My mom was concerned by what she considered an obsession in the way I devoured the TV Guide fall preview issue (This was before TV Guide was an entertainment magazine). Now if I went through the TV Guide with a highlighter, that would be obsessive. But I did my best to see all the new shows every fall and see if they were worth watching. I was firm but fair in my evaluation. I knew better than to judge a show by it's pilot. Even though there were only three networks, this was not an easy thing to do since there were no VCRs. If you were not home when your program was on you missed it. We couldn't go online to find out what happened or pay $1.99 to have the episode downloaded on our iPod. Just like if the phone rang and no one was home, the call went unanswered. Archaic! Mom saw my relationship with TV as an addiction, but did she help me? Did she find a 12-step program? The Betty Ruble Center? No, she exploited what she saw as my addiction.
It’s the summer of 1983, I was home from school but Mom was doing some volunteer work in the afternoons, meaning she would be missing Days of our Lives. So she asked me to watch the show for her, then tell her what happened. Remember there were no VCRs. It seemed simple enough. She’d come home and I’d say, " The guy with the beard has the hots for that girl with the big boobs. Everyone is wondering if this guy I think his name is "Cirano?" is really dead even though he was cremated. Soon it became, "Bo (Peter Reckell) expressed his feelings to Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and Stefano (Joseph Mascolo) faked his death by having some John Doe in the morgue cremated in his place". By the time summer was over and Mom was done with her volunteer work, I was hooked on Days of our Lives.
I never felt insecure in my manhood being a Soap Opera fan because Los Angeles Dodger's manager Tommy Lasorta confessed that he hated away games because it caused him to miss Days of our Lives.
In college I bought my first VCR before I bought my first textbook so I wouldn’t miss the show. While working as a Universal Studios Tour guide I met a coworker who had a recurring part on the show as a nurse. I used the show as an icebreaker. Long story short, I married her. It's a mixed marriage, she's an All My Children fan. Every Wednesday I attend a story telling group in Los Angeles called STORY SALON. One of the storytellers there is an actress named Marsha Clark, who also plays the no nonsense judge, Karen Fitzpatrick on DAYS. I started to talk to her about the show's serial killer story line where half the town was murdered by Dr. Marlena Evens (Deidre Hall). She must have thought this guy is nuts, don’t make eye contact.
It’s 22 years later, Bo still loves Hope and everyone is sure that Stefano is really dead this time. I know better.
When all else fails, blame Mom.
To quote Macdonald Carey (Dr. Tom Horton), "Like sands through the hourglass... so are the Days of our Lives".
Happy 40th, have you had work done?