For this, I have two stories. I am not sure if either was the first time I realized that my home was not like other homes; if not, they were at least reminders.
The first was when I was in first or second grade. Our teacher assigned the class as homework to come back the next day with a list of our family's official House Rules. I was a bit perplexed, because I didn't know of any official rules in my house. We all just did what we were supposed to, for the most part. We didn't have a list posted on the refrigerator (which is what I imagined most houses with House Rules had.) So I went home and asked my parents. Specifically, I asked my father. It is worth noting, however, that my mother concurred with his response.
The next day, I went to school with a list of the house rules. It was perhaps the first time I ever got in trouble for not doing my homework, but I became so upset that my teacher soon realized that this tearful overachiever child wasn't lying. Can you blame her? This was the list I brought into school.
1. No watching bowling on TV.
2. No watching baseball on TV.
3. No country music.
- - -
The next occasion occurred sometime when I was in high school. My friend CC had come over one weekend morning. The two of us had some kind of plans, probably picking a random country road and driving around taking pictures, and then stopping at a small-town cafe to eat lunch and take some portraits of us eating in our fabulous[ly weird] outfits, talking about Art and Life and such all the way.
But before that, we lingered in my parents' kitchen, probably grabbing a snack or drinking tea, talking to my mom. My father was upstairs in their bedroom, which was a loft type thing. The house is small, with one main floor, a basement, and the loft bedroom. It is possible to be heard at all points in the house, if you yell. And that is what my mom did.
"HEY GREG!" she called. "DO YOU WANT MARGARITAS FOR BREAKFAST?"
He responded, "ARE YOU CRAZY!?" He added, calmly, "We don't have any limeade!"
It was not, I must point out, this incident that made me realize my home was not like other homes. I thought the incident was fairly normal. It was CC's response. For he told that story to much of our acquaintance, in days and years to come, and he still tells that story, to this day, to new people that we meet, to the people to whom he introduces me.