Sunday, August 24, 2014

I Will Die Without My Trapper Keeper!

Few things thrilled me more as a child than the back to school season. I would pour over my supply list with eagerness. Pondering what each 2-pocket folder or composition notebook would be used for. I loved school and I loved the start of school even more. To this day, as a teacher, nothing compares to the first day of school. But anyway...back to school in the 80s meant back to COOL!
I mean seriously! Look at that hair! I am still jealous. As a Catholic School kid I was banned from these rad looks. I always looked on with envy as kids got to pick out their back to school outfits. I was lucky to get a new pair of saddle shoes to match my plaid jumper. I never could rock the big bangs or get a perm. Which in retrospect might have caused my baby fine hair to fall out, so I am good with not having had a perm.  No big hair for me... :( 
I believe I was asked to make a "scary face" here - yeah I totally delivered. LOL

So, back to school time was also the time that you started to define yourself for that year. And without the fashions of JCP to show off your personality us Catholic school kids had to rely on our school supplies.  THIS is where THE TRAPPER KEEPER came in. This little beauty of plastic organizational bliss showed the world who you were. With one small Velcro flap could define your status and style on that first day. I recall my mother begging me to "JUST PICK ONE MOLLY! THEY ARE ALL THE SAME!" as I roamed the school supply aisle at Kmart.  She didn't understand the pressure. I had to find the perfect one! It had to speak to me. This was a matter of status MOM!

She would offer them all ...

Mom: "OOOH, this one is nice. It has a hot air balloon on it. How about this?"

Me: "GAWD! Mom, NO! that one is like totally lame-o!"

Mom: "What about this green one with kittens in a grassy field?"

Me: "No animals! No dogs, no cats , and NO HORSES!"
I knew 5 people who had this one for sure!

Mom: "There are plain ones. Maybe we can get stickers and you can decorate it yourself?'

Me: "NO! Like, gag me with a spoon! That is for sure nerdy to the max!"

Mom: "This one has race cars sweetie, how about that?"

Me: "UGH! I am not a boy!"
Standard "boy" Trapper - car and lightening bolt, very 80s.

It was no use! I had searched the store all over....found NOTHING! I went home, defeated. :(

The next day my Mom returned from her errands with a "surprise" for me. "I found you the perfect Trapper!"

I was scared shitless! My mom's taste and mine have NEVER meshed - I was prepared for the worst, and good thing because.....


HOLY CRAP! My mind raced! I said NO ANIMALS! She brings me this!??!!? School starts tomorrow and I have puppies in the grass on my TRAPPER!!!!!!?????? WTF?!?!?!

I had no choice. I spent that year with the puppies. I was mortified and my dreams of looking so cool and mature were dashed the second my Trapper's cover was revealed. I was immediately 4 years old again. :(

I was 7 dammit!

Well, I survived that year, and magically my Trapper disappeared on the last day of school. 

I plead the 5th! LOL

Anyway, the next school year rolls around and THIS time I found the perfect one. In fact my next two were 80s perfection!

I remember you fondly, my friend.

If I could turn back time, you would still be mine!

THESE two Trappers were so me! They were cool, yet understated. LOL. I mean LOOK at that splatter paint on the "tropical" one! Its art! Classy!  But yet, back in the day this little overpriced binder meant so much. It was a representation of you, and I loved it.  I loved it a little too much that I recall being in tears one day during our first fire drill. I was not aware it was a drill and thought it was the real deal. I was sobbing because I was afraid my Trapper Keeper would be lost in the flames. Yeah, I REALLY needed to get my priorities straight.

So as we head back to school I like to remember my back to school moments in the 80s. It was more than back to class, it was back to the little social experiment that school was. It was the little bubble that you learned about yourself and life in. It was where even the little things , like a Trapper, helped you make a statement in this little bubble.

I miss the Trappers and their crazy covers. Maybe they will make a real comeback one of these days. Until then, I have my memories. Sometimes, sometimes when I hear that distinctive sound of seperating velcro my ears perk up, and I think, maybe , oh maybe, someone has a Trapper nearby!

Happy Back to School to EVERYONE! :)


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See you all next time! :)