My wife and I enjoy a modern marriage where we share domestic duties. She, for example, handles such mundane chores as filling her wine glass at precisely 6:01 p.m. every night (6:01 because it takes her one minute to fetch the wine after noticing it’s 6 p.m.). I, on the other hand, handle more glorious tasks, like folding socks.

Though I’ve improved in sock folding over the years, I have not yet conquered the persistent problem of missing socks. No matter how carefully I unload the dryer and carry laundry, I always find at least one sock widow (or widower). Sometimes, I have as many as three (see photo, above).

Scientists are baffled by this phenomenon. Socks aren’t like jackets or hats; we don’t take them off outside the house. In fact, they’re never outside the house on their own. This isn’t the 1950s for cryin’ out loud. If we let them out alone, the next thing they’d end up pictured on a milk carton.

Socks live in a finite, closed universe, yet somehow they disappear. It’s as if there’s a hole in the space-time continuum that socks enter. But on occasion they reappear, which is another great mystery. Sometimes, after weeks or months of a sock’s lonely mate patiently waiting on a bedroom chair, the lost sock magically shows up in a load of clean laundry. No apologies, no explanations, no evidence of undue partying or space-time travel. Nevertheless, it’s a happy moment.

But all too often, a widow sock never enjoys reuniting with its mate. It’s such a sad waste to see the lonely socks laying around for months, probably imagining the worst about its spouse and vowing that it’s too soon to seek another mate. In any event, new mates for sock widows are difficult to find. The odds of another solo sock of the same gender, color and design are low.

This problem triggered my most recent business epiphany: You don’t have to win PowerBall to become a billionaire.