D.L. Stewart: Trying to follow the ups and downs of the sock market

Are you old?

Don’t look to your graying hair, your drooping body parts or the AARP card in your wallet for the definitive answer.

Just check your sock drawer.

Because, according to members of Generation Z, “only old people wear ankle socks.”

“In all seriousness, next time you’re at the gym, you’ll notice that basically only people over 30 wear ankle socks,” according to a recent story on HuffPost. “Gen Z wears crew socks. Millennials and everyone else wears ankle socks.” (“Everyone else,” apparently, consists of anyone over the age of 27. You know, geezers like Kendall Jenner, Dua Lupa and Patrick Mahomes.)

As a longtime everyone else, this development comes as a setback in my campaign to convince myself that I’m still pretty young and cool, no matter what my grandchildren seem to think.

But then, my sox life always has been problematic.

As a child the elastic that was supposed to hold up my socks lasted roughly through two washings. After that, no matter how often I tugged them up they persisted in sliding back down around my ankles and then disappearing entirely under the heels of my feet.

As a teenager, I outgrew my socks monthly.

When I became an adult my socks had to be appropriate for the occasion. If I was wearing a suit, my socks had to be long enough reach almost to my knee, because otherwise a glimpse of my bare shin might be seen if I sat down and crossed my legs.

If I was wearing Bermuda shorts I could wear any socks, as long they didn’t stretch more than a few inches above my ankles. Any longer than that and my kids would have checked themselves into the nearest orphanage to avoid the embarrassment of being seen with me in public. (To be honest, nothing says “old guy” like a man pushing a lawn mower while wearing Bermuda shorts and long black socks. The only thing creepier is socks with flip flops.)

Now I don’t know what socks to wear for the gym or tennis. For the past few years I’ve felt comfortable wearing black ankle socks with black shoes at the gym and white ankle socks with white shoes for tennis. But recently I’m seeing young guys at the gym wearing white socks with black shoes and some guys playing tennis wearing black socks with white shoes.

So I don’t know what to do. Should I keep wearing ankle socks? Trash my ankle socks and replace them with crew socks? Wear a crew sock on one foot and an ankle sock on the other?

There’s probably only one logical answer to all these questions.

Extra long sweatpants.

Contact this columnist at dlstew_2000@yahoo.com.

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