I would assume that families gather in a room that contains couches, set in a way that is conducive to discussing. However, I really have no real frame of reference, because my family does no such thing.
No, my family gathers in the kitchen.
Now some might say, hey, that's not so weird--chatting around the kitchen table with a bowl of popcorn in the middle.
We gather not at the table, but on the counters and the floor. My husband and I sit on the counter. Dad leans against the pantry, Molly blocks the way to the fridge by sitting next to the stove and propping her feet on the island (slightly irritating). Michael wanders here and there, every once in a while opening the fridge to stare at the numerous types of food, as if the longer he stares, the more likely something is to jump out at him. He trades off between the fridge and the "snack" pantry, hanging on the doors as if he's weightless (he will break them someday, I'm sure of it). Mom stands for a while, but slides down to a sitting position on the floor so she can cuddle with her doggies. I mean seriously--the living room with a couch, a loveseat and a chair--not to mention carpeted floor and pillows--it literally 4 steps away.
For as long as I can remember, kitchen floors and counter tops have been the place of choice for our family to chat, discuss, ponder and critique. Perhaps we love food; or perhaps we're too lazy to leave the room we began talking in.
I guess we'll never know--maybe we'll discuss it next time, in the kitchen, sitting on the floor and the counters.
originally posted june 14 2006 on myspace