When I first heard the news I thought it was one of those bad Twitter rumors. You know, like the kind that killed off Sinbad, Jackie Chan and Morgan Freeman.
But alas it was true. Two suburbs of Philadelphia were going to close their fictional gates: Llanview and Pine Valley. ABCannounced that it was ending two of its soap operas, "All My Children" will be done in January and "One Life To Live" is over come September.
I grew up on these soaps and have been watching them for years. I loved how I could go days, weeks, months, even years at a time without seeing an episode. Then when I tuned in, it felt like an old friend because we could generally pick up where we left off.
I remember being in kindergarten and my mom would braid my hair while we watched "All My Children." <insert wistful sigh> There was Erica Kane and her never-ending string of suitors. I was barely a tween, but took note that men told her she was so beautiful when she was angry. I thought: that’s when I’ll know a man really loves me. He’ll think I’m beautiful when I’m mad. (Though when Hubby says I’m beautiful when I’m mad, it’s no where near romantic, it’s annoying.)
The residents of Llanview and I got acquainted in high school while I was visiting a friend in Colorado. It was compelling TV because it was the start of the gang rape trial. Gang rape? It gave insights to something that no one ever talked with me about: the aftermath of rape. A shattered Marty Saybrooke against the well-coifed fraternity boys. It was complexly heartwrenching.
As I got older, it felt like soaps were things that “smart women” didn’t watch, so I became a partly closeted soap fan. Plus, I apparently liked “old lady” soaps, as my friends watched "Days of Our Lives" or "General Hospital." It seemed no one my age liked "All My Children" or "One Life To Live."