I hate summer with a fiery passion. It’s hot. I get sweaty. The schedule changes week to week (sometimes day to day). I need to entertain bored and whiney kids while still trying to produce for my job. I have to hound said kids to eat regular meals and get outside instead of playing video games and watching YouTube all day everyday.
But one of the things I hate the most about summer is school supply shopping. I dread this sadistic annual ritual more than most apocalyptic nightmares. The supply list is incredibly long and tedious, and it is filled with the most specific, hard-to-find items imaginable. By the time I’m done with the whole multi-day ordeal, I’ve dropped a full car payment (or two) at various stores all around town. I feel like it’s a punishment for hating summer so much and wanting to send my kids back to school so quickly.
Quite simply, it’s the most torturous scavenger hunt known to parents.*
In no particular order, here are six things I’d rather do than subject myself to the yearly sanity-time-and-money suck that is school supply shopping:
- Get a root canal. The time involved and number of trips to the dentist would still be less than amount of time it takes me to find the elusive 10-pack of washable markers (Classic color only! No pastels!) and 5, 1-inch white binders with transparent sleeves and interior pockets. And the root canal still might be less expensive.
- Teach an entire room of preschoolers to tie their shoes. It would be less frustrating than spending all day hunting for supplies only to come home and find out that the 2-pocket blue folders that I dug through stacks and stacks of folders for (at multiple stores) were supposed to be plastic—not paper.
- Express my dog’s anal glands. The odor would be less offensive than the foul stench of sweat and fear emanating from the tired, worn-down parents who are fighting the same painful battle—most times with cranky children in tow. Because none of us could find the exact matches on amazon.
- Give up bacon for an entire year. The grief would be far less severe than the mourning I do for the clumps of hair I pull out of my head standing in line at the fifth store only to find out they gave away my reserved white Magic Rub pencil erasers—the only school-approved eraser.
- Get a full body wax, including my nasal hair. (And we all know I hate Brazilians.) The pain would be less intense than the ear-piercing scream my daughter lets out when she discovers those much-coveted One Direction high-top shoes don’t meet uniform standards.
- Give my husband oral sex daily for an entire month. And swallow. Enough said.
I’d come up with more things that I’d rather do than shop for school supplies, but first I need to decipher the items on the school supply lists (one per child!) and drag my kids with me to at least five different stores to find the precise matches. And then return the incorrect items I bought. And then label each individual crayon. And then…
Seriously. Who has time/money/patience/stamina for this shit?
*But I do it anyhow. I’d give the teachers my left kidney if they asked for it. Because the teachers need all of the support we can give them.
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