She: You probably haven’t noticed, but I’m in a lather about all of these soap operas being canceled.
She: The realish-life ones are thriving, but the scripted ones are dying. No more All My Children. It’s the end of an era.
Z: I know I don’t pay that much attention to all of the highbrow TV you watch — because I’m productively playing video games — but I’m pretty sure that I have never once, in more than 20 years of living together, seen you tuned in to All My Children.
She: Because I thought I didn’t have to watch it and it would still always be there for me, like an old friend, or my mom’s beef-o-lay recipe.
Z: That makes no sense to me whatsoever.
She: I started watching it when I was a kid, whenever I visited my Grandma Etta. We loved Erica Kane and the fabulously stylish diva-way she always got what she wanted. Plus Grandma would let me drink TaB and eat Bridge Mix while we dissected all of Erica’s clothes and affairs.
Z: Sounds appropriate. Weren’t you like, 8?
She: I lost track of All My Children for a while, then in college it was required viewing at my sorority house.
Z: Did that come before or after the rituals with sheep and paddles?
Z: Please tell me there were pillow fights involved.
She: There was definitely plenty of high drama. We planned our class schedules so we could be home at noon to watch.
Z: You remember their names? You can’t even remember your child’s name, and you only have one.
She: Plus we got lunch served to us by cute fraternity boy “hashers.”
Z: In my mind, I hear “eunuchs.”
She: The guys liked All My Children, too. By the end of the semester they were all seriously addicted and they started planning their classes around it.
Z: Great education you had going there. Go Bruins.
She: We mocked our soap addiction to show our awareness of how silly it all was. I can’t tell you how many times I heard the words “post-modern,” “pre-feminist” and “evil twin” while my eyes were superglued to All My Children.
Z: I never knew this dirty little soapy secret. Now I understand why you keep wanting to invent more children for our column.
She: Like that long-lost twin for Koss who was abducted by royalty at birth, has a split personality, is about to poison the Queen of England, and then realizes he is our long-lost child just in time for sweeps week?
Z: Sure. That one.
She: So can you understand my mourning now?
Z: No. I accidentally watched a soap once, and had to clean my mind out with something healthy, like a comic book.
She: I feel kind of guilty. Maybe if I had kept watching the show it wouldn’t be canceled. I always intended to get back into All My Children someday, when I had a little more time, with my friends at the old folks home.
Z: Yeah. That’s the retirement I had pictured, also.
She: I would check in periodically with the show, just for a minute or two. Pine Valley and the characters never changed. It was amazing, they were all still there, just waiting for me to visit them again. They won’t be there after September.
Z: But now we have technology. There are 7 million hours of All My Children archives that you can watch through your twilight years.
She: And you’ll be playing video games.
Z: Yes, dear.