That, of course, was the thing about the fifties with all their patina of familial bliss: A lot of the memories were not happy, not mine, not my friends'. That's probably why the myth so endures, because of the dissonance in our lives between what actually went on at home and what went on up there on those TV screens where we were allegedly seeing ourselves reflected back.
We were the daughters of the post-World War II American dream, the daughters of those idealized fifties sitcom families in which father knew best and mother knew her place and a kind of disappointment, and tense, unspoken sexuality rattled around like ice cubes in their nightly cocktails.
It was crazy: marriage. You gave your whole life, your whole happiness, over to one other human being, even the best of them inept at times, prone to reach for some other fulfillment, some other pleasure.