Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why I loved back-to-school time, part 2

Last week, I wrote a tender homage to my first lunchbox. I also noted that, although I have been out of the educational system for a long time, I still have a thing for school supplies. There are two reasons, I believe: first, I was (and am) a nerd who loved school; second, I was (and am) a shopper. And back-to-school shopping was the best...here's why.

New clothes and shoes
I've loved clothes for as long as I can remember, but I didn't become label-conscious until fifth grade. That year, a couple of brands nearly succeeded in turning me into a little Paris Hilton. I fell hard for this:
and pestered my poor, overworked single mother until she bought me two precious Izod shirts, and a few pairs of alligator footie socks. If Lacoste had made underwear, I would have worn it. My mother thought (and rightly so) that I was out of my mind, but she hadn't seen anything yet. Shortly after I began cultivating my Izod sickness, I developed another obsession, one that lasts to this day:

This, my friends, is a Nike Cortez sneaker. These were the first fancy, name-brand sneakers I had ever owned, and I loved them. For the first two or three weeks after I got them, I set them on my dresser before bed every night...so that I would be able to see them first thing each morning when I woke up. I still love flashy sneakers, but now I can (usually) restrain myself from looking at my feet in the mirror a million times a day when I'm wearing them.

Great organize-y gear
My name is absepa,and I have OCD. Obsessive-compulsive disorder doesn't just happen overnight, you know, and mine started early. I remember going to my granny's office when I was five or six and happily re-organizing everything in her desk. It was no surprise, then, that my discovery of the Trapper Keeper changed my school career forever. All the folders fit inside! There were so many pockets! Even my little plastic pencil case was designed to fasten into the Trapper Keeper...and then it allll closed up neatly with a velcro flap!
That's a little bit of nerd/OCD heaven, right there. The only thing that could improve it would be...

Lisa Frank stickers
Unicorns, rainbows, hearts, puffy clouds (sigh), all covered with more glitter than Dolly Parton and Beyonce combined...Lisa Frank's designs were enough to make my little head explode from pure, girly awesomeness.

I covered every possible surface, including my Trapper Keeper, with as much Lisa Frank-y goodness as my meager allowance could provide. Apparently I never outgrew that obssession either, because I realized, as I just spent a few minutes checking out LF's website, that I kind of miss this stuff. One of the bummers of adulthood is a serious lack of sparkly stickers, I think. That boring, black leather binder that I carry to meetings is just crying out for some puppies and unicorns.

I learned from the comments on part 1 of this story that not everyone has such good memories of back-to-school shopping. (Sorry, Kathy and JD.) How about you? Am I the only one who loves school supplies? Drop a comment, and tell us about your favorite back-to-school memory!

While you're at it, how about a smiley?



Sarah said...

Wow! What a great walk down the educational memory lane. *sigh* My weakness was Tretorns. Loved them and love them still.

Those stickers?? I'd forgotten all about them. I, too, covered my Trapper Keeper with about a zillion of them.

Remember smelly stickers??

absepa said...

Sarah: Thanks for commenting! I loved Tretorns, too. Did you have the paisley ones?

I do remember smelly stickers! Unfortunately, I always seemed to get the grape ones, and I don't like artificial grape smell or flavor.

JD at I Do Things said...

Aw! I love those unicorn stickers. Now I'm more jealous than ever of your fun school experiences. I was born too early for the Trapper Keeper, which looks like something I would've LOVED. As for all things Izod, this trend came out during my college years, and my friends and I (who thought we were SOOOO cool) made merciless fun of the preppies who sported the alligator.

(But now I rather like it!)

Sarah said...

I did not have the paisley ones *wail*. I had to make do with red plaid.

Thanks for your great comment on my blog. I love me some DWTS and am most excited about the Kelly Osbourne / Louis van Amstel pairing. I think they're going to be fab.

I fear the Osmond Juggernaut again, though. Eeek!

absepa said...

JD: I'm sure you and your friends were WAY cool when you were in college. Izod was just the beginning of my tendency to jump on the latest trend, which I fervently hope I have finally outgrown.

Sarah: I simply can't wait for DWTS to start. It looks like I'll be rooting for Melissa Joan Hart / Mark Ballas, but anything could happen! I was a big Osmond fan as a kid, so I'm kind of looking forward to seeing what Donnie can do.

kimberly t. bowling said...

Oh...the Trapper Keeper...wow, that green thing was a beauty back in it's glory days! I had one, loved it, thought 4th grade was made better just because of the wonderful sound of velcro pulling apart!

My firstborn began high school recently...sigh...made me think of all the wasted money I made my mom spend on clothes and shoes that I thought I HAD to have....and what our future holds!! :)

absepa said...

Kimberly: The Trapper Keeper DID make school better! I wonder if teachers grew to hate that velcro sound? Thanks for commenting!

Laureen said...

Interesting post!! I too have Nike Cortez sneaker... Those are my favorite and more comfortable!!

absepa said...

Laureen: Thanks! I would love to have a pair of those Nikes now. I saw some on a retro clothing site, but they were REALLY expensive. For used shoes. Nah.