Today we took our granddaughter out for a little pre-Christmas shopping. If we were lucky enough to find something she liked, well then, bonus. If not, it was time well spent with someone we love and don’t see that often.
Our “final destination” was AC Moore, a regional arts and crafts supply store that was featuring “everything must go” sale prices. It seemed like a good opportunity to pick up art supplies for Christmas gifts. But first: a trip to Hot Topic.
Hot Topic stores have been around for years, since 1989 to be exact. Wikipedia describes them as
a retail chain specializing in counterculture-related clothing and accessories, as well as licensed music. The stores are aimed towards an audience interested in rock music and video gaming, and most of their audience ranges from teens to young adults.
I don’t think I’ve been in a Hot Topic store for at least 20 years, possibly even longer. So it felt a bit like venturing into foreign territory, vaguely familiar but still unsettling to someone who knows nothing about the rock music or video-gaming culture. But here I was being towed in by a pre-teen wearing a Hero Academie hoodie and furry cat ears. We fit right in. 30 minutes later we walked out with our purchases and a new appreciation for a world I’m just beginning to explore.
One final note: my niece commented online that her grandfather never would have taken her to Hot Topic. So I’m one up on my Dad after all, though I’m still glad I ventured out with my own 12-year old cultural interpreter.