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So I went to Dunkin Donuts to pick up breakfast on the way to work two days ago. They were still very nicely in the fall groove. Pumpkin spice coffee on the menu, football-themed donuts (yes, their donuts have seasonal themes), decorations of pumpkins and colored leaves. Pretty much what you’d expect this time of year, right?

This morning, I went back there, and was greeted at the door by decorations of huge Christmas ornaments. The pumpkin spice coffee was outta there, replaced by mocha peppermint. Ornaments in the shapes of little coffee cups and donuts were being sold at the register. And, yes, the football donuts had given way to Christmas tree ones. I half expected to see Buddy the Elf taking orders at the counter. Good grief, people! It’s one thing to have Wal-Mart and Target pushing Christmas before its time. (Got to encourage people to buy, buy, buy!) But Dunkin Donuts? Last I looked, people didn’t give coffee and donuts as Christmas gifts.

(Maybe I’m just oversensitive to Christmas this year because I’m trying really, really hard to not think about the fact that this is the first holiday season that my father will never see.)

And meanwhile, it seems that the last Blockbuster Videos in America will be closing their doors in January. I have mixed feelings about this. I’m not fond of the fact that they pushed so many mom-and-pop video stores out of business (especially the one I used to go to back in the day, Easy Video, which was right next to a pizza place – convenient one-stop shopping for the evening!). But there’s one thing about Blockbuster I will never forget – those pink-covered Sailor Moon VHS tapes they carried, sort of a Greatest Hits of the series’ first season. When I had seen the name Sailor Moon bandied about Usenet enough waaay back in the day – I was sort of casually hanging out in Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Star Wars groups then – I went down to Blockbuster, rented those tapes and watched them.

It was the moment that changed my life. Seeing a little Sailor Moon made me curious about more Sailor Moon, leading to me taping the shows off USA network, then joining Sailor Moon communities, then talking to other fans, then branching out into other anime, attending cons, meeting other fans in person . . .

It was the first time in my life that I truly felt that I wasn’t alone, that there were other people like me. And door after door opened. I met people, went places, did things I never would have without anime fandom – and later, J-rock fandom, which I found my way to through anime fandom (thanks to Alice Nine’s OP and END for Meine Liebe). I became a writer, tried out cosplay. I was INVOLVED. And, yes, eventually my fandom interests took me to Japan and to Germany.

Not a bad result from one fateful visit to a video store.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
one_short_fuse
Nov. 8th, 2013 10:39 pm (UTC)
christmas should be banned until after thanksgiving.

(i just said this very same thing at the convenience store, where christmas music was playing over the radio.)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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