“It is so weird that your parents are just lying in the middle of the floor like that.”I didn’t think it was weird at all. My mom and dad often cuddled on the floor while watching TV, but my friend Jackie saw it differently.“I can’t imagine my parents ever lying on the floor,” she continued, “let alone hugging each other.”“I’m sorry,” I stated, unsure of what else to say. My folks were responsible for a lot of the embarrassment I felt during my junior high years, but this was not one of those times. I truly did feel sorry that Jackie’s parents weren’t casual relaxers, and apparently didn’t show physical affection to one another. In our household, it was a way of life.“So, do your parents watch television?” I inquired.“Yeah, but they each have their own chair.”Jackie’s family was the weird one. My dad always sat at the head of the dinner table, and mother sat to his right. But in the living room, it was every man for himself. If you had a premium spot, you thought long and hard about whether or not you really needed an iced tea refill during the commercial break, because as soon as you stood up someone was gonna snitch your place. It was relaxed and comfortable, and it wasn’t unusual to see mom and dad spooning. I just figured that was normal.
Had Jackie’s parents been cuddling in the middle of the floor when I met them, I would not have found it the least bit odd. But instead, they were in their respective chairs, a la Archie and Edith. It was weird to see them just sitting there like that.
Early in marriage, hubby and I lived on a college campus, and our small home was frequently filled with students. Beverly Hills 90210 was not allowed on dorm televisions, so we always had a full crowd on Wednesday nights. Once I became pregnant, I could not stay awake during an entire episode. I would make valiant attempts, but always ended up sleeping in the center of our country blue and mauve oriental rug. At the end of the evening, people made their way to the door, carefully stepping over my enormous body. You can’t get much more casual and relaxed than that.