Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Story

This week marks the end of ABC's All My Children.  I've passively watched a few interviews, read a few articles, and monitored the tail end of this dynasty with interest.  You see, AMC is my story. 

Quick question, how many of you (show of hands) had a grandma who watched at least one soap opera and called it "her story"?

Raises hand.  High.

Each week day during her "off season" (grandma was an avid golfer in the summer months) you were not permitted to contact grandma between the hours of 1:00-2:00.  No phone was answered.  No knock on the door was acknowledged.  No life seemed to emit from the house, save for the glow of the TV.  Then, promptly at 2:00 she resumed her activities.  Without fail.  I started watching her story with her around the time that Tad and Dixie became an item.  When Tad stole Dixie from Adam.  I watched it in the summer so I could update her during her golfing season.  I would watch on the weekdays, she would golf.  On Friday nights she would pick me up, we would grab an Italo's pizza or Barberton Chicken, eat on the front porch while doing our toes, and I'd fill her in on the week's events.  Pretty steamy stuff for an eleven year-old.  After dinner it was time for some Golden Girls, 20/20 and for her to set her hair in curlers and Dippity-Do.  Oh, and a giant shared bowl of buttered pecan ice cream.

All through my college years I knew if I desperately needed to talk to my grandma, I could call her at 12:55 because she would answer and she would be home.  She had to be, because her story was about to start.  Of course, I would be scolded for calling so close...usually with a sharp "Jen! For crying in a bucket!  I'll call you back in an hour and five minutes! (click)"  Then she would.  Like clockwork.  I would watch our story from so many miles away, eating a bowl of buttered pecan ice cream, painting my toes, and waiting for her to call.  It tied me to her. 

Grandma has been gone for nine years now.  We miss her every day.  But somehow there are still pieces of her in my life all the time.  Phrases I utter.  Monarch butterflies that float through my days.  A blanket that still smells like her house.  And for these nine years, there has been Erica Caine, Adam Chandler, Tad Martin, and Dixie Martin (I think she's Martin again...).  I suppose it is time for the world to make way for the new, but the eleven year-old me will miss this connection.  Even if I don't watch our story any more.  Even if she's been gone for nine years.  At least I'll always have buttered pecan ice cream to soothe and heal.  And pedicures.  Always pedicures.

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