Despite having no children who are students, I love back to school time. In fact, I wait all year for August to roll around. That’s when I stock up on spiral notebooks that normally sell for a dollar or more but can be purchased for ten cents during “back-to-school wars.”
You probably thought I wrote in those leather-bound journals, didn’t you? Come on. You can’t put drivel like this in nice diaries like that! Nope. I use the plain, old-fashioned spiral notebooks. But I steer clear of the licensed print ones because I’d look even more immature than I do now if I were to carry a Barbie journal.
Other school items appear on my purchase list too. Highlighters and three-ring binders get carted home by the dozens. I use the binders to store all of my newspaper clips, just in case anyone in my family should one day—maybe after I’m dead and planted in a pauper’s grave—want to finally read them. That is, before they auction them off for pennies on eBay. (It’s entirely possible that my heirs could receive more for my work than I did.)
Along with my office supply boon each fall, I also experience savings on uniforms. My standard dress is the same as most students’: blue jeans, T-shirts and athletic shoes. Oh, okay, I’ll admit that’s not my usual attire. But you don’t expect me to tell you that I’m naked when I write my blog posts, now do you? Well, I’m just saying. . .
Anyway, I’ve been encouraging my husband to get new dungarees during back-to-school sales. Jeans prices will never be lower than they are in late summer. So at my advice, he ventured out with me to a mall. And that’s when we discovered he’d become a denim dinosaur.
After trying on several pairs of pants that made him look like he was ready to either rap, smuggle dope or hold up a convenience store, he shot out of the dressing room, disgusted.
“Do you have the regular fit Levi’s,” he asked a male clerk. “I don’t want boot cut or baggy-fit or any of that. Just the straight-leg, regular jeans.”
“Oh, you mean these,” said the twenty-something menswear rep. He pointed to a table stacked high with layers of folded pants. “You need the five-o-fives.”
My spouse was again in and out of the dressing room faster than I can sprint past couture wear. “What’s wrong, now?” I asked.
He held up the jeans and pointed to the fly.
“What?” I huffed, failing to see the problem.
“They BUTTON up the front! There’s no zipper. I’d pee myself before I’d ever get these open,” he protested.
“It’s really hard,” I explained to the store clerk, “to find appropriate cuts when you’re our age. Don’t you have any blue jeans for . . . you know . . . grown ups?”
The young man nodded. “Yeah,” he said. “This is pretty much all we have, right now. It’s either this or, you know, the AARP catalog.”
Won’t it be nice when all the college students return to school?