Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Disparity or One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

I'm going to Girls' Camp tomorrow, and I have been assigned to teach the young women how to make friendship bracelets. No problem--I taught myself how to do this last year, and I find it fun and relaxing. I'm teaching them three different kinds of bracelets which means I have to get materials, among which are shoelaces.

Problem. In the past, I've ordered laces online and found a great selection of colors and patterns. Well, I didn't have time for that. So I went on the hunt. Do you know how hard it is to find shoelaces that are not black or white? Well, trust me, it's not easy. I made some phone calls and found a place I'd never heard of that sold lots of different kinds of laces. Great! It was at the mall, and I had errands to do there anyway with my 73-year-old mother. (I mention her age because it factors into the disparity.)

Loaded up the boys, dropped the older two off with Grandpa, picked up my mom, and headed to the mall with her and the two-year-old T-man. Mom wanted to go shoe shopping, so we took care of that first. Then we went on the hunt for the shoelace store.

We found it. Actually, my mother found it. It was not what I was expecting. Anyone ever heard of "Hot Topic"? Ever been inside? No? Let's just say the entire store is painted black. It smells like whatever it is kids use to mask the scent of weed. Every clerk I saw had tattoos and body piercings. All the T-shirts had either offensive pictures or offensive statements on them. The music was not exactly the kind that I find uplifting or even decent.

"What the hell am I doing in here????" I think. "I'm a good little Mormon mom with a young child in a stroller and an elderly mother in tow. Oh yeah--shoelaces."

I find lots of shoelaces. Most of the shoelaces have either skulls and crossbones on them or some sort of Gothic symbol. Hmmmm, thinking that the YW president is not going to go for that. Find only two I can use: hot pink with black stars and neon green with black stars. Well, at least I can argue that they aren't pentagrams--if you turn the stars the right direction. So I bought them.

I find myself wondering now what exactly was going through the minds of the clerks and customers that day as they witnessed such a visual disparity? I hope we gave them something to laugh at. At least my mom didn't say anything embarrassing about the skimpy clothing.


wendysue said...

Hey, I actually purposely went to Hot Topic last Halloween, b/c my youngest was going as a punk rocker and I knew they had funky baby shirts. None of which I thought were very cool. Oh well. I'm sure they thought the same of me walking through the store. Ha.

Lyle said...

Modern Shoe Repair on Center Street in Provo used to have an assortment of laces....can't recall colors of luck with girls camp....cabins and running water...camping...right

Elizabeth-W said...

So, I imagine you being at girls' camp, and the girls being astounded at the "rave" wear you brought for camp art projects! "We always knew Sis. Pottymouth was a bit relaxed, but encouraging us to wear drug paraphernalia?!" (kidding)
Have a great time at camp. I loved the all the years I went-even snipe hunting :)
And Lyle, some of us went to girls camp and had to dig our own latrines, build our own showers, trench our tents, and cook three meals a day.

Lianne said...


I won't even go in Hot Topic, the energy is so bad in there. In fact my daughter HAD to have a shirt from there on Saturday, and I waited outside. BLECH!

Girl's Camp... never been, never likely to. Have fun, though!

compulsive writer said...

Love it! Remind me to tell you (not now--I have a bad habit of inadvertently blogjacking peoples' posts) of my quest for patchouli oil to comfort a grieving sister.


Have fun at Girls' Camp!

becks said...

so many memories from girls camp. my favorite was probably when me and one of the girls got in a huge dirt fight right before we left. we were completely covered in dirt, it was tons of fun.

about hot topic, i agree with Lianne. its just so bleh. i can't describe it. plus, the clerks and people that typically shop there scare me. i keep thinking that they are going to try and give me a random peircing in my face.

Melody said...

I don't get it, Julie. You don't like hot topic? Disparity this: it was the only shop in the state that had the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tee-shirts that were the crowning glory of Luke's missionary Christmas. And, by the way, I guess you haven't heard that the YW president shops there ALL THE TIME!

wendela said...

I don't think they care who comes in the store. Out here, loads of respectable-looking moms are in there- I guess they're the ones bankrolling it (either for their kid's gear/halloween costumes or maybe a secret outfit for mom). Around here, the kind of young people who frequent Hot Topic seem to hang out and move across the sidewalks of our city in little packs. My daughters and I have a theory, that they've spent so much on their "unique" clothing, hair upkeep (I mean, literally, UP), piercings, etc., they have no money for any other transportation but by foot. Too bad they're supposedly aiming to be so different, but so many end up looking just alike. Well, anyway, sometimes the store does have some good shirts.

Anyway, have fun camping and bracelet-making. And sorry to hijack when I've only been a lurker before. :)

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I don't know what "Hot Topic" is, but it sounds like "Hot Pocket", and that my friend, gives me diarrhea. I'm thinking, no good.

I wrote a skit for our homeschool group at Christmas and I needed a couple of rubber rats. Ordinarily they're easy to find at Wal-Mart or Toy R Us. Ordinarily, but NOT when I need them. The only place I could find was the dreaded Spencer's Gifts. I left my oldest daughters watching the rest of the kids right outside the store while I paid. The clerks laughed and asked why I didn't bring them inside. I guess it just escaped them as to why I wouldn't want my kids looking at SEX:The Game, penis shaped magnets, and other rated R-XXX horrors.

When did I become the prude one?

I'll miss you Julie. Have fun!

Geo said...

First of all, I guess you'd better know at the outset that I am the poster girl for that stuff that masks the scent of weed. Make that the scratch-and-sniff poster girl. So can we still have our kindred spirit seance with c.w., or am I now too reduced to a plain ol' reekin' spook? No, I don't smoke weed. Yes, I have been told I smell like wet dirt. I have also been followed around in stores by people who love that frangrance. Yes, I inherited the habit, so to speak, from a hippie type, but she was my mom's best friend, and my role model, at least in perfume selection.

Hello, my name is Georgia and I'm a blogjacker . . . (sorry).

Next time you go to Hot Topic, will you take my grandmother with you? She likes fancy shoe accessories and she'd enjoy critiquing the clientele. She'll probably spring for lunch in the food court!

I hope you are having a marvelous time at camp. I have served in YW mutliple times and I'm here to tell you Girls' Camp is da bomb. Is it MIA Shalom for you? Hope so--what a beautiful spot. Can't wait to hear your stories.

Geo said...

BTW, they say patchouli is great for anxiety and depression. C.W., you did the right thing buying it for somebody with a hurting heart.

Julie, you know that macramé is just one step away from patchouli . . . .

compulsive writer said...

Dear Julie,

Apparently your blogjacker took hostages. The complete story will come out eventually. But I need to say that the best part of my patchouli story--and yes I did visit Hot Tropic during my quest--is my naivete. I was completely oblivious--till the very end--to the disparity of a frumpy middle-aged geek-mom inquiring about head shops and patchouli oil.

Since then I've been back to Hot Tropic. I somehow ended up Christmas shopping with Melody.

Now my favorite hang out is the local board shops. One does (I mean this sincerely) meet the nicest people there. I would recommend, however, avoiding the more high-end establishments. Sometimes they can get a little snooty.

~j. said...

Am I raining on any parades by saying that I really like Hot Topic? One of my dear friends used to be manager there, and I know a really nice guy that still works there. They've got the best selection of Napoleon gear around - not to mention a really impressive collection of all things Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, and Hello Kitty. I like to go in there with a stroller-ed kid, a preschooler, and a big pregnant belly. Let them think I'm the weird one!

LuckyRedHen said...

Yes, I too, know ~j's dear friend (to name drop it is LaYen's sister but she doesn't work there anymore) and LOVE going to Hot Topic. The 50% off clearance is our favorite -- we just have to leave the Spirit at the door. My 3yr old won't go in there for long but my 6yr old loves looking for Nightmare Before Christmas stuff.