People still find it hilarious that the only show us girls were permitted to watch growing up was "Little House on the Prairie". That statement from my mouth, is usually followed by shocked looks of disbelief and denial. I am asked "How did you survive?!" (Um, by food. Yeah, food. usually does the trick. Final answer). Or "What did you DO after school?!?!?!" (Um, wow. What did we do after school? Oh yes, homework. Or played outside on the farm or in the shelter belts that protected our house. I had one helluva imagination. Which is probably why I love writing so much. And reading so much. Oh yeah, we read a lot, too. For FUN. Yeah, I know, right?! Who does that?!). We didn't have Nintendo or PlayStation or any other miscellaneous stuff that falls int the category of "Sitting on your rear and stare at the television. Be sure to block out everything else that is going on in the house and what your mom is telling you to do."
Now, to be fair, we were allowed to watch other shows than LHOTP, but Daddy or Mom had to be in the room with us. These included "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman", "Home Improvement", and "Walker: Texas Ranger." If by chance, we'd veer off that channel of good-ole-family-fun, and were watching something else that even HINTED to the vices of sex, cursing, drinking, or anything else that causes a 5th grade boy to squirm (and a father of four girls to hit his knees and pray), Daddy would, without doubt, clear his throat and ask in a disgusted-at-social-media voice:
"Isn't there anything else on?!" Even though, it was HIM who changed the channel. Again, that's totally irrelevant, right?
You can always tell when the dialogue of the show is getting nasty and going down that path to "Satan's playground" (again, another Daddy term that he picked up from his mother). I'd tense up, knowing that sooner or later the "sex" word would be uttered or the characters would engage in activities that should not be shown on tv. Especially when a daddy and his daughters are watching. Ugh. That awkward feeling is uncomfortable. You add the fact that you're in high school and the thought of watching anything that involves sexual activity and your Dad, is similar to the desire of being locked in a tanning bed.
When I was home two weekends ago, Daddy and I were watching an episode of something I can't even remember. The characters started making out and the next thing you know..... I start getting that awkward feeling of wanting to melt into our circa 1970s couch covered with a beige upholstery cover. And I am 27 years old. Married. That same feeling was there: awkward. And the kicker of the deal?
Daddy was out. Snoozing in his chair. Dreaming of 9770 S-series combines and 60 bushel wheat. Visions of him riding away in his 1974 two-tone blue Chevy pickup, with Shadow (our family dog) into the sunset.
And I still was still nervous as all heck that he'd somehow come out of his 8:00 pm slumber. And ask that old phrase that made all us girls stomachs turn from embarrassment:
"Hey, isn't there anything else on?!"