Downgrading From an “A” to an “A-minus”

Until recently, I identified myself as a Type A personality.  In most aspects of my life, I am textbook Type A:  anxious, controlling, sensitive, competitive and highly organized.  But in some other areas, not so much.  This contradiction has led me to believe that I’m not really a Type A personality, but more of a Type A-minus … and The Huffington Post has now validated me.

I am a walking oxymoron.  My closet is meticulously arranged, but inside my dresser is a mess.  My iCalendar is color-coded, but my grocery lists are scribbled on the back of random envelopes.  My emails are read and discarded immediately, but my pile of unread magazines is overflowing.  According to a recent Huffington Post article, this contradiction makes me a Type A-minus personality.

As stated by Healthy Living Editor, Lindsay Holmes, Type A-minus personalities are “particular about most things, but laid back about others.”  BINGO!  This is so me!

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Being Type A-minus explains so much.  It explains why I can’t have dirty dishes in the sink, but often leave the laundry in the dryer for days (and then have to dry it all over again to get the wrinkles out).  It explains why I can’t get into an unmade bed at night, but will walk past a basket of folded laundry for nearly a week before putting it away.  It explains why I can’t handle long lines and traffic jams, but can easily waste three hours on Pintrest, Twitter and Facebook.  It explains why I’m fastidious about so many things, but flippant about others.  It explains me to a tee.

Guess this means I should update my profile page … I am Lauren Tarr and I am a proud, Type A-minus, crazy lady.

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Now if someone would just create an A-minus bra, I’d be all set!

– LJDT

One Down, Forty More to Go

Week #1 of the new school year is officially in the books.  Thanks to the long Labor Day weekend, the kids only went to school for four days this week, and it’ll be another four-day week next week, too.  This is probably a good thing because our first four days weren’t pretty.  Here are our less-than-stellar highlights, by the numbers:

  • One lost algebraic calculator (lost on the first day, nonetheless!)
  • Two rough mornings, complete with running after the morning school bus
  • Three begrudging trips to Staples
  • Four “parent homework” assignments (WTF?!)
  • Five school checks written (for those “extras” not covered by my tax dollars)

It really was kind of a record-breaking week for the Tarrs.  Losing something on the first day was a first.  Last year, nothing was lost until the end of the first week and I think we made it to week #2 before we had to chase down the morning school bus.  As for those trips to Staples, I think even the cashier felt bad for me  The first visit was to buy a replacement calculator, the second was to return said calculator after the original was found in my seventh grader’s locker (I’ll say it again, having a penis makes you blind — or at least gives you tunnel vision) and the third was for yet another “required” 3-ring binder.  For the record, I refuse to step foot in Staples again for the rest of the year.  When my kids come home next week asking for book socks to cover their text books, guess what I’m going to say? … No way, Jose!  The Tarr boys will be kicking it old school with brown paper bag covers on their text books.

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Good thing I collect Whole Foods shopping bags!

Next week, we get to start over.  I hope my kids will wake up on time.  I hope they won’t lose anything.  I hope I won’t have to go to Staples.  But even if it’s a less than perfect week once again, I will remind myself of the alternative (two kids home, under my feet all day!) and be grateful for the few hours of solitude that I gain when school is in session.

One week down, forty more to go … We got this!

– LJDT

My Back-to-School Boycott

It finally happened today … The first day of school.  As I posted last year, I do not get sentimental when the kids go back to school.  I don’t cry or worry or wish they could stay home longer.  Honestly, I don’t really even miss them during the day.  Does that make me a major bitch mom?  Maybe, but I’m okay with it because I know my kids don’t miss me during the school day either.  The way I see it, we’re even.  This year was no different for me.  Following a trying last two weeks of summer, I practically pushed my boys out the door with two hands this morning … After taking the obligatory first day of school photos, of course.

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First day of 7th grade, 2015.

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First day of 4th grade, 2015.

Usually, my boys love going back to school.  This year … Not so much.  Their usual excitement seemed more like ambivalence (for my fourth grader) and even indifference (for my seventh grader).  I’d like to say it was because they simply wanted more time with me, but I know that’s not true.  I think schoolwork/homework is the true buzz-kill.  Older and wiser, I guess, even at ages 12 and 9.  The good thing is, their lack of enthusiasm made it easy for me to boycott the hell that is back-to-school shopping.

This year, we kept it simple:  A fresh haircut and some new underwear.  That’s it.  No new backpacks or lunch boxes.  No new clothes or sneakers, either.  Not even school supplies (sort of).  This year, we did back to school on the cheap.  Reduce, reuse, recycle — That’s my motto for the 2015-2016 school year.  Last year’s backpacks and lunch boxes were cleaned and reused.  Unworn summer clothes were pulled out for the first time (just like new!).  And with the exception of a few folders and a couple of three-ring binders that needed to be purchased, unopened supplies from last year were put to good use (I swear I could open my own Staples with the amount of unused notebooks, pens, markers and glue sticks we have left over each year!).

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A family tradition started by my grandma: New underwear for the new school year.

Am I being a back-to-school killjoy?  Am I being cheap?  Yes, but I like to think I’m also being practical … and environmentally conscious.  Luckily, I have two boys who don’t like to shop and don’t care what color their notebooks are.  They’d rather spend money on Eagles tickets or new basketball shoes.  To that, I say … Deal!

Happy New School Year, everyone.

– LJDT