If I’m honest, I still love a lot of things about back to school. Namely the school supplies. I may have stocked up on notecards for brainstorming and colorful post-it notes and a rainbow of gel-ink pens. (They were ON SALE. It would have been reckless to wait for them to be full priced later on, right?) It actually depresses me a bit that Redhead 1’s elementary school does supply pre-packs. Gone are the days of picking out your favorite color for your plastic school box. Now you just get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. But last week at Back to School night, we discovered that an error had been made in Redhead 1’s pre-pack, so I had to brave Target with the procrastinators (I mean “moms whom I usually resemble”) and pick up a few things like pencils and a folder or two so Redhead 1 had a few things to start the year with until her replacement pre-pack comes in.
And then I saw it. Like a speeding DeLorean traveling 88 miles per hour down memory lane.
A Trapper Keeper.
That most prized, most fondly-remembered, of all my school supplies. For those of you who were not children of the ‘80s, you may not know what a Trapper Keeper is. (And I’m sorry, truly.) A Trapper Keeper is a Mead binder that was the first to have folders that fit through the rings of the plastic binder in the middle. The folders had pockets. You could add pencil bags and special Trapper Keeper rulers. And if you were among the truly lucky—like I was one year—some hot pink notebook paper. Those were the days. Trapper Keepers had the coolest designs and they had a flap that velcroed shut, so that ostensibly, you wouldn’t lose any of your school work. It would be trapped so you could keep it.
So there it was, on the shelf at Target. It was not the same cool splatter-paint-and-bubble design I had back in ’86. But still. There it was. Calling to me. There was no way Redhead 1 needed this.
But I did.
Without overthinking it, like we adults are so prone to do, I grabbed that Trapper Keeper and tossed it in the red cart with the bullseye on it. Bullseye, indeed.
So…what am I going to do with this Trapper Keeper?
I. Don’t. Know. But I do have four book projects going on right now, so maybe I’ll find a way for it to help me keep everything straight. We were good together back in the days of Back to the Future and Care Bears, me and the Trapper Keeper. I’m pretty sure I can find a good use for it now. After all, there’s never enough space for a writer to jot down ideas and make notes. So, put on your jelly shoes, pop in your Thriller cassette, and like totally join me, dude. I’m going old school…school supply style.
What’s your favorite back to school memory?