Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pencils! We Got Pencils!

Old Navy really needs a “husbands’ corner.” It would have some comfy chairs, a few magazines,  and maybe a television with a baseball game on or something. I’m sure it would pay for itself in a week.

It’s August, and all you parents know exactly what that means! Vacation? No, what on earth gave you that idea? August means Back To School shopping!

Yes, it does.

We worked it out – this is the last weekend we have available before school starts on September 1. All the other weekends are taken by various and sundry events that will keep us doing things that are actually fun rather than shopping for pencils and such.

So you have to seize these opportunities when they arise.

While I was out this morning negotiating with the other two professors who teach the atomic bomb class with me over what final grades to give our students (remember the old saw about how those who love sausage and respect the law should never watch either being made? Add “grading in team-taught classes” to that list), Kim spent the morning poring over the sales flyers from our local retail establishments, comparing them with the lists of required items sent home by the school district for each of the girls, and trying to figure out a way to reconcile those two things that did not involve Wal-Mart.

Kim hates Wal-Mart.

Myself, I find the place amusing, in a “the republic is doomed” kind of way, but I’m not that entertained that I’d make a point of going there if other options were available. So I was fine with alternative plans.

We managed to get the bulk of our shopping done in two stores – the first one having many sales on smaller items such as pens, folders and post-it notes, and the second having sales on larger items such as staplers, binders and copy paper. The girls even managed to squirrel in a few treats for later, depending on whether you count funky calculators and wildly patterned folders as treats. We got most of what we were looking for without destroying our bank account or visiting Wal-Mart, and that was fine.

And then we went to Old Navy for some clothes shopping.

I don’t really get the whole Old Navy thing, I just don’t. It’s a fine clothing store, as clothing stores go, and they do offer what appears to be a completely random pricing system that almost guarantees that somewhere, somehow, if you look hard enough, you can find things that you can afford.

But I am not really designed for that kind of shopping.

I’m the kind of shopper whose main goal is reducing the amount of time spent shopping. I have things on my list; I find the things on my list; I buy the things on my list; I go home. Further explorations are not on the list and just postpone the final step. So I’m not the sort of person who is going to survive well in the Old Navy environment is what I’m saying here.

Eventually Kim and the girls found the various things they wanted and the various prices they were willing to pay, and we went home.

Another successful raid for another successful school year.


Random Michelle K said...

Thank you for reminding me why I don't have kids--especially school aged kids. I hate shopping. Despise it. I have a handful of stores I'll set foot into for clothes shopping if I have absolutely no other choice but it had better not take me more than ten minutes to peruse the entire store.

But otherwise, everything can and should be ordered online.

(And don't even get me started about women's arbitrary clothing sizes.)

Gristle McThornbody said...

Well, little wonder you were so under-accessorized in your Relay For Life frock! You need to learn to use those golden opportunities to pick yourself up something pretty and sparkly!

David said...

@Random Michelle - I was never a great fan of kids until I had my own. At this point, I consider Old Navy a small price to pay to have them in my life. :)

Though I am coming to agree with your point that everything can and should be ordered online.

@Mrs. B - You know, now that you mention it, I do believe you are on to something! ;)

Random Michelle K said...

Don't get me wrong. I like kids. I adore my niece and all the kids of which I am an honorary auntie.

But I don't want my own set. Not even if they come with a decoder ring.

KimK said...

I used to like the itty bitty old walmart. The giant new one is bad, bad, bad.

I think the online shopping idea is sweet: you go to Amazon, find the list for "Your School Here, 3rd grade class," hit "buy everything on the list," you pay your $80 and you're done. Free shipping, ta da! They could even have the "add sparkly twirly skirt" option to satisfy the discriminating shopper, aged 8.


David said...

Oh, I know you do, Michelle - I've seen the things you've posted on Janiece's reading list and anyone who voluntarily reads Giraffes Can't Dance must like kids a fair bit. That one nearly killed me.

And you know, it would be really helpful if kids actually DID come with a decoder ring. Or at least a manual. ;)

Unknown said...

Walmart sucks.

I like Kim more and more.

My brother-in-law has a "manual" on how to raise your kids. It's supposed to guide you through the most important troubles from birth to 16. It's the size of a NYC phone book. After reading 30 pages, he put it down, traumatized, and never opened it again.

He's doing just fine without it.

I like the auntie thing, too.

David said...

In general, I try to follow the advice of my friend Tracy, who once told me: "Kids are basically indestructible. If you love them and try your best, it will usually work out fine."

I don't need a manual for the big things. I need one for things like, "is this kid sick?" or "how can they not like spaghetti sauce?" and so on.

I will say that when they learn how to talk a lot of those issues go away. They get replaced by new issues, but that's life.

neurondoc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
neurondoc said...

The internet. It finds friends and minimizes shopping.

I don't need a manual for the sick kid questions. I need a manual for questions about religion.

David said...

I think Kim was on the right track with the school shopping - one-click at Amazon, and you're done.

So far the religion angle has been pretty quiet. Neither Kim nor I are particularly church-going people, though we are broadly speaking Christians. Our children seem to be turning out the same. We know enough about our faith to answer questions, which helps.

Now sickness - that's confusing.

I always thought kids needed to come with a dataport, like they have with the newer cars. Scan them in, look up the code, apply appropriate remedies. Simple.