I am a hopeless romantic. I have known this by the movies I watch, books I read, times I’ve fallen in love and married. When it comes to ‘meet the guy, lose the guy, get guy back’ I am such a sap. I’ve loved weddings, bridal gowns, and everything nuptial since I was a little girl and colored every page of my ‘Here Comes the Bride’ coloring book.
So it comes as no surprise that I loved watching soap operas. I used to keep it a secret, then ‘Luke and Laura’ made the cover of Time magazine with their soap ‘I do’s’ and then I was free. Okay…my close friends and family knew that I was addicted to ‘Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, the Doctors, Edge of Night, Secret Storm, Love of Life, Search for Tomorrow, the Guiding Light,Young and Restless, (or as my son called it: The Young and the Rest of Us), and One Life to Live. Boy….this kind of commitment made for busy summer days. It’s a wonder I had time to spend every waking hour at Pam’s house and get into trouble with boys on her porch. Oh wait!! We didn’t do anything when ‘Days’ was on! Her mom and grandma watched it too…kind of a family ritual. When those sands passed through the hour glass, we were spellbound. I mean…what could be better than Bo and Hope, Doug and Julie, and Dr. Marlena Evans and Roman. I know. Some of you have already clicked over to FB or googled how to cook pork loin in the crock pot. But if you were a ‘soap fiend’ then I have news for you.
Did you know that you can google your old soap and or actors and actresses who starred in them and actually WATCH old episodes??? Yep…there’s a thing called ‘Retro TV’ and I watched a couple of episodes from ‘Love of Life’, the ‘Doctors’ (you know…Althea and Dr. Nick Belini), and some wonderful black and white passion from ‘General Hospital’. I must say, watching those shows now I realized how goofy some of them really were. The sets were what you would see in a middle school play, the medical scenes had little more than an oxygen mask and a plant on the nightstand. But no matter, there was plenty going on behind the hospital room curtain! The fights were guys hitting the palms of their hands instead of the bad guy’s face. Now…I know once there was a scene where the actress opened the closet and it was snowing in the closet same as outside…but Retro TV must have missed that one. I have seen outtakes and to be honest, it looks a lot like the episode that aired…complete with the microphone sneaking into view.
Only in soaps, can a lady have a baby by her long lost ex-husband who was really her cousin and that baby will come down the steps next season as a seventeen year old in love with his neighbor’s daughter, who is also his unknown sister. Yep. It gets messy sometimes. But oh….the romance and tender moments is still the fodder for good daytime serials.
I will leave you with the cheesiest ending I can to this blog. Hold onto your hat. You may gasp or gag, but I bet you will giggle…especially if you stopped in a Sears store and watched your favorite soap on their display tv’s. Ummm…you have done that, right? Okay. Here goes.
My Ode to Soaps
I was just a young girl, on my Search for Tomorrow, looking for the Love of Life that I knew was waiting for me at the Edge of Night. It was my own Secret Storm, waiting for the prince who would carry me to Santa Barbara with the help of a Guiding Light. After all, I only had One Life to Live and the sands of the hourglass would fall through just like the Days of Our Lives. I had to find my Luke, my Bo, my Ben, my Mark, Dr. Hardy, because I knew that Love was a Many Splendored Thing and I was not going to miss out! Yes, I was Young and Restless, but if it took the Doctors of General Hospital to help me find love while The World Turns, then fine! I had a passionate side to my innocent ‘girl next door’ and the whole world was my stage! No matter what….I was on a mission. I was looking for love! And darn it, I would find in no matter how many channels I had to change or classes I had to miss just to watch every episode. And yes I would devour every ‘Soap Digest’ magazine to see a close-up picture of every bride, groom, victor and villain. This was the basis for forming life long relationships: I mean…this was real life, wasn’t it? Tune in tomorrow….
Sigh. Maybe it was just daytime programming designed to sell soap products and jello. Could it be that this is not how everyone finds their love…by traveling to Port Charles to Genoa City to Kingdom Come to find their soulmate? And to do so on motorcycle in a wedding gown or nestled down in a dark field with that tall, dark, handsome bad boy—with no hint of mosquitoes, wood tics, or possums? Well, we all need a respite from the real world of laundry, children puking, and a husband who thinks romance is turning the channel from the NFL to the ‘Thorn Birds’, then snoring through the steamy love scenes.
Okay. I’m done. No more sloppin’ through the soaps. But if you want to see what Tony Geary looked like when he came on–40 some years ago on ‘General Hospital’ google it!
Little did I know, if I wanted to live life like the soaps, all I had to do was leave Pam’s front porch. ‘Days of Our Lives’— so much more fun to live than simply watch.