So this thing called the “Back To School Supply List”… Is it just me or does it grow longer every year? I know budget cuts are all the rage, but this shit is out of control. I need a second job just to pay for everything.

Lists are so long, schools designate an extra day under the guise of “Open House” to drop all the shit off. I may be slow, but even I realize that is fucked up.

Take my son’s list for example. He is all of 10 years old and going into the 5th grade. His school requires him to bring headphones with a case and a 4 inch cord, a graphing calculator, a pair of 7 inch long pointed scissors (could that be considered a weapon?), a backpack preferably with wheels to haul all the crap, 4 dozen pencils, 400 sheets of graphing paper, and wait for it….baby wipes. I will spare you all the details of crayons, rulers, 50 million glue sticks, protractors, and flair pens.

When it comes to buying school supplies, I’m one of those moms who boycotts back to school shopping right until the last minute. I put it off for so long that the huge bins which held a trillion erasers are now down to 1 or 2 and you have to pay full price for shitty leftovers in a random aisle of a 7-11 store.

I’ve always made it a habit to visit Goodwill where all paper and office products go to die. I’m talking about composition books with the missing pages, 1/2 empty boxes of crayons and markers (surely they don’t need ALL the colors, right??) and opened packs of paper.

I make every teacher cringe when they see me coming because I am that asshole parent who doesn’t give a shit whether the pencil pouch is red instead of the required plastic see-through kind.

I know I am dating myself, but back in the glory days of the 80s (holy fuck, how was I even alive then?), we had supply lists on a much smaller scale. It was so much easier and my list always included these essential items:

A ‘Trapper Keeper’ Binder (with Rob Lowe on the cover). My binder held all of my late homework, unfinished math assignments, failed test scores and Dr. Pepper flavored Lip Smacker. Every time I pulled out that Trapper Keeper Rob Lowe would greet me with eyes that seemed to say, “Hey, Girl.” We had a connection, I’m just sayin.’

Pee Chee Folders. They were kick-ass because I could write all my fave bands on them with a gel pen. Duran Duran? Hells yeah.

Lunch box (yes, I still had a themed Little House on the Prairie one because I was, and forever will be, a LHOTP whore).

Binder paper (for passing notes in class – way classier than texting or Snapchat).

Generic pencils (fuck you Ticonderoga brand).

Paper grocery bags to make into book covers (the 80’s one attempt at recycling).

My St. Elmo’s Fire backpack with the entire movie cast plastered across the front.

That being said, If I have the chance to buy another Rob Lowe Trapper Keeper or a Little House lunch box, I will buy that bitch in a second, no matter what time of year it is. Boycott over.

Sadly, these days I think I would only find it in an antique store with a sign above it that says, “Vintage 80’s School Supplies.”

Fuck my life.

{This ‘Best of BluntMoms’ was originally published in Sept 2014}

Jessica
Author

Jessica is a wannabe urban homesteader, living in Portland with her blended family of 4 kids, 3 rescue dogs and 4 chickens named after Starbucks drinks. A former pharmacy student, Jessica decided she like baking better than drugs so went to pastry school instead. Described by her friend as a "Feminist Jedi Master", Jessica can be found spreading 'peace and wisdom' over at her blog, The Dalai Mama, at www.travelingmercies-jessica.blogspot.com

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