I left the store yesterday around 2:00, and dashed home to pick up the boys for back to school shopping before choir.

The boys are efficient shoppers. We went to two stores and got all their clothes and backpacks. There is little point in getting school supplies beyond paper and pencils till they’ve been to their classes.

#1 son made sure #2 son made stylish choices, and I helped #1 son with his choice of argyle socks vs. socks with intarsia sharks on them. Argyle, of course, in burgundy. He plans to wear them with his white sneakers for a touch of vintage-style irony. They are intended to say, “I may look like just another guitar-playing freshman, but I have unplumbed depths.”

#2 doesn’t want his clothes to say anything. He is 15. Being just like all the others is basically what you want at 15.

We were reminiscing a bit about previous years’ back to school shopping. It used to involve an early trip to the office supply store with our collection of school supply lists, then breakfast out, and then the mall for clothing. #1 son took the part of his sister, squeaking, “I’m a girl. I have to try things on!”

Nope, the boys never try things on. They hold the garments up somewhere near their bodies and figure that’s close enough.

Nor do they go to multiple stores to see all the options before deciding and going back to buy things. Bless them.

I was remembering the year that we stopped off to check Seventeen Magazine because I didn’t want to buy the ugly, clunky shoes the girls were asking for. They had to show me that those shoes were indeed the style for that year, so that I would give in and buy the hideous things. The clerk said they looked like nuns’ shoes, and I guess she would know.

The boys looked at me as though I had said something unusually daft.

“You mean girls have a book that tells them what to wear every year?” #1 son asked.

“Boys don’t?” I responded.

I made it to choir with 30 seconds to spare.