Monday, October 15, 2007

Negate Expectations ...

Kelley and I had dinner a couple Saturdays ago (ask me about the mushroom-butterscotch panna cotta sometime) and talk turned to soap operas.

I used to watch Days of Our Lives. I got into it by default. I used to spend part of my summers in Door County with my friend Michele and her family, and Sharon, Michele's mom, was a big fan of Days. I picked up the storylines by osmosis.

My mom watched General Hospital when I was younger. I always thought Dr. Hardy was very handsome. (Even as a little kid, I had a thing for older men. Though I also had a poster of Shaun Cassidy on the back of my bedroom door at one point when I was a little older. I used to kiss it. Wow. That little tidbit was worth the price of admission today, wasn't it?)

But I was never that college student who cut class to watch soaps. I have no idea where I was when Luke and Laura got married.

Kelley was saying, though, that nothing much changes on the soaps. She was a Guiding Light girl and she catches a moment or two these days because she watches CBS in the mornings (yes, she's the one person) and sometimes she gets busy and the TV stays on. One character, even all these years later, still seems to be going through the same things.

Mom once said that, too, that you could turn on a soap after not watching it for years and pick up the story pretty much where it left off. Nothing much changes on the soaps.

Life, however, is a different matter.

Life can turn on a dime. You can ride life along for years and years and feel like life is just spinning its wheels and then whump!, life's back bumper gets a healthy shove from the universe and the rubber meets the road again and all the scenery changes.

I'm a firm believer in "You're always where you're supposed to be." Whether you wanted the change or not is really irrelevant. It's the right thing at the right time. Which isn't to say change isn't sometimes sad in its way. There's a lot of comfort in staying stuck, even if you're stuck in the wrong place. The ruts are well-worn and you nestle into them like a soft sofa and you're hard-pressed to find a reason to hoist yourself off your ass and get back in the game. But you know that staying on the couch means flipping through all the same channels again and again and again, and that that life is like the Springsteen song: 57 channels (and nothin' on).

So change insistently rings the doorbell until you answer the door. And there you are, standing in the doorway, looking out at the world for the first time in a long time, and you think, "Maybe I'll go for a walk."


Blogger Mercurie said...

I am probably dating myself by saying this, but the only soap opera I ever watched loyally was Dark Shadows. I would watch it every day when I came home from school. Sadly, I think it was more realistic than the others...

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Methinks the people who write those soap operas rely a little too heavily on Freud's concept of the repetition compulsion.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Ethan said...

Oh, you always say that. :-)

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha, ha (also repetition).

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of foreplay here ... we're breathlessly awaiting the big change we know is coming. The dramatic soap opera music is playing ... enough hints already!

11:58 AM  

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