My best friend Katherine, who lives on the north side of Chicago, has been watching "The Young and the Restless" for more than 15 years.
I plan my day around it, she says. "I shower, get dressed, so I can be ready in time for the show. If I'm unable to watch and forget to tape it, I'm disappointed."
She's not alone. Aside from its millions of daily viewers, both of us have been following "Y&R" since high school. Katherine would tape it, and we would watch it together after school. I can remember following it before my parents bought a VCR, and then I could only catch it during summer vacation. My grandmother would write regularly (through regular mail!) filling me in on all the new romances and a variety of plots from kidnapping to backstabbing. Our cover story (right) addresses how soaps today are targeting younger viewers.
Back at Katherine's house, we would grab her mom's homemade peanut brittle, and head downstairs to the family room. Looking back, "Y&R" brought us closer together and gave us something extra in common.
Today, being 1,000 miles apart, Katherine and I still watch the show. We keep in touch through e-mail and discuss the characters' clothes and the outrageous story lines (one of the characters was recently trapped in the desert for a long time). The other day, she missed the show and sent me an e-mail, asking who was crowned queen at the prom (as it turns out, she didn't miss a thing; they dragged it out, as usual!).
Soaps may seem silly and overly dramatic, but for soap fans, it's fun to discuss with friends - and take a break from our real lives - if just for a moment.
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