Pens, paper and Plavix – it’s back-to-school time |

Pens, paper and Plavix – it’s back-to-school time

Heidi Rice
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Fried Rice

“Well, I’m off to my first day of school,” Husband-Head announced as he stood with his backpack over his shoulder and his new SpongeBob SquarePants lunchbox in his hand.

He looked so cute and I was very proud of him. Who says I missed out on anything by not having children?

“I made you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I put an extra apple in your lunch to give to the teacher,” I told him. “I think students still brown nose the teacher, don’t they?”

Husband-Head just shrugged.

“Aren’t you going to walk me to the bus stop and wave goodbye?” he asked innocently.

I looked at my beloved middle-aged husband and just shook my head.

“No honey,” I said, patting the top of his head. “You’re going to drive your happy self to school. You’re attending college – not elementary school.”

Still, it all seemed a little strange. Instead of going to school full-time and taking out student loans, it seemed we should be driving an RV around the country and using AARP benefits.

We even did back-to-school shopping at Wally-World over the weekend, picking up the usual pens and pencils, notebooks and paper.

“OK, we’re all done here except we need to get some more readers and your Plavix prescription,” I said, reading from the list.

There was something very wrong with this scene.

At another store, we bought him a new laptop to use for school.

“What kind of carrier do you want?” I asked, looking at the accessories. “It seems polka dots and paisley covers are all the rage this year.”

I just knew he was looking for one with SpongeBob on it, or the Green Bay Packers.

It’s been years since I’ve purchased school supplies and I must admit that it’s changed quite a bit.

There’s the “SmartPen,” which records the lecture and then transfers the information onto your computer.

“Look at this,” I pointed out to Husband-Head. “You don’t even have to take notes or even go to the damn class for that matter. Just set up your pen on the seat and let it do all the work for you.”

And then, of course, there was the traditional back-to-school clothes shopping.

“Are you going to, like, wear really baggy pants that hang perversely low on your hips?” I asked him.

Out of curiosity, I went online to check out what the latest school fashions were this year.

“Hey look! The ’70s styles are back in!” I said with excitement. “We probably don’t even need to buy anything since we still have those clothes in our closet.”

Flared jeans and bell bottoms, checks, plaids and stripes, high-top sneakers, retro sunglasses and jean jackets were all on the list.

“I should’ve saved my The Who and Pink Floyd T-shirts,” Husband-Head lamented.

When we got home from shopping, there was yet another project to complete. He was turning our spare bedroom into his little study room with his desk and computer.

Out went the antique love seat, the antique vanity and mirror.

“I’m going to leave the bed though, in case I need to take a rest,” he decided.

I was waiting to see if one of those typical mini dorm-room style refrigerators was going to make an appearance.

“Why don’t you hang up the old poster of Farrah Fawcett in her red bathing suit while you’re at it?” I suggested.

Husband-Head seemed to like that idea.

“Now I’m going to order my textbooks,” he informed me after he had his room fixed up.

“Yes, and maybe there’s a device now that will read the book for you as well and transfer the information into your brain,” I replied.

When he was finished, he came downstairs and announced that he was ready for school.

“The only thing I still need to get is the ‘Handbook for Cat Dissection,'” he said.

The what?

“What the hell kind of class are you taking?” I asked, totally horrified. “That’s disgusting! You have a cat – how could you possibly dissect one?”

But I guess it was better than a human.

So with his books in his backpack, his lunch box filled and sporting his groovy new back-to-school clothes, Husband-Head was ready for the first day of school.

Except for one thing.

“You have to wear your wedding ring,” I said firmly, slipping it on his finger. “And stay away from the college girls.”

“Fried Rice” appears every Friday. Heidi Rice is a staff writer and columnist for the Post Independent. She lives in Rifle. Visit her website, for more columns and her book. Contact Heidi at

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