I swore I wouldn’t step foot into a discount store or mall or convenience mart or kiosk during the sales tax free weekend.
Unable to resist the school supply spirit and the gleaming pristine displays of notebooks, I caved by Sunday afternoon, convinced I was missing out on some fabulous sale on No. 2 pencils. I dropped my three-year-old off at my mother’s house and Miss C, my six-year-old, and I headed into the fray, otherwise known as Wal-Mart on a Sunday afternoon in the blistering heat and sweating throngs of humanity all jostling for an available shopping cart.
I thought we’d hit the jackpot when we walked in and I spied the Holy Grail of school supplies: a large display of popular school supply items. Soon, however, our hopes were dashed. Miss C and I peered down into the cardboard bins that teased us with the promise of low prices. Half of the bins were empty, littered with crumpled candy wrappers and broken generic crayons. Only Crayola will do for my little angel!
Never fear, I reassured Miss C. We’ll head back to the regular school supply aisles. Surely the crayons and dry erase markers and special plastic folders would be there. Surely!
There were people clogging the school supply aisles like the liquor store on payday. It was all I could do to wade through the crowd of women and children clutching dog-eared school supply lists. All the men within a fifty-mile radius were apparently smart enough to stay home in their cool air-conditioned houses.
Miss C started to freak out when the dry erase markers on her list were nowhere to be found.
“Mommy what happens if we don’t have my special markers for first grade?” her face dropping.
“Sweetheart, it’s okay. We’re going to Target!” We headed to the car with a bag containing two pairs of Fiskars brand scissors, a couple of packs of Crayola crayons, and colorful cap erasers I’d managed to scrounge from the aisles in hopes someone had given up and tossed their loot on to the wrong shelf. Miss C also scored a super cute pair of Disney Princess brown and pink sparkly Mary Janes. A quick detour to the shoe department was just what we needed after our harrowing experience in the school supply section.
We headed into Target, but alas it was more of the same retail song and dance. We did manage to get a few more items on her list, such as the highly coveted Elmer’s glue sticks, but we left without the specialty folders and drawing pad.
Next year I may give up my romantic notions of school supply shopping and write a check for the pre-assembled packet the PTO sells in May.