Thanks, Mom (I think)

My mother is visiting for two weeks, so I get to watch Days with her again.

I’ve mentioned here before that I watched Days as a child because my mother watched the show. She started watching in 1969 when my oldest brother was a baby. By the time I was born three years later, she was firmly addicted. She remembers when Mickey met Maggie, when Addie died, and when baby DJ died of SIDS. She is a longtime Marlena fan, and loved her with Don and Roman I, but it’s Drake Hogestyn she loves best.

I have to be grateful to Mom’s Drake love, though, because I owe my Steve and Kayla addiction to her. In 1986 I was taping Guiding Light and wasn’t motivated to pick up another soap. But when the school year ended, I would stumble out of bed at 10 am and find my mom camped in front of the TV, watching intently. This was right after John was revealed to be Roman, just as Kayla moved to Salem. And thus I was hooked. My mom’s Drake love also meant that she had some tapes of his pre-Roman days lying around the house, which is how I later watched the West Virginia storyline, and bits and pieces of Steve pre-Kayla.

She remains a devoted John, and J&M, fan. She has never been more than lukewarm on Steve and Kayla. She loves EJ (“He’s so complex and intriguing”) and is rooting for EJami. She hates Lucas, loves Nicole, and thinks Stephanie is adorable. She was upset when John “died” last year, but other than that she doesn’t worry about the quality of the show. She accepts that sometimes it’s good and sometimes it isn’t. Watching is just is a part of the fabric of her life. Unlike me, she doesn’t endlessly analyze what the show is doing right or wrong. Honestly, I think she is somewhat bemused by the fact that I keep this blog.

My mom is also spoiler free, by default, because she never reads soap magazines and has never visited a Days message board. When we watch together, we like to speculate about what is going to happen and call out to the characters on screen. Last week, my mom shouted to Daniel as he moved in to kiss Chelsea, “Get away from her, you lech!” Heh. I love watching Days with my mom.

I must admit, though, that when your mother is sitting next to you, it takes a little bit of the glow off of watching James Scott and Arianne Zucker sex each other up.


11 thoughts on “Thanks, Mom (I think)

  1. Glad to see she’s someone who doesn’t care for Chan. I was at lunch last week with a business partner, and somehow we stumbled upon that we both loved Days. I was stricken with fear..what if she really liked Chan? Could I really respect her professionally?

    Thankfully she didn’t care for them at all and predicted (she goes spoiler free too) that they would crash and burn. I had to let her know of Grannysex which she guessed on her own. She likes Nick a lot and asked why he isn’t on more. *Sigh*

    Anyway, hilarious it’s tough to enjoy a sex scene with a likable couple next to your mom.

  2. Aww that’s cute. My mom and I watch together now and then on visits and she will call me sometimes when she finds something terrible. It’s fun to see that her feelings have started to mirror mine. She liked Jarlena back in the day (heck so did I) but now she finds them pretty intolerable. She hates Chan, which is why we get to stay mother and daughter, and also finds EJ to be very attractive. Gotta love moms when they have taste!

    My mom gets spoilers through me and I only tell her ones I think she’ll like and/or care about. It’s so much fun to carry a soap on generationally. That’s probably not a word, but you get my point!

  3. I’m another Days watcher that got started with my Mom. I was just a kid, but I remember all the great things that mp’s mother remembers. I have never warmed up to Jarlena, I tolerated Roman with Marlena, but I LOVED Don Craig with her. I think I actually cried when they got divorced. They were the first soap couple I truely loved. I didn’t get into “couple worship” mode again until Bope came along. I still love them to no end today too and when they made all of those comments comparing Chan to them I wanted to puke!! Chan will NEVER be on the same level as Bope.

  4. Mosaicplum, thanks for commenting! I remember Don and Marlena too, and I remember liking them. I loved Doug and Julie more, though. My first “shipping” couple was Renee and Tony, followed by Liz and Neil. I missed the beginning of Bo and Hope, and I’m so bummed about that (stupid Guiding Light!).

    I think it’s so cute that my mom likes EJ. She has a little crush on him, I think. That reminds me, awhile back we were talking about the Ejami rape, and my mom filled me in on one of the first “retcons”—I love when my mom uses the lingo! A character named Susan Martin showed up at the hospital and was unambiguously presented as just having been raped at the park by a stranger. Later, this was transformed into a “one night stand” when the rapist character was introduced to the canvas. He was Eric Peters, brother of Dr. Greg Peters, who was Susan’s love interest at the time. Anyway, it was “revealed” that it had really been a consensual encounter. But Dr. Greg tried to kill his brother, thinking the rape was real. Complications ensued.

    Nolebucgrl, I think “generationally” actually is a word! I too love the generational nature of soap watching. My mom and I usually find a few minutes to talk about Salem in our weekly phone call.

    I was stricken with fear..what if she really liked Chan? Could I really respect her professionally?

    Tripp, hee!

  5. If your mom got you hooked on S&K and Days then she is forever one of my favorite people in the world. 🙂

    My mom, on the other hand, has never watched a day of Days in her life (although I do recall her watching AW way back in my childhood). She is constantly bemused by my Days addiction, particularly when it involved downloading S&K clips while on vacation in Europe. So, I didn’t get the multi-generational aspect of soap watching, but I did get the community aspect long before internet message boards. I had a dorm full of Days watchers and we had our own versions of fanbase wars.

  6. My Mum introduced me to Days too, but she herself hasn’t watched in years and years, so we no longer have that particular bond. Though I do remember her being a big fan of original recipe Marlena and Roman, and also Liz and Neil.

  7. Zara, Liz and Neil seemed so square when I tuned back in in 1986! But I loved them before.

    esp, I’m jealous of your college dorm room watching. I only had one friend who watched Days with me, and she moved away. Wasn’t it your stepsister who got you into watching Days? Does she still watch?

  8. Yep, it was my stepsister who got me started watching Days because she loved Bo and Hope. I think she kind of stopped watching (or lost a lot of interest) when Bo and Hope left for their trip around the world. I know she still watched sporadically afterwards (usually because I made her) but her heart wasn’t in it. I don’t know if she picked it back up again after Bo and Hope returned because I was in college by then and we never talked about it.

    The collective dorm watching was fun. I remember that when Stephanie was born and when Steve died, it was kind of nice to have a large group to celebrate with and sob with. And boy did we sob. For days.

  9. Count me as another Days fan who was introduced to the show by my mom! I don’t know when she got started (although I think she’s watched soaps since she was a teen, her favorite being Dark Shadows), but for as long as I can remember she has watched. I got started in the 80s and long for the supercouple angst and adventure stories that I remember from that time. I gave Days up in the late 90s and only came back to watching recently, but I think my mom has always watched, no matter how bad it’s gotten. What devotion!! 😉 We don’t discuss the storylines as much as I’d like, mainly because she has a grandchild now (courtesty of me!), and that is her main focus of attention when we talk. But anyway, I think my mom actually watches most of the show–she doesn’t really ff any of the scenes, which is more than I can say for myself. I am going home in a couple of weeks and am looking forward to getting to watch Days together to get her take on NuJohn (love), Stax (yawn), Chan (gag), and EJami (please give us this!!!). I love that we have this show to ‘bond’ over!

  10. Hi Christi, thanks for commenting. Your mom truly is devoted! My mom never also never fast-forwards, except for flashbacks. I try not to as well, but mostly because of this blog.

    I love that my mom and I share this too! I bet our moms had no idea they were promoting a lifelong bond when they had the show on when we were kids. 🙂

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