Spare some change?
By Julie McGuire on September 12, 2011
It’s the same every August. My husband finds me in our closet emptying all the loose change out of the purses I have used throughout the year.
“Back to school shopping?” he asks.
“Yes. Once again, it’s depleted the budget. Do me a favor and check underneath the seats in the car. I’m looking for another ten dollars and then we have the electric paid.”
It’s so tiring.
When did our back-to-school budget exceed our Christmas budget? I know this confirms I’m old, but on my first day of school, I brought a new pencil and a shiny red apple to class. But somewhere along the line, things changed. School budgets depleted, we became fearful of germs and parents had to supply a small pharmacy for the classrooms as well as disposable cameras, USB ports, calculators, sharpies, red pens for correcting, binders, college lined notebook paper, four dozen sharpened pencils, and I haven’t even touched the miscellaneous items needed that each teacher requires. The list is longer than my grocery list.
It was on my third trip to Office Depot that I lost all patience. I was no longer being the nice parent that wanted to instill happy memories of back-to- school shopping. I just wanted to get out of there. I met a mother who felt the same way. She was clutching the shopping cart much as I was and she wasn’t happy. We were two kindred souls. She looked at me and with one eye on her child she shook her head:
“Apparently, we did not purchase the “cool” folders and the “cool” pencils,” she sighed.
I smiled and nodded. ”I made the mistake of sending my husband here the first time,” I replied.
She shook her head and glanced over at a young mother giggling happily with her young daughter as they debated which crayons to choose.
“A rookie,” she commented.
I agreed. I remember a time long ago when my children couldn’t read and their opinions carried little weight. Those were the days I parked them in front of the lunch boxes and finished my school shopping in under five minutes. Today, every purchase is analyzed, double-checked, questioned and pondered until I want to shout, “It’s a pencil for heaven’s sake!”
But with the exception of my checking account, we all survived. I told my children that if they needed anything else I would wrap a bow around it and tell them it was a Christmas gift. No one wants a stapler in their stocking so I doubt I will be headed back for supplies in the near future. Which is perfect, because it gives me enough time to discover more loose change for the holidays.
Follow BlogHer on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/BlogHer-28615
More Like This
Most Popular on BlogHer
By Kim Court
Most Popular on Career
Recent Comments on Career