Where do you keep your dreaded Back-to-School supplies list? I keep my dreaded back-to-school supplies list in my pocketbook–right next to my suicide note. In fact, I don’t even need a suicide note. Anybody who would find my lifeless body face down on the floor of a “superstore” with the crumpled dreaded Back-to-School supplies list in my hand would read it and understand:
3- 1 inch binders- red, black, white
4- 1 1/2 inch binders- red, white, green
3- 2 inch binders- light purple, yellow, dark purple
5- packs of mechanical pencils
27 folders–must have plastic covers- 7 blue, 9 orange, 3 pink, 7 polka dot, 1 red, white & blue stripe (will be used for Memorial Day project in May)
1 pair of scissors
2 packs of staples
6 packs of dry erase markers
whatever whatever… whatever whatever… whatever whatever…
Every year, ten minutes into the back-to-school supply shopping excursion, I want to kill myself. But how should I do it? Take the mandatory scissors and stab myself in the neck? No good. I need scissors to open the package of scissors. I’d have to remember to bring my own pair of scissors with me to the store…Would it be considered an assisted suicide if I begged my husband and children to run over me multiple times with my own shopping cart?
To keep myself as sane as I’m ever going to be during this process, I have a clear, organized strategy…
1) Find the Stinking List
So, you know how you walk into a Target or Walmart and there’s a cardboard column they put up in front of the store / back-to-school supplies aisle that has all the different lists for all of the school supplies for each grade for every school within a twelve mile radius? Well our school is never there. Call me paranoid, but every year at this time, I drive by the school just to make sure the building’s still there. I’m just thinking: “What if Target knows something I don’t?”
This year, my husband actually found the current list on the—who would have believed it?—school website of all places! This is a website that still has contact info for three teachers who retired in 2008.
2) Interpret the Word “Optional”
So the mandatory list items are: Book bag, pencils, folders, binder (aka a loose leaf when I went to school in 1878 with Laura and Mary Ingalls), composition book etc. Okay, I guess there’s no getting around those… but then there are those other things further down the list. This is when I start grilling my three kids in the middle of the dreaded back-to-school supplies aisle: “Has any one of you in any grade ever used color pencils in school?” “Oh you have, have you? How often?”
“Crayons? You guys are in fifth grade. You don’t need crayons.” (And my son is an elitist. He only wants Crayola products. None of those Crappola Crayons knock-off brands that are fifty cents cheaper.)
Please stay tuned for Back-to-School: The Dreaded Supplies List P2 where I talk more about “Optional Supplies”, my version of the “New Math”, and “My Appreciative Children”.
(And, in the meantime, if you’d like more laughs at your children’s expense (not to mention show support to a family with triplets) please take a look at my latest little eBook: “Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School” by clicking the home page link or book cover below.) Thanks for stopping by!: http://laughingisconceivable.com