The malls are full of wool sweaters, leather backpacks and parents explaining to their children that they never had $124 tennis shoes that required manual pumping to get a proper fit and their feet turned out just fine.
Oh yes, Glen Burnie, it's back-to-school shopping time -- that annual punishment parents must endure each August so that our children can get a proper education in September. Don't try to figure out the correlation between the two because there is none.
Once again, brand names -- Reebok, Cherokee, Bugle Boy -- are everything. I personally find it disconcerting that children entering the first grade can distinguish between the clothes, lunch boxes, pencils and notebooks that will make them eternally cool and the ones thatwill mark them as nerds for life. I'm still trying to figure out thedifference.
This past week, I conducted a totally unscientific survey to see just what clothes, shoes, school supplies and hairstyles are popular in Glen Burnie this fall.
Debbie Nawrocki, manager of Kids R Us in the Southdale Plaza, sees the bib-overall look as continuing in popularity for boys and girls. These denim overalls should beworn with one strap undone for maximum style. This fashion statementmay be traced back to the reruns of "Green Acres" showing on Nicklelodeon's Nick At Night.
Over at Marley Station Mall, Christie DeLair is a hair stylist at Heidi's of Marley. She sees good news on the hair front for girls: the demise of that poofy, high hair in the front. (This look peaked last spring when every third girl in Glen Burnie looked like she used a Frisbee and 3 gallons of gel to fix her bangs.) Christie has noticed longer hair with loose curls and said the spiral perm is getting popular.
Boys' hairstyles are short on the sides and back and longer on top with a wedge cut. This is known as a skate style and can be worn even if the $78 skateboard the boy had to own is collecting dust in the garage.
They may be too tired to pick up their clothes from the floor but children are willing to work at their shoes. The Reebok Air Pump is a big seller at Foot Locker in Harundale Mall, as are Nike Pumps, manager Nick Gualtieri says.
At Mother Goose Shoes in the Glen Burnie Mall, manager David Stiwinter sees more traditional shoes for younger boys and girls. "At this age theparents have more say in the choice of style," he explained. Makes me miss the good old days of preadolescence.
And for the most important back-to-school accessory -- the lunch box -- it seems "The Little Mermaid" is the cartoon character of the year for girls. Bonnie Ludwig, a manager at K mart in Chesapeake Square, also says the lunch boxes with a juice box holder instead of the regular thermos are selling well.
Enjoy your shopping and try to remember: ONLY 13 MORE DAYS.
The next time some clown cuts you off in traffic, follow him home and suggest he enroll in the National Safety Council of Maryland's defensive driving course. I'm sure he'll be grateful for your concern about his welfare.
The course is being offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday in Room 403 of the Arundel Center North. Other classes are scheduled for Sept. 25 and Oct. 22.
Clyde King, a certified driving instructor with the NSC, will teach the class. The course teaches techniques for improving driving skills, including how to drive defensively, how to drive in adverse conditions and how drugs and alcohol impair driving.
There is a $30 registration fee for the one-day class. Citizens over age 55 and members of AAA pay a reduced fee of $25.
For registration information, call 298-4770.
As part of this job, I tend to receive an inordinate amount of mail. My name must appear on hundreds of mailing lists. But my favorite has tobe the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce's mailing list.
Last month, I received 200 discount coupons for Chamber Days at King's Dominion.
This month, I received six tickets to sell for the NAACCC's first Chamber Day bull roast on Sept. 22. Not six tickets as a gift, but six tickets to sell. Very funny guys.
This is thefirst NAACCC fund-raiser since the group's reorganization.
The event will run from 1 to 6 p.m. at Kurtz's Pleasure Beach in Pasadena.
Some of the activities scheduled for the day include a strolling, balloon-making minstrel, face painting, clowns and tarot card readings. A disc jockey will provide music throughout the afternoon.
A live auction is scheduled, with everything from karate lessons to a ride in an Excalibur up for bid.
Four-member volleyball teams from a number of businesses will compete in a tournament.
In conjunction with the golf course being planned for the Fort Smallwood area, the chamber is preparing a few holes at the as-yet-unfinished course, for play on Chamber Day.
For $100, golfers can be among the first to check out the course. In addition, players will receive a pass entitling them to play the course on opening day, tentatively scheduled for 1992. The $100 ticket also includes admission to the bull roast.