Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ponder This....Stand for the Silent

Ugly! Dog! Bitch! Nerd! Slut!

Unusual way to start a blog, isn't it? But, it wasn't an unusual way to start the day...not for me. I grew up in a very small town. I had about 27 classmates, most of whom had been in classes with me since the first grade. You would think with such a small group, we'd all be friends, that we'd have each other's backs, that we would be like a family. That was not my reality. Several of those kids bullied me on a daily basis, starting late in elementary school. One of the favored taunts was to simply bark at me as I walked down the hall. Another was to tell me to "speak English" when I used "big words" I had learned from reading so many books.

For years, I tried mostly to ignore them...That was the advice my mother gave me, and it seemed to be the most effective thing I could do. It did not make them stop, and it did not stop the pain. Intellectually, I knew the words were not true, but that didn't stop the pain either. It wore on me day after day, tainting my days and nights. I could not understand why these kids...people whom I had grown up with, would be so mean to me. It was devastating, and alot of the time I suffered through it alone. Most of the time I was silent, and so were the ones who could have made a difference, because we were not empowered. No one told us that we had a right, and the POWER to end the abuse that a lot of us faced, or at least soften the blows by encouraging each other with kind words and deeds.

I grew up, left that town, and I didn't look back for many years. I had a couple of close friends that I stayed in touch with, but that was it. Not much thought did I give to those years...after all, I had come into my own in the adult world. I was successful, well respected, and liked by most of my adult peers. Not until my own child started approaching her school years, did I re-visit that dark place in the past. I started seeing more and more reports on the news of suicides, and even homicides that were attributed to bullying. It broke my heart. Every time I hear a story about how a child has been hurt inside or out by classmates, and even teachers, I am saddened to my core.

There are many anti-bullying programs in the schools now, because so many children have died as a result of cruelty on the part of their peers. I have seen some of the efforts the schools make...anti-bullying signs in the hallways and the like. I don't think much of them, because they are empty words that don't empower anyone. There is one organization that I have seen recently who seems to have a better approach. It is called Stand for the Silent. It was started by the parents of a boy in Perkins, OK who took his own life recently, after being suspended from school for fighting with a bully. After this father explains the devastation a family feels after a child commits suicide, (a very emotional journey for the entire audience), they give out pledge cards that really make a person think. It is not aimed only at people who are being bullies, it is aimed at ALL people. I strongly believe in the message, and it is my hope that you will pass it on, and even support their mission, ask to have them speak at your school or event. Lives can and MUST be changed, for the sake of all of the children who are being bruised...on the inside or out by bullying.

I Pledge
From this day forward, I promise to respect those around me as well as respect myself. I am somebody, and I can make a difference. I can make another feel loved. I can be the helping hand that leads another back to a path of hope and aspiration. I will not stand silent as others try to spread hatred through my community. Insdead, I pledge to lift up these victims and show them that their life matters. I will be the change, because I am somebody.

There are wristbands you can purchase that say "I am somebody." on them. We bought some as Christmas gifts for kids we believe in, and as a reminder that we are all "somebody" who can make a difference.

Please visit

Ponder this...if you don't Stand for the Silent, who will?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ponder this....RoadTrip Honeymoon Adventure

Eighteen years ago this November, I married the man of my dreams, and we set off on one of the most memorable honeymoon adventures ever.

Yes, our honeymoon was to be a night at a beautiful, upscale honeymoon hotel suite, with room service...and then a 5 hour road trip to my favorite mountain in Arkansas, where my grandparents had paid for a two night stay in a cozy cabin.

We arrived at our posh hotel exhausted from all the festivities, and from staying up late the night before to decorate for the reception. We were ravenous from only having cake since breakfast, and picked the fanciest, most expensive food we could order from room service, and waited for our meal....and waited.....and waited...after an hour, we called to see what the hold up was...and were told it would be up in just a moment. ANOTHER hour later, our food arrived, stone cold.

We gave up on food, but noticed that it was getting rather chilly in the room, and turned up the heat....which promptly failed to come on. A call to guest services, and maintenence was sent up. They had a new guy and were having trouble figuring out how to turn on the heat in that unit. Since it was the end of November, we were really hoping to have a HEATED hotel room, but it was not to be. The heat NEVER came on. No matter, we could just take a hot bath in the fabulous jacuzzi....except that the heat was not on to the water tank either.

The next morning, after battling hypothermia all night, we went to the appartment to have a nice hot shower and thaw out before what was sure to be a magical two days of honeymoon bliss.

We got to the cabin without a glitch in our tiny 10 year old Honda Civic, even though the engine was a more than a little taxed by climbing the mountain. We hiked all over the place in the crisp Autumn air, and took photos of EVERYTHING we saw with my 110 camera. (It mostly all looked like brown blobs in the end.) We planned to dine out at the lodge for our evening meal, and arrived at 7:00 for dinner. The dinning room closed at 6. Our cabin did not have a mircowave, just a mini fridge and a fireplace, so we decided to find something to eat in "town". Tim, against my better judgment (see his blog for more details on how he should pay attention to my better judgement), decides to drive down the far side of the mountain.

We are now lost in a strange rural area where there is an erie smoke/fog in the air. I am not kidding, it looked straight out of a horror flick. The smoke was coming from hundreds of tiny smouldering fires where residents had decided to burn all their fall leaves while it was damp and calm out. We finally found a convenience store...and there are no cafes, or anything else anywhere near us, says the clerk. We grab what supplies we can find and drive back up the mountain. Our first WARM romantic dinner is.......hotdogs and marshmallows, roasted on sticks, over the fire in our cabin. Not gourmet, but somehow very satisfying after a long day of hiking, taking photos, getting lost, and falling more in love.

When it was time to pack up and go back to Oklahoma, we were sorry to leave the mountain, but ready to go start our "regular" life together. We hit the road at a good pace, and were moving along quite nicely, but after a bit we noticed that it was getting cold in the car, but the heater was on...So, we cranked up the heat...and the air came colder still. Then, in a puff of smoke, our Honda's engine died, never to be started again. (Cracked block, blown head gasket.) We were two hundred miles from home. There were no cell phones. I honestly do not remember how we called a tow truck, but what I do remember was sitting between my new husband and "Greasy Bob", the tow truck driver, all the way home from my honeymoon.

That's my's full of ridiculousness, just like a lot of the rest of my life. But, it's also one of the best stories I ever get to tell. :0)
The cozy cabin, and the Honda that died

Mel in a cave

Tim holding up a massive rock

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ponder This... Pit Delivery

I just had to share a little story with you. I have been anxiously awaiting my E-town magazine this month, because my friend Eric, of has written an article in it. This morning, I see a new mail carrier bringing my mail about 6 hours earlier than usual, and after he threw my magazine into the mailbox, I had to hastily chase him down to give him my outgoing mail. This is where it gets gross....

I see that my E-town magazine is here!...only now I don't want to touch it. This is because I have just noticed that the edges and the spine are WET and curling up, and some of the ink is running. It is BONE dry weather this morning, so my mind flashes back to the mail carrier....carrying my his armpit!!! I know it is hot, and believe me, I respect the U.S. mail service for their hard and unpleasant work in this weather, but sweaty pit mail is just too much!

At my own personal peril, I plan to go ahead and read the article I was anticipating, after this thing dries off and I have located some disposable gloves. I expect the writing to be excellent, but I'm afraid this magazine stinks. ;0/ Boo. Postal Worker, boo. I appreciate the delivery...without the pits.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ponder This...Independence Days

Once again, a fellow blogger at asked some poingnant questions in his blog, and I decided to make them my topic today.

First Question: Can you relate to the dependent/independent struggle?

I'm pretty sure that most people who know me are aware that I am independent to a fault. It has always been somewhat of a struggle for me to let someone else "take the wheel" in my life. This is a difficulty in personal relationships, but even more so in a spiritual one. You see, I know that God has things under control, that he can get me through anything, open doors for me, that his love and desire to bless me is beyond what I can imagine. But, I'm not very good at waiting on Him. I many times feel that God will work things out, but in the meantime, I need to be doing THIS/THAT to make things work. I am not good at being still and letting things go and surrendering it all. I find that each time I manage to do it, struggles melt so much faster. So, I'm learning to work on that, and even to let people open doors for me if they are so inclined. ;0)

Question 2: When do you feel most vulnerable or defensive?

Here we could simply insert the above paragraph about when I have to let go of something and let someone else help me out. This comes I'm sure from not feeling that others are capable of taking care of things. I promise you that this has nothing to do with a big ego. It has to do with not feeling safe. When I was young, some of the adults that were in control of my life were not making good decisions. I had NO control over this, and it made me determined that when I was able to make my own decisions, I would take care of myself and those around me. I would do whatever it took to make sure things were RIGHT. (No human can do this 100 percent of the time, but it does not stop me from trying.) This means that I naturaly do not want to "Follow" anyone. (Sorry, Eric ;0) I will almost knee jerk against the crowd if I let myself, because I want to be the one who decides. Bless my husband who had no idea what he was getting into when he married me. But, over the years, I am trying to excersise my trust in others. Letting others lead me has brought me great joy in recent times. I let some random girl (Leslee at church tell me that we were gonna go out for coffee and be friends, and I ended up with a whole group of wonderful new ladies to love (my GNO girls). I listened to a friend who was offering me some space in her cafe for my clothing/jewelry creations, and I'm starting a business I love. I'm learning to let my 12 year old make her own decisions, and I'm trying to learn not to cringe while we see how they work out. Like everything in life, it's a process. One thing is for sure, I have learned that I could use a little less independence in my days.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ponder This...The Older I Get

A friend of mine just celebrated his upcoming birthday with a blogathon, and the topic is Most Memorable Birthday. Begging his pardon for not being able to attend, I hope I'm not too late to chime in.

My most memorable birthday was my 30th. Many people dread this milestone, and some even get downright depressed about it. I had looked forward to it for years. You see, I spent most of my youth wanting to be taken seriously. I didn't want people to think I was foolish or frivolous because of my age (or for any other reason, frankly). But I had made up my mind that when I turned 30, people would see me as a grown up, as someone who had it all together, and I couldn't wait to get to that magical place in my life.

Then something ridiculous happened. The moment I started to believe people would finally validate my decisions and my life because I was "grown", I started running around like a kid. I completely stopped caring what people thought of my decisions, and what they thought about ME in general. I discovered that I had this really playful and whimsical side that I had been keeping mostly secret from the world, lest they think me a fool. But I was not about to keep it inside any longer. I went with my best friend from high school and did Glamour shots JUST FOR FUN. (Makeovers are hysterical if you get them with the right friend/s.) I started watching Harry Potter movies, and then became completely obsessed with the books. I started listening to music written ABOUT the characters, and went to concerts with other HP fans. I went to theme parks, and let myself be just as excited and wide eyed as my daughter. I made friends of all ages to share common interests with. To put it bluntly...I stopped being a stick-in-the-mud.

My 30's have been THE BEST TIME OF MY LIFE, and I wouldn't go back for anything. I've found that the older I get, the more youthful my spirit feels...even if my aching back doesn't. ;0)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ponder This...The Most Powerful Weapon for Good AND Evil

My fellow blogger and new friend, Ben wrote a great blog about the most powerful weapon in the world, in which he discusses the tongue and it's power to wound and heal others. (You should read it here: I would like to expand on that and talk about the tongue, and what it can do to YOU.

Did you know that our words about ourselves create our truth? Let me give you an example: I know people who say out loud that they are worthless (or insert any other derogatory phrase such as stupid). Somehow, they usually manage to produce very little of worth in their lives, and also VALUE very little in their lives, be it relationships or material possesions. They don't take care of things, and so they are usually in some kind of stressful mess. They have created a grim reality with harmful words.

Now, let me give you another example: I know people who say out loud that they are blessed. These people go through pain, loss, and hard times, but they always seem to come out ok. They tend to have all their needs met, and they value and care for people they are close to, and take care of the material things they have. By saying they are blessed, they are bringing about this reality in their daily lives.

I think it is easier for most people to build others up with kind words than to build themselves up. But it's important to remember that we can't have others lean on us unless we have a strong footing. God did not create his children "worthless". He created us in His image, and he wants us to be blessed and to fulfill all the potential he created in us. So, the next time you start to think, or even worse, to SAY something evil against yourself, stop! Use the most powerful weapon you have for GOOD, so that you can build up yourself, AND be a strong support for others against evil.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ponder This...Involuntary Shimmying

Most of my blogs so far have been on more of a serious note, but I'm going to lighten the mood for a bit with a frivolous topic...pedicures. For Mother's Day I received a gift certificate for a pedi and a massage, and I decided to do the pedi first. I should tell you that I have never had a pedi in my life. In fact, I have not had paint on my toenails in roughly 12 years. Though I consider myself a fashionable person, I am a pretty low mantainence kind of girl. My nails grow nicely, and I don't really mess with them other than to shine them up with coconut oil now and then.

So, on to the "experience". I arrive at the spa (Be Renued), and I'm greeted by a nice girl who appears to be 14, and is wearing shorts and cowboy boots. (I really don't understand this trend, but that is for another blog.) My pedicureist (is that a word?) leads me to a chair where I put my feet into a heavenly warm bubbly tub. She's got to go get something, so she hastily explains the chair remote to me, switches it "on" and disappears. Now this chair starts massaging my back, and it feels pretty nice. I'm starting to really relax, when suddenly, the chair starts the shihatsu portion of the massage. I am forced into the most violent involuntary shimmy you can imagine. I mean, parts that should not ever be moving are about to shake OFF! Aside from being slightly embarassing, it is a little too much on my back, then it calms down again, but not for long... I text a friend and tell her that I am in the midst of involuntary shimmying, and in her helpful wisdom, she texts back, "Go with it.". What choice do I have? I'm alone and I'm pushing every button on the remote, most of which actually cause the shimmy to INCREASE in strength. Finally, the timer stops the machine and I am not about to restart it.

Now comes the real foot action. The lady doing my pedi is really cute and sweet, and not a glamourpuss. She's very pleasant, and she buffs my feet with some kind of loofah on steroids. It doesn't hurt, but there were a couple of times where I nearly peed because it TICKLED. I should tell you that I am actually NOT ticklish, so this was quite unexpected. Next, she starts yanking my cuticles, or pushing them back, or whatever they do. This is uncomfortable, and makes me think of POWs, but she's not actually hurting me, so we press on. Now she grabs some green and gritty goo (I'm sure the proper name is exfoliant), and rubs it on my lower legs and feet, and we rinse it off in the heavenly warm tub. Nice, and barely even awkward having a stranger rub my legs and feet, since she's so friendly and professional.

Now to the polish. My favorite color is purple, so I picked an irridecent lilac shade, and she applied it with amazing speed and accuracy. I did not watch the process because I was too busy looking at a magazine (Elle), which turned out to be an entire book of nothing but advertisements featuring 14 year old girls in shorts and cowboy boots. Finally, we reach the end of the pedi and I look down at my feet...only they are NOT my feet. My feet look natural and pleasantly inconspicuous. The feet I am looking at are screaming, "LOOK AT MEEEEE! I'M PURPLE AND FLASHY!". I politely ignore them, thinking maybe they won't be so loud the next time I look. When I get home, my daughter immediately pronounces that they look like ogre toes. I think she was trying to kindly tell me that the look isn't "me". I take a glance at them and I have to agree. A few hours pass, and my feet are starting to showboat just a little less. My daughter tells me that they'll be's growing on her. I'm still not sure what I think.

I've decided to leave the polish on for a few days, and when it starts to chip, I'll remove it and go back to my coconut oil...but I may shimmy just a little for fun. ;0)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ponder This...Frozen in Time

For those of you who read my blog post, "Not-so-instant Gratification", you know that I've been hankering to dig out my old school "film" camera. Well, I did it! I saved the first roll for last weekend, and took some shots of my hubby, my kiddo, and some of my friends during the Blog-a-thon. It was a lot of fun! That camera had not been turned on in over 7 years. The zoom was even a little "sticky" from sitting closed for so long! The first thing anyone did after they took a photo with it was look to see how the photo turned out, which of course was not going to happen. You see, whatever happens when you click that shutter is permanent. ALL of the action, the good, the bad, and the occasional closed eye shot, are going to live on forever...frozen in time.

For all the shots I'm posting, visit:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ponder This...Things I've learned from the blogathon.

So, this blogathon has been a lot of fun for me. Part of that is due to the fact that I have seen some of my best friends as a result of this gathering. Another part is due to meeting new people. Here are some things I've learned so far

1. It is best to meet a "Burleigh boy" by having some sort of extremely awkward comment to start it off. (Anyone can make said comment.)

2. Art can make people uncomfortable. (Only those who were there can really know what I mean.)

3. Smoothies are a great pick-me-up for tired bloggers. Also, tired bloggers make lots of really funny expressions while drinking them.

4. It's hard to keep your facts straight after you've been up for more than 17 hours.

More to come.... :0)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Ponder This...Cheers Enid!

It's blogathon time! That's right...some of us bloggers are all set to tell you what we love about Enid, Oklahoma. If anybody chooses the weather, I will scream. I am not from Oklahoma originally, so I have to tell you I feel that a lot about this area is an aquired taste. The wind will blow your hair off, it's always too hot or cold, and there are no breathtaking natural monuments like the Grand Canyon in our town. This is not a shopping mecca, a major tourist destination, or a resort. So, what's to love?

I'll tell you what makes Enid great in ONE word...PEOPLE. I know you don't want me to get all sappy, but it's the truth. I have done some traveling in recent years, and I want you to know that I have never been anywhere friendlier than Enid. Strangers will hold the door for you, will let you merge in traffic, and will smile and meet your eye more often than not. And that is just the STRANGERS you don't even know!

How about all the people you DO know? Many of the businesses you visit in Enid are small operations where you see the same helpful faces, and people take the time to get to know you. Every time I go into G & P Bakery, I see other regular customers and have a chat. The owners are some of my best friends, and they always know what kind of dressing I want on my salad. My pharmacist at Scheffe's Parkview asks what grade my daughter is in, and marvels at how much she's grown. My hair stylist at Rhainey Day Salon is my neighbor, whom I have watched grow up, and her little brother is one of my kiddo's best friends. The library employs one of my best friends and fellow blogger, so I usually know when my book on hold is ready before it's even on the shelf. During my normal everyday errands, I can take a second and chat with people who are genuine, friendly, and truly glad to see me. Enid is simply a great place to make friends, and a wonderful place to raise a family.

A couple of people who read this might remember a TV show called "Cheers". Though I never was a faithful viewer of the show, the theme song really sums up what I feel is the best part about living in Enid, America:

Where Everybody Knows Your Name
"Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got
Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot
Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go - where everybody knows your name
and they're always glad you came
You wanna be where you can see - our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name"

Cheers, Enid! You're the best!

Here's the link, in case you don't know the song: Cheers!

P.S. Thanks to Eric and Ben for organizing the Blogathon, and for allowing me to take part in it. Cheers!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ponder This...Why Blog?

There may be as many reasons to blog as there are people who do it. Many people blog because they have an area of interest that they love to discuss with like-minded enthusiasts, such as gadgets, couponing, music, etc. Others use blogging as a way to break into the writing business, or to tell funny stories. There are those who seek to help others who are "in the same boat" with a disease or condition. These are all great reasons to blog.

My reason is something entirely different. I love language. I like the way it can be made to flow on a page, or off the tounge. I have always wished that I had great talent in fictional writing, and I always read great fiction with amazement and a tinge of jealousy. But, I know that's not my bag. What I do have is a near constant inner dialogue about everyday issues. I've secretly been blogging for was just inside my head, where you couldn't see it. If I happened to be with someone, they probably ended up hearing it, but more often than not, that delicious flow of words stayed right in my brain.

Recently, a couple of my friends told me about their blogs, and I started reading them. I realized that this was exactly what I needed...a place to put my "musings"...a home for all that "writing" that had been going on for so many years already. So, here it is, for the whole world to see, though I suspect only about a handful will ever read it. :0) Why blog? Well, that's for YOU to decide.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ponder This....Attention, Please!

How long has it been since you paid attention? Now, I'm not talking about merely looking at what you are doing, I mean really staying absolutely in the moment, and taking in everything.

I was driving down Rupe yesterday, with about a hundred things buzzing in my head, and it suddenly hit me that I rarely ever think about or do one thing at one time. Most often, my hands are busy with one thing, and my mind is busy with the next things on the to-do list. That means that many times I am missing out on a lot of what is REALLY going on. Ever have a converstation with your mind half on the TV show you're watching? How about while you are driving? Can you make eye contact with the other person? Can you really engage yourself in what is happening?

There are so many things that demand our attention on a daily basis, like people, gadgets, work, entertainment, food, pets...the list goes on and on. Of all these, what is the MOST important to you? I have decided that people, and people I love in particular, are the most important. Many times they are only getting a tiny piece of my attention when we are together, because of all the other things distracting me. So, I'm going to make a mindful effort to give my FULL attention to people more often. That may mean we have to turn off the TV for a few minutes, or that I need to park the car before I hear how your day went. I think I want to look you in the eyes when you're talking to me, and really listen, instead of just hearing. After all, attention pleases all of us. :0)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ponder This...Not-so-instant gratification

Digital cameras give us instant gratification. You take a shot, check it, and if everything's not perfect, you delete and try again. We can zoom in and get only a fraction of what the old "film" gave us in a photo. We can edit out the toys all over the floor, or the goofy face someone made, or the random pet that wandered onto the scene at precisely the wrong moment. We can erase the photos the kids took of the weeds in the backyard, or the bad hair day we had on vacation with just the touch of a button. Is this always a good thing?

While cleaning off an old bookshelf, I ran across some of those little photo albums we used to get back before we had a digital camera. They were full of random memories. There were lots of candid shots. There were photos my daughter took of her stuffed animals, and halves of our heads, and beloved pets who have gone to Heaven now. It was an amazing treasure trove of things and times I'd forgotten. What's more, I could hold them. Since going digital, I rarely print a photo. They scroll on my screensaver or flash on a digital frame. But, holding these photos was like placing my hands around a little bit of the past. It's almost as if to prove that those moments were solid once, as real as the photo in my hand.

So, this week I have decided to dig out the "film" camera, dust it off, and make some new, not-so-instantly gratifying memories to find someday in the long forgotten, perfectly imperfect treasures.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ponder This...Death is death

Osama Bin Lauden is dead. It is prudent that those of us who are targets of his organization are relieved that he can no longer personally threaten us. That being said, I can't help but feel that street parties and public displays of celebration are not appropriate. We claim to be a Christian nation, and so, is it right to teach our children that the killing of another human being is a cause for celebration?

Am I saying that we should have let him go free? No. Am I saying that there was another way out of the situation our special forces were sent into? Not at all. It is a somber truth that men kill one another, regardless of the reasons or provocation. Death is death. Nothing to celebrate.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


From the day kids are born, they are motivated by what they want and don't want. They start out crying to get their way, because that is the singularly most effective way of accomplishing it at that time. People do not like to hear a crying baby for very long. It makes grown-ups sad, grates their nerves, and generally spurs them into action to solve whatever problem needs attention.

When they are able to talk, children start to ask for what they want, and protest what they don't want, typically, with the word NO! For example, the parent says, "It's time for bed.". "NO!", says the child who is resisting an end to play and fun, and exciting things. There is only one inflection in which this word is delivered, and it is always ALL CAPS with an EXCLAMATION POINT. This is the stage where parents begin to become truly annoyed with resistance, but are usually able to re-direct the child by making a game out of the offending task.

Then comes the stage I am currently experiencing as a parent...Continuous and Constant Negotiation, or, the Struggle for Ultimate Power. This is the most challenging stage of resistance, because meeting the need, or offering distractions no longer do the trick. This is the stage of life when teachers start to remark that you may have a great future as a lawyer for the ACLU. I know this, because a teacher once said that exact phrase to me. I could reason and argue more effectively, and for longer periods of time, than anyone. That was before I met my daughter. :0/ That girl has a great future...with the ACLU. :0)

Monday, April 18, 2011


I was told recently that several long running soap operas are ending this spring. I no longer watch any daytime TV, but I have to say that the news pained me a bit. You see, I grew up in an era where soaps were “STORIES”, and you didn’t interrupt or act up during the precious time they were on. My great grandmother, and various other female members of my household were enthralled with them. As I got a bit older, I have to admit that I got sucked into the world of kidnappings, long lost twins, and amnesia stricken unintentional polygamists.

The draw to these “stories” was mainly that they could NEVER happen. You were allowed to escape into a world that was ridiculous, sumptuously decorated, and completely fake. It was comforting to know that your life, while bits of it could mimic some parts of an episode, would never be that “fantastic”. It was pure fantasy, and everybody knew it. The world of the soap, and your world were firmly divided by REALITY, and most people were not tempted to try to live a soap opera.

The new trend that is ultimately causing the death of the soap is “REALITY” TV. This is where television has taken a decided turn for the worse. The trouble with “reality” on TV is that it is not much more real than a soap opera, but is being packaged as “REAL”. Many people honestly believe that life is like that for regular people. Now don’t scoff! I have seen the younger generation who is growing up with this phenomenon, and they are being sucked in to an ALTERNATE reality. They believe that everyone has to scream and cry, and fight, and curse, and have an emotional roller coaster ride every single day, and that this is normal and REAL. They believe that almost everyone will become an instant celebrity at some point, become a back stabber, do drugs, be successful, and then become a deranged lunatic. By elementary school they have already begun to imitate “REALITY” TV, and it’s not a pretty thing.

It seems a worthy cause in my opinion to correctly label our entertainment, if not for the benefit of the audience for which it was intended, at least for the generations to come. After all, they won’t have the good ol’ FAKE “REALITY” to compare their REAL reality to.