“Optional” Back-to-School Supplies

Without a doubt, “optional” back-to-school supplies are my most favorite back-to-school supplies on the list.

I’ve got to buy for three kids here. Three kids in the same grade. I’m a very generous person: I offer myself the triplet discount every chance I get. The only thing that makes me suck it up and buy at least a few of those things on the lower half of the list is that I don’t want the teachers to get stuck buying them. But as much as I can, when an item is marked: “Optional”, I choose the “No” option. And, I’ll tell you a little secret: Sometimes,  I ignore the words “mandatory items” altogether thus making the entire list of back-to-school supplies “optional”. This is how it works:

long list

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Dreaded Back-to-School Supplies list-P1

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:

back-to-school supplies aisle


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 calculator

1 pair of scissors

1 stapler

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… Continue reading