“Back to school” is in the air, and by in the air I mean on the air, in commercials for Target and Old Navy, because nothing about 80-degree air says “back to school.” It’s against nature that kids have to go back to school while corn and tomatoes are still in season.
But the ads and the smart little outfits in the windows, which often incorporate corduroy, whimsical short-over-long layers, and a beret, always give me that feeling.
I get the same feeling from the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” – which I JUST NOW discovered is not (Are Made of These), which rhymes way better – because it’s the song that woke me up on my alarm clock radio my first day of 9th Grade. 9th Grade was in a new school, so extra newness points.
What is that feeling?
A “start fresh” feeling.
Clean slate. An urge to go out and buy a brand new 3-ring binder with fresh pocket dividers — the promise of a new, organized me which I will violate within two weeks by stuffing the Algebra worksheets into the Social Studies section, by falling behind on my homework, and so on. But buying the notebook is a beautiful exercise in pretending that won’t happen.
So is buying the sheets of neon oak tag that I have no use for yet, but could come in handy for some well-organized project. (Did everyone call poster board oak tag? Did we think about what a weird name that is?)
A “this year I can be cool” feeling.
Wait till the kids see my new waterproof felt green hat from camp, which will be my every-day, trademark look.
Wait till the kids see my new calligraphy skills. They’ll gather round and beg, “write my name, write my name!” which I’ll do with a beautiful, unique flourish for each, possibly at someone’s birthday party.
Wait till they see how fast I got at solving Rubik’s Cube.
Wait till they see how slim I look in these tan cords from the Burlington Mall.
(Designer jeans didn’t fit me. Wrong body type. And yes, I weep for my middle-school self and her notions of what makes you popular.)
It’s just what the retailers want — a “buy something” feeling.
Who am I to fight the system? I might go shopping. OK, I already bought a new t-shirt yesterday.
Do you get the “back to school” feeling? What does it mean to you? If you have kids, do you catch it from shopping with them?
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS.
Or, leave a question for future posts. I love questions.