You would think that the most practical time to go shopping for school supplies would be at the end of August. However, if you do actually wait until the end of August, chances are, by the time you get to the store, it will be completely sold out of everything that you need and you will go from store to store looking for just the right protractor until you end up having a school supply-induced nervous breakdown.
This year, I decided to get a jump on the crowds and do our school supply shopping early. I was thrilled that were no crowds and there was a good supply of everything we needed. Mechanical pencils? No problem. Three subject binders? Got em. But when we got to the black and white composition notebooks, our shopping trip hit a dead end.
We turned the store upside down, but we could not find the darn things. I knew the store carried them but after half an hour of searching, I only found one lone composition notebook partially buried beneath some Hello Kitty-themed supplies.
I was really annoyed. Our easy outing has slowly turned into an epic composition notebook expedition.
While I looked around in vain for a salesperson to harass, a woman with a cart full of school supplies approached me.
“Where did you find that,” she asked accusingly.
“Over there,” I said, pointing to the Hello Kitty shelf. “But I don’t think that’s where they belong and I’m pretty sure there aren’t anymore.”
“So you’re telling me that’s the ONLY one,” she said with her hands on her hips. “You’re holding the ONLY black and white composition notebook in this store?”
I couldn’t decide if this woman was a member of the school-supply police and was placing me under arrest for wanton composition notebook hoarding, or if she was just nuts.
“Well, I don’t know for a fact that this is the only one,” I said defensively. “It’s just the only one I could find.”
“You know, I decided to shop early this year specifically so I wouldn’t have this problem and yet here I am anyway without a black and white composition notebook because YOU got the last one!” She glared at me.
I decided she was indeed nuts, and figured the only way to get out of this confrontation unscathed… was to lie.
“There are more school supplies down there by gift wrap,” I said pointing to the other end of the store. “I’m pretty sure there are more black and white notebooks there.”
As Crazy School-Supply Lady grabbed her cart and took off to find the mythical notebooks, I grabbed my cart, my kids, and my one lone black and white composition notebook and ran to the checkout lines before she could realize she’d been duped.
I quickly unloaded our stuff onto the checkout belt and was about to pay when my son pulled on the sleeve of my arm.
“Hey Mom, look!”
There, on the display next to the checkout, was an entire shelf of black and white composition notebooks.
“Should we go tell the lady we found them,” he asked. I shook my head.
“No,” I said looking around nervously. “But grab four more so we don’t have to come back again next year!”
©2011, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
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