Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Loving School Supplies

Every July, I would start asking my mom if we could go school shopping. Every July, she'd tell me we had to wait until August. It was agony. I felt about school supply shopping the way one feels about Christmas. The almost painful anticipation was too much to bear. As the leaves started shifting from green to gold they would whisper to me, “It's coming.”

On some incredibly lucky day in August, we would begin the 45 minute drive to Duluth in my mom's red Grand Am. Just us. The first decision was what to do first: clothes or supplies. Never being much for delayed gratification, Target was almost always first. I'd cut through diagonally to that back corner, wasting no time reaching the Crayola-Five-Star Promised Land. Once I arrived, time no longer existed. Up and down the aisles with the List. So many delicious decisions to make. I'd watch it all line itself up on the conveyer of the checkout and be overwhelmed by satisfaction.

After a lunch break, the clothes shopping started. Straight to the mall and straight to Walgreens where the “shopping candy” was purchased. Store after store trying to find the right jeans and “tops,” all the while looking for that one incredibly special and elusive outfit called, “First Day.”

Bags and bags later we would collapse into the car. My hair all messed up from trying on clothes and my mom with a headache from the store lights, we'd start the long drive home. Once we were there, I would lay out all my supplies and pack my backpack for the first time out of what would be six or ten different times throughout the summer. And then, it never failed, my mom would ask me to put on a fashion show.

I would go into my room at the end of the long hallway, my mom waiting in the living room, and I'd lay it all out. Which shoes, which jeans, which shirts with which? I'd decide “First Day” first, but I'd save it for last. Then I'd strut down the hallway. Once in the living room, I'd spin. My mom would say, “You look just like a model,” and then to my brother, “doesn't she look just like a model?” The day she said this, I was wearing a black t-shirt that had a Campbell Soup can on it.

Love gives you time to pick out folder-notebook color schemes. It knows what matters even if it doesn't know why. Love always asks for a fashion show, headache or no. Love applauds. Delights. Invites you to spin.

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