Saturday, February 25, 2006
the love boat
I had a moderately sheltered childhood. I'm not saying it was a bad thing, in fact, I think it was good. My parents were very social people and every other weekend would find us at the home of an Iranian friend who was hosting a "mehmooni" or party that usually started around 7 and went until 11 or 12. There weren't that many Iranians in the Pacific Northwest in the 70s, so we stuck together. The kids grew up together and we are all still pretty close. If the family hosting the gathering was further than our watersheds (Redmond, Medina, Three Points, Bridle Trails or Seattle), it would make for a long day. We would start early and make a trek to Centralia (god, we didn't know about Burgerville back then) or Olympia and it seemed so exotic.
In any case, it was good clean fun. Our parents would talk and laugh. It would feel like a salon after dinner where they would discuss politics or poetry. Before dinner, it was typically gender segregated with the women in the kitchen talking and prepping the food and then men in the living room usually talking shop (most of them were doctors). The girls would usually help set the table with the chafing dishes and all the large silverplate platters for rice, stews, salads and greens. The guys, probably were outside rough housing or inside playing foosball. It was well before dvds, Playstations or easy availability of recreational drugs. Dinner was served with great fanfare and as with all Iranians, you just can't have one main course, so there was lots of variety. I think this gene has skipped this generation. The kids would come in and get food and go eat at the kids table and the adults would get food and then find places to sit around the table or in the living room. Iranians are not big on sit down dinners. Go figure- generation skipping gene strikes again.
When dinner was done and some sort of sweet was served, the parents would go on saloning and the kids would all gather up around the tv in the rec room for the Saturday night line up of the Love Boat and then Fantasy Island. I learned to love the Love Boat and looked forward to the guest stars. It kept us happy for a few years, until we discovered boys, rock and roll and that there was life outside our happy clan. I still think fondly of that show and look forward to a few snippets I see when I channel surf on travel. I never got into Fantasy Island. I'm not sure if it was Herve Villechaise or the sinister plotlines, but it always felt so desperate.
I also was so tired from figure skating practice that I conked out sometime after the plot was outlined for FI. I would be happy when I woke up with a quilt draped over me and my parents gently nudging me off the couch to say my blearly farewells to my friends and our hosts and popped into the car for the drive home.
Tonight as I sit at home with dueling laptops crunching data, I wish I could be 11 again, watching the Love Boat with my friends and having not a care in the world.