Someone recently pointed out to me that I have a sock monkey fetish. Among fetish possibilities, I think having a thing for sock monkeys isn’t the worst scenario. But, then again, people who like whips and chains probably say the same thing about their choice in life.
When I was little, I spent summers at my grandmother’s house. She was the typical southern grandma and spent her days tending a garden of vegetables and flowers, quilting or sewing things and canning the harvest. I was constantly underfoot and one afternoon when she’d had her fill of me under her feet, she gave me a project of my own: make a sock monkey. The old-fashioned kind…actually made from socks with rough stitches and buttons for eyes. Mine was made from a worn grey pebble sock and looked a lot like this one:
Note that I say LIKE that one as that one isn’t mine. My older sister, in a fit of sibling rivalry, destroyed the sock monkey I had worked on for hours. She tore its arms and legs off, cut off its ears with the Ginghers and then proceeded to toss its fluffy stuffing in the air and yell “Look! It’s snowing!” Before you curse her please note that I got her back by giving her favorite Barbie Doll (a Charlie’s Angels one) a Viking funeral – I put it in a Barbie speed boat, lit it on fire and then pushed it out into the fishing pond. For the record: don’t believe those people who say “when you grow up, you’ll be so glad you have a sister”. We still aren’t on speaking terms.
When I was a teen, I got a new sock monkey. A store-bought one that was brown and white specked and had the biggest eyelashes I’ve ever seen. I assumed that meant it was supposed to be a girl monkey and, well, we didn’t hit it off very well. She was pretty much relegated to under the bed because those eyelashes creeped me out. I had it for four or five years before it disappeared. We moved a lot during those years and I imagine he got lost somewhere in the myriad of cardboard boxes that never got opened after each move. I like to think that the box was opened by some child somewhere and they had their own sock monkey. In truth, it’s probably up in my grandma’s attic gathering dust.
As an adult, one year for Christmas, I got the kids sock monkeys. They were mini-sized ones and quite popular in stores that year. My sons, already knowing of my sock monkey fetish, ironically got me a sock monkey as well. So we had a whole family of baby sock monkeys for a brief time. They were bright and cheery, all formed with summery stripes of varying colors. Alas, our little sock monkey family was not meant to be. The oldest boy gave his away to a homeless little girl. The youngest used his for target practice with the new rifle he got for Christmas. And mine? Mine lasted a few days past the holiday but not by much.
My dog Gracie has a thing for stuffed animals. She’ll take a chew bone if that’s the only option but if there is a stuffed animal around she’s going to love it to death. As you can pretty much guess, she took off with my monkey when no one was looking. The next thing I know, she’s eaten out all the brains of poor little monkey. She went for his head first, ripped a gaping hole in the cute little teal hat and started yanking out all his snowy white filling. It was monkey snow all over again.
I actually have a picture of this monkey but I figure mutilated sock monkeys are too gruesome to display so I won’t post it here.
The other night while shopping for some HPFF merchandise, I came across sock monkey nirvana. They had everything you could imagine sock monkey. Keychain size, tree ornaments, pajamas, costumes, blankets… there were pages upon pages of sock monkey goodness. In the hopes of saving a life, I did not order a sock monkey. But I know I can only hold out for so long so please consider this my warning to all sock monkeys of the world: one day I will have another. And you sadly won’t likely survive the ordeal. But while I have you I will be devoted and loving.
Unless of course you are female and have that freakish eyelash thing going.