As The World Turns
“On This Day” six years ago, I went on a major Facebook rant like never before or since (as far as I can recall).
I posted that I had “just watched the final episode of As The World Turns... and cried big fat tears. For a lot of reasons.”
A friend of a friend whom I did not know and didn’t know me, took me to task. She very condescendingly asked me if I realized that those were only characters in a TV show and suggested that perhaps I should look around the real world to see true suffering and put my efforts towards making things better. After I lambasted her, she removed her original post so I’m only paraphrasing but that’s essentially what she said to me. On my own Facebook post. And following a number of comments from people who understood what I meant and shared their own experiences.
Reading my reply to her, these six years laters, I could feel bad for going off on her.
But I don’t.
Here’s what I wrote:
“Wow, [name redacted]. I'm pretty offended by your post - since you don't know me.
“First, I'm smart enough to realize that they are characters, not real people... though one real person, Helen Wagner who played Nancy Hughes for 54 years did just recently die so, is it okay to shed a little tear for her?
“Perhaps you didn't read all the comments and my post about Kathleen Widdows who played Emma Snyder and her NY restaurant where I (and our mutual friend Teri and others) had some wonderful experiences. And maybe Teri never shared with you how we met Don Hastings who played Dr. Bob and he sent his kind regards to Teri's mother who was then pretty darn impressed. Or since you don't know me, you don't know that my former husband and I went bowling with actors from ATWT for an AIDS charity and spent some time with Michael Morrison, a good Louisiana boy who played Caleb Snyder... just weeks before he lost his battle with addiction and overdosed.
“And since you obviously don't watch with your mother, maybe you can't understand how there is a thread that runs from me, to my mother, to her mother (and that story is repeated many times over) as generations who enjoyed a common experience.
“So perhaps before belitting me (and by extension, other viewers who enjoyed the program) you might sit with your mother and try to understand why she was affected the way she was and maybe even suspend disbelief long enough to follow a storyline. You might enjoy it more than you think.
“But was I crying because Dr. Bob finally retired or that Lily and Holden are finding their way back to each other or that Luke was still mourning Reid's death. Of course not! My emotions, not that I really have to justify them, were tied up in all of the above and the loss of something that has been in my life for 50+ years. And it ain't nobody's business if I do.
“And your implication that I don't care what's going on in the real world... I'm not even gonna start in on that. As I said, you don't know me.
“Everyone else, I'm sorry for this rant.”
Six years later, just thinking about her comments makes me mad. But as I said, she didn’t know me so she didn’t realize one very important thing: never, ever diss my As The World Turns. Six years later, I still wonder about the Synders, Lucinda and Dr. John, Carly, Barbara and, of course, the Hughes family. Even if they were just TV characters.
And now, with Guiding Light and As The World Turns gone for six years, I don’t watch any other soap operas - I never had the familial history with any of the others. And with my mother - an avid watchers of those two shows - gone, it almost makes more sense to me that GL and ATWT don’t exist in a world where she likewise doesn’t.