Well, here's a treat for those who've asked for a guest post from my wife J-. She was so overjoyed at her haul at school supply sales recently, both for her and my 5-year-old son D-, that she felt like expressing herself in print:
This is my time of year. God do I love the fall and the rush of going back to school.
Mostly, I love school supplies, and I don’t mean that in a healthy, “Golly gee willikers, these are neat!” kind of way. I mean it more in the way some women describe shopping at huge designer clothes and shoes sales, where people will claw your eyes out for little or no reason. This was bred into me a long time ago, so I simply can’t help it.
If there's only one left of the item I am looking for, you had better believe I will do whatever it takes to make sure it becomes mine. A few days ago, I was out shopping and some lady was reaching for the last box of sheet protectors just as I was, while she complained about how expensive they were.
I was forced to take evasive action, asking her if she'd gotten the same 20%-off bag in the mail that I was holding. She stopped reaching to rub her chin as she considered the question, and while she did, I deftly put that last box in my cart.
I know, I know, I should be ashamed, but sadly I am not. She was unhappy with the price, so I relieved her of the problem! But you don't have to thank me: my new sheet protectors are their own reward.
A big part of the reason I have this great love of school supplies is my almost total lack of awesome school supplies as a kid. Back then, school supplies often doubled as birthday presents, and because we were so poor, even then I never had any of the cool things I was ogling in the ads.
Nope, I always had the “functional” supplies that generally kind of worked, but were certainly never the envy of anyone else in class. They usually lasted just long enough for the teachers to note that my mother had indeed sent in my supplies as ordered.
For instance, I think all my non-Ticonderoga pencils were created solely as an offering to the pencil sharpener gods, to provide a year's worth of blessings for my classmates' pencils. The only exception in those years of school supplies, possibly even coveted by others than myself, were my pens.
My mother felt this splurge was necessary mostly because she loved pens as much as I did. I never went for the girly, decorated, crazy pens, but more for the ones with the best grips, most practical sizes, most vibrant colors, the endurance of the ink, and how nicely that ink flowed. I have since grown into an addiction that is not limited to the beginning of school, which I have a constant excuse to feed now that I'm a teacher.
Ask my husband: if there is a good pen in a store, I know everything about it and why I need one. I can’t help it. Each pen writes differently, and with each new day, my hand requires different pens for the various moods I find myself in that day. This year's pen new set is an 8-pack of assorted colors of the simple Papermate Profile ballpoint pen:
So, with that, along with the rest of what you see below (some of which I got free from a store giving a tote bag of goodies to teachers), my inhuman demand for school supplies has been satisfied for this year. I think.
A. Pink is always better than Not Pink.
B. The aforementioned sheet protectors.
C. Between D- and I, Costco saved me almost $20 on pencils.
D. Pay no attention to the crap in my house I'm not able to Photoshop out.
E. These good-smelling dry erase markers are hard to find, but now I don't have to worry about my new whiteboards killing me with marker fumes in my dank basement of a classroom.
F. I probably don't even need these, but I just love them so much. They're great markers, and they double as air fresheners.
G. I've waited two years for these things, so I don't have to pile up folders in my filing cabinet drawers.