Yes you read that right. I’d rather jump off a New Jersey bridge than deal with back-to-school shopping.

Now I’m not talking about the Driscoll. Nothing high enough that could kill you. Something more survivable like the bridge in Califon that was the basis for the story that became “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

So not death, but pain.

Because there’s nothing quite like the pain a parent goes through when it comes to back-to-school shopping time. And I’m not talking about the clothing. That can certainly be painful enough when kids act like trying things on is the same as asking them to donate a kidney. (God forbid dad doesn’t want to make a "return the clothes" trip and stand in customer service counter hell.) When your daughter wants to go to school wearing something out of a Cardi B video.

The true pain comes with the back-to-school supplies. And why the heck do stores have to start pushing these earlier and earlier every year? It was July with summer vacation not even half over and I was already seeing aisles filled with bins stocked full of binders and folders and No. 2 pencils and Post-it notes of every size and color imaginable.

What retailers did with Christmas, shoved it down our throats like we’re a horse being force-fed a balling gun, is now what back-to-school shopping has turned into. Just knock it off! Let us parents not think about it for a few more weeks!

Backpack with school supplies
david franklin

And the problem with putting these things out so early? Haven’t parents all had the experience of buying the wrong things by going off the advance list put out on the school’s website? Once your kid gets into their first week of school THAT’S when the teachers seem to bust out the real list. The actual and often very different list of crap that you need to buy, so nuanced and particular it’s a lesson in OCD. Nice communication. If I never needed the 3-inch black binder with double pockets why was it on your damn school’s website a week before the first day of classes?

And the money. Oh, God, the money. And with Bidenflation as it stands how much worse is this year going to be than last?

Back-to-school shopping I hate you so much. Maybe the Driscoll is looking a little better. Or no. A colonoscopy. I’d rather have a colonoscopy than deal with back-to-school shopping. At least a parent will get put to sleep for that and will have some much-needed rest.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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New Jersey high school graduation rates

The lists below show 4-year graduation rates for New Jersey public schools for the 2020-21 school year. The statewide graduation rate fell slightly, from 91% in 2019-20 to 90.6%.

The lists, which are sorted by county and include a separate list for charter schools, also include a second graduation rate, which excludes students whose special education IEPs allow them to qualify for diplomas despite not meeting typical coursework and attendance requirements.

Columns with an asterisk or 'N' indicate there was no data or it was suppressed to protect student privacy.

Average SAT scores for all NJ high schools, 2020-21

Average SAT scores for the 2020-2021 school year are listed by county, from highest to lowest. Data includes the combined score, as well as the average scores on the math and reading/writing sections.

Participation rates show the share of 12th graders in the Class of 2021 who took the SAT in 2020-21 or in prior years.

High schools aren't listed if there is no data or the number of students participating was low enough that average scores were not publicly reported to protect student privacy.

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Stacker compiled a list of the 50 biggest retailers in the country, using retail sales data from Kantar, provided by the National Retail Federation.

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