Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Rainy Night in Houston and I'm Standing in Line with THE List

I heard the words that my friend, a mother of three who is in the midst of a move and starting her own new school year as a high school teacher, was saying. But I didn’t grasp the real meaning until I was standing at a ransacked shelving unit in Target asking complete strangers if they had, as yet, found college ruled notebook paper. Discovering that, yea verily, Super Target was not so super as to have ordered enough of that particular product to satiate the masses who were set forth, lists in hand, by our educational system the first week of school. Neither, I discovered, was Office Max and they topped off my buying experience by having a credit card machine breakdown in the line I had carefully chosen because it didn’t have three weary mothers with carts overflowing with book covers, 2-inch (not half inch!) binders and multi-colored highlighters.

I never knew.

I’ve lived this long and was clueless that such a ritual existed. “They” have The List. But “they” don’t divulge it until the children/youth are seated in their classrooms and thus a system is born.

I’m thinking it’s a Wal-Mart-based conspiracy.

I also suggested that with the one package of 150 sheets of aforementioned college rule paper that my 15-year-old charge found tossed in a bin of writing utensils, we could have perhaps had an auction right there in Office Max and perhaps paid for her first semester of college.

I’m just saying.

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