I never have been school supply shopping with my kids. Up ‘til now, we’ve always bought The Kit. You know The Kit. It’s a school fundraiser that allows you to go online and buy one convenient pre-packaged set of all the school supplies you already HAVE (somewhere), for an exorbitant cost.
But this year, since I lost my exorbitant cost affording mechanism in the office closure, AND since we already have a lifetime supply (somewhere) of 6-inch Fiskar scissors and opaque rulers-with-inches-and-centimeters, I figured I’d save me some of that there money – all by using what we have and/or shopping for just the missing parts – instead of going The Kit route.
First though? BEFORE shopping, you have to figure out what you already GOT in order to figure out what yew gotta GIT, Varmint. We got us some drawers and drawers filled with crapped-up writing instruments. So I started there and then planned to fill in any 5-subject notebook gaps at Walmart.
Pay no never mind to the fact that the finding and sorting of the fifty THOUSAND Sharpies we have scattered throughout the house subsequently morphed into an organizational effort of Herculean proportions. We’ll just call that “Spring Cleaning ‘Cept In The Summer,” shall we? It needed to be done and now all the drawers in the house are clean and organized. Howdy, Fellers, y’all wanna see my clean drawers? The upside of that effort is we’ve confirmed we have fifty THOUSAND Sharpies in every color of the rainbow. The downside?? None of them are ‘2 extra-fine tipped black’ ones like on the 5th grade school supply list, so we have to buy more. See?! ALLLLLL worth it. [When I say that thing about it being worth it, does it seem like my teeth are clenched? ‘Cause they are.]
And clenched teeth always make my Spidey-senses tingle. Which means that a clusterbomb is about to go off in the immediate vicinity. In other words, the fill-in-the-gaps shopping trip is gonna go down HARD. REEEEEAL HARD.
So when we arrive at Walmart, I’m not surprised to find that the entrance looks eerily similar to the Mouth of Hell. Scratch that. With the boxes AND BOXES of school related minutia stacked up on either side of the entrance, it ACTUALLY looks more like a School Supply Gauntlet. It’s an inescapable tunnel of school supplies that beat on you until you burst out the other end – dazed and bloody, barely alive. IF you live, that is.
But you know me, always trying to avoid a descent into madness, so I put on my fun face and say to the kids as we walk in, “Oh! They knew we were coming. Look at all these colorful binders. Both of you kids need binders. Grab ’em and go!”
Sissy replies, “These are all one inch. Mine need to be one-and-a-half inch.
Sonny replies, “MINE can be one inch. But these are all colored and mine need to be white.”
Crap!! And what is this, Racist Binder Time?!
And so it goes until it’s an hour later and I’m sixty bucks in the everlovin’ hole and we can’t find a Mead Black and White Composition college-ruled notebook to save our lives.
Red and black? Check. GREEN and black? Check. Black and white zebra stripes? CHECK! Hey, technically it’s black and white and I don’t CARE if they’ll give you a demerit because of it, just GET IT! But it’s wide-ruled, not college-ruled.
Turns out I HATE back to school shopping. And I don’t think I saved myself any money by NOT buying The Kit. And it sure as S**T didn’t save me my sanity. Won’t do that again. Kits next year for SURE.
P. Frickin’ S. – why did we have to BUY book covers?! Why can’t my son just A) USE the hot pink argyle-patterned book covers his sister had leftover from last year…or better yet, B) just MAKE book covers out of paper bags like I did when I was a kid?! When I posed these questions to him, he looked at me like had just suggested he WEAR hot pink paper bags to school the first day. So we bought some slinky-fabric book covers in manly colors for $1.98 each. GAAAAAHHHHH!! Twelve paper shopping bags, a bitten pencil nub, a blue Bic pen and perhaps a few obsessively coordinated folders and notebooks comprised my entire back-to-school-supplies when I was his age. And I turned out fine! Just FINE! F. U….i. n. e. FINE!!!!!