Back to School: Backpacks
School backpacks, every bit as much as hair style and clothing choices, can be an essential part of a student’s self-identification kit, together with lunch boxes and school supplies.
When my daughter is picking her new school backpack, the globe burps. The sheer number of internet searches, store visits, and friend pow-wows, coupled with that last minute angst-riddled choice, is enough to churn all 6.8 billion stomachs simultaneously.
Daughter: Suzy is getting the North Face mauve with the green zipper, but Jane is getting the red Roxy with the yellow tassel zip, and then Mindy is split between the JanSport black animal frenzy and the Dakine Erika floral. You know?
Me:_________. I can crease my forehead, open my eyes wide and scrunch my eyebrows with the best of them.
Daughter: Really, Daaddy (it’s Daddy when all’s ok, Dad when she’s angry at me, and Daaddy when she wants something—like for me to agree to purchase some frenzied floral animal sight unseen), these are very different packs, each brand has so many styles and accessories to pick from and you can’t just be yesterday.
I wanted to cut in and ask about the “pack’s” durability, or its stain resistant qualities, or maybe the comfort quotient when actually carrying the thing on one’s back, but those seemed, well, trivialities. I just hoped Jan and Roxy and Erika would make up their minds and put daughter out of her misery.
Short of the phone frenzy surrounding the news of which teacher has been assigned to whom the backpack phone tag is a record breaker on its own merits. I kid you not [pun intended], I counted 23 phone calls received (I couldn’t hear when they were made) in less than an hour’s time.
Meanwhile, son has two criteria for his new one. It has to be blue and it has to have those inside pockets and flaps to put all kinds of stuff in and the zipper has to be strong so I can yank it like I’m not supposed to. Ok, three criteria.
The powwows that began around two seconds after dinner and ended somewhere just past bedtime have resumed the next morning after negotiations about what constitutes a proper lag between “Dad’s” second cup of coffee and the world coming into focus for him. Thereafter no one better need to * call our house.
The eventual consensus on the proper accessories to use with the pack (multicolored charm bracelet hearts big enough to have writing in them) helps to dissipate the concerns over the style and moves the consultations on to the all important color. Mauve is simply too much as are chartreuse and lime green, but for some reason light blue, if purchased from L.L. Bean, seems the right shade of cool this year—something about the LL in light blue. Fortunately the listed inventory, via internet, confirms that the three criteria that need to be met for each pack are indeed met by a remote purchase from a single store.