Days of Our Lives – by Elizabeth Allen
Do you watch soaps? Will you admit it? Perhaps you’re a GH (General Hospital) or OLTL (One Life to Live) devotee.
Me? It’s been DOOL since 1968 when Hope was just a baby, Alice Horton was still young and pretty and no one referred to Victor Kiriakis as Jennifer Aniston’s dad (not until one year later when she came along in 1969). Oh sure, there have been lapses—some lasting years—where I didn’t indulge my histrionic needs, but something always enticed me back to the world of affairs, hospital romances, mistaken identities, untimely albeit temporary deaths, switched babies, pregnancy after the first time, and the ever popular evil twin. I’ve laughed, cried, rooted for and bitched at the players over the years. I’ve gotten so involved with a plotline that I forced my baby to listen to my conjecture about how John and Marlena would get out of this mess and what had to happen next. To which my baby eagerly responded, “Hungee, mommy…”
I willingly acknowledge with the same humble conviction of a recovering alcoholic that when it comes to soaps, I am as emotionally available as they come. I know the acting is lousy; I know the writing is cheesy; I know the plotlines are beyond redundant; I know the overall focus is negative and I know they are designed to keep you coming back FOR-FREAKING-EVER like a slave to the nail salon for acrylic tips.
But I simply can’t help myself. What’s more? I don’t want to. This is my sinful pleasure; my addiction. DVR’s? They were invented for me.
I have engaged in debates—ad nauseum—with my husband about why I watch this soap daily and nothing I can say convinces him that it has any socially redeeming value. He says, “I just can’t understand why you want to watch so much negativity…why you watch something that makes you sad…”
“But it doesn’t!” I offer with a sincere competitive edge in my voice to make him understand. But then I stop. What’s the point of belaboring this? How can I possibly explain that I love to cry and not out of grief or pity? I will watch movies that while essentially sad or have sad elements, move me. Great love stories get me going. I cry when I am touched. I weep at devastating intensity. I tear up at well written happy endings. The following movies are on my top tear-jerker list and I will watch them more than once: Sophie’s Choice, Seven Pounds, The Pursuit of Happyness (yeah, I like Will Smith), City of Angels, Somewhere in Time, Finding Neverland, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Beautiful Mind…and so on.
So what’s any of this have to do with motherhood later? I don’t know. Perhaps had I not had so much child-free time on my hands, I wouldn’t have gotten sucked into this melodramatic habit? Nah. That’s not it. Like I said earlier, I got hooked when I was ten years old.
What’s your excuse? What jerks your tears?