Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

I started watching General Hospital when I was about five or six and watched it until some time after high school. When I started middle school and didn't get home until mid-episode, my Aunt Carla, who was much more adept at programming a VCR than we were in my house, would mail me tapes with a whole week's worth of episodes on them from Chicago. Once I was in high school, I would rush home from the bus stop, sometimes missing the first two minutes or so, to watch it. If something happened and I missed an episode, I just felt wrong.

There were other soap operas throughout my life: My sister got me watching Days of Our Lives one summer while I was in middle school because she thought some guy with an eye patch (Am I remembering that right? Did some guy really have an eye patch on a soap opera? Maybe a guy named Steve?) was cute, when I spent the summer between sixth and seventh grade with my Aunt Carla in Chicago, I got semi-hooked on Loving and Ryan's Hope, and for a few years in high school, I watched both All My Children and One Life to Live. Even though all the other soap operas were filled with suspense and intrigue--would that lady whose name I don't remember ever get out of the well where her evil twin sister, Janet From Another Planet, was hiding her? Would anybody ever find out that Vicki had an evil alternate ego who was holding Dorian hostage in some crazy glass cage? Seriously, the shows had me rapt--I eventually lost interest and just stopped turning them on. General Hospital was the only one that endured.

(You know, this blog was supposed to be about one thing, but I'm starting to think it might actually be about something else. Or at least another layer may be at work.)

I don't know what it was about GH that I loved so much, but God, did I love it. The people on the show were as real to me as people that were, well, real. I wasn't planning to revisit the storylines, but now that they're on my mind, I'm so excited, I can't help myself. There was Luke and Laura, of course, and Luke and Holly, and Robert Scorpio and Holly, and Anna Devane and Duke, and Felicia and Frisco, and the girl who pretended to be a nice girl but was really a stripper and Jagger, and Brenda and Jagger, and Brenda and Sonny, and Grant who was really a Russian spy, and Sean Donnelly who was an agent for the WSB but may have been a double agent, and Lucy Coe, and Scotty, and Blacky, and my God, I'm totally losing focus here. Even after all these years, the thought of General Hospital and all its storylines has me in a tizzy.

Once I was done with high school, or more likely it was after my first few years of college, I decided that I could no longer be tethered to the TV from 3 to 4 every day and that I had to give up my habit. And I did. I stopped watching it, really for no good reason other than that I felt like it was time.

(And once again, the something else appears.)

I missed it, of course. How could I not? For almost fifteen years, that show was a part of my daily routine, its characters a part of my life. But what I realized bothered me more than not watching the show anymore was not seeing what was happening in the lives of the people I loved.

Allow me to explain.

I was no longer watching General Hospital, but it was still on TV. Despite the fact that the characters no longer appeared on my TV, they still appeared on other people's TVs, and all sorts of crazy shenanigans still occurred in Port Charles. The only difference was that I no longer knew about the goings-on. I didn't know what any of the characters I had grown to know and love and sometimes hate were doing, but that didn't stop them from doing it. They were living their lives, with me or without me.

And that same thing is happening right here.

Now that Glenn and I have separated, he's, of course, still living his life. He comes and he goes, and he interacts with people, and his life moves forward just as it always has, only now, I don't know anything about it. Last week I found out that the previous week he got a huge promotion at work, and it happened completely without any knowledge from me. A few days ago I found out that he went to a tattoo shop with a couple of friends and is planning on getting his first tattoo, and that's something that, again, happened/is happening completely devoid of the presence of me.

It wouldn't give me that General Hospital feeling if it weren't for the fact that the same thing is happening with the kids--all right, that's totally a lie. It'd give me that feeling no matter what. But let's pretend that wasn't said--but it is. The Glenn part of the kids' lives is still moving forward, and I'm totally uninvolved.

I know I can't explain what I mean very well, but I'll try.

Last night Griffin performed in this awesome acoustic show that Glenn helped put together. It turns out there are all these pictures of the band on Glenn's Facebook page that I haven't seen since I'm not his friend. The only reason I know is I overheard Griffin saying something about not being able to see the pictures on his page. Besides the picture thing, which I guess isn't the hugest thing, really, the whole thing is something that Glenn's a part of that I'm not. Like The Hunger Games. All three of them read the books in the past few weeks and saw the movie together, and it's a thing that's exclusive to them.

This Friday they're seeing The Avengers. And me? I'll be standing in line at the grocery store wondering just what exactly is going on with Sonny that prompted Soap Opera Digest to put him on the cover.


  1. Maybe you stopped watching them because your life is one big soap opera? How can you say this person could never be what you want and then wonder how he is still living his life without you? That message seemed loud and clear.

  2. I'm sorry, but where exactly did I wonder how he was still living his life without me? I'm pretty sure that was nowhere. I expressed sorrow, not wonder. (I hope you're not one of my students/former students, or I obviously erred in some way).

  3. No, I got that, but it seemed like more than sorrow. Regret maybe? I can't quite put my finger on it. Is there something you aren't telling? Do you want to still be together? Or is he like your soap operas, a habit you have to give up? Sometimes it's hard to tell.

  4. As hard as you think it is for you to tell, it's even harder for me. Yes to all of the above.

  5. I can't really say "I know how you feel" because I honestly don't, I can't relate to it. But I will say that all these things happening now, you should have seen them coming. I mean, you said you didn't want him anymore, he's a man. It's not like he's going to stay there and mourn over you. Women are the ones who do that. So, of course he's going to move on with his life. And, if he can do it, you should at least try to do the same thing. You've been through too many things, he's not the only one who deserves happiness. It's not going to be easy to watching the guy you spent years of your lifetime with, slipping away from you, but you have to at least try, or it's going to make you look weak.

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  7. Wow, that was deep. I get it totally, I stopped watching GH too b/c of time but i still wonder about Jason, Sonny, etc. I like you started watching it around 6. I get it...the feeling of Glenn continuing w/out you. Irregardless, of what you know you know it's still Glenn and it's still you. I would feel the same it's only normal, it's okay!