Back-to-school shopping takes on a whole new meaning when it’s really going-off-to-college shopping. I took M to Target on Saturday for his follow-up contact lens exam, and he must have passed, because I was given his prescription and asked if I wanted to buy an entire year’s supply of contacts at once.
We headed to the bedding section, and M picked out a comforter; it took him all of 3 minutes to choose between the 4 plausible options they had. (This is quite the contrast to my neighbor, who had just spent 2 hours at Bed Bath and Beyond while her college-bound daughter picked out a comforter.) We got a few other odds and ends. Then we hit up the shoe aisle, to get him some cheap flip-flops to wear as shower shoes. They had some ugly blue and gray striped ones marked down to $1.18 each, available only in size 11-12; M’s feet are size 10.5 so at that price he can cope with slightly large. Especially since hey, they’re flip-flops. We grabbed 2 pairs, then I figured why not get a third, since we wouldn’t see cheap flip-flips in stores again until next summer.
At checkout, the teenage clerk had to fumble a bit to get the discount sticker to scan. I commented on what a great price it was, and he agreed. Then he scanned the third pair and got a funny startled look on his face. Evidently shoes were on a buy-2-get-1-free special! So we ended up with 3 pairs of flip-flops for a total of $2.36. Score!
M had also picked out a plastic plate and bowl, but when we got home, we discovered they weren’t microwave-safe. And E seemed a little dubious about the idea of M washing out a plate and bowl regularly in a dorm setting, when he often fails to wash dishes he’s put in our kitchen sink. So when we went grocery shopping later, I got a package of microwave-safe paper bowls, and another of plates, and some plastic utensils. M thought this was a rather strange approach, when I brought them home. E thought it was rather strange that I envisioned M heating up bowls of soup as a midnight snack.
I spent my entire time in college in a dorm with full kitchens, and did all my own cooking. M will be on the mandatory freshman all-you-can-eat meal plan. It’s a little hard for me to envision how all that plays out. But E is probably right; if he does make it to a grocery store to buy food to keep for midnight snacks, he’s more likely to go for frozen burritos than soup.