Tuesday, August 18, 2009

ack-bay to ool-skay

Do you remember shopping for school supplies when you were a kid?

You don’t?

Neither do I.

When did this begin? Is it a California thing? My kids get a list of requested school supplies as long as my arm. Assuming, of course, that my arm is 11.5 inches long.

I don’t mind buying the stuff… in fact, I come dangerously close to digging it. The bins of essentials marked down to scandalously low prices, the sassy messenger bags and earth-friendly rulers and neatly sorted real-wood #2 pencils? It's good stuff. But it's a buzz-kill of epic proportions for a kid in mid August. We really don't even speak of it out loud.

We did a fine job of ignoring the back-to-school ads and glossy fliers that began infecting the Sunday paper as soon as the fireworks faded from the Independence Day sky. Our kids go to a year-round school, so by the time their summer began on July 17th, it was back-to-school-palooza everywhere we turned. But's it's silly and surreal, just like the Christmas in October retail bullshit, easy to ignore by nature of its extreme absurdity.

But last year, I ignored the school supply list until Labor Day weekend, and found out that by then, the good (read: cheap) stuff is long gone. I was stuck paying full price for the pencils and protractors and school glue. So this year, when the opportunity presented itself, I was determined to get ‘er done in a timely and cost efficient manner.

It was fairly painless. Of course, I had an assistant who shares my passion for checking things off of lists in order.

And I also realized that at least half of the crap we bought at full price last year had come home in their desk cubby things on the last day of school, and it’s not like they would have just up and walked away in the month since that day.


This again?


Anonymous said...

My daughter LOVES school supply shopping. She starts bugging me to get at it about a week after school is out.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Look at your children selling their school supplies right out from under you!

I really love school supplies. And office supplies. I come ever so close to hording them. They're so shiny! And pointy! And useful!

And I love crossing things off a list like nobody's business. I'll write extra stuff *on* the list, just so I can cross it *off*.


a bit sensitive about school supplies said...

wih my school district, of which I am an elected board member, would move into the 21st century and send home a school supply list.
Instead, we think it's ok to just tax the home owner and supply all K-5th graders with their supplies.
Downside?? other than the sillines of taxing people for pencils, is trying to convince a K-5th grader that they DON'T NEED to buy supplies.
So...I pay both ends...in taxes and at Target.
By 2010 I will have made a change in this school supply racket (mark my words)

Anonymous said...

I LOVED doing that...shopping for new supplies - even if I had old one's from the year before. I don't remember my list being THAT EXTENSIVE though...wow.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Thank you for the wake up call, Jacquie! I need to get on this task, and for the first time I have two lists to buy for.

I think I'd be fine with the district bying the school supplies, but we all know THAT'S not going to happen. California is a soley taketh away state, there is no giveth.