Old School

It's June, which means (as far as I can tell) that schools have pretty much thrown in the towel. (With the exception, of course, of final projects and tests that dramatically affect your child's grade). The whole month is a salad of random half-days and days off, sending us, anyway, into a mad scramble, and giving rise to unexpected trips in an attempt to give structure-less days some structure.

Which is a long-winded way of explaining how we three ended up biking to the main branch of the public library, even though it looked like it was going to rain, and getting a bunch of books.

We are, of course, still in the doghouse as far as the library goes. I'm in the best shape (shocker), Diana was severely scolded and almost fined for the whole price of a book that had been in her canvas backpack and then gotten thoroughly rained on, though they did relent eventually after I abased myself. And Mr. Diamond (for want of a better moniker; "my husband" takes me inexorably back to Calgon commercials) is in BIG TROUBLE. As in, "He has to return that book. It's no good. And he has to talk to us about the status of his card." Eep.

But! It was still the library, in all its massive, zany, unpredictable glory. Books you wanted weren't there, but other mysterious books you hadn't known you wanted were. Teen books are in the adult section, girls with amazing blue claw-like fingernails were talking loudly in the children's section, Chestnut and I spent a good long time exploring 741.5, though it turned out what she wanted was this.

(Image form Comicrelated.com)

I don't think that's actually the one she found. All I know is that we were looking through all the stuff there, spending a good, long time with The New Yorker's Book of Cat Cartoons (magnifique!), I was looking for various things, and then I heard her tiny voice asking, "Do they have any Archies? I really like Archies."

It was the voice of honesty. I had an Archies paperback book in my room growing up. How it got there is a mystery to me (all my books seemed to come from mysterious sources. I have no memory of ever buying books, but they were there). But I read it, oh, maybe 6,000 times. Just over, and over, and over. But I don't know that I ever sought out another one, and I find it obscurely reassuring that she does so: she's found something she likes, so she is looking for more. It made me think that she is in some way well-equipped for the world.

And that what she wants is Archies? Well, it's just the truth of the situation.

It's so bizarre to me, the strange enduring power of Betty and Veronica. And yet, it is undeniable. 

So if there is a small-ish person in your life, give them a try. When you encounter a power like this, you sort of have to respect it, right?

2 thoughts on “Old School

  1. Absolutely. I have never read comic books. Just the Sunday comics. My husband surprises my kids with comics and then is in the good graces (with quiet kids) in the aftermath. Smart man. As for the library…wow. You have strict librarians. Ours just takes our checks and we are on our merry way…just not as rich. In money at least.


  2. I went through an Archie phase too (and similar vintage comics, like Richie Rich and Casper). I’m not even sure what about them appealed to me so much. Why not superhero comics instead, since I was a big SF/F reader? Though maybe the library didn’t have superhero comics. Hmm.


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