I’ve been to a little place in parenting hell and its name is Hollister.
My sixth grade daughter asked for a few new shirts to start the school year. She lobbied hard for a trip to Hollister because she heard they had “cute tanks” on sale. Since she cleverly showed price awareness, I relented.
Hollister, it turns out, is the equally perfumed spawn of Abercrombie and Fitch. It has a beach-themed facade and the clothes in the window displays are indeed quite cute. I could understand why my daughter wanted to shop there.
But, as I walked into the store, I was stopped dead in my tracks by the sound of thumping, booming, ear-splitting pop music.
Now I’m not noise sensitive. I’m married to a sound mixer and in my own line of work I have had to stand right next to speaker columns during rock concerts. In fact one particular Keith Richards shoot probably half-deafened me.
I’ve videotaped airplane take offs and I even stood on pit road filming during the Daytona 500. But, none of these experiences prepared me for the deafening decibels I endured at Hollister. It was like a top-forty terror attack on my senses.
Yet workers seemed oblivious to the assault. Maybe news stories tying hearing loss in teens to earbuds and “iEardamage” technologies are off base – loud stores like Hollister may be more to blame.
My daughter, unbothered by the rave-level racket, bolted for the back of the store where the desired sale items were housed. I tried to follow, but kept bumping into tables and clothing racks. Was I getting a sudden onset of cataracts, I wondered. Why was the store so very dark? Did Hollister forget to pay its electric bill? Continue reading