The mood might have been upbeat as we marched into the big box store, but it was a lie – for one of us any way. The signs and displays and warnings that school was starting soon! Stock up on supplies! had been out for a few weeks – since before 4th of July, if you can believe that – but I wasn’t having it. School doesn’t start for more than a month! They’re rushing past the entire second half of summer!
And then I remembered what happened last year.
Last year I staged a similar protest. I refused to buy school supplies in July because the girls didn’t start until the end of August. I had a major family vacation to prep for; I didn’t have time to be distracted by the almighty dollar’s need to push school supplies! I’d worry about it when we got back from vacation.
Then, when vacation was over and we set out to conquer School Supply Mountain, everything was gone. Binders, loose-leaf paper, notebooks, pronged folders. All of it. Even the expensive stuff! It wasn’t like we dilly-dallied – we still beat tax-free weekend. In fact, we ventured out the very first weekend we had the girls. But it didn’t seem to matter. My protest wasn’t bringing any of the supplies back. I picked up what we could and then I let loose on the check-out girl – something I never, ever do (because what control does she have over what gets purchased?). I thought it was ridiculous that a major supplier ran out of back-to-school products almost a month before school even started; that if that was the case, more supplies needed to be purchases next year. She answered that the teachers were the ones at fault – that they swooped in and bought out whatever was on the shelves, no matter what was left or how many weeks there were til school.
Since I was left with little choice – shop the second the goods were spotted, or pay 93458348% mark-up at an office supply store – the girls and I went aisle diving this weekend. We had as much fun as we could, although it took us an hour and we were a bit out of sorts by the end. But it’s done. $130 later. Now I just need a place to store all of this where we won’t trip over it for another six weeks.