Glue Sticks or Walk the Plank

holidays, school, shopping, summer

2 Pink erasers   

10 plain folders

4 Large glue sticks     got 2, need 2

Yes, Labor Day is almost here and that means that it’s back to school time.  Frankly, I think a better name for this season should be “pillaging season”.  As parents of school-age children, we become like pirates in search of precious treasures. 

Armed with our treasure hunt map (the school supply list) in hand, we go out in search of the loot that has been buried all summer. The one gem that keeps escaping me, the large glue stick.  Wherever I go, I see plenty of small glue sticks but my daughter’s treasure hunt map says that we need the large size sticks.  Shiver me timbers!

The no longer in business Treasure Island with its squiggly roof was the place that my Mom went to get the booty for my brother and me.  Its school supply aisles always had the goods.  Notebooks, the 96 count Crayolas with the built-in sharpener, and lunchboxes, Peanuts, The Jungle Book, or Hot Wheels; Treasure Island had it all.  I never recall my Mom complaining that the aisles were already pilfered when she got there.

Yes, I know that there are plenty of stores that sell school supplies.  Don’t think that I haven’t been to all of them in pursuit of two more large glue sticks, because I have.  After running around from store to store, I can proudly say that my daughter will go back to school with the required four large glue sticks.  I had no choice but to search for them.  It was large glue sticks or walk the plank.

Go ahead; tell me “why don’t you start shopping earlier?”  Yes, I know that Target puts their back to school supplies out around the Fourth of July, as I am sure many of the other stores do.  Oh joy, that’s what I want to do, start school supply shopping in the middle of summer.  Yippee, I can buy twenty #2 pencils at the same time that I am buying red, white, and blue plates and napkins for my Fourth of July BBQ.  Even if I did start shopping that early, my luck would be that we would be asked to get forty #2 pencils.  Yes, here it is on my list for this fall, forty #2 pencils - sharpened.  Add to list, electric pencil sharpener. 

I didn’t even get the school supply list until I went to registration a couple of weeks ago, so how could I have begun to shop?  Okay, maybe the list of goods was handed out at the end of last school year which, of course, would have allowed me to begin shopping earlier, if I wanted to; but if it was given to me, I lost it.  Okay, my fault for losing it (if it was even given to me) but what is the school doing handing out a school supply list in June for supplies that are not needed until September?  What were they thinking, of course the list will get lost.

Like the days of one-stop shopping at Treasure Island, the school district now gives us a one-stop shopping opportunity; School-Pak.  It’s the service that delivers all the required school supplies and even a backpack right to your front door.  It’s quick, it’s easy, but it’s no fun.  School-Pak erases the fun of school supply shopping, even if it means going from store to store in search of the elusive large glue stick.  It takes away the fun of choosing which notebooks to buy; High School Musical or Hello Kitty.  School-Pak, I’d rather walk the plank.

So, if you see me racing through stores this week, I’m in search of those gems that I undoubtedly forgot to get.  As I’m driving around, I’ll remember my days of back to school shopping.  The metal Jungle Book lunchbox, the 96 count Crayolas with the built-in sharpener, and the store that had it all, Treasure Island.  A place where X marked the spot.    

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