Home > Uncategorized > Divide and Conquer – the School Shopping Edition

Divide and Conquer – the School Shopping Edition

So, it’s that time of year again.  School shopping.  Notebooks, pencils, binders, etc. – I can deal with that.  I have learned over the years not to take the school lists too seriously, so we just get the basics.  Easy peasy.  I have spent too many years buying specialized supplies only to find that the teacher really doesn’t care.  I mean, seriously, who actually needs 5 packs of subject dividers?  No one, that’s who.  I also know about mechanical pencils…although it took me a while to catch on.  A nine or ten-year old boy will often find disassembling mechanical pencils preferable to, say, taking a test or writing an essay.  So.  Plain old number twos it is.  We knocked out this chore in a quick trip to Walmart one afternoon.  Then all that was left was backpacks and clothes.  That’s when I felt the migraine coming on.

I know I have previously mentioned the limited shopping options in my small town, so we had to find a good time to make a shopping trip to the next town over.  I made my plan and, since the trip was scheduled directly following a ten-hour work shift, I clearly stated that we had three stops.  Old Navy, Target and dinner.  If you can’t find it at Old Navy or Target, you don’t need it.  Hey, this isn’t my first rodeo.  I know better than to tell my kids anything as foolish as, “We’ll go to as many stores as necessary to find what you need.”  Oh, hell to the no.  The boy made my life easier by asking for a Green Bay Packers backpack, so I ordered it online.  Done and done.  (Oh yes, that’s my boy.)  Dear daughter wasn’t about to make my life so easy.

So here’s what we needed.  Some shirts and some jeans for the girl.  Oh and a backpack.  Possibly some jeans for the boy, as well, but it was less urgent.  He dislikes pants of any kind and will wear shorts until the first frost, so I have some wiggle room there.  My daughter is at that really fun age where she wears some clothes in junior sizes, some in girls sizes and a few in women’s sizes.  That makes shopping so fun and adventurous!  In the same way that waterboarding is fun and adventurous.

I have to admit.  It wasn’t as bad as I expected.  Once we found the correct size jeans, she was delighted in the fit and how they looked and all that was left was the major decision of how many skinny jeans vs how many boot cut.  This was about the time the boys abandoned us for Dick’s Sporting Goods.  Not only did this cheat me of the moment of glee at the register, when I get the show Hubs how much I saved, but it also started the great Divide and Conquer.  From that point on, the four of us did not shop together.  It’s by far more efficient, but just makes me wonder how people managed school shopping before cell phones.  Looking at my text messages, there is a long string of messages that reads something like this:

-Where are  you

-Boys’ department

-Where are you

-We stopped by CDs


-Backpacks. Come here.

I can’t even count all the “Where Are You” messages, and all this hither and yon culminating in me getting totally lost in Target with no idea where I was, how I got there or how to get out of the store.  (Don’t judge.  It was a long day.)  I spent an interesting few moments oohing and ahhing over the cute pregnant ladies in the baby department while I was supposed to be buying wrapping paper, then I found a wall of sodas where the registers were supposed to be.

Eventually, Hubs found me and led my lost little self to the registers where we finally made our escape.  I’m delighted to report that we found everything we needed, the kids were both happy about it AND I stayed within my budget.  There was still a little disappointment to be had when we finally made it to dinner and discovered the restaurant was out of baked potatoes (how does that happen?), but we rallied in good fashion.  Now all that remains is trying to keep cutie from wearing all her new clothes before school starts.

  1. Chatter Master
    August 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Oh the school shopping list. I despised them. Now I can just buy the fun stuff for the “other” kids in my life! 🙂

    • August 13, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      I am envious…the difference between wide ruled and college ruled is haunting me.

      • Chatter Master
        August 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm

        Well, there is a part of me that misses it…. not all of the time. But some times. 🙂

  2. August 14, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Over here, All we need to get is some pencils and a pencil case. Even that is not requested, just something that a lot of kids have. Yea! And yet I miss buying school stuff for them. I always loved my new notebooks and erasers and folders…
    ‘Course we have to buy school uniform…but that totally rocks.

    • August 15, 2012 at 5:57 am

      I would sell my soul for a uniform…I am really dick of hearing about who wears what brand.

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