Tuesday, August 12, 2008

school of shock


As I've run from one store to the other today, I've had a lot of time to think about one indisputable fact.


Back to school shopping is not what it used to be.


I remember going shopping as a kid and buying a few clothes, some notebooks and a new lunch box. Anal even then, I would spend the next few days arranging my binder just so, and trying on outfit after outfit to decide what to wear the first day. (I even remember my very favorite back to school piece of clothing ever. It was a pair of blue and white checked ultra wide leg hip hugging bell bottoms. With my Roseanne Rosannadanna hair and braces with rubber bands, I was no Marcia Brady. I wasn't even Jan. In truth, I looked more like Mr. Brady after he got that really bad perm).


What did we buy today? Well, we did buy notebooks and paper and pencils and pens. We bought clothes. We also bought flash drives and cell phones and rewritable discs and some other piece of computer thingie that Sasquatch convinced me he needed and then realized as soon as we got home that he had bought the wrong (size? speed? format? Who knows? Who cares?)


The cell phones are a story all on their own. Gumby and Surfer Dude will need cell phones this year since they will be a little more independent. I've learned my lesson with Verizon and just went to Target to buy the Virgin Mobile pay as you go phones. Simple enough to buy. Can't say the same for setting them up. It took me five minutes just to get the packaging off. Their phones are more for me than them, honestly. If I'm at work and they're out and about I want to know the who, what, when, where and why of it.


After we bought theirs, we went to Verizon to activate Sasquatch's third phone in recent months. The last one (thank you again, Amy, and I'm so sorry) is buried somewhere in the sand at Zuma, never to be found again. (How did he explain this to his father? "We lost it". We who??) I have to hand it to Verizon. That's quite a racket they've got going there. If you don't buy the replacement insurance within fifteen days of your new contract (stupid, stupid, stupid me), you have to buy a new phone if you lose or destroy yours. They hold you to your contract whether you have a physical phone or not. So you can have nice fellow bloggers send you old ones out of the goodness of their hearts, or - this time - your mother can take pity on the kid (hers, not mine) and upgrade her own plan even though she doesn't need to. Total cost to her - $50. Total cost to me to switch his plan over to her phone - $20. Total cost to Sasquatch? Too horrible to even blog about.


After my credit card had been extinguished and all the electronics had been safely put into backpacks (still good from last year, thank god), I felt an overwhelming need to return Back to School shopping to the way it used to be.


You should see my new hobo bag purse. It would look right at home on Marsha Brady.

16 comments:

Devon said...

I just got home tonight at 8:30pm after the horrible ritual that is back to school shopping! At about 7:00pm I decided I am agrophobic... if my name was Dorthy I would click my heels and say, "There's no place like home!"

Suffice to say, I feel your pain!!!

ciara said...

gone are the days of simple mead data planner or trapper keeper binders. luckily here we don't need flash drives and all that good stuff. in two years, showboat has managed to destroy or lose about 5 phones. but, we ended up buying cheapo pay as you go and inserting a sim card if it was still had or just went to att and got another. i spent a ridiculous amount on clothes this year since Mini-Me has been in juniors for the last yr or so. not to mention $610 for cheer uniforms and camp....we just started. we have competitions to probably spend more $$$ on later. ugh! i think i have heartburn thinking about all the money that's been spent so far.

i will say though...i'm glad i went shopping early. i'm not fighting anyone for anything or have to deal w shortage of school supplies that they'll need.

ped crossing said...

We shopped early and I still am on the search for watercolors. No gizmos yet, but we are looking for some good walkie talkies so sweetP can walk himself to school this year and his neurotic mom can talk to him the whole way there.

laurie said...

i never went back-to-school shopping. my mother would go to Target and buy a million notebooks and pencils and that was pretty much it.

i know this sounds like a scene out of "coal miner's daughter," but it's true: we never got new shoes until October, when the Plaza Bootery (the only place we shopped for shoes) had its annual sale.

this meant that for all of September and most of October, we had to cram our growing feet into last year's shoes.

i remember pain. i remember heels scraped raw. i remember being so happy when those sale signs went up.

in my parents' defense, though, what else are you going to do when ten children need new shoes all at the same time?

Rudee said...

I agree, cell phone companies are running a great game. I have an old phone if you need one again.

Akelamalu said...

Although I have to go back to school(work) on 2nd September thankfully I don't have to do the 'back to school shopping'! Oh well maybe I'll get another new pair of shoes, or a skirt, or a sweater.....

Kaycie said...

Now that two of mine are in high school, back to school shopping is much simpler. With the wardrobe my daughter has, all she needed was a notebook, some pencils, and a new pair of shoes. Middle son got two new pairs of shoes in June, so he asked for a couple pair of jeans, a notebook and some pencils. The little one, who almost never wears shoes in summer, needs a new pair of those and a list of school supplies as long as my arm. It's nice to have only one of those lists instead of three!

Lil Mouse said...

hi, i'm back after a blog reading hiatus and i must say, you dont disappoint, you're staying on my blogroll and in my reader. awesome. i love your truth telling and funny stories. must read more now..! oh and PLEASE feel free to drop by the mouse house or meeces blog (linked to the left on the mouse house blog) to give me some parenting tips. T-3 months to go!

Sandy said...

reverse side? my friend's little girl is starting kindergarten this year and has been waiting and waiting for "the list". Her mom finally got the list - kleenex and hand sanitizer! That's it - no crayons, no pencils, no paper, no glue sticks. Just one very disappointed little girl...lol.

-Ann said...

Ah yes, you're bringing me back to the Mead Trapper Keeper with a folder for each subject. Brilliant.

I went to Catholic school for K-12, so I always had to wear a uniform. Back to school clothes shopping was buying white blouses with Peter Pan collars. Yawn.

My first day of college, I was paralysed with all of the choices. How in the world could I decide what to wear? The uniform I had railed against my whole life suddenly seemed like a great idea.

Irene said...

I feel your pain and I am very happy that this part of my life is behind me. It seems kids need more and more things these days. The school assumes you have endless credit on your credit card, huh? Of course, you've got three of those monsters to supply all at once. I hope their Dad is pitching in and doing his share. He doesn't forget they are his children as well, does he? You're an amazing human being, that's all I can say.

aims said...

I remember one outfit like it is still hanging in my closet. My mother sewed it for me. A navy pleated skirt with a plaid jacket that was red and navy and white. The white shirt to be word underneath had two long pieces that you tied into a big bow at your neck.

I loved it. I wish I could put it on and show my mother right now. Sniff.

Swearing Mother said...

I was always impressed by women who did their back to school shopping right at the start of the holidays. I would always leave it right till the end and then panic like hell trying to get what was left in the shops.

Although I did get the last laugh if Mrs. Efficiency's kids had a growth spurt during the holidays and all their brand new stuff was too small by the start of the new term. Mean of me to be amused by that, but there you go.

my two cents said...

Ah, well, we still have a few weeks (good thing since we aren't all finished with the summer homework yet, well, one of us anyway...) and I doubt anyone will need more than a new pair of regular sneakers, new running shoes, and a new backpack. We'll get new jeans October or November when they start to wear them. I'll make sure we have spare printer cartridges and some notebook paper (the school supplies planners). I guess if they need new binders they'll tell me. No lists were ever sent home here. I never bothered me, but since the privates send out mega-lists the stores were usually pretty wiped out by the time our kids got to school and got their lists handed out. Anyway, I am NOT ready to start thinking about school yet!

Ms Wiz said...

Our back to school shopping is done as soon as the Summer term ends, the shops this year had back to school signs in July! Mine this year consisted of £40 each for two school kilts for my daughter in Secondary school. Only available from the London branch of course. 3 (much cheaper) skirts each with Polo shirts for the two just about to go into year 6, school shoes - needless to say the 13yr old was not amenable to 'sensible' Clarks. I drew the line at new bags this year, my youngest has at least 4 which she alternates. I am now spent out and we haven't even been away yet. I remember foolishly going to an 'empty of school uniform' M & S at the end of August one year to be told with a pitying sneer that most organised Mums did the school uniform shop in July! I am now one of those.

Mike said...

I still think you should have moved to Austin with us.... :)

Sales-tax-free weekend is this weekend. Weeeeeeeee

The Jasmine is growing quite nicely also. Jealous?