I have to share something that happened to me a couple of hours ago...
After my all-night jaunt back to the mainland, with one hour of sleep, thanks to the married chick who sobbed her way into my seat, leaving me on the Exit row next to the galley and toilet, I came home totally wham-boozled. Little known facts about the galley, exit seat: 1) It's FREEZING (and every time they flashed the outside temp at -51, I felt it!), and 2) It's NOISY (the stewardess people--don't know if that's politically correct--like to stand in there and gossip about passengers, slam little metal cupboards, and flip light on and off). Between the people who stand in line to use the potty or do their yoga moves (yes bumping into me in my "luxury" aisle, galley, exit seat), the galley fright, and the below zero temps, I am not exactly running on all cylinders back here. Although...once I landed and got in the house, I started cleaning like a mad woman (stripped bed & changed sheets, cleaned closet out, dusted walls and ceilings of 2-month webs and bug friends, opened windows through the house to get non-toxic, Dr. Oz recommended clean air into home, scoured entire bathroom, vacuumed, etc.) all while the garage-door man was here to fix our undeniably white-trashola looking garage. Seriously, the entire upper left corner wasn't even closed, but just hung there, exposing all our non-organized garage items and beckoning small-sized, tweenies in our neighborhood to try to see who could fit through the hole! Anyway, it's all fixed now, so I'm saying, "Yipee! I don't have to worry about climbing out of my car to open a door when it's snowing, or when I'm just flat out too lazy!!! I'll leave my exercise to the gym, thank you very much!"
Well, I crashed for about an hour (not of my own choosing...just fell over asleep on the couch after eating my "whatever's-in-my-pantry" lunch). Taking a nap, at least for me, leaves me feeling like I've got lead weights attached to my body, and not exactly chipper to be alive. :) (Who, me? Grouchy? Never!) I forced myself to get out and get the last of my errands (for today) out of the way, praying that my non-registered car wouldn't get ticketed! I ran my lovely Hyrbrid-esque Honda through the car wash, and then hit Walmart. Thanks to a tip off I'd received from another teacher, I knew they had all their "Back to School" (moment of silence please...) items on sale. Since leaving Idaho public schools, I've had to learn the ropes with this whole "supplies" things. We have legislative money, but I can't tell you how many times I've ordered something from either the OfficeMax catalog (or whatever that place is), or district warehouse, to only have something really odd delivered. For instance, I ordered a plain ream of white, computer printer paper and received a package that literally looked like it had come out of the 70s, and contained some serious looking parchment-like paper. I actually ended up thinking it was kind of cool, but it left these weird fuzzies in my printer that I had to constantly open up to blow out. Anyway, I've decided that I might as well buy my supplies, write them off on my taxes, and save my legislative money for big stuff (you know, like Kleenex and white board markers--if you ever want to see me go really postal, watch what happens when a kid dorks off with a white board marker and then doesn't put the cap back on).
To move right along then! I put my huge load of stock-my-kitchen-back-up groceries on the conveyor belt first, followed by all my school stuff to pay for second. As usual, Walmart was bustling, and I felt bad for all the people who jumped in line behind me. Once my groceries were rung up, and I'd stacked them in the cart (thinking non-stop about the fact that I had to still pack them home and put them away), I turned to watch as she rung up my "supplies." All of a sudden, this construction worker behind me taps my arm, and the conversation went as follows:
Man: "Hey lady (yes, screaming in head over term he called me!), are you a teacher or something?"
Me: "Yep, just stocking up now while it's all on sale."
Cashier Lady: "Utah Sucks."
Man: "Yea! Utah sucks! Can't they afford a few markers and scissors?!?"
Me: (A little scared and frightened that I've caused a hub-bub of sorts...)
Lady in Line Behind Man: "This is why we needed to vote in a Democratic governor."
All but Me: "Yea!"
Man: "I've heard of teachers having to do this, but this is the first time I've ever seen it with my own eyes."
Cashier Lady: "God bless you!"
Me: (Giggling nervously, and hoping my harried look from traveling all night and cleaning all day isn't adding to their perspective on teachers being abused or something...) "Thanks. I'm just saving my legislative money for things like books is all."
All but Me: "Books! Can't they buy books anymore!?! Utah SUCKS."
By that point, I seriously thought I'd entered the Twilight Zone, or was hallucinating from lack of sleep! I smiled and thanked them all as I stacked my $60 worth of cute binders (colors I wanted), markers, colored pencils, my own set of scissors (SO EXCITED about owning my own box full!!!), cheap mechanical pencils for my gradebook (yes, I still like to have my paper gradebook as back-up), and four huge packages of the clicky-colored pens I like to use to grade papers with and go through like the kleenexes my students blow through (literally) all year, and ran.
So there you have it! The people have spoken, and they were NOT happy to see a teacher buying her own supplies. Actually made me feel like someone actually cared about the job I'm going to do, like I had real support and not just lip service. (Well, it WAS only lip service, but still!) It was kind of funny, and I had to share.
Now I've got to go get my online grading done. :( Why!?! (Crying softly into hands...) Oh, and one last thing. If any more married chicks come crying to me about needing to sit by their husbands, pulling that "you're all by yourself, aren't you" crap, I swear I'm going to tell them that I think they'll live through a plane ride without hubby right by their side!!! Okay, I realize that when (not if!) I get married, that I WILL want to sit by my husband, but I'll remember this feeling right now, and NOT dump on someone who's traveling alone! I paid way in advance for my seats, so my motto for students feels pretty applicable to the chick I so un-generously sacrificed my seat for: "Lack of preparation on your part, does not constitute MY emergency."