School Supply Zombies

By Lesley Rousso




Wow, can you believe the summer just flew by so fast?  It seems like it was just the end of the school year and now here we are, back already.  We’re buying uniforms and shiny new backpacks.  Everyone, well at least us as parents, are excited for the new school year.  Then, we get the dreaded school supply list.  Now in years past, when all three of my kids were in elementary school or preschool, I could access the list online and get everything labeled and packed up before my little darlings set foot into school.  My daughter’s school, Palmetto Elementary (go lions) makes it even easier for us.  The PTA provides a school store, where you can buy the entire list for the grade level and pick it up, neatly packaged just for you, the week before school begins.

For my two boys, both in middle school this year, this isn’t the case.  On the first day, each teacher presents them with a class syllabus which includes a list of supplies they’ll need.  This is all fine and great but multiply it by two and you’ll want to take a gun to your head.  Nevertheless I headed to my neighborhood Staples, armed with my lists.  Now these days we are all about technology, so I decided to just take pictures of some of the lists.  This way I won’t lose them.   I’m particularly good at losing things, just ask my kids.  My keys have been missing inside the house for three days.  Thank goodness I didn’t lose the spare.

Anyway, I pull into Staples, greeted with a packed parking lot, having to walk at least a mile to get inside.  Believe me this is nothing compared to the circles I was walking in once I actually entered the store.  Now as I start shopping I see that of course, they are out of at least five of the things I need.  Or I just cannot find them.  Ask for help you say?  There is no help, everyone is busy manning the registers for the thirty plus people in line.  I know it’s a stretch, but how about having extra staff this week Staples?

So I see some people I know, doing the same thing as I am.  Then it occurs to me, we are all walking in circles, like zombies ,or morons, pushing our carts, trying to find what we need with our hundreds of different lists.  It is MINDNUMBING.  I am a shopper, by nature, by DNA.  Retail makes me happy.  I have had pure euphoria in stores.  Of course these stores usually have the words Saks Fifth Avenue in their names but whatever.  I was literally shaking in Staples.  Another thought hit me at the register.  How in the hell do people who are on a tight budget buy all this crap?  Just for one child alone it was over one hundred and thirty dollars.  I don’t blame our fabulous teachers.  They need this stuff and Miami-Dade county certainly isn’t giving them the money to buy anything extra for their classes.  I know plenty of teachers who have to spend tons of their own money just to make their classrooms what they need to be.

Wish me luck, I’m back at the store today for my oldest son.  If you don’t hear from me, check Office Depot…

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