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I'll be the first to say that I thoroughly enjoy spending money at Target. Browsing the clearance racks brings me great joy.  I even find a certain sense of euphoria in bringing home new bottles of shampoo, cleaning supplies, and toothpaste.  But school supply shopping can kiss my big, white ass.  School supply shopping can suck it.



I went about a week and a half before school started so I didn't have to deal with hoardes of other moms and kids begging for Jonas Brothers folders and Iron Man lunch boxes.  That was not the source of my irritation.  Nor was I irritated by the fact that Target was missing ONLY our school's supply list.  Nope.  What pissed me off was the list itself.  Yep, I was highly annoyed by a piece of paper.  I expected the crayons, pencils, and looseleaf paper (but I'll be damned if I didn't have to tear the freaking store apart to find f-ing wide ruled paper...thankfully I didn't have to succumb to stealing it out of someone else's cart...believe me, I was *this* close).  I was totally fine with having to supply a couple of folders, but good LORD do they find pleasure in being as particular as humanly possible with the specifications on those damn things?  2  pocket folders one blue, one green, one WITH tabs, one WITHOUT tabs, silver tabs, not copper, 3 inch high pockets, one WITH dividers, one WITHOUT dividers, but make sure that the one that has the tabs does NOT have the dividers. WTF????  I grabbed a yellow and a purple and called it a day.  Then I moved on to erasers...seriously???  They HAVE to be pink, assholes?  Pink rectangles?  And all I can find are white squares.  Of course. What kind of communist bullshit set up is this?  There are NO pink erasers to be found in the entire freaking store.  Anywhere.  A certain "office supply" store wanted an ungodly amount for a package of 2 fucking erasers.  I laughed when they told me the amount and said I'd rather buy a bottle of wine.  My daughter can live with mistakes, I can't live without alcohol.  So I moved on eraser-less eager to leave Target and hit up the nearest liquor store.

Carrying on with my list...after finishing up with the requisite Crayolas (God forbid Rose Art *gasp* apparently those are the trailer trash of art supplies...who knew?), glue sticks (Elmer's JUMBO size), and pencil pouches my irritation turned to a bit of "come again????" intermingled with some "what the fucks???" when I made it to the more "teacher supply" portion of the list...Now, those of you who know me, know that I am in fact, A TEACHER.  Therefore I feel that it is perfectly acceptable for me to bitch about this. A lot. Because I never got to ask my kids to bring me shit.  Ever.  Except Diet Coke.  And I just merely "hinted" at that and whaddya know, the little buggers picked up on it!  But in terms of supplies, the district always gave those to us and told us we were not allowed to get them from students.  And I know that teachers supply a lot of their own shit...believe me, I spent a great deal of my not-so-stellar paycheck on stuff for my own classroom.  Apparently somewhere along the way, a penny-pinching big-wig over at the district office decided that he'd shave a few bucks off of the overall supply budget by sneaking a few staple items onto the student supply list instead...VOILA!  Have every student bring in a $6 pack of Dry Erase markers...CHA CHING!!!!!  Genius!  Unless my kids are going to be the ones writing all over the white boards every day I fail to see how these are student supplies...  Which brings me to my next head scratcher, the ziploc bags...are you going to pack my kids' lunches for me every day???  FUCKING AWESOME!!!!!  No?  Dammit, well then what the hell do you need the gallon size ones for?  Sending home freezer meals?  No again?  Crap...this school sucks.  Two freaking bottles of hand sanitizer??  **quick mental math...carry the one, times 2...plus 1...**that's A LOT of hand sanitizer and my kids will STILL get sick, are you going to bathe them in the shit every day?  No?  Are they going to drink it???  TWO containers of Lysol wipes?  Sweet Jesus Lord above do you have any idea how expensive those damn things are?  Are they going to wrap each other up in them every day? Even if I feed them to my kids, make them blow their noses with them, wipe their asses with them, etc, etc...they'll still get sick. I'm not buying those.  Here are some paper towels.  Shit, those are already on the list.  What the fuck do you need those for?  The school doesn't have them?  What kind of messed up joint is this?  I debate not grabbing the two boxes of tissues left on the list because #1 I barely have any room left in the cart (I already can't see child #3), and #2 I may not be able to afford them anymore.  Maybe they won't notice if MY kids don't show up with them because all of this shit just gets thrown in a pile anyway.  MAYBE I'll just waltz them in there the first day of school with Target bags crammed full of wadded up paper towels that LOOK like they're full of school supplies, chuck them in the "school supply" pile and run like hell... (I didn't really do this, by the way...for those of you wondering...especially those of you local to me...especially those of you who teach at my kids' school...)

I slowly made my way up to the register and shoved the hand sanitizer, ziploc bags, Crayola markers, Fiskars scissors (they HAD to be Fiskars) and Lysol wipes (oh wait, I bucked the system and got the Up and Up brand to save 50 cents)  out of the way to unearth my wallet (hey! I found kid #3) and what was likely our life savings as I was buying school supplies for two kids.  God bless those of you who had to do it for more than that.  As the contents of the cart began moving down the belt and the total began creeping higher, so did my blood pressure.  What the hell ever happened to showing up with a few new folders, new pencils and a sack lunch?????  Pens, pencils, crayons, glue sticks, valium, dry erase markers, scissors, pencil pouches, dividers, folders, merlot, ziploc bags, headphones, xanax, hand sanitizer, paper towels, moscato, lysol wipes...my head was spinning...their college funds were already dwindling and this was just the beginning of 4th grade and kindergarten.   I seriously gagged when I saw the total.  And may have blacked out.  And I literally bought NOTHING but school supplies.  Not a single thing.  I cried about that part later.  She had to repeat herself because I stared for so long, I'm pretty sure she thought I didn't hear her correctly.  The good news is I won't have to worry about pink rectangle erasers for next year because I had to sell my 4th grader to pay for the supplies.  But I did get my wine... (and contemplated drinking it right there in the parking lot...)

12 comments:

Jen said...
September 13, 2010 at 10:19 AM

AWESOME! My daughter isn't in school yet but I should probably start stocking up, huh?

Anonymous said...
September 13, 2010 at 10:20 AM

So very, very true...I don't get why we as parents are supposed to supply stuff for the classroom? I'm fine sending in shit for my own kid, that I can afford but the rest of it is pushing it...

Janice said...
September 13, 2010 at 11:02 AM

I totally agree it sucks with how specific they are.. you just CAN'T shop early anymore!! AND as Room Mom I pay for a lot of extra things when the "donatons" don't come in!! Crazy...

Joanna said...
September 13, 2010 at 5:08 PM

So, in addition to the private school and college fund, I'll need to set up a school supply fund for my toddler? Awesome, can I take that out of my 529B?

Anonymous said...
September 13, 2010 at 8:27 PM

As a Mom & former teacher myself, thanks for this column! Faaaaaaantastic!

Amy Lee said...
September 14, 2010 at 12:05 AM

1. I am glad to see you back!

2. I have 3 kids and I always buy the bare minimum on their lists. It pisses me off to no end the shit the schools ask for. What makes them think we can afford it all??

3. Post was hilarious as always :)

redfraggle37 said...
September 14, 2010 at 8:45 PM

wait...what?? When I was going to school I got loose leaf paper, a binder (one year I even got a trapper keeper), pencils, pens, and erasers...that's pretty much it. There were no lists...WTF happened? Is this a budget thing? Good god...And here I went and spent my toddler's savings on new boots...gonna have to start saving again, poor thing won't have any college money.

cara said...
September 27, 2010 at 12:07 AM

My little ones are in preschool and there is a high demand for teacher supply! I can't believe what we are asked to bring. I tried to find the cheapest things on the list.

Ms Pink said...
October 8, 2010 at 9:40 AM

You would not BELIEVE the list that my girlfriend got from her daughters daycare/preschool! Not only do they pay out the ass for the place but they also had to supply items only available at specialty learning toy stores!

Jennie said...
August 22, 2011 at 4:28 PM

And as they get older, add in sports participation fees, uniforms (including shoes and warm-ups), band/choir participation and uniform fees, TRANSPORTATION FEES (bussing to and from the games and music events), P.E. clothes, school pictures, yearbooks ($80+!), special materials fees for some classes, an ASB card, and a bus pass to get to and from school (one for each semester!). What kills me is that they want all of this paid for within the first 4-6 weeks of school! I am SOOOO glad my kids are done!

Andy said...
August 22, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Big Chief tablet!

Sneaky kind of Freaky said...
August 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Yes. This. Our district can't afford the school supplies that we dish out because they've decided "green" is better than building safety and they turn off the hear during the winter breaks, causing 25 million (NOT an exaggeration) in damages to school buildings because of broken pipes and damaged wooden gym floors. FFS, why is "green" more important than keeping the actual ROOF on the school? I think for Christmas I'll send my kid's school a bill for the supplies that I've sent.

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