Saturday, August 8, 2015

Survival of the Fittest (a post for all of us who braved Tax-Free Weekend)

I stood at the mouth of the school supply section in Target, heart pounding.

"I can do this.  I mean, look at all these hard can it be?  It's just pencils, pens, folders..."

I took a deep breath and stepped in to the crowded aisle with my cell-phone in hand.  I had 6 emails from four different teachers with the necessities my teens will need for the year.  School starts Monday.  I really could have used this list weeks ago before, you know, the craziness of tax-free weekend.

Because, y'all, I would rather pay tax than face THIS...

But here I was, 3 days before school starts and these people are intense.  There are no traffic laws in the school supply section.  No right lane or passing lane or even designated parking.  No, these people went all third-world on me and I would not have been surprised to see a donkey cross the aisle.

I quickly wove through the crowd and chose the items on the lists.  I was determined to get out with my ankles intact.  I have homeschooled for FIVE years.  I intentionally avoided tax-free weekend just like I avoid Black Friday!  I have the next year's curriculum planned out by the end of May and all supplies in place by July.  This weekend?  It is for crazies.

Today, I was in the thick of crazy.

I checked out without injury and put my purchases in the trunk.  I drove home, thinking that surely...surely...I would not need to make any more trips.

I was wrong.

Three more emails came late Friday afternoon.  WHAT THE????

I sighed.  I can probably wait until after the weekend, but what if my kids are the only ones whose loser parents didn't get all their stuff before Monday?  That could result in social ostracization or, worse, sympathy stares.  I can't do that to them.  They are nervous enough!  So back out I went...this time to Wal-Mart.

I. Die.

The school supply aisle is trashed.  Stuff on the floor, name-brand colored pencils SOLD OUT.  People wandering with lists in their hands and blank stares, barely able to mumble "excuse me" when they collide head-on with the other moms who look like they just want coffee...or wine.

Or coffee and wine.

I began limping because, apparently, the stress had depleted my body of something and I had a TOE CRAMP.  You know, the one where your middle toe involuntarily begins to point painfully downward and we have all been told to eat a banana when that happens?  There was no stinking way I was going to limp all the way across the store to the banana section.  I kicked off my shoe and massaged the offending toe, willing it to relax.

Then I had a thought.

What about the office supply section?

6 aisles back it stood.  Y' was virtually EMPTY.  Rows and rows of binders, folders, pens and pencils still neatly arranged and the aisles were clear!

Has no one else realized this but me?  Surely I'm not the only one?  But there it stood...beautiful and bare. I selected my items, the toe finally relaxed and started walking toward the checkout when...

"buzz buzz"


There it was.  Email number 10...another school supply list.  I silently thanked God that I had not yet paid and went straight back to the glory of the office supply section and put the final purchases in my basket.  I've got this.  I'm gold.  I am outta here.

I checked out, fought the urge to curl up in the fetal position and suck my thumb, and went home.  We spent the next hour figuring out which thing was for which class for what kid and I sat down next to my husband after dinner to decompress when...

"buzz buzz"

I. Can't. Even.

We apparently need a scientific calculator for Algebra.  Hello, Amazon Prime.


It will be here Monday.

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