Back to school

It’s the first day of school. What gave this away? you ask. Was it the children skipping merrily with their lunch boxes? The crossing guard with her red octagon on a stick? The cars coming to and from the parking lot? No, it was the taillights of the police cruiser parked underneath the 20 miles per hour sign that clued me in, as I approached going about 50 while visions of cheap half-caf danced in my head. Luckily, I had plenty of time to correct my speed before reaching the 20 mph zone.

I remember getting so excited for the first day of school. After that, I wanted nothing more to do with school, but that first day…. I guess I love new beginnings. And new clothes!

When you live on an island, back to school shopping takes on a whole different meaning. We’d go to Hyannis for the day, hit the mall stores, and stock up. I didn’t realize the effect this had on my shopping habits until I was living off-island in college. I went into a Gap one day and bought one shirt. One shirt. Twelve bucks, or whatever. I’d never been on a trip to the Gap for less than $300 and multiple shopping bags. I realized then how crazy we must have looked on our annual (or semi-annual is more like it – we did get off the rock more than once a year for crying out loud) trip to the mall. Or maybe we looked rich? Anyway, we’d pack that car to the gills.

Before the Gap days, we used to go to Fligors’ in Edgartown for our gear. We were way into Esprit at that point. One of my most memorable back-to-school outfits included red and navy plaid pants with built-in suspenders paired with a navy sweatshirt that said “Esprit” in red. And def matching socks. Always matching socks. And for me, matching glasses as well. At that point, I had these awful Sally Jesse Raphael-esque specs, and I had outgrown the children’s sizes but my face was still too small for the adult sizes, so they were HUGE. Ginormo. Like, really, really big.

The other way we acquired new clothes was through hand-me-downs. My sister was the top of the chain, then me, then Thayer, Morgan, Lark. Poor Lark. It’s not surprising she’s grown into a total fashionista, because she’s had to “Make it work” since long before Tim Gunn coined the phrase. I particularly remember a purple bathing suit with a ruffle around the waist that was worn by a different child at the beach each year for about five years running.

So yes, it’s in the air. It’s the first day of school! I think I’ll go buy myself some new clothing to celebrate!

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1 Comment »

  1. Lark said

    I absolutely love your blog! Thanks for the shout out…definitely remember that old purple one piece with ruffle…ohhh hand-me-downs! xo

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