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Daytime Opinion Article


The Soap Addiction!

Written 3/20/02 by Suzanne originally for Bella Online

General Hospital has been my favorite soap for almost 20 years. I can't believe how fast the time has gone!

I started watching GH in 1984. I was a college student at the time and I never watched daytime soaps regularly. I had watched a few for a short time in the early 70´s when I was a kid, and I watched the primetime soaps like Dallas and Knots Landing.

That summer, my husband and I were in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He had to complete some training for graduate school that is given there every year. I was just out of school for the summer and working to make ends meet. We didn't have much money then. We rented a small place that university subsidized. Most of our regular stuff was in New York where we were going to school.

My husband was at school during the day and I worked at night at a fast food place. During the day, I was in the apartment alone and bored. We had a small TV set so I just watched whatever was on, mostly reruns. I started watching Santa Barbara, which started then, and General Hospital. The Olympics were on ABC that year, so they showed 20-minute versions of the soaps. I guess that combination of things got me interested, and soon I was hooked!

When we went back to New York, I couldn't watch the soaps during the day because I was at school. We didn't have a car so I couldn't just zip home during lunch to watch them. I soon found out that the student center had a TV room where people gathered to watch the soaps! So I started going there to watch GH (it was on at 3pm and I seldom had classes during that time). I met some friends there and we started watching together, and meeting up to talk about the soaps and to make comments. This was even better because it's always more fun to watch with other people. I had to stop watching Santa Barbara, though, because they only watched the ABC soaps in the TV room and they wouldn't allowed you to change the channel.

Soon I started getting really hooked so I would try to rush over from my class to make sure I didn't miss the beginning of the show (or sometimes I had no class the hour before, even better). What that meant, was that I would catch the end of One Life to Live. Pretty soon I was hooked on that one, too, although I never liked it as much as GH.

In the following year or so, I was visiting relatives for the summer or Christmas vacation, not sure which…when I started watching All My Children, because it came on before OLTL. This was becoming a serious addiction! Still, GH remained my favorite.

We moved to El Paso a few years later…my husband got a job but I still had one year left of school. In the TV room there (apparently every college has one), they watched The Young and the Restless, and then switched it half-way through to All My Children. A friend that I met in a class came there sometimes to watch Y&R and AMC. So guess what I started doing? That's right, I started watching Y&R.

A couple of years later, I got my first VCR so I could start recording the soaps and other shows. I started watching the new soap "Generations" and got hooked on it as well. Eventually I got a second VCR so I could make sure to get the shows when they conflicted.

Flash forward to 1991. I was not working and I didn't know a lot of people where we lived, and I didn't have any friends. So I started watching more soaps (probably not the healthiest thing in the world). I picked up Santa Barbara again and added Days of Our Lives. Eventually, Santa Barbara and Generations were canceled. So I added The Bold and The Beautiful. At some point I got another job and had to quit watching B&B because it was just too difficult to watch so many and still watch primetime shows.

I got a job working at home a few years later, and so I was able to watch whatever I wanted. I added Another World and Sunset Beach to the roster. Eventually, both were canceled, but I started watching Passions and then Port Charles, when they started.

I started a big web page about TV, especially the soaps, in 95. I started with GH, naturally. Now it's very successful, but it's a big job. Twice now I have flown to L.A. to see the GH and PC stars at their fan events. So now I feel like I know some of the actors.

A year ago, I got digital cable, so I was able to see Soapnet. Now I could easily tape/watch the abc soaps any time I wanted. The videotapes really stack up, especially when I go on vacation and have someone tape the shows for me. I know I have at least 6 months worth of soap opera videos lying around, at least.

I am not working now and might not get another job because of where we live. I have been taping Y&R, Days, and Passions, and watching the ABC soaps. I am usually behind on at least two of the shows. Because I have a soap opera page, I wanted to know more about the other soaps, so recently I started watching the rest of the soaps: B&B, As the World Turns, and Guiding Light. They are actually pretty good. GH is still my favorite, though.

Please, no more soap operas.! :)

Page updated 12/27/11

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