Please Do Not Call Me About 3 Cent Erasers...
...And other back to school hysteria I can live without.
If one more mom friend calls me in a frenzy of excitement to let me know of 3 cent erasers there or 25 cent notebooks here, I will scream. The "Did you do your BTSS?" phone calls. The "Done with BTSS???" texts. The "BTSS sale at Walmart!!" alerts. Enough already! Remember when you went to school with one (plain) notebook and a pencil. BTSS done!
It’s school supplies, people and it's not that serious. Also, please do not call me about $5 khakis.
What is it about back to school that causes such mom-induced hysteria? Is it our sheer joy at getting our little critters back into school and out of our hair for seven hours? Or is back to school another outlet for our competitive, over zealous ways and after a lazy summer we are itching and dying to outdo one another once again?
I’m also blaming the advertising industry. Before we can even get them out of school in June, the TV becomes full of ads featuring cheery kids in bright plaid outfits and cutesy hats who are singing and dancing around to upbeat music as they board a yellow school bus. You may notice something, however: There are no moms in these ads!!
Whatever it is. Please leave me out of it. Last year, the line at Staples on back to school night weaved and looped de looped like a line for tickets to a Michael Jackson concert. The store looked like Beirut and there were scuffles breaking out on the line—if I could have found a compass in that mess, I would have “set it off” myself.
And that brings me to another reason why I loathe back-to-school time. It's not just the mad rush of back-to-school shopping and the way otherwise-normal people go absolutely CRAZY over 10-for-$1 glue sticks. (OK, maybe it is ....) And it's not just how my girlfriends start showing up at Old Navy at 6 AM for "doorbuster specials," just so they can get a few T-shirts for $2 -- or, worse, start calling me up at 5:30 AM to ask if I want them to grab a few tees for me. (Yes, thank you, but I want to know: Why did you get up at 5 AM to buy kids' clothes?! Save that kind of energy for Nordstrom. Seriously!)
No, what I really can't understand is why kids' school-supply lists are now so long that they have to be collated, bound and sent parcel post. WTH?! Every year, I'm eager to see what else we are going to be asked to bring to school. If it's not disinfecting wipes and mops (hello, don't our taxes pay for a school janitor?!), it's paper towels or DVDs or chinaware or a flat panel TV. Next we will be asked to supply our own desks and chairs! (I hope I'm not giving them any ideas ....)
I want to go back to the good ole days of back to school: one notebook (two max), one back pack and one special back to school outfit.
But the truth is that after eight weeks of museums, amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, pools and countless "Mommy, I'm bored" moments, most of us would gnaw off a limb to get our lovable little ones back in school ASAP. Schools, we beg you to take them off our hands! We'll buy 55 boxes of Ziploc bags and a year’s worth of coffee and biscotti for the teacher's lounge if we have to!
And that! my friends, is exactly how they get us.
Are you neck deep in the back to school hysteria? What do you hate about the BTS frenzy?