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