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Working The Twelve Steps For Soapaholics

I should have known there was a problem when I feigned a head cold to stay home from high school for two days in order to watch John Black dance with his terminally ill bride Isabella one last time on Days of Our Lives, or when the guy in the dorm room across from me during my senior year of college asked me in the cafeteria one day, "Dude, who is that chick you're always screaming at?"


"Huh?" I drawled, mouth hanging agape, we Southerners tend to do that when perplexed.

"At 2 in the morning, you are always yelling at some girl in your room and calling her a bitch!"

I was too embarassed to tell him the girl in question was Annie Douglas from Sunset Beach, which I stayed up to watch after our local NBC affiliate moved it's daily airing to the butt crack of dawn.

They say admitting you have a problem is the first step. My name is Jamey Giddens, and I'm a soapaholic.

Being a soapaholic these days is akin to being an alcoholic during Prohibition. Good soaps are illegal in these parts. Were it not for a couple of brazen bootleggers with surnames like Carlivati, Sheffer, Rao and Bell (Arena-Bell that is), why a soap drunk might just stay on the wagon indefinitely! Maybe that's a good thing??? Back to the aforementioned college days, had good soaps been as hard to come by  then, perhaps I would have spent more time learning the inverted pyramid, as opposed to memorizing Vicky's last conversation with Marley on Another World? I guess, much like whatever happened with Grant and Cindy Harrison on the isle of Tanquir, we'll never know the answer to that question.

In an attempt to regain some sense of balance in these trying times for soaps, and for those of us who are still somehow addicted to them, despite most soaps having descended from Cristal to cheap, convenience store Ripple, I've decided to borrow from the time-tested 12 Steps method from Alcoholics Anonymous in order to help myself and others find clarity, peace, serenity.

I hope you know,

I hope you KNOW,

that this has nothing to with you....

Oh, sorry, I broke into some Fergalicious there for a moment! So anyway, without further poo-poo, I bring you the 12 Steps of Soapaholics Anonymous.

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction to soap operas, a lot of us, to bad soap operas. I mean really, really, bad soap operas, Ken Corday, Chris Goutman, Ellen WheelerDena Higley bad soap operas, and that our lives have become unmanageable.

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Some like to call that Power God, or Jehovah, or Budda, or Oprah, but I call them Ron and Frank and Lisa and Sri and Maria and Hogan and Scott and Paul and Andrew and Karen and Tom and Thom and Chris and Sara.  I'm a polytheist,  judge not, lest ye be judged.

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Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of the Soap Gods (the good and benevolent ones mentioned in Step 2, and away from the petty, cruel ones referenced in Step 1), as we understood God to be.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our DVR and Tivos.

Step 5: Admitted to the Soap Gods (via spamming their inboxs and network call lines, and even sending them trinkets based on our specific adored, disenfranchised couples. Guza did you get my rattle for little Jake?), to ourselves and to everyone on every soap opera message board and site from Daytime Confidential to Soap Central, to Daytime Royalty and back again, the exact nature of how every specific soap writer, producer and actor has specifically wronged us as fans.

Step 6: Were entirely ready to have the Soap Gods give us the courage to remove all defective soaps from our said DVRs and Tivos.

Step 7: Humbly asked the Soap Gods to remove our shortcomings, and a few of the actors on our soaps who we can't stand (One Erin Sanders can spoil the barrel!).

Step 8: Made a list of all the persons we had harmed when we forgot that these characters don't really exist and attack other real life human beings like pitbulls in Michael Vick's backyard.

Step 9: Made direct ammends to all such people wherever possible by means of E-cards featuring half naked soap stars and starlets, or naming our first born children after the favorite soap characters of those we've wrong, even if we loathe them ( Sigh, I guess I will be naming my daughter Sam McCall).

Step 10: Continued to take a personal inventory of our DVR and Tivos in order to keep bad, bad, really bad, like awful soap operas from making us half-crazed, grouchy, incontinent, asexual, impotent people who go to Vegas to see Celine Dion. People who for no reason at all fly into blind rages at our grocery stores, yelling at the clerk, "Damn you Brian Frons, you will put my couple back together IMMEDIATELY! you dirty, SOB" before being escorted out of the facility by a teenage rent-a-cop.

Step 11: Sought through prayer and mediation— over shows like The Young and the Restless, One Life to Live, Imaginary Bitches, General Hospital: Night Shift (If it comes back and if Sri Rao is at the helm!) and Life in General— to improve our conscious contact with the Soap Gods, praying only for good Soap Gods to find/keep employment  and for bad, wicked Soap Gods who speak of 3-day-a-week formats to be magicallly stricken with a desire to leave their posts and learn how to give colon exams. They've been shoveling poop this long, why not get paid for what they do best?

Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other soapaholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Remember the first step is the deepest. No, that's the first cut? What is it? Oh yeah, one day at a time! VOTE WITH YOUR REMOTE 2009!