Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Long ago (and still in many places) most families lived in one room and gathered around a fireplace or stove to socialize, often while doing handwork like sewing, carving or repairing small things.
In Victorian times those who could afford better houses usually had a parlor, or front room, where guests were entertained, but families usually spent their 'together time' in the kitchens.
Then living rooms came along. Families would gather there every evening and listen to programs on the radio and, later, watch television together.
But then even newer, modern houses with both a living room and a family room were built. In some homes today the living room is seldom used except when company is present, so perhaps we should call living rooms parlors.
Interestingly, the word 'parlor' is derived from one meaning 'to speak.' I guess you could say parlors were chat rooms but they weren't anything like what we call chat rooms today.
Unfortunately in some modern households family members are more likely to be using computers, smart phones, i-pods, or whatever technical devices they have than to be gathered together in one room communicating with each other.
Does your family have one room where they tend to gather and socialize?