Backpack Mania Patient Zero

Backpack Mania Patient Zero

It’s true: My kids started the Gutzy Gear epidemic.

I’m not proud. I’m not ashamed either, but proud is a little much. They didn’t invent and market Gutzies, after all, making me instantly into a Lady who Lunches. All they did was start complaining that they all had the same backpack.

I have three kids. Two fraternal twins and one boy a year older. Since they’re so close in age it’s always easier to just buy everything in threes and distribute it to them like I’m outfitting a small army for war. This year I bought them all clear backpacks from the Clear Bag Store because I spent last year cleaning various compounds out of their backpacks, including but not limited to clay, potting soil, some sort of green toy slime, extremely wet socks (not their own), milk-soaked cereal, and something completely and totally inexplicable I dubbed The Stuff. The Stuff was the most difficult to clean out. Ever since The Stuff I decided a clear bag was ideal – I can hose those babies off in the yard!

My children, however, decided I was crippling their creativity because they’d each gotten the same bag. So when they spotted the Gutzies on the Clear Bag Store site I went ahead and bought the strap covers and a selection of Gutzies for each of them – letting them choose their own. The boys liked the Metal Mouth Joe and Rock N Joe ones and my daughter, currently in a somewhat adorable Girl Power phase, went for the Girls Rule! Gutzies. We festooned their backpacks, I taught them what the word festooned meant, and all was quiet in the house for about fifteen minutes, by biggest success to date.

A few days went by, and then I started getting phone calls. At first it was just parents asking where I’d gotten the Gutzies, because their kids had seen my kids and wanted them. Slowly, though, the tone changed as it became clear that every single child in the school wanted to sport Gutzies that matched their own interests, and parents were investigating who was responsible for forcing them to spend more money on their children than the ungodly amount they were already spending.

I didn’t know how deep it went until our first Parent-Teacher Day, when I arrived to discover that literally every kid in the school had acquired Gutzies, and that a thriving black market had grown up around them, with children selling off their Gutzies, trading Gutzies in complex multi-child deals, and creating tiny economic empires built on what could only be described as a Gutzy Bubble. There were some unkind remarks aimed in my direction. I just smiled, because now I know my children are trend-setters and taste-makers.

It’s only a matter of time before they make me a Lady Who Lunches.

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