1. Opinion

Tax-free weekend 2020: The deals parents and teachers really want

Stephanie Hayes | Weighted anxiety blankets, antidepressants, new cars.

It’s tax-free weekend for the back-to-school season. This event is sometimes referred to as a “holiday,” because in America, our bar for celebration is low. Other holidays include Credit Card Rewards Day, Whole House Repiping Day and One Jar of Clorox Wipes Left at Publix Day.

The tax-free weekend is an exciting time to pick up fresh socks, uniform pieces and 17 boxes of Kleenex. (Why do classrooms need so much Kleenex? Don’t answer that.)

It is also time to fulfill that lengthy list of classroom supplies, which always seems to include a single, unavailable binder. Show me a parent who has not stood in the aisle, sweat beading, flipping through 67 Trapper Keepers for the 1-and-9-thirds-and-a-half-inch, in yellow. Inevitably, one mother turns to you, tears in her eyes, and says, “I found some on the endcap.”

Isn’t that a quaint anecdote from 38 years ago? This season of learning brings a whole new set of, um, challenges. As we prepare to start school in the eye of a pandemic (what could go wrong?), Florida expanded the tax-exempt list to include face masks, cleaning supplies and tools for e-learning. In addition, many stores are offering deals on books, technology and the ever-popular “more.”

Related: Florida’s back-to-school sales tax holiday starts Friday. Here’s what‘s covered.

But important things are conspicuously missing. Parents and teachers could really use a few specific items this year.

Let’s get some deals on weighted anxiety blankets, up to 30 pounds. Also, aromatherapy products, cannabidiol, herbal teas, antidepressants, or some kind of milkshake that combines them all.

It’s time for sales on motivational wall art with expressions such as: Today I will not worry; I have a preexisting condition; or that old British adage, Keep calm and ask the children to respect your boundaries. Now’s also an ideal time to make that home office with a door that locks, in the manner of a panic room.

Since Americans aren’t welcome abroad, travel agencies should consider pushing 45-day domestic sleep vacations (sleepcations), with blackout curtains, a Swedish foam mattress with temperature control and lumbar adjustment, and a noise machine that sounds like the ocean with well-timed seagull caws.

Legislators, please add to the list unlimited sessions with a time management coach, financial adviser, cleaning service, personal shopper, personal trainer, tutor or estate planning lawyer. That’s fun.

Please remove sales tax from anything plastic in which to wrap oneself, including Saran wrap, shower curtains, PVC sheeting, rain ponchos, swimming pool covers, bubble wrap and bread bags. Also religious symbols, because waving a crucifix at the sky seems worth a shot.

Cars. Just, new cars for everyone. They don’t have to be luxury cars. They can just be, you know, Toyota Corollas. Beige is fine. Just make comforting beige Toyota Corollas tax-exempt. Because how can anyone be expected to put their kids on a bus right now?

How about those unemployment checks from March? Haha. I know. Let’s not be ridiculous.

Related: Read more columns from Stephanie Hayes