My grandmother used to watch As The World Turns. You know the soap opera that began a long time ago. First it was on radio, and then it hit television as a 15 minute show, then onto a thirty minute one, eventually ending up as a whole hour show. Everything stopped at their households when the show came on. The ironing, the washing, and the kids hollering, would just have to wait.
Of course, we all know why they were called soap operas. Commercialization existed even back then, and a majority of it had to do with washing that laundry. The focus was to hone in on the housewives, who they knew were going to be tuning into the soap, on a daily basis.
I’m sure that my Aunt Irene was right there with them on the watching, as she was the one, who always put a lot of pots and pans on the stove before the husband came home, so that he would think that she had been cooking all day. She once dated a celebrity. Of course, it didn’t lead to anything, otherwise she would have had someone doing the cooking for her, while she was watching her soap.
Mrs. Hughes, on As The World Turns, was the one doing the actual cooking, while a lot of housewives were watching.
Nowadays it is a larger audience than just housewives watching those things. I once went to visit a friend at her office and in the lunch room, guess what a lot of the men were doing? Watching All My Children. You would have thought that they were watching some type of sports show, the way that they were all huddled by the television.
A male friend of mine, after suffering from an injury in high school, got hooked on that soap. Being stuck in front of the tv, for a while is all that it took. Years later, he is still watching it. Has to even tape it, if he’s not going to be around at the time.
I used to watch a soap or two in my lifetime, but somehow or another I gave it up. I won’t even take a glimpse anymore, because I know what happens. First you look, then you sit down, and boom, you are hooked. Hooked all through the week, and then once again hooked, while you are waiting for the weekend to be over, so that you can once again, get back to that soap opera business.
The Young and the Restless was mine. Good old David Hasselwhatever, made a great doctor, and Jill, his sister, was still on her first husband, but like I said before, I just let it go. Five or ten years of hanging on every weekend was plenty enough.
So, when my eldest daughter announced to me a couple of months ago, that the Newman plane had gone down, the first thing I thought was that it must have been Paul Newman, she was talking about. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, hit me immediately. The next thought was the racing, and the salad dressing.
Shaking her head she repeated, “the Newman plane went down”….and when she said “Victor”…I suddenly regained my memory. Of course, she could not wait until the following Monday to see if anyone survived. It would be one of those long aching weekends, just wondering. My mother watches the same exact soap, so I’m sure that she was in the same limbo. Surely, Monday could not come quick enough.
By the way….Victor was not in the plane, it was his son and someone else. Hearing that was good enough for me. I came to the conclusion that I really had been cured.
“Soaps keep us busy-
In the midst, of our society.”