I'm pretty certain that most of you are aware that I can easily be classified as a strange bird. I know, it's true, and it won't hurt my feelings if you admit it...
Many, many years ago when I was a wee child, my mother got me addicted to, uh, well, um, soap operas. A little embarrassing to admit but yes, no matter how professional I may appear in the workforce, nor how sophisticated and divaish I appear in social situations, in the privacy of my bedroom, in the safety of my home - I am addicted to soap operas.
Not so addicted that I have to watch them every single day of my life, but addicted enough to record them every day and read the synopsis of the episode before deleting it. I'm also addicted enough to read the weekly update in the newspaper and if nobody I know is around to see, I might pick up the Soap Update at the grocery store checkout and sneak it into my purchases. How sad is that?
I have such fond memories of watching soap operas with my mom. There was nothing more special than having a sick day from school and being able to lay on the couch with my sprite and crackers, snuggled up with a blanket and pillow sharing the daily soaps with my mom. It was a bonding experience like no other. Summer vacation days were scheduled around the daily soap schedule so I could catch up on everything I missed during the school year. My senior year of high school when we were allowed to leave campus for lunch was spent at my bff's house drinking sweet tea, smoking cigs and watching our favorite soap before hustling back to the real world of school.
The greatest thing about soap operas is that you really don't have to watch it every single day to 'know' what's going on. Occasionally some new character might show up that you're not quite sure where they came from, but all I had to do was call my mom and she'd fill me in and instantly I was caught up.
Everyone has their own 'favorite' soap opera and there are a few people in the world besides my mom that I share this secret obsession with so it's always fun when I get to talk about my soaps with another human being instead of keeping my addiction inside the closet. Since I'm spilling my guts now, my favorites have always been (in no particular order and always varying in ranking) The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, As the World Turns and Guiding Light.
Back in June I heard that they were planning on taking the Guiding Light off the air after some 50 or so years of production. I was stunned! This was the one soap that my mom and I shared a passion for. Still to this day I can go to my mom's house and we can watch a recorded episode and talk for hours about the lives of our favorite characters. How sick is that? Still I found it sad that I was going to be losing this part of my history.
I never have time to watch my soaps much anymore and even though I record them daily, I usually erase them at the end of the week after reading the highlights. Since June I have been keeping all of the episodes of the Guiding Light because I thought one day I might like to go back and watch them so I could see how it all came to an end. Last week we were having some cable issues and when the tech dude came out he told me that the box was going out and we needed a new one and unfortunately I was going to lose everything that we had recorded to the DVR. I almost died! But none the less, I soon got over it but vowed to start watching my Guiding Light episodes just in case something else happened and I lost them too.
Friday afternoon, after an extremely long and tiring week, instead of going to get my nails done or a pedicure, which I desperately needed. Instead of taking a long afternoon nap, which I desperately was coveting. I sat down and watched a week and a half worth of Guiding Light episodes. As I sat on my couch for 5 solid hours, I cried and I cried and I cried. I then called my mom and cried with her about all the story lines and how I could 'feel' them coming to an end. I know that sounds really hokey and probably a little psychotic, but the Spauldings and the Lewis' and the Coopers and all the other great characters that I had grown up with had become not only my friends but my family.
I hardly know what the world will be like without Josh and Reva, Philip and Beth, the Bauers and all the other great characters on this show. It's like a death in the family and even though this show has gotten pretty hokey in the last couple of years, okay it's always been hokey, I will miss it and I will miss all of them. Farewell Guiding Light family, thanks for being part of my like for the past 46 years!
And shhh... all of you need to keep my secret!