Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hot Topic

The other day my daughter and I took a trip to the mall... It was one of those laid back Sunday visits when we could take some time to just enjoy eachothers company and look around a bit... Very much unlike those harried holiday season trips that are more of a chore than anything else.

While meandering, I suggested we decided to check out the store 'Hot Topic'... I've bashed the retail chain a couple of times and figured I should at least have a better idea regarding that which I've so freely spoke of.

My impression? It's worse than I imagined! Folks, I have seen the valley of teenage angst and it is a dark and ugly place.

Here's a couple of disturbing items from their website:

Jaded Jenny Plushie
This punk chick doll is as misunderstood as you. White plushie features red spiral dreads, ear to nose chain, black button eyes, love and hate hand tattoos, red and black stripe shirt, red bows, platform shoes and studded cuffs. 20" tall. Imported.
$24.99


And for those times when you want to recall the good old days of your youth...

Instant Happy Childhood Memories Breath Spray
Don't spend thousands of dollars on therapy. Just pick up a tube of this wintergreen-flavored breath spray! You'll get a mouthful of artificial memories that'll make your childhood as idealic as you'd like! .25 fl oz.
$5.50


However, is this really what todays teens think about life? I can't even get my daughter to pierce her ears... I seriously doubt she'll be making a statement anytime soon by piercing her nose, eyebrow or tongue. My son wears mostly black t-shirts with pithy sayings on them like, "It is what it is", "No, I will not fix your computer." or "I'm only wearing black until they make something darker" and then there's his new favorite, "I got out of bed for this."... Perhaps these shirts could be misinterpreted as disillusioned youth, but frankly, to him they're just fun... And maybe, that's what most of the merchandise at 'Hot Topic' is about... Fun!

Then again, I've talked with my kids about stores like 'Hot Topic' and ask them what they think... My son feels places like this are a huge disservice to teens in general. It gives adults the impression that all teens are full of anger and angst... They view the world in which they live as horrible and life in general as torturous. Which leaves adults fearful and unwilling to open a dialogue with the young man wearing the dog collar, spiked hair and black nail polish. Maybe this is what the young man wants because whenever the adults in his life have spoken with him, they haven't done so with respect.

I'm not a perfect mom, I'm far from it... But if there's one thing I've learned in the past several years it's that my kids aren't my best pal, buddy or friend nor am I their judge, jury and detention officer, such as I was raised. I treat my kids like fellow human beings. They're struggling through life's tough questions, just as I am. They want to do what's right not only for themselves but for those around them. They feel joy and they share it... They feel sadness and they look for answers from those they trust to help them through it.

It's my fervent wish that they never look at Life as hopeless.

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2 Comments:

Blogger lime said...

the last line sums it up well.

8:30 AM, January 17, 2007  
Blogger Margie Blystone said...

I was initially going for funny when I started this post but somewhere along the line I took a hard right turn towards serious.

9:37 AM, January 17, 2007  

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