The Mature Student’s Back-To-School Guide for Disaster Preparedness (or, “My Back-To-School Shopping List”)

bts-shopping

1. A BACKPACK purchased online in a moment of uncharacteristic recklessness (Just kidding! I obviously triple-checked the return policy before submitting my order like the totally sane and not at all neurotic person that I am.), which will undoubtedly make me look like a giant pumpkin when worn with my green fall jacket, and which arrived at the bottom of an enormous box, topped with an even enormous-er swathe of what must have been at least fifty feet of “packing paper” (in one single, spectacularly long, sheet) that we can only assume was included to keep the backpack from being crushed but in reality served only to render it more pancake-like than ever

2. A fancy-ish (read: knock-off) “wood look” THERMAL WATER BOTTLE, which is guaranteed to keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot thanks to its double-walled stainless steel construction, and which is recommended online by a reviewer known only as “Bilbo Baggins” (who promises I will “look fresh around the shire”), but which, upon reflection, will probably scald my lips if used for hot beverages thanks to its double-walled stainless steel construction

3. A trendy, “bento box” style LUNCH CONTAINER ,which currently holds my hopes and dreams of an entire semester of eating only ethically raised, local, organic, single origin, whole foods lovingly prepared with clean hands and a pure heart, but which in reality serves as the single (fragile) barrier between eating a balanced diet and diving face-first into a bag of Cheetos when stress-eating season finals begin

4. A large THERMAL LUNCH BAG*, which was not on my original shopping list but had to be added when the aforementioned Aspirational Bento Box of Clean Eating turned out to be twice the size I anticipated (and was thus unable to fit in any of the four normal-sized lunchboxes I already own – don’t ask), and which proved so hard to find that it caused me to all but lose hope of its existence as I trekked empty-handed from store to store, bemoaning the amazing deal I missed out on when months ago I unknowingly passed up what would have been the ideal thermal container, exactly right for the ridiculously over-sized Ultimate Snacker’s Bento Box of Superiority

5. & 6. Not one, but TWO Burt’s Bees LIP BALMS, because the overflowing dish of various partially-used and probably-expired lip balm currently adorning my dresser serves as no deterrent whatsoever to the undeniable truth that in our harsh Canadian winters it is literally impossible to have too many options for soothing dry, chapped lips, and because while I seem to be just fine with making snap decisions that have major implications on my marriage, time, energy, finances, and overall life direction (*ahem, grad school applications and becoming a full time student, ahem*), I’m apparently incapable of choosing between “grapefruit” and “coconut pear” when it comes to what kind of lip balm I should use, particularly when there’s a “BOGO 50% off” promotion and the product descriptions are so similar I can’t choose between the “refreshing” product that’s “hydrating and revitalizing” and the “hydrating” one that’s “reviving and softening”

7. ALL THE MUJI PENS, due to: a) inherent awesomeness, b) the fact that when you forget what colours and nib sizes you have at home, the obvious solution is to buy more in strict adherence to the Boy Scout’s motto of perpetual preparedness, and c) a fierce commitment to stationery excellence at all times

8. Three blindingly white HILROY BINDERS, which seemed like a good idea at the time since they were on sale for an unbelievably low, and therefore irresistible, price (Have you seen binder prices these days?! What is this life?!), but which turned out to be both incredibly flimsy and juuuuuuust tall enough to not fit properly on the shelves of my newly-organized desk

9. A spiral-bound A5 DOTTED NOTEBOOK from Muji, the buying of which entailed at least 20 minutes of solemn deliberation (whilst circling the office supplies area of the store like a bird of prey) because of the seriousness of committing my entire life and five whole dollars to a new journal, and which is clearly the only sensible option for use as an organizer and agenda (because why buy a ready-made planner when you can spend all the time you don’t have essentially making your own from scratch?!)

10. CHOCOLATE (Enough said.)

 

*In the end I was able to locate an almost identical lunch box to the aforementioned ideal one (once I remembered the name of the brand!), so it turns out all that trekking was actually in vain as I returned the first one and ordered the other one online… and then after all that cancelled the online order when I discovered it for an even lower price at Canadian Tire…  -__-

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