be told! My lower legs and what I feel in the footish area is constant sort of knife stuck in you pain and has been for...well months - is this what you have?

Zephyr said...

Don't hate me because I have beautiful socks. :P

They are decently warm, yes.

You're jealous of me? Pourquoi? Do I have more socks you would like?

Oh yeah, thermal ski socks are amazing for keeping feet warm in any type of cold condition, wet or dry. I have to get more myself.

alphabitch said...

I most probably have the primary or idiopathic form of it. It was diagnosed when I was in my early twenties, but had first appeared when I was in my teens; I'd taken ergotamine and beta-blockers and I already had a long history of migraines. Seemed like a simple enough diagnosis, although they did take the time to investigate and rule out a couple of possible autoimmune disorders, which would have meant that I have the secondary form.

But I have not had any issues with arterial shutdowns, skin ulcers, etc. That dull hard ache, and the weird knife-like pain do come and go, especially in my feet and ankles. It doesn't seem to correspond in location or duration to the Raynaud's attacks, though, and I honestly hadn't associated the two things until you said that. I thought it was caused by running while fat, or failure to own a sufficient quantity of shoes -- which is a chronic problem for me. No matter how many I buy, it's just never enough.

I have not tried any of the drugs mentioned in that article, as I have very low blood pressure most of the time, and those classes of drugs tend to lower blood pressure, sometimes dramatically, so they're not likely to prescribe them for me. Plus I'm leery of taking more drugs to treat something that is very likely a consequence of the drugs I took to treat something else, especially in this case, where the potential side effects sound worse than what I'd be taking them for. However, I find the prospect of gangrene and arterial stoppage pretty terrifying, so I'd consider taking the drugs if I were experiencing that piece of the Raynaud's pie. Looks like they also nowadays are prescribing via[GOAWAYSPAMBOTS]gra for the secondary form of Reynaud's. That's new since I last checked.

em said...

I agree that amartwool socks are nice. I found Sock Dreams a bit ago and spent some serious time there, drooling.

I just told you I have Reynauds in the post above this one. It is worse for me when I'm cold, but you stay hot all the time. I don't know, but like I said, Bilberry (oh and Ginko Biloba extract too) have helped lessen the frequency of the attacks.

Oh, honey is good to dress open sores on your feet with.
(clunky sentence, I know.)

Elizabeth McClung said...

Zephyr: of course I envy you, who wouldn't, I don't even have a decent pair of cat ears!

Alphabitch and Em: Thank you very much for the information and the tips. (Alphabitch: that never having enough shoes is another chronic condition which is only solved in the post Xmas sales).

Oh great, taking the V word - that is sort of mindblowing, I can just imagine picking up the prescription:

Them: "You sure go through a lot of your sexual partner an....older gentleman."

Me: "Uh actually this is for me.......(stares)'s for me feet! (prolonged stares) Honest!"

Okay, first I have to say I never expected this to be my highest comment count post ever - sock? But now, I really have to buy some and get on those remedies! Thanks again.

Denise said...

I have ordered through SockDreams before, and was greatly satisfied. I'm plotting another order, to treat myself for the holidays. The service was very fast and friendly. I am a particular fan of the Sock it to Me brand for warmth, and have my eye on the stockings with hook & eye back-seam for the spring.