A Wallet's Worse Nightmare: Shopping at Solano Mall on Back to School Weekend

Sunday Fun Day right? Not when it's back to school this week for Fairfield-Suisun schools and it's the last weekend to shop.

I love everything about Sundays. With pre-season football in full swing and regular-season football around the corner, I will have even more of a reason to get into the Sunday fun day mood.

But last Sunday was quite different. No football (the Niners played on Friday and won 17-6), no relaxing moments or barbecues. Nothing but the sounds of "I want this," "I want that," "Try this on," "Try that on," during a back to school shopping spree at the Solano Mall.

Like the rest of the people wandering around the mall Sunday, I was a last-minute shopper looking for the best deals on clothing and supplies for my soon-to-be third grader. School in the Fairfield-Suisun district begins on Aug. 15.

I had no idea how times have changed. Back in the day, it was all about G.I. Joe, Transformers, Star Wars, the A-Team and Rambo.

Today, it's all about Angry Birds, Justin Bieber, the Disney Princesses and these gruesome dolls called Monster High.

We stocked up on all of the latter selections and much more. A backpack with Justin Bieber's face on it cost me $20. Shoes, specifically Vans, cost me about $45 and school supplies including notebooks, color crayons, computer paper and an assortment of pencils, a pencil box, a new lunch box and other items had my wallet singing the blues.

When it was all said and done, I spent about $450 on Back to School items. The only relief with the shopping was knowing that I was not alone. The mall was packed with other people in the same situation.

In the middle or running around the mall Sunday, I ran into a buddy of mine, who looked just as excited about the mall shopping as me. Then something strange happened. I looked around the store, which at the time was JC Penney, and saw other guys standing around with the same expression on their face of "Get me out of here."

These were my brothers on Sunday.

The spree was expensive, but from what I am told, I got off easy. Back to School shopping sprees aren't cheap. Especially for all the parents of teenagers who must buy the expensive stuff like iPads, iPhones, laptops and cell phones.

I dread the day I have to buy stuff like that for my 7-year-old daughter. While on my shopping spree, I took a seat on this big leather recliner at JC Penney and was overhearing the conversation that some of the sales people were having.

They were in disbelief at the young age, 6th grade, at which children were getting cell phones.

Not my daughter. I didn't have a cell phone in the 6th grade and I turned out fine. She won't be getting one either. I don't think my wallet would survive it.

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Jessye K Shook August 13, 2012 at 04:55 PM
this is redicoulious!!!!!! i have spent 200 a year on back to school for the last 12 years ....and that 200 includes school supplies and socks and underwhere bras cloths shoes.....U DONT HAVE TO SHOP THE MALL!!! u dont HAVE to buy 80.00 jeans ur kids will survive!!!! there is ross dedes target walmart u work they dont.....i would NEVER EVER spent more than 205 on back to school shopping learn how to use ur money better
Anneke Harris August 15, 2012 at 03:37 PM
I couldn't agree more! Kids want more and more and in this economy it's impossible. Kids go to school to get an education not to impress other kids with what they have on. All kids should have to wear uniforms, it's easier and cheaper!


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