My stories are on,” Grandma Jenny would announce. From 3 to 4 pm every day, without fail, Monday through Friday, the whole house would go into hibernation mode and Grandma Jenny would watch “her stories” — the soaps.
The TV was tuned to Channel 7 and Grandma would plop herself into the plastic-covered gold barrel chair and, with hankie in hand, check in on the characters she welcomed into her home every day.
By the end of the hour — and without fail — Grandma Jenny would be in tears as she told us about her soaps: whether the actors were shot, dumped by a lover, in grave danger or suffering from amnesia, they were like members of her own family, and she needed to tell us — her real family — every detail.
Eventually, she would compose herself, and by 4:30 pm, having her fill of romance, scandal and tragedy, she’d dry her eyes, return to command central (the kitchen) and cook, clean and get ready for dinner.
Her favorite show was “General Hospital,” with “All My Children” coming in a sloppy second. “One Life to Live” was just starting out when, unfortunately, Grandma Jenny passed on. But I’m sure if Grandma Jenny had lived, “One Life” would have been one of her stories, too.
Sadly, the head honchos at ABC have cancelled “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” leaving “General Hospital” to carry the torch of romance, scandal and tragedy in the afternoon all by its lonesome.
I have to admit that I haven’t watched any daytime soaps for a long, long time.
After Grandma Jenny passed, I lost my taste for the afternoon soap and set my sights on the evening versions: “Dynasty,” “Falcon Crest” and “Knots Landing.” After all, they showed a lot more romance, scandal and tragedy, while leaving a lot less to the imagination than their daytime siblings.
But as this old world keeps on turning (wait, wasn’t that a title of a soap, too?), even those nighttime soaps have lost favor with the fickle lot that we are. Instead, we have become enamored with the tales of the common folk and reality TV shows. Who wants to watch make-believe drama when you can have the real thing?
Not for Nuthin, but I wish ABC had left the daytime soaps alone. After all, we all need a little make-believe to offset all that reality.