19 August 2009

Guest Post: J-'s School Supply Fever

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:

The Papermate Profile ballpoint penSo, 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.

This school year's haul at the LiteralDan household
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.


unmitigated me said...

Ooh. Now add some organizers to the pile, little plastic drawers? Mmmmmmm. Happy.

I liked the supplies as a kid, but I have to say, I liked the new shoes better. Probably because my feet had turned to leather being barefoot all summer!

You need your own blog.

Mama Dawg said...

I agree with MAW. You need your own blog.

That being said, I'm a total school supply freak, too. I was so disappointed this year in my daughter's rather short and unimaginative school supply list. We were done so quickly, I felt like I was with a 16 year old boy (if you know what I mean, wink, wink).

So, as soon as the supplies went on sale at Wal-Mart, I stocked up on stuff. Sharpies, Bic permanents, folders, crayons, etc.....Sigh.....it was heaven.

Mary said...

I hope this enthusiasm continues through the winter break and carries you through all the stuff the kids pull.

Mrs. B. Roth said...

Oh, J - I was a poor kid with crappy recycled school supplies, too. One year, colored glue was THE thing. I took the ink well thing out of my purple marker and put it in my glue bottle of not-Elmer's, ta-dah!

This year my kids' school supply list sounded more like a janitor's supply list: clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, paper towels, box of tissues, glue sticks, and pencils????!!! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, school?? I got the ten cent spiral notebooks (limit 18/customer) the fifty-cent-24-count crayons, watercolors, markers ... by Jingo, I think I'll go back and get some more.

Love school supplies (great post!).

One Crazy Chick! said...

How bad is it that I don't have school aged kids or even a reason to school supply shop and yet I'm still compelled to buy it...ALL? No, no problem here...move along!

And, yes, those markers...the ones you don't need...are in fact the worlds best markers! My mom always stole the brown and black to touch up nics in our furniture!

Badass Geek said...

I have an addiction to pens, too. My current pen is the Pilot G-2. I love it.

Kori said...

school supplies=crack cocaine for me.

Jill said...

umm... anyone that hasn't tried the new sharpie pens just must must must do so.

They don't bleed, and I love them. A little spendy, but so worth it.

I bought a 4 pack of multi-colors last week and then yesterday had to stop at the store on the say to class to pick up another multi-color 4 pack and an all black 4 pack. I don't think I'll ever use a different pen.

Not sure why I love office supplies so much. I was a teacher at one point -- maybe that's it. Joy for me is the Office Depot clearance section -- Holy Cow!!

Zip n Tizzy said...

I LOVE those profile pens. So much so, that the one I have, was the one I was imagining as you described your love of pens... and then I saw yours and smiled.

My guy starts kindergarten next week and I'm finding that I'm restlessly waiting for the supplies list.

Trooper Thorn said...

Here's my process:
- take supply list, discard.
- 5 binders, 500 sheets of paper, one box pens, one box pencils.
- done.

I will include some pink binders this year on your recommendation.

Swirl Girl said...

What? No little white circle things that go over the holes in the 3 ring binder paper?? What are those called?

My 5 year old got to buy school supplies this year. She is out of her head with joy. Little does she know -in kindergarten, they dump everything in baskets and share. No need to go Crayola and Ticonderoga and Elmers when it is a donation, right?

Christy said...

I (sadly?) can so relate to this! I like back to school shopping more than my kids do, I think...I'll take an Office Max/Depot or Staples trip any day of the week! There's something about being around all those school supplies that is so motivating! I'm particularly excited this year b/c I'm going back to school in the fall and I got to buy tons of school stuff for myself...IT'S MINE! ALL MINE!

Have a great year Mrs. Literal Dan!

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Anonymous said...

Could not find a suitable section so I written here, how to become a moderator for your forum, that need for this?

LiteralDan said...


Thank you for your kind offer, but I have no need for a moderator at this time

Thank you again,