Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Personal Supply List Includes Excedrin and a Glass of Wine

The other day, girls in tow, I ventured into the eighth circle of hell, otherwise known as school supply shopping. Because we also did (some) shoes and (a few) clothes, it took us literally HOURS. You may not think that spending hours shopping for school gear is all that unreasonable, or any big deal. But moms of small kids know that dragging (bored) very young children around any store for hours is painful for all involved, and worthy of some sort of medal for Mothering Stamina -- let alone hours in the school section, debating the merits of Prang vs. Crayola watercolors and the pink vs. the purple backpack.

Some school districts I know have parents write out a check at the beginning of the year; then the teacher goes and buys what he or she needs for the classroom. But in my district, we get one of those Lists. Oh, the List. The long, long, long, expensive, horribly specific List. Why do you taunt me so, strangely specific List, with your promise of school supplies that seem to not actually exist? The eight-pack of (only) black dry-erase markers, regular point? The blue (has to be blue!) two-pocket folder that is sold out because I wasn't doing this shopping in July? The pencil box "large enough to hold all crayons, markers, pencils, and erasers," which happens to be not the standard pencil box size? THE FLAIR PENS.

By the end of the afternoon I was randomly tossing anything that even remotely resembled the requested school supply into my cart: the Crayola watercolor set instead of the mythical Prangs, multi-colored dry erase markers instead of the elusive all-blacks.

And then I handed over my debit card and visibly winced when the cashier rang up my shockingly high total. (And that was without the Flair pens.)


Anonymous said...

Do they even still make Flair pens? Are they considered vintage now, making them even more expensive than a non-Flair variety?
School supply shopping is akin to searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, only with less unicorns. And no child should need a 12" x 6" pencil box! I mean, seriously?! Bigger than their head?

Mnmom said...

The one that always did me in was the "no or low odor dry erase markers". They were always hidden in the office supply section, and only certain in-the-know mothers would let you in on the secret.

Christopher Tassava said...

For you:

Daisy said...

The stores are often a step behind the supply lists. If marketing directors and buyers would actually consult teachers before ordering for the August sales.... Nah. That would mean actually respecting the people who teach.

Can you tell I teach? I'm entering my 17th year as an elementary teacher. I love my work, but I really detest dealing with the supply list.

Rita said...

This year the school supply shopping was especially hard, as I wrote THAT check right after writing my first check for tuition.

Ouch. Painful.

Also? I found the elusive "big" pencil box at Office Depot. Do they have those in MN?