The End of Summer

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So I guess summer is over. Never mind that the calendar says we still have a couple of months left. It doesn’t matter that our State Fair hasn’t even started yet. Nope, the gods of retail have determined that it is time to put summer in the clearance bin and move on to something else.

Saturday is our shopping day. We get the bulk of our produce and a significant amount of protein from the farmer’s market. One thing I can’t get there is seafood because we are land locked, but I’ve tend to buy that from a place that ships it frozen. Sounds a bit extreme but I figure that when it comes to food, you should buy as close to source as possible.

That does leave a lot of additional items that are needed for general living. We go to the big box store with the red circle logo. Our particular store is a “Super” version meaning that it contains a grocery store in addition to all the stuff you can find in non “Super” versions of this chain. Basically, you can probably buy anything you want in this store.

Just in case you couldn’t figure it out

At the very back of the store past all the food is the “seasonal” area. And here we found all of the summer stuff crammed into a few shelves while they had torn out some shelves to make room for a new display. The 4th of July themed stuff makes sense because it is after the 4th of July and I guess we don’t want to use red, white and blue or star and strips themed items after July 4th. Probably breaks some rule somewhere.

But that wasn’t all. All the beach stuff, all the outdoor picnic stuff, all the grill stuff, all the summery themed trinkets that you don’t need but still look kind of cool – they were all stashed on the “clearance shelf”

See, you could use this year round!

So if you haven’t planned that beach vacation, well then you are SOL. If you haven’t purchased all your picnic supplies for that family picnic in August – well that’s just too bad. Should have thought ahead and bought it in May when it was first out. You need to plan ahead! And if you haven’t done any of those things yet, then your summer sucks and you are just a loser. OK, maybe that’s not the message.

Still it kind of forces you to be that planner and then find a place to stash all the stuff you bought until you actually need it. Or be one of those bargain hunters pawing through the clearance stuff. Then you may have to settle for the stuff nobody else wanted. The spontaneous types who just decide now to have a pool party and want to get some stuff. Good luck! The gods of retail demand that you think a season ahead.

And I know they are clearing space for school supplies. I grew up in a state with a large summer tourist industry and I’m pretty sure schools there still don’t start until after Labor Day. Here, they believe a shorter summer break is needed but they give you the wonderful Fall Break so you start back in the middle of summer. Wait! My mistake. Summer is done. We are in some pseudo season that isn’t summer and isn’t fall. It can’t be fall yet because the Pumpkin Spice items haven’t hit the shelves.

Again, I’m old and we have no kids but when did this school supply thing start? Yes, we would do the back to school shopping thing to but Mom would just buy a few pencils (later pens) and call it a day. Here, I’ve checked a couple of school systems and they have these long lists of what kids are supposed to bring. Really? I swear it is a conspiracy between the school systems and the stores to force people to buy a whole bunch of stuff.

Then I wonder if this is really just a plot to make all the kids into good little rule followers. No Mom, I need 12 #2 pencils. It is what is on the list. You have to buy them along with the crayons and markers and dry erase things. What if you were the type of kid who wanted to use a purple crayon for everything?

Sorry kid, that’s not on the approved list. Hand over the crayon and use your #2 pencil!

Yeah, I’m sure there are good reasons for the lists. People can justify practically anything if they think hard enough about it. Good thing I don’t have kids because I’m the type who would probably intentionally refuse to buy one item on the list – just because. Can’t tell me what to do!

Just another Saturday shopping trip for me. Hope you’ve already purchased any necessary summer stuff and didn’t miss out because the stores have already moved on!

One comment

  1. Retail is just plain fucked up. Bikinis are on the racks in the middle of winter, sweaters are on display when it’s too hot for clothes, back-to-school supplies are on the shelves in June, and Christmas shit us on display before the fourth of July. It’s ridiculous

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