As I write this, my 363rd post, I am sitting in the living room of an old high school friend.
She’s not old; the relationship is.
One of the reasons I still keep her around is that when I visit her family, it’s a lot like stepping into the middle of a sitcom. I don’t mean that in the sense that it’s an amusing family, though it is. I mean that in the sense that a half hour ago, the three children had three separate conversations with their mother and came to three separate conclusions about when dinner would be and the logistics for how it would be accomplished. In the midst of this confusion, I decided to order a pizza out of fear that none of the three conclusions were correct and that I would die of an empty, shriveled stomach.
Five minutes after the arguments concluded, the mother came to the door to begin dinner. None of the conclusions (dinner would be more than a half hour away) were correct and as a result, the pizza delivery guy came just two minutes before her mother shouted that dinner was ready.
I promptly hid the pizza in the living room out of fear.
Before dinner fired up, I was entertained by Betty (my friend’s sister), who decided she needed to get her exercise in for the day and resorted to On Demand guided exercise on the television. Her choice: some sort of Karma Sutra Sensual Healing, which she gave us all the pleasure of enduring for the first fifteen minutes that she took it seriously. The rest was done in fast-forward, which was significantly less awkward and probably a far more effective workout.
What I love about this sitcom house is that it’s always been absurd. I can’t remember a single time I’ve visited that everyone wasn’t yelling at each other at some point about something completely ridiculous. I can’t remember a time I didn’t end up on a chair in the living room, shaking my head. And I also can’t remember a time that I ever had to knock before I entered or that anyone looked shocked that I was there.
It’s wonderful to have a place in the world like that outside of your family: where you never know what to expect but you know that you can be absent for a long time only to return and find that nothing has really changed.
So hey: it’s been a while since we’ve talked. Midnight is also fast-approaching and I’m on a postaday deadline without a well-constructed ending in sight.
So where is your place in the world where you know the door is always open? ◊