Sunday Night

In Living Color

The only actual evidence that I watched this show, a split-second at the beginning of a re-used VHS tape

Tonight is Sunday night, and earlier when I was doing the dishes, I started singing the song to In Living Color. After that, I remembered Married with Children, and then the Simpsons.

It is interesting that these childhood patterns still surface after all these years. There have been many periods of Sunday nights in my life, yet these early ones seem to be most strongly etched into my memory. Having recently passed the midway point, I wonder if it’s a last gasp of childhood trying to hold on, because there have been a noticeable number of these moments lately. Conversations with coworkers about random topics bring up sudden flashbacks of adolescence. Right now I can’t even remember what it was, but at the time I commented that I saw an image from the past very clearly in my head, a memory I didn’t even know I had. I feel that I should write these down before they’re completely gone, because what else is noticeable is the decline in my ability to remember things.

TV used to be a big part of my life. I think Friday nights there was Full House, and then Family Matters, not to mention the daily Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune combo. Saturday was cartoons in the morning, then the Frugal Gourmet, Yan Can Cook, and Cooking at the Academy on KQED. And perhaps at one point, there was Square One Television on channel 9 in the afternoons. I remember a book I ordered from school, via Scholastic, called More Science Experiments You Can Eat. On one of those afternoons, I tried making beef jerky from that book, drying slices of flank in the oven. As has been the case for the past 40+ years though, I was impatient and ate some before they were fully dry. They came out OK, and I drank a Coke with them. Later that night, there must have been Saturday Night Live. I would always hope for Wayne’s World, but by that time it was pretty much done.

So, Sunday nights. Definitely In Living Color, and Married with Children. Was the latter on at 9 PM? I see the opening sequence with water shooting up from the fountain. They were both on channel 2, KTVU. I don’t remember if it was already under FOX. I thought of the Simpsons as well, though it wasn’t a specific part of the memory. I just knew that we used to watch it as well. It’s been on TV for as long as my family has been in America.

I want to remember the comfort of those Sunday nights in the old house, a small apartment in San Francisco that my mother rented for well under a thousand dollars. We watched those shows on a 19-inch Sharp TV with faux-wood panels and a dish and rabbit-ear combo antenna. After TV, it was bedtime and getting ready for school tomorrow, the start of another week. There would always be reading before bed, a habit I’ve kept up over the decades. I like to read until I can barely keep my eyes open, and then I set the book down and go to sleep. I know that chances are I won’t be dying any time soon, but if or when it does happen, I wouldn’t mind going out the same way I go to sleep.

Back to the grind, tomorrow.