10/09/2012 11:06 am ET Updated Dec 09, 2012

Have Earrings Become the New 'Missing Sock' Mystery?

"I think inside this washer is a little trap door that pulls in one sock from each pair and holds it captive." - Erma Bombeck

I'm sure novels have been written about losing one sock that belongs to a pair. The sock disappears somewhere between the transfer from the laundry hamper to the washing machine or washing machine to the dryer or back into the hamper after removal from the dryer. We take out the clean clothes, prepare to fold, and after putting the socks in a pile to match them up, yes, there is at least from each load that is always missing -- while its mate stands alone.

Those of us who do laundry on a regular basis are not stupid. We meticulously pair up our socks, throw them into the washer, then after the wash cycle is finished, we scoop up the wet clothes placing them carefully into the dryer. How, then, does one sock become an Amber alert?

This has been happening to me for years on end, and, somehow, I still have a one-sock collection that lingers in a special dedicated sock drawer waiting for their mates to show up one day. One would think the missing socks would appear somewhere between now and the end of time. And how long is 'too long' to keep the one-sock collection? Days, weeks, months, years? I have one sock in the collection that is 32 years old. Time to throw it out?

Now, for some reason, I'm having that problem with my earrings. I have about seven pairs of earrings that have all become a party of one. How does this happen? I can't wear one earring. Men can, but not women. (Didn't 'Mr. Clean' start that one-earring thing?) For a man to have just one earring lodged in one earlobe is a fashion statement. For a woman... it makes her look like a tramp. It just doesn't work. I can't wear only one earring on the left ear that matches my necklace just because I've lost its mate. I don't have huge boobs so my ears have to match. People notice ears when they have no reason to look below the neck.

So, where do my earrings go? One will mysteriously fall off during the day. I get home, look in the mirror, and notice one is missing. When did it jump off my ear? How did it make its getaway? Other times, I'll look in my little earring case for the pair I want to wear with a certain outfit, and somehow between the last time I wore that pair till now, one has packed a sandwich and left the house. I spend hours searching, looking under the dresser, under the bed, clear off the entire top of the dresser -- which is a good opportunity to dust -- search my purse, look on the car seat ... anywhere it might be hiding -- but it's a big fat waste of time. I have seven earrings that don't have a mate and none of them -- together -- would look good as a pair. If they were people, they wouldn't be a good match on a dating site.

Sometimes I wish I had that male fashion mentality. Men can wear plaid shorts with a stripe shirt and have no anxiety about it at all. They can wear one earring and look cool. They can wear one brown sock with one black sock and never feel out of control. They can show butt cleavage and wear shirts that don't cover their belly rolls and still sleep at night. I cringe if my bedroom slippers don't match my pajamas so you can imagine how I feel when my costume jewelry is mismatched. I need the fashion police to come to my house to investigate my missing earrings. And while they're here, they need to take my 32-year-old sock home with them on their way out the door.

Help better be on its way.