Monday, August 25, 2014

School supplies, or alternatively: I feel a rant coming on

So you guys, I really hate shopping for school supplies. I hate the whole ordeal. It's one big gimmick, and it's stupid and wasteful and dumb. We get a new list every single year and you're expected to buy it all new. Even if your kid comes home with a backpack AND grocery sack filled with leftover supplies at the end of the previous year, most of which is still perfectly usable.

It just drives me nuts.

Well, I was going to step off that train THIS year, thank you very much, so at the end of last school year, I had the girls put every single reusable thing into a box. The Box of Awesome. I figured it was just a matter of organization, really--if you have a stash, that should logically cut down on the shopping and waste, right? I even included the fourth grade list Johanna brought home (although I failed to actually read it because hello, summer vacation. I don't like to think about that kind of thing until the very last possible second. True story). Then I put the top on and let everything stew for roughly three months.

Since school starts next Tuesday (for Johanna, at least; I just learned Abby doesn't start until Thursday. High school is awesome), Johanna has been very anxious to get her supplies nailed down. She cares not one iota for new clothing, but wow, all she could talk about is the calculator she needs.

It was time to open the box is what I'm saying.

Why does Jo look like she's expecting something to jump out at her?

Hey, there's that aforementioned school list right on top! Um, what does it say again?

English and Spanish 'cause that's how our school rolls.

One glance through and it suddenly occurred to me that all the folders and markers and paper in my Box of Awesome are not even listed. 

Well, damn.

Johanna was more than happy to reuse her scissors from last year, and her pencil box was in surprisingly good shape. She had two used pink pearl erasers in various degrees of disrepair that she claimed, even though the list called for white polymer (we're rebelling). The earbuds threw me, but Johanna ran to her room to get an extra pair Abby had given her earlier this summer. 

So four things crossed off a list of 14. Let's compare piles:



P.S. The top photo does not include her old lunch bag; the bottom does not include her new backpack. Oh, or the bottle of hand sanitizer she wanted because, and I quote, "What if there's a booger emergency?" It's hard to argue with that logic.

I'm trying to be grateful for the fact that Johanna is able to reuse things at all, but it's hard not to get too bogged down in the utter failure that was my brilliant Box of Awesome idea. I really thought I'd be able to write an amazing post about how great we did on the zero waste school supply front this year, but instead, the box is still full and is taunting me. I guess Abby might end up using some of it, but for now, she's thinking as long as she has a pencil, earbuds and a pack of gum, she's all set for the first day of her sophomore year. Sounds legit.

So I failed is what I'm saying. Ah, well.

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