A few days ago, I fell asleep in the the middle of the afternoon (which never happens). The nap itself was glorious, but the best part was when I woke up to the sound of Hope’s voice from Days of Our Lives in the background.
One of my kids happened to be channel surfing and they were intrigued enough to delve into this scandalous world of lovers and betrayals and people who obviously never age.
At the sound of Hope’s voice I was suddenly in high school again, watching with my sisters in the basement. We’d tune in every day during the summer, eating junk food with the fan pointed at our face going full blast, while our mother was at work.
When school started up again, if something really huge was going to happen, there were a few times I’d be “sick” and lucky enough to lie around and watch the drama unfold. Those afternoons in high school were downright glorious, as I slurped my Ramen noodles and watched Cruz and Eden on Santa Barbara. I wanted to be just like her and have a man just like him, because of course they were the epitome of success, happiness, and cool.
I was first introduced to soap operas as a young girl, when my mother tried to busy me with coloring books at the coffee table so she could watch the shenanigans on All My Children as she drank her Tab. But her attempts to distract me never worked. There was something about their voices and the music that was playing in the background that made me feel adventurous and excited for the world of adulting that was ahead of me.
So really, my love for soap operas is all my mom’s fault.
Summers visiting my grandmother didn’t help either. She’d watch Another World every day. I’d sneak up behind her chair and watch with her even though I was supposed to be playing with plastic dishes and crap in the other room. This was something — no wonder she stopped her entire day to put her feet up and see what Cass and Frankie were up to.
Then there were all the times my college friends and I skipped class so we could see what was going to unfold in soap opera land that day. There were afternoons we’d watch for hours, reenact scenes, and make fun of it, all while sitting on the edge of our seat to see what would happen next.
I was having flashbacks to a time when we got our daily dose of drama from watching soapies — the sex, the scandals, the dying and coming back to life, the possession by demons. It was so good and bad and stupid, and we couldn’t get enough. And honestly, I still feel that way.
Growing up watching the older folks in your home indulge in such a way every afternoon leaves you with many memories. And the wonderful thing about soap operas is the characters and the plot really don’t change that much. Things move so slowly that after taking a 15-year hiatus (something I regret deeply), I knew exactly what was going on after one show.
If someone leaves, even if they die, you are sure to see them again. The characters get brainwashed and do unthinkable (and very unrealistic) things and for some reason, it’s addictive.
At this very moment, I am watching Patch and Kayla in a hospital room on Days. And get this: John and Marlena are getting married any moment — will Sami come to the wedding? Will Kristen Dimera show up? Will Marlena get possessed by Stefano again before she can say her vows? We don’t know. We NEED to know.
I love soap operas, and I don’t care who knows it. Perhaps it’s not suitable for my young children, but I sure am giving them great memories by telling them to stay out of the room and feeding them snacks in hopes they stay out of my hair for an hour each day.
So go ahead, put your feet up and get hooked again. You know you want to.