03 Sep 2011

Flawless Saturday Question

20 Comments Flawless Saturday Question

When I was a kid, school was like a prison to me. Not a high-security prison, but I guess more like jail. I felt like they had the wrong guy. Whatever they thought I did to get in there, I didn’t do.  I had a 13-year sentence.

Of course there were aspects of school I enjoyed: Drama, English, History, making fun of cheerleaders… And, even though Back to School commercials in August left me nauseated and trying to claw my eyes out… I LOVED Back to School Shopping.

I remember walking up and down the aisles at Thrifty, and picking out the things I wanted:

The perfect Ticonderoga #2 pencils

Pencil sharpeners

Bic pens

A pencil holder

Peachy Folders (How AWESOME were these?)

And my absolute favorite. The only thing that cushioned the blow of having to walk back through those prison doors:

College-Ruled Paper Spiral Folders

To this day, I have an obsession with lined-paper folders. I love them. It’s hard for me to pass them up. When I finally graduated, I wrote every sketch and monologue I was ever in on a college-ruled folder. I still use them for to-do lists, grocery lists, and to write the occasional treatment for a show or movie I’d like to write.

What are your favorite memories of back-to-school shopping? Or am I the only one that has them?

written by
Lisa Arch likes being a working actress... but LOVES being a Mom!

20 Responses to “Flawless Saturday Question”

  1. Reply Allison says:

    I’m with you, Lisa on those cool school supplies! I loved buying fresh box of crayons w a built in crayon sharpner & the box of Kleenex for my desk! Only excitement for me until HELL days of school started. Oh, I forgot the new few items of clothing to go along w the supplies.
    Having a major learning disability made school a nightmare for me. Junior high was all about social competition & everyone knowing I was in Special Ed! More crappy moments to cherish. High school I was the social butterfly w drama class! Only class I liked. School was just not my thing!! I relate to your blog. School was a life-sentence to me w that guilt hanging over me w the “Permanent Record” scaring me for life not getting into college. One more thing to add. Wish teachers really enjoyed teaching. I just remember hearing all my teachers bitch & moan about my Generation. Felt like no passion to enrich a mind. All it sounded to me was a pain in the ass to teach for crap pay!

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Allison, it sounds like your school experience was way less fun than mine. Yuck! I hope we don’t pass our crappy feelings about school onto our kids. I want G to LOVE school like my nephew does. Or at least like it. A little. 😉

  2. Reply Michelle says:

    Sorry, but none here. We were poor so new school supplies were only purchased when absolutely necessary. As for new clothes, those I had and, boy, were they nice! They were quite often handmade and the tailor/seamstress/creator only made one in each size. How did I have amazing clothing while being so poor? My grandmother would buy my clothes – at an exclusive “shoppe” (that’s how they spelled it!) where my great-aunt was the manager. The clothes were amazing and I still have a few pieces that my 5 year old has worn as they’ve fit her (I’m 46 years old). It warms my heart to see my baby proudly wear my old clothing.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Whoa, Michelle! If I had to choose between supplies or awesome clothes, I’m pretty sure I’d pick outfits over pencils. That’s amazing that they’ve lasted so long! How cool.

  3. Reply Melisa says:

    OMG, college-ruled notebooks were MY fave too! (I am dead serious!)

    A couple of years ago, I found some college-ruled legal pads that were black paper w/ white lines on them, and wrote on them with white colored pencils and silver gel pens. LOVED that.

    I used to love getting a special outfit for the first day of school. Of course, now that I’m a parent and have two boys, it’s not a ritual in this house because my boys could care less about new clothes. They’d be happy to wear t-shirts until they disintegrate. (In fact, there was one that sorta DID.)

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Melisa, I think I got a new outfit for the first day of school, too. Believe it or not, I never loved shopping for clothes as much as I loved shopping for other stuff. BUT nothing beat my mom bringing home a couple outfits and laying them out on my bed for me to see. She knew I hated shopping, but loved new clothes. And I guess I’ll start saving for t-shirts and laundry detergent!

  4. Reply AL says:

    New shoes. One pair for starting school and they were worn until Easter, when we bought the second pair. Other than that, a pair of tennis shoes for summer and when thongs (that’s what we called flip flops back in the olden days) became popular, one pair of those to complete the summer shoe wardrobe.

    I liked recess and reading, hated math and tolerated science (if it involved animals), otherwise, morning, noon and afternoon recess was the best part of the day! I was very good at swinging and the monkey bars as I could swing higher and cross the monkey bars faster than any of the boys! It was harder to do the bars as girls always had to wear dresses/skirts and the boys were always trying to sneak a peek at your underwear…I hated that, so would go super fast before they could see anything 🙂

    In middle school and high school, girls were not encouraged to do sports, so the one place I could excell vanished…and that left scholastics…at which I was a below average student. Now we know I struggled with a learning disability, but back then, it was “to the back of the room” to pray for recess before the teacher could call on you!

    Clothes were hand me downs from a friend of my Mother’s whose daughter attended private school…so the clothes were all nice, but totally not something I would have chosen to wear. Back to school meant new crayons, Drama class in high school, saved me from being a total washout socially…the teacher was fantastic, Miss Blomquist “Bloomy”, and the classes helped me survive life outside that safe environment, for sure!

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      AL, isn’t it crazy that learning disabilities were so overlooked, or at least misunderstood, back then? That must have been it’s own kind of hell. Amazing, too that girls were discouraged from sports. WHAT THE…?
      I bet you could still do the monkey bars faster than the boys!

  5. Reply Alexandra says:

    I’m laughing b/c today there was a sale on notebooks. 79 c each, and I bought 5.

    I have them all over: the car, my bag, next to the sofa, on the coffee table, one on the kitchen table.

    All over… I love a fresh sheet of paper, and me writing on it.

    So funny that we both share this.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      That ROCKS, Alexandra!! I think a lot of writers feel this way, don’t you? There’s nothing like actually “writing” on a fresh sheet of paper, like you said. My best ideas come out that way, instead of from a computer.

  6. Reply kristin says:

    I still love it! I teach and have two girls in grade school so we have a lot to buy. Of course I usually skip the new outfit for me so the girls can have nice new school clothes. And sparkly shoes 😉 My favorites are three ring binders, the matching folders and notebooks, and a brand new pencil bag stocked with fresh new goodies! Almost makes it fun to grade papers all night! I also have a need for wild sticky notes and binder clips. Weird. My girls love new backpacks and lunch bags. And did I mention sparkly shoes? LOL. I also buy some extras for kids that don’t have supplies. Whew! I’m a dork for school supplies I guess!

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Kristin, I LOVE that you’re such a dork for supplies! Amazing that you buy extras for the needy kids. And the sparkly shoes are a great way to start off the year. OMG! I love sticky notes, too! But that’s a new obsession for me. I didn’t use them in school.

  7. Reply Kristy says:

    I adored school and begged every year to go to summer school. Yes, I know, I was and still am a proud geek! lol

    We were pretty poor but we did always do a bit of back to school shopping, especially as I entered the higher grades. For us, it always started with the Sunday sale paper. I would lay them all out on the floor and make a list of everything I needed and then find the CHEAPEST price I could for each item, we’d pick the store that had the most items and if any of the others were near it we’d hit them too. Back then it was typically K-Mart that had the cheapest prices, with Thrifty’s being right across the street with some decent prices as well. Grandma (she raised me) would always let me pick out one fun item, something that wasn’t really needed or that cost a few cents more because it had a fun picture on it.

    After the supply shopping came the clothes shopping. Up until around junior high, I pretty much wore hand me downs, thrift store finds and sale items from K-Mart, because I really didn’t care. Once I started to care, Grandma applied for and got the 2nd credit card she’d ever had (the first being from Best Buy so we could get a VCR) from Mervyn’s and we’d get my clothing there, usually 2 pairs of jeans, undies, 2 bras, some socks, and a few tops and maybe even a new pair of earrings if we found good sales on the rest of the stuff. I remember my favorite jeans had the zipper in the ankle and that my bras were pricier than everything else and I hated them because they weren’t pretty! (I was blessed/cursed with a D cup in junior high and had to rely on good ol Playtex basic bras, sigh). It usually took Grandma a good 6 months to pay it all off as she only brought home around 600 a month for most of my life (she received disablity/social security only.)

    Grandma passed away this last April and I look back now and realize just how many sacrifices she made to make me feel special and she tried so hard to not deprive me of things that I thought I NEEDED. I miss her.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Wow, Kristy. This is one of those comments that’s so much more than I expect from this kind of question. Thank you for sharing this. It gave me the chills, and it’s so special that you have those memories.
      The fact that you loved school and BEGGED for summer school? Those are things I just can NOT relate to. 😉

      • Reply Kristy says:

        I love your Saturday questions, I love to answer questions and tell stories. I could take surveys/questionnaires all day long!

  8. Reply Norma Lamothe says:

    I went to school in NH and all school supplies were provided by the school, until we got to high school. I hated school. I don’t have very good memories at all. I quit school when I was 16. Just couldn’t take it any more. I always got new clothes and shoes every year. This year I bought two bags of school supplies for the center where Craig goes. I asked them to give me a list so I could donate some stuff that they needed. I had a ball getting all those supplies. The only things that I got that were over a doller were the art paper and construction paper. Everything else was under a $1 and some under 50 cents. The good part of donating was they never asked for anything. One thing I got was college rule note books for 15 cents each. 70 sheets per note book. I bought a few for me. I too love sticky notes and buy those all the time when I see them on sale.

  9. Reply As Cape Cod Turns says:

    The smell of crayons. Crisp lined paper. New pencils, new pens. I even love back to school shopping more now because there are so so so many more cool things out there!

  10. Reply The Flying Chalupa says:

    There is something about crisp, clean, lined paper that makes me start drooling too. It’s because we’re ARTISTES, Lisa. We need to create! We need possibility!

    But yeah, back to school shopping rocked. I distinctly remember my lusting after a pair of guess jeans.

    I also had an obsession with erasures. But that was more elementary school. Maybe.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Chalupa, I remember my Mom INSISTING I get a pair of Guess jeans and I couldn’t care less!! They were the white ones with all the blue-flapped pockets. I looked horrible in them. Oh, mom.

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