Every day at four o'clock I stop whatever it is I am doing to watch my favorite soap opera. I take the phone off the hook, lock the door, sit with a cup of freshly brewed coffee and escape. It has become an addiction. One that I like having.
Almost every time I do this, I am astounded at how much better the lives of these people are than mine. There are some basic facts, Ladies and Gentlemen, that apply only to soap opera people, the women in particular.
The women in soap operas are always extraordinarily beautiful. The women in soap operas do not walk across a room, they glide. The women in soap operas are never without a man for more than three hours at a stretch. That is, if their story book relationship is about to break up, you can always be assured that there is another Adonis waiting just around the scene. The women in soap operas never do laundry, clean toilet bowls or vacuum. The women is soap operas never have a single hair out of place or a nail chipped.
I remember one scene in particular that exemplified this because it paralleled the same situation in my life. I was at the airport saying goodbye to my friend. A young lady on the soap opera was at the airport saying goodbye to her lover.
I will never forget how she looked. One perfectly shaped tear glistened down her luminously made up face. The wind blew through her shining blonde hair. (I wondered at the time where the wind came from in the middle of the airport). A Beethoven symphony was playing in the background and dozens of beautiful white casablanca lilies cascaded around her from out of the sky (there must have been a hole in the airport roof), as her lover took her hand in his and kissed it tenderly.
In my scenario, there was considerably more than one tear. My face was not luminous, it was wet. It did not glisten, it was too drenched in mascara and pancake make up to glisten too much. The only music I recall was a strange looking fellow 's sony walkman blasting something less than romantic in the background. I particularly remember this because it drowned out the sound of whatever my friend was saying to me at the time. I have a strong suspicion it was goodbye, but I will never really know for sure.
Human beings behave differently on soap operas. Have you ever watched people go swimming on a soap opera. The women arrive at the pool in gold laminated dresses enveloping their tiny bikinis that match the gold flecks in their eyes. The men, I am sure arrive straight from their previous employment with Playgirl magazine. If either party actually does manage to get wet, you can be assured that as they emerge out of the water, their hair suddenly parts perfectly down the middle of their forehead, miraculously, similar to the parting of the red sea. The men's bodies glisten with oils. Somehow a little man with an oil can must have been down there at the bottom of the pool. Many times, I have waited beside my pool (such as it is) hoping some man, any man, would emerge, tanned and oiled like that, all to no avail.
And have you ever noticed what it is like being sick on a soap opera. It almost makes you want to run out and collect as many germs as you can find, just so you can get admitted to those wonderful places of recuperation. Terminal patients never look terminal on a soap. They look lovely. They lie in their perfectly made up Wamsutta down beds while being attended to by physicians that look remarkably like Robert Redford and Tom Cruise.
And most of them seem to have sudden and astounding recoveries. Of course, with doctors like those, who could blame them. Even the dead on soap operas look wonderful. If I really must go someday, please God, let it be on a soap. I would love the world to remember me that way.
Let's face it. The people on soaps do not attend to everyday realities. I do not recall even one soap opera person ever having to go the the john. I have given this much thought and have decided that they just don't have to do that sort of thing. They go to the powder room, (it's much more civilized) to check that nothing is amiss, although God knows why, they couldn't possibly be improved upon.
People in soap operas don't cook much either. Rarely have I seen anyone sweating over a hot stove. They hardly eat. That must be why they all remain so svelte. When they do feel the need to indulge, well, you can be assured it will be at their favorite local dining establishment. Probably a place called "The Escargot Room" where they are greeted by a very distinguished frenchman named Pierre, taken to their private table, where of course their usual red roses, waterford crystal and candlelight awaits them. All of these details go without saying. They are often the only ones in the restaurant, so there is always plenty of room on the immaculately marbled dance floor.
It is here of course where the man, handsomely dressed in his tuxedo, whispers the most incredibly romantic things in the woman's ear. Things such as, "Darling, you touch my soul with your eyes." I ask you, my friends, when was the last time your man said that to you?
Oh, and if it just happens to be a special occasion such as an engagement, then a trio of violinists or a mini orchestra suddenly appears on the scene and the lady is presented with a diamond ring, I am sure, borrowed from Elizabeth Taylor's collection, while sipping on her Dom Perignon.
As of late, it has also occurred to me that people on soap operas never seem to pay bills, floss their teeth or change their kid's diapers. And you know something, I wouldn't have it any other way. If I wanted to watch that, I wouldn't have to turn on the TV. You can keep your reality. Give me Fantasy!
At least for one hour every day at four o'clock.
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Veronica Hay is an inspirational writer. Her work inspires others to be more of who they really are. Telephone: 403-245-6815
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