Monday, June 28, 2010

True Confession

I watch a soap. Yes, there you have it. I won't try to make excuses, although I have one. I have two in fact and their names are Ingrid and Warren.

I started watching "As The World Turns" in 1984 while home on maternity leave with my second born "the boy". It took three months of determination and a battle of wills. When I finally got both children fed, two sets of diapers changed at the same time and a couple of nap schedules coinciding, I collapsed on the sofa. At first, I enjoyed the quiet and attempted to read. I soon discovered that this required too much brain power for the energy level which remained in my body.

Instead, I turned on the t.v. and flicked channels. Thankfully, the remote had been invented. I remember distinctly when I became hooked. First, I stopped briefly on the CBS channel to watch the teaser. Next thing I saw was an image of a turning globe. Then, thunk. The remote dropped onto the floor and the zzzzzz's began. I awoke in time to see a young Meg Ryan (aka Betsy Montgomery) pledging her undying love for Steve Andropoulos and telling him she can't leave Craig while he still needs her. Cut to another scene where her husband, Craig, suffering a recent spinal injury, was cruising around in a wheelchair. Then, he stood up sporting an evil grin and the episode was over. Wow! I couldn't believe what I just saw.

Next day, same scenario, kids napping, I managed to stay awake a little longer enjoying my coup over the youngsters with a cup of tea and "As The World Turns". Yes, I was definitely hooked. After all, the evil James was replacing Ariel's birth control pills with placebos. Once my maternity leave ended, the vcr became my best friend. I could watch the soap on fast forward, running through commercials, sappy dialogue and characters that annoyed me. This was a good thing since time was now at more of a premium.

Over the years, I saw Julianne Moore, Marissa Tomei and Carol Burnett among the many talented stars on the show. I saw characters appear, get killed off and reappear. Some returned from the dead as many as six times. Long lost children were added and paternity tests were switched. People were drugged, locked in asylums, genetically or surgically altered, shot and married eight or nine times apiece. Plane crashes always allowed for some tense moments between whichever male and female survivors washed ashore. Children grew up before my very eyes and several generations of characters looked oddly similar in age. I didn't care. It was a fabulous fantasy where except for a few doctors, nobody appeared to work at real jobs and characters dressed elegantly and were coiffed beautifully, day after day.

Now, twenty five years after my first exposure to the show, the world will stop turning. The network announced that in its fifty third year on t.v., "As The World Turns" has been cancelled. Will I be sad? Will I feel a sense of loss? Perhaps. Or maybe it's time I moved on from viewing the trials and tribulations of the folks in Oakdale, Illinois. After all, with a couple of young adult children of my own and several teenaged step grandchildren, isn't the drama likely to continue?

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