Saturday, May 5, 2012

The "Booger Chair"

I believed, as of last night anyway, that every family with children had a "Booger Chair" growing up. It seems that my family was a bit more unique than I thought.  You see, as I started sharing what today's blog was about with my best friend, her husband, and my dear one, my partner in life - Eric - they all grimaced and denied ever having one.  I was convinced that every family did.  How could you have a microwave and not a "Booger Chair"?  Impossible!

In my household, it was a gold, overstuffed, faux, velveteen chair. Not one of us, my older three siblings or I, would openly admit to calling it this or using it specifically for picking our noses but if asked, we considered it the premium seat for optimum television viewing.  The other business was kept as a silent understanding between us.

We would never pick our noses in front of one another, noooo.  We instinctively knew that would be tantamount to open ridicule at holiday meals well into adulthood.  Booger picking was a personal thing and must be handled as such.  We would be crouch deeply into the chair smearing, rolling, and tucking our greenies with delicacy avoiding all sibling eye contact. 

When company arrived, it was considered the most comfortable offering in the house so therefore, my mother would direct guests of honor to this location.  With four sets of large, blue eyes staring at the arm rests of their criminal activity, we waited for disaster to strike. In the late 1960's and early 70's it would have been in extremely bad form to have commented even had something horrible were to attach itself to the sleeves or arms of oneself.   No one - except perhaps my Grandmother - might comment privately to their hostess.  Thank God this never happened.

Strangely, as the years went by, my siblings and I became less and less interested in sitting in that gruesome spot.  It could be the only seat available and we would find ourselves sprawled on the floor.  When the family moved into our new home, the "chair" did not go with us. Years later, as young adults, an older sibling dared to speak its name. "Mom, whatever happened to the "Booger Chair?"

The "Booger Chair?  What are you talking about?"

The awful story came out; uproarious laughter.  Memories were shared about watching grandparents and great-aunts and uncles sitting in the chair.  My mother was horrified.  The laughter became more outrageous.  My father started giggling and eventually my mother joined in.  It became contagious.  Tears started flowing down our cheeks. We were the Bryant family; a funny, dysfunctional, disgusting group of characters whose laughter or yelling - depending on the situation - could be heard most days resonating through our front porch and down the street.

My family, what a bunch of odd ones we were sitting around that kitchen table.