I was walking home from the library, where many estimable books are housed, when I stumbled upon a stoop sale. A giant, block-long mega stoop sale, at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when everyone was just desperate not to let all the crap they'd finally shoved out of their houses creep in again.
We'd had some phenomenal luck at stoop sales earlier in the day, with Chestnut finding a small-scale British clipper ship, attached to a wooden box where you can hide things, and Diana finding two Dungeons & Dragons guides: one for players, and one for Dungeon Masters. (Yes, things are going in that direction.)
The only thing missing, according to Diana and her dad, was the Monster Manual, which is apparently a very hot ticket indeed, "because no one wants to give theirs up," says the local expert. Who gave his up.
Anyway, it was (I tell myself now) with the hope of finding a Monster Manual that I started looking through the offerings. But I didn't find a Monster Manual. Instead, I found this:
Yes, it's every single Clique book that ever existed. A mother with haunted eyes was selling them. "Take them. Take them please."
My attention was caught, of course, by The Clique, the first and original. Because you know what? I never finished it that last time. "Gee, I don't know…."
"Take them all. The whole box. $5, OK? Just take them."
What was the right thing to do? I will never know. All I know is I probably didn't do it. I gave her the $5 and took the whole box, and brought it right into my house with my sweet vulnerable daughters and our organic food and good intentions. It feels a little like I invited a vampire in.
Will it corrupt us all? Is it worse for me and mine than reading Judith Krantz? Or Jackie Collins? Will I deeply regret this? I sort of feel like my husband is her guide on the righteous path of her true inheritance, and I am lurking in the alley like a pornographer with my creepy plastic tub of tween horror. But it was only $5! And we're all going to want to read them! And it can't really hurt the pure of heart. Right? RIGHT?