Oh, the horror: Back-to-school shopping and other acts of divine retribution

I'm trying to whip myself into a frenzy reminiscent of the delegates at the Republic National Convention, though with more enthusiasm and a lot less sign-waving. Unless it's a cardboard sign that I can hold up on a street corner begging for money.

You see, it's that time of year when a young mother's heart turns to cold, hard steel, and her veins run cold with fear and trepidation. Since I'm not young anymore (just ask my teenager), I will skip over the cold-hearted part and simply embrace the fear and trepidation.

It's time to take the kids back-to-school shopping, because school starts this week.

Say it with me now, children: Procrastination.

I'm not a shopper. I am a female, yes, but somehow my genetic code got garbled and I missed inheriting the gene for shopping. I also missed out on the gene for having a functioning metabolism, but that's another sob story.

I hate shopping. I've never liked it - not even as a teenager, when every other girl I knew lived for going to the mall. I hated it. I still do. I didn't have to do it if I didn't want to when I grew up. Those days are long gone for me now, since I have children who need things, and I am the one that must purchase these items for my offspring.

This is yet another unexpected side-effect of having children, right up there with stretch marks, sleepless nights and the sudden need for the use of elastic waistband pants. The only difference here is that no one warned me about this side effect. It's not in any of the books I read on having babies. No one ever said that shopping would become a big part of my life after childbirth.

I feel so used.

All in all I think I'd rather be in Florida. You can bet there isn't any shopping going on down there right now. Obviously it's a sign from God that all shopping is evil. If you use tin-foil hats on your head to keep the government from getting to your brain, then you already may have thought of this: It's all in the balloons.

Since the balloons at the Republican National Convention deployed as planned, some have taken it as a sign that God favors Dubya in this election. You may recall that God didn't let the balloons fall quite as splendidly at the Democratic National Convention. Avid convention watchers were treated to a disembodied voice becoming more and more frantic that the balloons weren't falling from the ceiling as planned.

It was obviously a sign from on high.

Either that, or it was a clever conspiracy by the RNC to take the oomph from the conclusion of the convention in Boston, which we all know was a serious barn-burner and needed a bit of cooling down.

I don't actually believe that it's a sign of anything other than the fact that the RNC hired better balloon dropping specialists, and doesn't that tell us something? Well, doesn't it?

As long as we're discussing Signs from God, lets talk about Florida. Home of hanging chads, Dubya's lil' bro and the apparent target of God's wrath in the form of Hurricane Francis.

Makes you wonder what Florida did to incur that kind of punishment from on high, doesn't it? First there was Charley, which pounded across the state causing billions of dollars in damage; then Hurricane Frances lumbered into the sunshine state and stayed for three days.

Now there is Hurricane Ivan out there in the wings, just waiting to pummel what's left of Florida. God must be angry about something; now if we can just figure out what it is...

I know: It's the shopping. It has to be. You see, they start school a lot earlier down there than we do - ergo they start the back-to-school shopping a lot earlier.

Put those two together and you've got a recipe for disaster. Who knows? Maybe Floridians are so far ahead of us that they already have their Christmas merchandise on the shelves. If I were a deity, I'd be unhappy.

But I'm not, and I need to go. Seems there's a sale going on for something my teenager needs, and I have to go shopping with her now.

Where's my tin foil hat?

You can write Pamela Troeppl Kinnaird at pamelatroeppl@comcast.net.[[In-content Ad]]