In which we’re pondering soap operas

A few of my favorite writers on Twitter regularly live tweet their General Hospital watching, and it always amuses me. I have a very soft spot for the soap operas of my youth. They were HIGHLY informative about various facts of life, as well as making it abundantly clear that a plot twist was a thing devoutly to be wished.

In honor of soap operas, here’s something I wrote about them awhile back:

They’re still around, right? I haven’t seen one in more than twenty years, but goodness me, we were a soap opera family when I was a child. I skipped kindergarten and have vivid memories of watching them with my mother. We were devoted to “Days of Our Lives” with some “The Young & the Restless” thrown in. I think for awhile we watched “Another World” and I know there was some time spent enthralled with “The Edge of Night”–hands-down the best soap opera title EVER.

I learned a lot about life from watching soaps. I learned about infertility, date rape, homosexuality, and evil twins. I learned that the villainess is always the one wearing fur with seventeen ex-husbands and that it’s surprisingly common for one’s marriage to be invalid because the priest wasn’t really a priest. I learned that blackmailers always meet with a sticky end and that complicated neurological procedures can be squeezed in between the ad for Mister Clean and the end of the hour. I learned that children grow from being toddlers to surly, troublesome teens in about three months, and that the newcomer in town is always someone’s long-lost heir. Come to think of it, I learned a lot about character and consistence from soaps, a lot about rising action and climax and conflict. And I learned never ever to believe that all the old copies of the will have been destroyed. Because there’s always another one that gets produced at the reading. I also learned that miscarriages will happen because of emotional shocks, mild poisoning, being thrown from a horse, and being hurled downstairs–all VERY good things to know.

And speaking of soaps, if you are interested in family sagas, you might enjoy the book I just finished–Wait for Me! by Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire. She is the youngest and last-surviving Mitford sister, and the book is riveting. It reads like a Greek tragedy, but with dollops of WWII and the Kennedys thrown in. It will be an easier read if you’re already acquainted with the Mitfords as the Duchess presumes a bit of familiarity with the family history. (And the pink foil on the spine of the book is just delicious!)