If you’ve spent any time with me, you know I’m a bit of a sneaker head. I have custom adidas for my various Bay Area teams (Warriors! Niners! Giants!) and I’ve been known to spend more than a few hours designing Nike Air Force 1s on their site. And along the way, I realized that I really prefer the look of my shoes without socks. I’m short. I have good ankles. And the shoes look better without socks. Period. And so for most of my life, I’ve worn my sneakers without socks. Which, you know, isn’t the loveliest feeling. Or the loveliest smelling.

And then a funny thing happened while waiting in line at Target a month ago: I found no-show half-socks that give you all the cleanliness and good feelings of socks without the look of socks. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS UNTIL FEBRUARY? My life is forever changed. I have purchased all the colors and patterns and feel so proud every time I put them on and every time I take my now-not-smelly fancy sneakers off.

But then I got sad. Really sad. Because it reminded me again of how many things I still don’t know. Girl things. Lady things. How to be a woman things. My alcoholic mother was too involved with alcohol and her own ish to give me any guidance – on tampons, on makeup, on basic hygiene, on work, on family, on life, really. And the not knowing sneaks up on me in weird moments where I discover no-show socks. Would she have known to tell me all those years ago about these magical socks? Probably not. But I know that ache. That specific realization that you were not mothered the way other girls were. And it still hurts, all these years later. Even amid the potent joy of life-altering sock discoveries.