Sunday, 4 September 2011


Like many of you, I celebrate New Year’s on the first Tuesday after Labour Day. Nothing says fresh start, new beginnings and the first day of the TRUE calendar year like Back-To-School. Even though I have been out of school for longer than I was in school, I still get that tingle of glee when the first cool breeze blows by telling me it’s time to break out the pencil case and book bag, and to stock up on tights and dollar-store stretchy gloves.
If you’ve read my previous entries -  and I know that you all have and have committed every word to memory - you’ll recall that I totally loved school and continue to be the biggest back to school geek on the planet. School supply shopping sends me into raptures. It’s true. This Tuesday I will be wearing a plaid skirt and wool pullover despite the fact that the forecast calls for a humidex of a billion. I’m too excited to sweat.

Parents everywhere join me in the spirit of the season, heaving a giant, collective sigh of relief. The return to structured time, to achievable goals (how many of you actually even started War and Peace this summer?), and school friends returning from holidays means a reduction in pronouncements of “I’m bored”.  Yes, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Brian says I need to include something here about Rodney Dangerfield but won’t fully explain why.  Something about a movie he’d done. 

   Oh,and that it was the cat that made that smell. 
Anyhoo, back to the whole back to school thing.
I used to read Seventeen Magazine to see what all the girls in the United States would be wearing for the new school year. It was always plaid skirts and blouses with bows that they could wear and make look hip and not dorky. Pheobe Cates worked magic, I tell you. 

They used Bonnie Bell toner on their perfect skin and Stridex pads on their non-existent pimples. I slept with Stridex pads on my face sometimes. It didn’t get rid of my zits, and left angry red circles imprinted on my chin and cheeks. Does anyone still read Seventeen Magazine (if it exists)? Teenage girls probably get their fashion advice from Maxim these days, if Queen Street is any indication. 

We didn’t wear plaid skirts at our school. In fact, you’d get laughed at if you had worn a skirt. I wanted to wear plaid skirts, like Pheobe Cates. Instead I wore gross cords that were too tight and had ink explosion stains on the back pocket. By choice. My mother wanted me to dress better. Implored me to, even. I resisted her every attempt to make me look presentable. She still tells me a little lipstick wouldn’t hurt. After she tasers me.

Sometimes I just want to go back in time and give a big fat hug to that girl and tell her to hang in their because things will improve and that she really doesn’t need to sleep with Stridex pads on her face.  And the pimply faced dude she has a crush on is an absolute and total douche. And I might also tell her that she doesn’t really need more Nestle’s Quik.

I love the clear expectations of school. Do your work, suck up to your teacher and you will do well. 
This was/is my mantra.
Repeat daily and you will succeed in everything you try.
This, my friends is the real “Secret”. Never mind that crap about putting out “positive energy” (whatever the hell that is. Does that mean I am electric and that I should try to shock people?). The truth is, brown-nosing is your Weapon of Mass Achievement. Use it wisely, use it well, use it often. This is the best back to school tip I could give any young student. Suck up. Practice this and it will serve you well in your adult life. 


  1. I'm ready for the return of gouchos. Thought briefly yesterday of chopping off my jeans but then realised how much more denim is required to get the full effect. Tight jeans just don't cut it.

  2. I ALWAYS talk about going back to hug the little girl Joni! And tell her to relax it's going to be GREAT. Nice to know I'm not the only one.

    Joni (no relation)

  3. It's too bad you are not going back to school this week. You loved school so much, most of the time.
    Remind me, why did we sell our cottage at Clearwater?? What a beautiful photo.

  4. My mom could never understand why she would have to buy me a new compass set every year. It was the grand mystery. And oh, the thrill of those pastel-hued Hilroy notebooks. And the dread of the gym class. So bittersweet.

  5. Thank GOD!!!! Back-to-school.... wooohoooo!!!! How come you never became a teacher? Still can... Bet you'd be a cool drama or music teacher :-P

  6. "Even though I have been out of school for longer than I was in school, I still get that tingle of glee when the first cool breeze blows by telling me it’s time to break out the pencil case and book bag."

    PFFF - I've had my socks laid out for weeks.

  7. MS, if you buy gouchos, I will never ever ever let you live it down.
    Joni, I'll hug yours if you hug mine.
    Mom, we sold the cottage because the taxes were killing you and it is an 8 hour drive.
    Ryan, I was totally going to mention the new compass/geometry set every year! And we never ever ever used it.
    Neeners. Teacher=children. Music Teacher=Loudness and children. I am useless with children. They see right through me.
    Fuzzy. I don't know who you are, but you are totally my new BFF.

  8. Fuzzy. I now know who you are. Did you change your name to avoid police detection? If so, BUSTED!

  9. New handle, Señora.

    of course, now, Google blog hates me and won't let me log in as anybody.

    Fuzzy (craig)