The return to school inspired me to write this column for Small Town Paper. So far there is only one online comment, but it's early, and maybe the cranky types just haven't gotten to their computers yet.
I really do have a sense that back-to-school is a season as much as summer and autumn. Just the approach of Labor Day triggers something that makes me want to buy new school clothes and shoes and supplies. My mother made my clothes when I was in elementary school, and she would take me to the fabric store to look through the pattern books and to hunt for fabric that was suitable for my age. She was always concerned that I not choose material that was meant for adults. When I was in eighth grade, she stopped sewing so much, and I was allowed to actually buy clothes at a store.
She would allow me to buy one pair of shoes for the classroom and one pair for gym class, which only somewhat took the sting out of the trauma of gym class. If I had outgrown my Sunday shoes, I would have to buy a pair of black pattens, too. I always hated those shoes because they were the least comfortable and the most girly.
Although, come of it, it wasn't until I was in the fourth or fifth grade that girls were allowed to wear pants to school. We had a strict dress code in our public school—with all the hippies hanging out in the playground or grunging up the sidewalks in town, the school board was afraid the little kids would be improperly influenced by the loosening of American culture if we weren't governed by plenty of rules. So, we all had to look traditionally girly nearly every day of the week.
Well, back to school for some, but not for me, and the schedule is so ingrained in my psyche, I feel a little left out. Maybe all I need is a new pair of shoes.