Guys. GUYS. We need to talk about something, and it is important and urgent and makes me genuinely worried about our children.
No, you’re not having a stroke. You read that right. Locker chandeliers. Those are things. They are being sold to our children on a tween eye-level shelf at a Target near you. And I used the plural — chandeliers — because there is a selection of them. Gotta cover all the unnecessary ceiling accoutrements that catering to various tween aesthetics entails. Can’t have something sequined and romantic hanging there when your kid has modern tastes. There are geometric prisms for that!
What the shit even is this nonsense? Or better yet, why? Just why.
We need to band together as concerned parents and bombard HGTV with calls. We need to demand that they put age ratings on their shows because this shit is getting out of control. Property Brothers better come with a TV-14 warning so parents can give their children a few years of middle school lockers before they hear the phrase “clean lines.”
And if Fixer Upper doesn’t get a TV-MA, it’s only a matter of time before Target starts selling magnetic shiplap, perfectly sized for your average locker. There needs to be a line, and that line is right before your kids wanting a rustic farmhouse-style locker with burlap-lined shelves and string lights. If I see one mason jar pen holder hanging in a locker, I am calling the authorities.
I get the desire for a cute locker, I do. Back when I was a wee youth, questionable fashion choices and acne a-blazing, the only thing that got me pumped for the end of my carefree summers was shopping for school supplies. Something about narrowing down the best Lisa Frank folder to accent my whole fifth-grader-in-language-arts-class vibe made me giddy as all get out.
Fresh pencils covered in poppy prints or those bright erasers that looked like chunks of twisted, multicolored taffy? I was ready to trade in all my freedom the morning I walked into school on the first day, sure my new JanSport backpack would bring my coolness up enough to elevate me among my peers.
And growing up watching Saved By the Bell, Boy Meets World, and other shows about teens but made for tweens got me excited for the social construct of chatting with all my friends between classes outside of my locker. I remember shopping for a tiny, magnetic notepad and a neon combination lock. Then there were the magazine cutouts of Ryan Phillippe and Heath Ledger and other curly-haired blonde babes that I taped up inside my own little respite from the daily torture of pre-algebra.
But that was it.
Now? Kids have all this crap for “organizing” and decorating their lockers, and personalizing them like a gateway drug to Pinterest. There are disco balls and shag rugs and beaded curtains. Yes, I’m serious — area rugs for a locker.
At best, these lockers are going to look like Xzibit rolled up to Sweet Suburbia Middle School for an episode of Pimp Yo Cubby. At worst, they are going to look like the back of the van where I was accidentally conceived.
And what none of these kids know just yet is that every attempt they are making at a stylish and orderly locker is going to be for naught after a week or two of school. No matter how many mesh bins they buy, the only organizational system they will end up with is the pile of old papers, sweaty gym clothes, and moldy lunch items at the bottom of their locker.
They will not hang out there to gossip between classes because they will barely have time to get their combination wrong the requisite three times before wrenching the damn thing open, exchanging crap, and sprinting to the chemistry lab before they get another tardy.
If there was ever an appropriate time to laugh in your child’s face as you watch a dream die behind their eyes, it’s when you say no to a locker chandelier. And an area rug. One day when they are older and gleefully pushing a shopping cart through the back-to-school aisles for their own children, they will surely thank you after they shoot down a request for a locker double oven and subway tile backsplash.