The School Supply store was a smallish room at the back of the basement lunchroom, about the size of a garage. My mom, on behalf of the PTA, ran the store and it was probably the funnest place to hang out in school, and not just because my mom was there and I was in second grade.
The School Supply Store had everything that you had no need for, but had to have because you were eight. Every flower shaped eraser, every scratch 'n sniff cupcake sticker, every froggy pencil topper and every personalized notepad a little girl (this was a girls only school) could every dream about. And because it was the 1980's, there were also sequined scrunchies and banana clips, and I don't believe anything in the store was priced over one dollar. Now that I think about it, the School Supply Store might have been the original Dollar Store.
The best day of the year was before school even started. We'd spend the day unpacking all the little erasers and pencil sets and keychains and endless rolls of stickers (you could buy just one, like a lottery ticket for kids). This was the era of the Lisa Frank empire and we obviously needed every single of these things.
At the beginning of last week, before school started, I got to relive a little bit of the School Supply Store. We didn't have sticker books and boxes of every charm necklace every made, but unlike the original School Supply Store, we did have actual school supplies.
My mother in law (hi, Grandma!) saved me this year. She did 80% of our school supply shopping and delivered it all like a Summer Santa, one hot day a couple of weeks ago.
The next morning, Tani and I sorted it all into piles and then each kid took their school supply list and shopped in our store. So much fun, even for the slightly jaded middle schooler.
You might be wondering why Tani got the awesome job of sorting everything. If you are, you wouldn't be alone; there were several other children with angry eyes, wondering the same thing. I'll explain. Tani got to sort and make piles because the movement of picking things up and putting them down and figuring out how to bend down (squatting is the only option these days) is good for her. Like physical therapy, but free physical therapy, which really, is the best kind. And I know this, because her medical bills have started arriving.
Once Tani was done, she insisted I take a picture of her very beautiful piles of folders and notebooks and glue and markers and all the rest. There was so much stuff, I had to use the panoramic feature on my phone, which sounds crazy because how much stuff can four kids need?
19 dozen sharpened pencils, plus all the rest of this stuff. So much stuff, all for school.
Except for some of the glue and markers. Those I bought at Target for a crazy, one day sale price of 4/$1. And we always use glue and markers in this house.
But the rest of it? Let's just say the store is now closed because all the stock has been spoken for.