Deb Amy’s Bold, Beautiful, Dramatic Hobby

If someone asks about my hobbies (which seems to have just happened right here), I’m not sure what to say. A hobby, by my own definition, is something that I spend a lot of time doing that I really like.  Oh, like, writing perhaps?  But that doesn’t count when it’s your job or when I was an aspiring author whose ambition was to no longer be aspiring. That time I felt more like an apprentice than a hobbyist, because while I enjoyed it, working your ass off until you are in tears sometimes probably does not fit the definition of hobby.

Scratch that one.

Reading, maybe? Watching movies?  I think not. While relaxing and engaging, when stories are your business, anything related to story is work-related, as I scrutinize and analyze and learn in addition to enjoying. (Oh, c’mon, so do you!) Gardening. That’s it. Gardening.  Oh, maybe not if it doesn’t count that I hate the heat and the bugs and garden from May until itstoohotorhumid, usually June, although this year I lasted until the beginning of August.  Right now my hobby is getting rid of all my dead plants.  But I fear that doesn’t count either. I love playing with my dogs but I don’t think that’s a hobby, that’s self-preservation. If I didn’t play with them they’d bug me until I gave in. Which they do anyway. So no hobby there.

When I thought about what I like to do most, when I just want to relax and enjoy, when I crossed all the previous things off the list, and also crossed off cooking (although I love to do it, it’s not a hobby, I just get, well, hungry),  I realized that what I like to do — hold onto your sensibilities — is watch soap operas. Good, old fashioned, continued-tomorrow-every-day-of-the-year, soap operas.

There. I said it.

I am a daytime drama diva. Do not come between me and my mobsters, or question the authenticity of a town without bathrooms.

I have been watching General Hospital since I was 14 and Laura and Scotty spent their afternoons at Pop’s. I remember when Alan made the house come crashing down on Monica and Rick, the first time Heather Webber terrorized the poor citizens of Port Charles, when Monica had a daughter named Dawn and a step mother named Gayle, the Quarantine, The Ice Princess, when Rose Kelly owned Kelly’s.  I remember when Jerry had a different face and when Jason wanted to be a doctor, not a mobster, when Elizabeth Taylor was Helena Cassadine and Demi Moore was a tomboy.  I remember when GH spun off into a nighttime drama and a vampire story.  And I remember Luke and Laura’s first wedding.  I was seventeen, sitting on my knees, inches away from the TV in the living room.

Ok, you get the idea.

I am still recovering from the fact that ABC cancelled One Life to Live (OLTL), which I started watching when my now-20-year-old son was 3, because that was on at 1pm where I live, and when I’d take my lunch break in the land before DVR.  The fact that General Hospital is now, FINALLY, on at 1pm and that some of the residents of Llanview, Pennsylvania have made it safely to Port Charles, New York, has really enriched my life.  No, really.

We won’t mention that I also watched All My Children(AMC) for about 10 years before it was canceled, or that I grew up going home for lunch in elementary school and watching The Young and The Restless on a little black and white TV on the kitchen table.  I watched Another World and Days of Our Lives like my grandmother.  I still remember the last episode of AW, but thankfully Days is still on, and this summer, I reestablished my connection to the residents of Salem.  I think my grandmother would be pleased to know that Bo and Hope are still together. Or together again. Or together at last. Or is Hope Princess Gina again? Which brings up more questions. Does John Black know his identity? Where is Marlena’s twin sister?  And what happens to the furniture in Horton Square when it rains?

Oh, right.

Well, I think it’s time to get back to work because it’s almost 1 o’clock.


14 Replies to “Deb Amy’s Bold, Beautiful, Dramatic Hobby”

  1. Well, Amy, I’ll join you proudly and say that I too love daytime soap operas. I’m so sad to say, however, that my favorite was canceled a couple of years ago: As The World Turns (ATWT). I’d been watching for many, many, MANY years, and I loved it. It was especially sad because my then-in-highschool daughter had started watching with me one summer — when the story line revolved around teens and we had dubbed ATWT with the nickname of “Slasher” because of that storyline. I still have a little twinge around 12:30 everyday, thinking it must be time to sit down on the couch for lunch and the daily turn of the world. Sigh. (and p.s. I also watched quite a few soaps at different times in my life, too, so like you I’m a daytime drama diva… well, as soon as I recover from being jilted…)

    1. My soap sistah!! You know, no matter how bad things get – it’s always worse in Port Charles! And I hear you on being jilted. I’ve been in heaven since Monday when GH went on at 1pm in my time zone. But, it seems one of my favorites is leaving, so I’ll have that to deal with. 🙁

  2. I admit I was once hooked on General Hospital, albeit briefly. It was right after my daughter was born, and I was flipping through the channels as I nursed her on the sofa. It was easy, entertaining, and got me out of the house mentally. I think I picked up (subliminally) a lot about storytelling from that show, actually.

  3. I used to watch Y&R in high school, and Another World also for a short time – there was a hot teen guy in it at the time. I think even my brothers watched General Hospital. No one is immune, it seems.

  4. Ooh, I was hooked on a show for awhile, when I was in nursing school. We all lived in this tiny hospital dorm – tiny rooms with nothing in them – and there was a communal area with a TV. When we all came trooping out of class at the end of the day, something was on – the one with Victor and Nikki – can’t remember what it was called! I was obsessed for a couple of years with that show. Gotta tell you, there’s nothing like sitting in a crowd of young nursing students, waiting breathlessly and keeping count of how many times Jack can “get it up” to get it on with his step mother. There was literally a chant going on –

  5. I briefly got hooked on OLTL in high school. And let’s be honest: a lot of popular primetime shows are basically just the next generation of soaps (Gossip Girl, I’m looking at you…). Even Downton Abbey is quite soapy. But that’s why we love them. They’re so addictive!

  6. I’ve never been a regular soap watcher (I think I mentioned earlier this week that I always feel like I can’t come in on the middle of a story), but my nail salon often has them on, and I totally love watching them while I get my nails done. You go, girl.

  7. I’m a lot like Eleanor here – I’ve never been hooked on any daytime drama in particular, but I came very VERY close in college. Like Kerry, I lived in a dorm where the TV room was always tuned to one of the dramas that some of my friends like to watch. I started watching with them and quickly realized that I wasn’t YET involved but I was becoming involved in it really quickly. I had law school applications on my mind and realized that my tendency to get involved could easily have me glued to the TV when I needed to be studying, so I forced myself to break the chain before the show could get a solid grip.

    Still, I completely understand the love for following characters’ adventures – it’s probably part of the reason I’m writing a series now!

  8. Oh, Amy. Sister! I too was a soap fan (HUGE!) and credit them with many of my earliest teachings of dialog and conflict how-tos (not always a good thing, but I digress…) Like Julia, I was a CBS fan–LOVED Guilding Light and ATWT–I was deeply crushed to see them go.

    Thanks for bringing back those memories, my dear!

  9. I remember watching Dallas on Friday nights when I was little. We have seen the new previews and DH and I plan on watching it. Its like a little piece of our childhood is back. I think it really helps that they are bringing back the older actors also.

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