Monday, September 22, 2008

#49 Socks

Socks or stockings are the accoutrement of choice for the Korean Mom and the Korean Grandma. Forget stacks of bracelets, the latest shades, or the blingiest necklaces, socks are where it's at. Not just any socks, athletic ankle socks and sheer nude pantyhose. What? You say everyone does this? Yes they do...now...thanks to the fashion powerhouse that is the Korean Mom! Korean Mom sock fashion knows no bounds. They go with everything; sneakers, heels, flip flops, sandals, aqua shoes. The sock and stocking color of choice is always white/nude. White is bold, it is a statement. It says 'Here I am in all my sock glory! I am not ashamed!'. The white socks serve as a canvas encouraging the onlooker to clearly and distinctly admire the shoe choice of the Korean Mom. Ooo and Ahh over those sexy SAS', drool a little at the hot little number that is the shower shoe. Boomchikawowwow! If you see a Korean Mom out and about, running errands or sitting around, take a gander southward and you will see she is indeed wearing socks with her slippers....outside...at Costco...where she is purchasing even more socks. Many of the Korean Mom socks of choice will also have logos or sayings on the side. Things like random farm animals, or sayings like 'Happy Time Yes!'. Often a Korean Mom will show her love and appreciation by gifting you with white socks of your very own, usually bought back from Korea in variety packs. Always express your delight, and put them on right away. I don't care if they don't go with your new Prada, put them on dammit. Listen up; do not ever suggest to a Korean Mom that she should not wear her beloved socks or stockings with whatever outfit she is rocking. To suggest such a thing is the equivalent to suggesting she run outside naked. It is simply obscene...you perv. I used to date this dude who had the quintessential Korean Mom. I once entered her house without socks. I noted her disapproving stank eye but warded it off right away with a gift of Asian pears. Later that night, I reached into my purse only to find she had stealthily planted 3 pairs of nude pantyhose inside, complete with 'Made in Korea' tags (see#24). It was a clear message, a threat, like when Jack Woltz wakes up only to find he's been cuddling up to a horse's head (cue Godfather music).


ps- My KM and I just did our interview with CBC! I'll post it soon. :)

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

YAY for the new post. This is my favorite blog. It is well written and hilarious and just...awesome in every way! Thank you so much. Looking forward to reading the interview soon! ^__^

Elise said...

hahha. Christmas gift from my grandma will be some cash... with socks. one year she gave me two pairs that were the exact same ugly red and gray pattern with snowflakes and stripes. the longer I stay in Korea, the more acceptable I believe it is to wear socks with sandals.

kevo said...

I wonder if there are any anthropologic/historical explanations for the korean mom sock fetish. Supposedly most things korean are confucian rooted... maybe confucius had a thing for socks. Maybe his mom was a sock maker or something.

Anonymous said...

Korean mom's don't have the only corner on the sock fashion market. I would have to say Korean ajushis/harabojies make their own fashion statement when wearing white socks with dark business suits. Having said that, I love the toe socks I can only find in Korea.

Wife and Mommy said...

Oh yes. My mom has gifted me with packs of white ankle socks, which I have stuffed into drawers. When she is over visiting, I take out a pair and wear them to please her. Sometimes she will borrow a pair to wear over her nude pantyhose before she stuffs her feet into the slippers she keeps here!

Cindy (and Brian) said...

I don't know how you do it. These actually just keep getting better! For Christmas we always get the 3 pack of socks along with the speech proclaiming how good the socks are...best quality and made in Korea.

shri ramesh sadasivam said...

These are all very new to me. And very interesting and laughable too.

Anonymous said...

I used to work at the corporate headquarters of a K-Am bank, and showed up without the regulation stockings underneath my over-long dress pants. I got caught by HR; I was apparently written up for not wearing stockings underneath pants and pumps.

Man.

ngf said...

HAPPY TIME YES!!

oh man, stealthy km plants socks in your purse! that's o.g.

you ever get double-teamed by someone's km and that km's mom, km the prequel? i can hear the teeth-sucking noise they make while shaking their heads and arms crossed or hands on hips...and then they descend, outflanking you in a classic pincer attack...

and then they argue about what is more wrong with you...ugh, i'm not even related to you people...

jessicaaaapaek said...

what about those little grannie pantie packs with the little ruffle sort of things on the edges and little cartoons and flowers right under the waistband from the korean markets? i used to get those alll the time

Marz said...

ahhhhhh!!!! I am dying!!!!! it's so true, I was at a wedding with my KMIL and wearing a nice wedding frock and sandals, and she totally took socks out of her purse for me and made me wear them. (I was young and eager to please the ever-more-demanding KMIL!) hee hee. She's always there to make sure I don't embarrass myself with *feet showing*. Haaaaa!

Marz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dreams2ashes said...

LOL ahahahahahah i love your story ahahahaha u warded off the stank eye with asian pears ahahahhahaa!

Anonymous said...

haha. This is awesome. I swear I can sense my halmuni and my km die a little every time they see my bare feet in sandals.

Anonymous said...

OMG!! this one totally had me rotf!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh... this is so my mom. And she doesn't just wear white socks, she wears the frilly-flowery-colorful ones that cover just up to the top of the foot, not even up to the ankles. Know what I'm talking about?? They're called "duh-puh-suns". Funny... and, yes, from Korea. Made in Korea are always the best, they say, right?? =)

mrs m said...

socks and underwear... what would we do without our KM's and KGM's and their supply of socks and underwear... thanks for blogging - this is the best! and my KM appreciates it too!

hmmm said...

Did you know that Korean moms will make you wear socks after you give birth? Even if its a hundred degrees in the middle of summer? ARG and you can't use air conditioner... there is a whole side of kooky things Korean moms will make you do surrounding pregnancy, like getting pregnant, while pregnant, and after you give birth. Its quite hilarious

pre214 said...

korean moms love visors.. like those plastic visors haha

bokumbop said...

Yes, a KM has a very extensive sock collection!

How about ... green onions. They love to put it on everything. Korean food, obviously, but also ... spaghetti. Tacos. Hamburgers (ugh). Oatmeal raisin cookies. Okay, maybe not the cookies but that's only because a KM doesn't bake, at least mine doesn't. But if she did, hoo-boy, you know some scallions are going in there. Somehow green onions made their way into every dish, no matter what my mom made it still managed to taste Korean-y. When she had a cold, my mom even concocted this vile "tea" of green onion, garlic and honey. "Itsh medicine!" she'd proudly proclaim, as she took a big gulp. Medicine my ass. Don't get me wrong, I love me some green onion, just had some in my miso soup, but ... there is a time and a place for all things.

Aigoo! Your new picture too sek-shi! Your KM will probably like you to put on a ruffly up to the neck blouse. With little ribbon at the top.

Su Won said...

Don't forget the frilly lace around the cuff anklets paired with those strappy gold lame sandals with either a kitten heel or a significant heel. And those socks with the cute little pom-pom by the achilles tendon with some monstrous espadrille wedges.

Classic.

But, I too, am guilty of gifting socks - I thought I was being a good unni by giving the softy, "spa" socks just for hanging out during cold winter nights. I thought I was a good doobie until I overheard my sisters mention "Yeah, you know those socks Swan's always giving? The ones that make your feet look like Sesame Street monsters?"

I'm sticking with gift cards from then on.

zoe said...

I'm guilty! I just asked my km to get me some socks while she's in korea.

Anonymous said...

Years ago there was a more hideous fashion. Korean women used to wear these atrocious sheer stockings that came up to just below the knee. The elastic at the top was made out of tire inner tubes, I think, because they looked as if they were meant for use as a tourniquet.

They were a massive sex appeal killer.

We GI's called them "birth control stockings".

Anonymous said...

To anonymous at 11:37 pm

And we called them filth-bag American GI shields. Get a life. Fetishists creep me out.

Elizabeth said...

Other topics to write about:
* regifting
* Asian squat and using that position to wipe down the kitchen floor
* tiger balm
* St. John's and other name brands
* talking loudly on the phone
* free gifts with purchase (esp. at the Lancome or Estee Lauder counter)
* wearing socks + sandals
* pulling white hairs from your head
* feeding you until you feel sick
* hearing that you're working hard and not sleeping
* volunteering at church
* toothpicks

Han said...

Love the site, going to share with all my Korean friends.
possible topics, (more specific LA korean moms)

*coffee/tea
*name brand hand bags

keep up the funny work

Ms Parker said...

Ever since arriving in Korea to teach, I too have embraced the socks and sandals style. I laughed my way through this post, then looked down and realized I am currently wearing lemon yellow ankle socks with a random anime character with big red hearts for eyes.

Pwa! You laugh? They only cost W2,500 for 5 pairs! (about 50 cents each).

Anonymous said...

In elementary school, for Christmas, all the kids who get the teacher a gift for the holidays. And my Korean Mother wrapped a dozen pair of nude pantyhose on my behalf. This was in the mid 80's when women still wore pantyhose. To make matters worse, the teacher would open the gifts in front of everybody and annouce whose gift she was opening. Classmates laughed and the teacher was being nice saying she needed it - I begged my mother to get something else - she insisted pantyhose are practical and the teacher will greatly appreciate them. This continued until the 4th grade but I still cringe thinking about it. My sister and I were the first and only Korean students in the district at the time, so the teachers probably never received such "practical" gifts. My sister had the same tachers as me, so the teachers kind of knew what to expect and the classmates were all ready to laugh (again).

Anonymous said...

this was the funniest things i've ever read. my mom only wears SAS.. it's scary. when we went to visit my sister in law 300 miles away by car... she was waiting for us outside her house (she lives w/ her mother in law)... the instant she saw my nude feet & flipflops, she handed me a pair of socks bc she said her mother in law thinks people are low class if they come into a house w/ bare feet.. that scared me... but even scarier than this was when my dad would mow the lawn w/ white socks & sandals in the summer...

Anonymous said...

you gotta write about the huge over sized korean panties that korean moms & grandmas wear (SIZE 95). they are like the double double in n out hamburger of the underwear world...

Anonymous said...

My mom brings me white socks that say "Socks" on the side.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone's KM wear socks OVER their stockings?? Mine does and it is horrific! She likes this style paired with walking shorts...

Joolay said...

OMFG u should write a blog about km's and kgm's speedwalking, in the street with their matching bright red track suits and visors. they always swinging their arms in that weird way

Michele L Meyer said...

After reading all these, it begs the question - were all these written for me? LOL. OMG - I LOVE this page! You are actually describing my mom. Wow.

She Always comments about my kids and not wearing socks and having to wear three layers when it is 90 degrees out. LOL. I have tiled kitchen floors and my mom will always comment on how cold they are and needing to have socks on. I try to evade this issue with leaving socks / house slippers at the door for her.

Keep it coming! I love this. I had to send the link to my sister and she loves it just as much.

LOL

Anonymous said...

I love Korean girls wearing white socks. It turns me on like no other.

Anonymous said...

Ok I'm beginning to feel uncomfortable now...your mums give you socks? My Korean GIRLFRIEND gave me 20 pairs of ankle socks for my birthday...Please tell me it's not just a mum thing :(

J said...

ALSO SO TRUE. If I got a dollar everytime my mom or halmunis would yell at me for going around the house barefoot, I wouldn't have to work. When I met my bf's parents, I made sure to wear socks so that I wouldn't get the stank eye....

Anonymous said...

Best yet..

Anonymous said...

I used to get TONS of those in Christmas. All throughout my childhood. When I recently brought that up with my KM she replies with "How many of your friends still paying back their college loans?" Case point proven.

I think you need to mention one more item with the socks/sandals. Those super extra large 3/4 brimmed caps that they wear whenever they go outdoors (or in their korean vacation guided group tours). You know the types of caps that are so large in the front they not only provide shade for the face, but for the next 2 people in front?

Soo-jin said...

KM are also big on gifting blankets. The furry/fuzzy ones Made in Korea, that come in the clear plastic zip bag.