But, I am no longer ashamed. For all of my 34 years (ouch, am elderly), I have had One Life to Live playing in the background.
I grew up on a steady diet of Sunday school, the Brady Bunch, Legos, playing school with the neighbor kids and watching One Life to Live (OLTL). The Buchanan and Lord families were practically my own (and just as interesting as the Carrington's and Cox's). My mother would shoo me out of the room during "love" scenes; I'd hide at the top of the stairs and listen. I would love half days and summer days--2 p.m. EST could not come soon enough.
In junior high, I spent many days watching OLTL and then about three hours on the phone with my best friend Karen discussing Todd, Vicki and her personalities and whatever intrigued us, enraged us or made us laugh. I delighted in the stories of multiple personalities, tried to make sense of rape plot lines and wept as women lost babies and lovers. I remember when Jessica had a Canadian accent and then finally had some voice lessons and sounded like she was actually from Llandview.
In college, I planned my class schedule around the show. At my internships and first jobs, I read the recaps and spoilers on SoapCentral.com during my lunch break (alright, while I was working). I discussed the show with my Aunt Barbara Ann and kept my Mom up to date (she had to work). I taught Mike the names of the characters and their back story.
And then I met a work colleague and good friend, who shared my love. We spent hours rehashing the show, catching each other up (we had TiVo and Soap Network to help us keep up) and recapping history.
When I gave birth to my girls--there was OLTL on the hospital TV at 2 p.m., waiting for me, like an old friend--a distraction from it all.
It has always been there, when I needed an escape. Chloe and Lily know the theme song by heart. And even when I find the plot line unwatchable, I still watch, because OLTL and I are family.
Today, One Life to Live airs its last episode. And that is it--the end of one life.
Here are my favorite, favorite things about One Life to Live--and scoff if you want, but you know you love it and if you never watched, you would have loved it.
- OLTL made being two or more people okay through its multiple personality disorder coverage. I loved Nicki/Vicki and the most incarnated Jessica/Tess (Tessica for short). This stuff is ridiculous. It is also TV gold.
- It taught me forgiveness and, somehow, the writers have made me fall in love with a former rapist (Todd Manning).
- It made me laugh with David Vickers and Dorian Lord. The original Summer-Winter romance between a giglo and a society lady.
- It made me realize that even the most desperate housewife can wear a ball gown on a Tuesday afternoon while fighting over the affections of the police commissioner with her archrival who is in the midst of a personality crises and also her aunt and half-sister all at once.
- And finally, who knew that paternity could be such a complicated matter? It seems everyone has a lost heir. It gave me hope that I might find my real family someday and that they are rich and own a desert island and a newspaper.