Growing Up Boho

There’s a scene in Woody Allen’s film Annie Hall showing his childhood family around the dinner table, and they’re all jumping up and down, screaming. I suppose most people saw that as rather broad comedy, but it was an almost literal description of my own childhood mealtimes.

In the household of my youth, dinner conversation often consisted of table-pounding, screaming debates about art history, which might be initiated by either of my parents: “You think that hack could paint? Are you blind?”  There were also characters wandering around adorned like my father with funny hats, beards, and oil-paint odors who had no discernible reason for being in our home at all. At the time, of course, I didn’t realize this was a peculiar environment in which to grow up.