Can I quietly scream? Will you mind? Nothing major; just a small strangled ‘aaaghhhhhh’. Three small words, six meagre syllables that drive me demented. School freaking uniform.
|Get that hair on the left...|
The return to school is looming into view and I keep gazing gloomily at the list. Okay, so I get why schools feel the need to do the uniform thingy. I get that it’s all about ‘TEAM US’ (that’s ‘us’ as in ‘we’, not US as in the USA). I get the argument that it’s a leveler – that it stops arsey little brats coming in and doing the whole ‘I’m wearing Abercrombie/Superdry/Jack Wills/Versace/whatever and you, poor trailer trash scumbag, are wearing ‘George by Asda’ one-upmanship malarkey. I get that it makes it easier to find and apportion blame when they torch a car or barge past people onto the bus or whatever. I get it although, to be honest, I’m not entirely convinced. But, hey, it is what it is and so on and so forth but, but, but…
…really, why do they have to make it so…arcane? Why can’t they just say – ‘Look, chuck ‘em in grey trousers/skirts; white shirts; grey jumpers and let’s call it a day, guys.’? Yeah? No.
It’s always got to be the ‘right kind’ of grey. The navy jumper has to have the blasted logo on it, doesn’t it? And then…I shouldn’t have started, should I? Get this… For the last two years (years 7 and 8) James’ school hasn’t prescribed a blazer. There was some kind of weird optional coat that they all point-blank refused to wear (didn’t remotely blame them, it was seriously minging), so he ended up getting on the school bus each day, even in the depths of winter, even in driving rain, wearing just a skimpy jersey. Mad. This year (to compensate maybe?) it appears they require TWO blazers. One for everyday wear and one for ‘smart stuff’. What smart stuff? Come to think of it, let’s not think about it cos it’s bound to involve more cash. Oh just…aaaghhh.
And they’ve changed the sports kit – again. WHY? What was wrong with the old one? They’re a school, for heaven’s sake, not a football club.
It could be worse – some boy we used to know had to wear flipping lederhosen to school – in London. And again, I ask you…why? Character-building?
I suppose nothing has really changed. When I was at school – in an uber-strict state grammar, we had to wear freaking tartan skirts (yup, kilts - feel free to laugh) and a particular blue open-necked shirt that could only be bought from one particular shop in, of all places, Twickenham. I can remember the look of horror on my poor mother’s face even now as she scanned the seemingly endless list. A boater? A BOATER? Thank feck I didn’t get one – only two girls wore them on the first day and they both managed to slide them quietly into a ditch by 9am.
Anyhow. Thank heavens for the kind PRs at Tesco Back to School who must have been reading my anguished mind as they sent an email asking if I’d like some school kit for James. Er…YESSSS! For freak’s sake, send it over and send it over fast. Before my credit card reports me to CreditLine for severe emotional abuse. So they did, bless them.
|Tesco Back to School gear...|
I used to buy James’ school stuff (the generic trousers and shirts and all – the bits that don’t have to have badges and stripes and logos) from Marks and Spencer but, really, these are every bit as good (if not better actually - cos, I don't know about you but strikes me Marks ain't what it used to be - the last few pairs of pants I've had have just sort of collapsed - and, no, they weren't put under any particular strain) and a fair bit cheaper. I thought he might go all teenage sniffy on me over the shoes (which are a SERIOUS bargain).
The last couple of years he has refused to go the usual Clark’s children’s route and has resolutely bought from the men’s department. But, to my total surprise, he deemed the lace-ups ‘fine’. The coat met with a curl of the lip but that was just fine and dandy as I simply nabbed it for myself. Socks, pants, trousers, shirts and really nice bright red polo shirts all met with teenage approval – the polo shirts so much that he’s already wearing them – yeah, by choice, in the holidays, in public. And at least these won’t fall apart the way the rip-off Ralph Lauren ones from Turkey did.
So. Seriously. Take a look. And thank you, Tesco. And…School...just don’t talk to me, alright?