I Will NOT Cry Over Crackers!

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Listen, educators are hassled for many things, and one of those things is that we get breaks (summer, winter, spring, snow days). I will wager that almost zero people in this business went into it because of the breaks, but yes, they are nice.

I wish everyone got these breaks in every job. I would not begrudge any of you of them. Tonight, my friends, I’d like to tell you a story to illustrate just how necessary these breaks are for those of us who work in schools; especially considering we are around minors-YOUR minors.

full moon

It’s less than 48 hours till break and the day after a full moon….

Today went fairly well. I made several kids smile, and even made a really tough mom laugh. In fact, my biggest success was the huge smile and hug I got from a kid who does NOT hug NOR smile in any fashion that would ever be described as anything other than “small.” By all accounts this morning was a success; but then the afternoon came.

I’ve said it many times before, but I would never want to be a classroom teacher. I am not tough enough to handle what they do every day. It’s incredible and the tenacity, perseverance, and steadfastness it takes to be a classroom teacher is not possessed within me in suitable amounts.

What I can do is help. One of the ways I help is serving on teams to help teachers come up with behavior plans. If one teacher is having a hard time I can do that. By “do that” I mean I can help, or at least provide comfort, usually. When it’s several teachers in a row it can feel overwhelming, and as a true feeler (Hi, I’m a counselor) I can be left feeling ineffective and helpless. That is not how it feels every time, but when you are counting down the hours till break the day after a full moon-well, helpless and ineffective are just accurate. I hate not being able to make things immediately better, and sometimes feel like the comfort or “open ear” I tried to provide just didn’t come through.

When you don’t eat lunch that feeling is multiplied. Everything is bad and awful when you haven’t eaten…or is that just me?

Anyway, I left work much later than usual tonight, and all I wanted to do was follow my typical nightly routine:
Pick up dinner
Go home
Take off bra
Put on PJs
Sit on couch
Commence decompression

That didn’t happen.

What happened was me meeting my dad at my storage unit to remove items then going to dinner. At dinner we went over my finances. Going over finances is NEVER fun, right?? Yeah, my dad is a financial planner, so he makes it easy, but it doesn’t suddenly make it fun. As we were finishing mom texted and needed one of us to get saltines from the store.


All I had wanted, since 2:30 this afternoon, was to be at home-particularly with the restricting undergarment removed (all the ladies understand the relief provided when it comes off), so for sure my dad would go get these crackers, right?


Ok, so I was nearly in tears just having to go get crackers. The deviations from my nightly script were very much bothering me.good day

Clearly, I am not possessing all my faculties if I am going to cry about going to the store (literally across the street from the restaurant) to get crackers.

While crossing said street I decided I would also buy my favorite beer (Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout), so this meant I could use the reserved parking for the “wine and spirits” department. There was one spot left, but a big ass truck had parked over the line so I couldn’t fit. At the same time, everyone in Liberty was having Olive Garden for dinner so the parking was overflowing into the grocery store’s lot.

I found a spot, and as I pulled in a truck also pulled in right in front of me. He pulled so far forward that I was hanging out from my spot, but I didn’t care. I was just getting crackers and beer, right?

And creamer. I remembered I needed creamer for the staff breakfast Friday morning so I went toward the dairy department. Once there I selected one fun flavor of creamer to go along with my regular flavor. The slot containing the creamer I normally use was almost empty, except for one bottle ALLLLL the way at the back. I couldn’t reach and no amount of shimmying would move it. Fortunately, a nice mom waiting to select her creamer offered to lift up one of her children to reach it. Unfortunately the kiddo’s arms were just not long enough so in this 9-year-old girl’s attempt to reach the creamer she bashed her face into the cold rack…and I was still creamer-less.
Luckily, an employee was standing less than a foot behind us unloading butter (yes, the entire time) so I asked him to get the creamer.

Having secured both bottles of creamer I went to find the requested saltines for my mom.

Folks, commit this to memory: Aisle 11 at Liberty Hy-Vee is filled with crackers, but only crackers for SNACKING. The label on the aisle says “Snack Crackers.”

Apparently, Saltines do not qualify as snack crackers.

I asked another employee who told me he didn’t typically work in that department but he would help me. I could see him eyeing the signs above the aisles, so I said “Let me tell you upfront that there are no saltines in aisle 11. I can see you looking that way, and it is quite possible I didn’t look hard enough, but there was another lady in the aisle and she also could not locate them.”

hey teacherNext we walked to aisle 11, yes, really. I told him I would go down aisle 12 (chips and salty snacks) while he rechecked 11. Neither of us located the saltines. The kid yelled to another employee stocking meat and poultry. I already knew saltines would not be in his schema, and I was correct. He had no clue.

Finally, somehow, the kid figured out they were with the soup. Yes, there is a sign on a completely different aisle that says “Soup Crackers.” They’re with the soup.

(You’re welcome, by the way)

So, saltine box in hand, it was time to make my way to the beer department…

Except on the way there I passed the holiday candy canes and it’s been a while since I passed anything out to my coworkers.

Ok, now with 2 bottles of creamer, a box of SOUP CRACKERS, and 4 boxes of Spree Candy Canes (2 for $5!!),  it was time to get beer. While precariously balancing my items (because you know I didn’t grab a basket for one box of crackers and some beer) I made my way through the crowd, and even said “excuse me” several times.

I opened the fridge, grabbed my 4-pack of chocolate stout, and headed toward the checkout….but the mix and match beers had quite an interesting selection containing many more porters and stouts than usual, so I had to stop…and set down all my items so I could select my 6 beers.

So, 2 bottles of creamer, 4 boxes of candy canes, 10 bottles of beer, and a box of saltines later I had checked out and headed home.

There’s 9 bottles of beer left, my cat is chasing a moth, I don’t feel like crying anymore, and you now know where the saltines are should you find yourself in a similar predicament.

1.5 days till break. We can make it.

If you know an educator—-

Buy them a drink.



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