Days of Our Lives

The other day, this came up my Facebook feed.  Oh my, did it ever give me a good laugh.

For some of you, you are laughing right along with me.  For others of you, you likely don’t know what is funny.

Are you up for a little story?  Grab some coffee…here goes.

Growing up, my family watched soap operas over the lunch hour.  Mom and Dad both did farming work and when they were in for lunch, they always turned on the television and watched the soap opera that was on.

Dad was more of the watcher than mom was…mom more or less listened while she bustled around the kitchen getting lunch ready.  Dad was die-hard All my Children fan.

All My Children - Early 80s Opening Theme - YouTube
We laughed and cried over the life of Erica Cane and her many, many marriages.

Erica Kane's Husbands on All My Children | POPSUGAR Love & Sex
That was the noon hour soap on ABC.  Well, sometimes Dad came in from chores a little later so…the next ABC soap that came on was…One Life to Live.

One Life To Live 1986 Intro - YouTube
….and sometimes it was hot out so Dad stayed in for General Hospital.

General Hospital Opening Long Version - YouTube
General Hospital was my personal favorite.  I was so in love with Luke and Laura.  I was a religious watcher!
General Hospital: The Soap Opera of the 80s | Like Totally 80s
Later on…I watched Frisco and Felicia fall in love.

Frisco and Felicia - General Hospital 80s Photo (26323744) - Fanpop
I fell in love with Rick Springfield…

Rick Springfield Returning to General Hospital | Rick springfield, General hospital, Heartthrob
who later went on had a music career singing the hit, “Jessie’s Girl”.

Dad loved the ABC soaps….but sometimes, he would come in before noon and turn the channel over to The Young and the Restless on CBS.

Young and the restless LogosI watched Victor and Nicky be married and not married several times.

12+ Facts Only The Biggest Fans Know About 'The Young And The Restless' | DoYouRemember?
Back then my favorite character was Tracey.  You know every character had their flaw and Tracey’s flaw was that she was supposedly overweight.  I related to her and loved her….She was FAR from overweight!!  Oh my.

The Young and the Restless Photos: Traci and Brad on CBS.com | Young and the restless, Tv weddings, Wedding movies
I don’t want you to think my dad sat in the house all day watching soap operas.  He didn’t.  He was just an unusual farmer.  He chose to be in the house over the hot part of the day and have longer lunch vs being done early in the evening.  He wasn’t in for the night until 10:30pm.  It was his way…and I think he liked soaps.  It was okay with me.  It was something we had in common.  I liked them too.

Well, I went to college and took my dad’s soap opera habits with me.  I watched the same shows he did, but the show that I always tried to catch was General Hospital.  The other ones I might catch once a week or so if my college schedule allowed…but General Hospital was the one I worked my schedule around.

Then I met Kramer and a year later we were married.  College was done for me.  We moved to the Grand Meadow/Stewartville area in Minnesota.  That’s where Kramer was from.  We were dirt poor.  It was the 80s.  Kramer was a young farmer and he was going broke.  We had no money…seriously…no money.

Here’s the proof.  We had two televisions.  One had sound and no picture.  The other had picture and no sound.  I am dead serious.  So what were we poor newlyweds to do?  We stacked the televisions on top of each other, tuned them to the same station, and watched one television while listening to the other.  Somedays the actor’s mouth and the words didn’t completely match but I was a dedicated soap opera fan so what’s a girl to do?  Those were the “good old days”.  Thinking about it nowadays makes me laugh!!

Imagine my consternation when I tuned them on the first time only to realize the only channel we got was channel 10, KTTC out of Rochester, Minnesota.  Oh, my word.  I was heartbroken.  KTTC was an NBC station.  I didn’t watch any NBC soap operas.  What was a girl to do?  In comes….Days of our Lives.

BRPROUD | Days of our lives to air after impeachment hearings

Kramer’s family were Days of our Lives watchers.  Both his Mom and his Dad watched Days of our Lives.  If it was noon, the television was on and they were watching.  It was an institution.  BUT…they only watched Days of our Lives…no other soaps.

So, in our poverty, I became a Days of our Lives watcher.  I game up my ABC soaps and converted.  I did however catch the ABC soaps when I’d go visit my dad.  But, before long, I became hooked on Days of our Lives.

I loved Steve and Kayla….I loved Bo and Hope.

Your Number One 80s! Which Classic Days Of Our Lives (DOOL) Couple Is Your Fave?

About then we moved and were able to get other channels, but I stuck with NBC and Days of our Lives.  I’d put the kids down for a nap and watch while I bustled around the kitchen cleaning up the lunch dishes and prepping supper.

I wasn’t in love with the show when Marlena became possessed.

Marlena on Days of Our Lives — Everything You Need to Know

I hated the Dimera family.  Stephano was the patriarch of that family and he was terrible.

The bradydimera feud stefano dimera 160x230.jpg
He did every bad thing any writer could think of.  He held people captive.  He died and came back to life.  He had all the money in the world so could afford to hire any hitman or bad person the writers could think of.  He was behind every bad thing on the show.  He was known as The Pheonix as he always came back to life…and in the show, he did.  Viewers, like me, would think he was dead.  Then a year later mysterious things would start to happen and there he was acting the puppeteer and pulling all the strings behind the scenes to make terrible things happen.

So when I saw this on Facebook…


I had the BIGGEST laugh.  My late 20s and early 30-year-old self believed it all…It really could be Stephano once again playing the puppeteer and pulling the strings to make this year one all of us will remember.

On a side note…I quit watching soaps in the early 2000s.  For a bit, I would nap my childcare kids and listen while I cleaned up the kitchen but that soon faded, and instead, I prepped activities for the kids over naptime.  I did a quick Google search to see what soaps were being produced today…

Today, only four of them remain — The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS), Days of Our Lives (NBC), General Hospital (ABC), and The Young and the Restless (CBS)“.

Funny…I have ties to three of the four of them.  I wonder if I could pick up and start watching again….Hmmm.  Do you suppose anything has changed?  Likely not as I’m sure any characters I remember look just like they did back then thanks to plastic surgery.

So my curious mind wants to know…was I the only one who watched soaps?  What was your favorite?

40 thoughts on “Days of Our Lives

  1. Donna T

    Oh my gosh Jo! My dad worked the night shift and watched All My Children and One Life to Live before he went to sleep!!! I watched too during college! Yes we loved Erica Kane and all her antics!!! I think a lot more men watched than would ever admit to it!!! Thanks for the memories and the laughs!!!

  2. Dar W

    Oh my, Jo, I saw this and burst out laughing!!! YES YES YES to Days of Our Lives, diehard fan here for years! And my mother was a fan and also General Hospital; they were on when I got home from school! I remember handsome Dr. Hardy, oh my mother loved him!! Poignant story: I watched all through my first pregnancy, then while raising sweet Jessi and pregnant with her brother…. until one day I watched transfixed as Hope fought off an attacker, that’s all I remember, (Bo probably saved her) and I looked down at my side where toddler Jessi was also watching transfixed!!! Oh no!!! I turned off the TV and didn’t watch another episode until my kids were in school! (Of course I followed the summaries in our local newspaper, LOL)… Eventually my tweens/teens became fans and we watched together, something those now adult children still fondly remember…. oh good times indeed!! Thanks for the memories!

  3. Cindy E

    I remember watching General Hospital with my mom and that had to be more than 50 years ago. Then in the early 2000s, I worked with a group of guys and gals who all watched the same soaps and that would be the topic of conversation. We worked night shifts and I couldn’t adjust my sleeping schedule to watch.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. brenda

    am i the only reader whose friend had to keep up with DOug and Julie on days of our lives ?? we did nothing during that time of day, including scheduling any committee meetings or activities for church, also, i am probably the only one old enough to remember back that far.

  5. Cindy

    My family was a “As the World Turns” fan. When I married, my farming husband came in for dinner and we watched “Days of our Lives”. When the TV stations put .2 & .3 with the old westerns that is what he watches now. I did see that “Hope” was leaving “Days of Our Lives”. Great memories.

  6. Suzanne Shepherd

    My grandparents were farmers, and Grandma always watched One Life to Live and Days of our Lives. Back then each show was only 15 minutes. When I was in high school a new one came on called Dark Shadows. My sisters and I would dash home from the bus stop to watch, but it was too weird and we lost interest quickly. Later, as a young mom, I watched Ryan’s Hope (do you remember that one?) until my toddler daughter started talking about Delia one day. Then I figured I’d better give it up. Delia was of questionable moral character and I figured my 3 year old didn’t need to know anything about her. LOL.
    Years later, my younger daughter and I watched General Hospital every day when she came home from high school. It’s probably been 25 years since I even thought about soap operas! That’s about when she left for college. Thanks for the memories.

  7. Judy

    Yep, General Hospital from early Jr High until my first child was born, One Life to Live and way back in the day, Dark Shadows!

  8. Karen

    Guiding Light, first with my mama during summer breaks, then with a carefully arranged college schedule, then nap times with kids. Even with years-long breaks, I could pick up,the story in just a few days. However, the weekend I caught myself praying for the safety of a blind character who’d been left on Friday afternoon trying to escape a fire made me think it was time to move on.

  9. The Joyful Quilter

    I was never an All My Children fan. My favorite? Most definitely Santa Barbara! I would rush home from school to catch the tail end of it. The others had bit parts in my soap opera days, all thanks to my Grandmother, who was an avid watcher.

  10. Cindy F

    I watched All My Children for awhile and One Life to Live but I think my favorite was General Hospital. I think everyone remembers the Luke and Laura wedding! At some point I quit watching them…probably around the time my kids were born. I never did get back into them.

  11. Carla

    Wow did you open the floodgates now lol! I started watching General Hospital at some point in high School, so yes to Luke and Laura. Then I went to coliege and my roommate watched the CBS soaps and I got so into them. I watched until I met my soon to be husband and became more interested in real life. They were fun for a while for sure.

  12. Gail L Piper

    My daughter sent me that photo of Stefano DiMera a few weeks ago and it made me laugh… I too was a “Days” fan for years. Indeed 2020 is something he could have orchestrated! (I also remember “The Doctors” and “Another World”, 2 other NBC soaps back in the day.) My family didn’t have a TV until the early 60’s, but my grandparents did – they watched several soaps in the afternoons: “Secret Storm” is an old one that comes to mind and yes, some of them were only 15 minutes long. At one point, a couple shows were as long as 90 minutes, but that format didn’t last very long. Like you, our viewing was limited by the channels that were available in our area.
    I quit watching after my husband retired and we seemed to have other things going on; news channels have replaced the soaps here, but there are characters that I remember fondly! (Hmmm… the news channels are often very much like soap operas!) Thanks for the memory-jog!

  13. Jean

    My Mom watched Days of Our Lives and got me hooked in high school. When I came home on college vacations she would catch me up on what had been happening ’cause in those days there was no arranging your class schedule to suit your wishes — you took the class when it was offered. (1961). When I got married and came home to visit she continued the update. My husband would say later, “Who are all those people your Mom was talking about? They sure have a LOT of problems!”. I watched for years, but realized after a while that they tended to bring my mood down, so I stopped.

  14. Liz

    I’ve never been a soap opera watcher! Couldn’t tell you anything about any of them. BUT, as a kid, both sets of grandparents were dairy farmers in northern Indiana and my maternal grandparents were totally addicted to a couple of soap operas, especially General Hospital. Grandpa would come in for lunch at the time GH was on and stay til his favorites were over, during the hottest part of the day. So, your story sounds very familiar. My paternal grandparents, on the other hand, wouldn’t have been caught dead watching a soap opera! And certainly not in the middle of the day when you should be in the fields!

  15. Elle

    Must be a farmer thing. Dad always came in and we watched: All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital. I remember watching those with Mom and Dad before I ever went to kindergarten. I gave them up when I started Nursing school. No time left as I also worked full time plus extra shifts to pay for school.

    Nice walk down memory lane :-)

  16. Donna

    I’d come home from school around 3 and my mom would be watching Another World while she was ironing. So, during commercials, I would tell her about my day and she hers. I always suspeted she saved the ironing for 3 ;-)
    Love and prayers

  17. Jody Randall

    I’ve watched every soap that’s been on TV at one point in time or another. My Mom was an As the World Turns fan and I watched until their last show. Now I watch Y&R and sometimes Bold and Beautiful.

  18. Lorraine

    Thanks for the laugh. My farming parents didn’t watch soaps but I worked at a bank in our small town in 1978. My supervisor and I couldn’t leave for lunch. So we ate lunch there and watched Days of our Lives. I don’t watch now; the stories don’t change enough for me.
    My husband and I were dirt poor, too, when we were first married so I chuckled about your two-tv situation.
    Have a great day, Jo!

  19. Pam

    My grandmother and I watched all the CBS soaps: As the World Turns, Guiding Light, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. I continue to watch the two remaining CBS soaps. It’s my way of staying connected to my beloved Nanny. Thank goodness for streaming since I still work a job. Here’s
    a few more CBS soaps we watched together while they lasted: The Edge of Night, Search for Tomorrow, Love is a Many Splendored Thing. Thanks for bringing up such sweet memories, Jo!

  20. Colleen Plieger

    We were CBS people. As the world turns and edge of night were our favorites. I worked evenings after marriage and watched them as I got ready for work. But then as kids came I saw them watching and I quit watching. But I loved the evening soaps later like Dallas and all the others.

  21. Karen Hough

    Did you know that “Tracie” Beth Maitland also quilts?
    She has a Facebook page DramaqueenBee. Who knew!
    She does amazing work.
    Just thought I’d let you know.
    I still watch Y&R.

  22. Sandra B

    What a fun post, Jo! Such memories! And reading all the comments has been fun as well…
    I have something funny you won’t believe, but it is absolutely true….we listen to “oldies” most of the time, as we are today…well, just as I finished reading your blog post, they played Jessie’s Girl…no kidding! I laughed right out loud!!
    I remember my mom watching Secret Storm and The Edge of Night, and if I remember correctly, these were 15 minute shows…does that sound right!? I watched General Hospital back in the Luke and Laura era… I have not watched it for a long time now, but every now and then (we are talking once a year here), I will watch it, just to see if I recognize any characters… And I read the episode recaps from time to time… some of the old characters are still on….Laura is one, as well as Scotty Baldwin, and Monica Quartermaine, and Bobbie Spencer too, and even Robert Scorpio… I don’t know if they are on all the time, or just occasionally, but I do know for sure that they are all played by the original actors!
    Thanks for a great trip down memory lane!!

  23. Diane in WA

    My mom watched all the CBS shows. Y & R, As the World Turns, Guiding Light. I also watched them and after I married my husband got interested in As the World Turns while eating the noon meal. His mom never watched soap operas. I think I quit watching when my kids started paying attention to TV. Not always the best influence on the soaps. Now I am a game show addict. LOL. During Covid the Y & R was playing old shows. I happened to catch the very first episode. It was fun to see how it all started. It was fun to read everyone’s comments. I think As the World Turns was my favorite.

  24. Peggy S

    I too, watched soaps in the afternoon, ATWT & GL, as they were referred to in the Soap Opera Weekly Magazine!! In fact, I was watching ATWT on my 21st birthday, when President Kennedy was shot!! What a sad memory, huh?? Watched both of them all the way until they went off the air!! My parents watched them too!! So we had something in common to talk about. They lived for their “stories!!” A reason to get up every morning for some folks!!
    Those were the days!!

  25. Candy

    Our family watched Dallas faithfully. It was on Fridays at 9:00 pm. Hubby worked until 9:00 on Fridays, so the kids & I would get the popcorn ready and we’d all settle in when Hubby came through the door (he ‘might have’ tried to sneak out early on Fridays … LOL). It was so painful waiting out the summer hiatus until the new season started! We soooo loved that show!

  26. Kim J LeMere

    I never got into watching soap operas but I did enjoy Knots Landing and Dallas when they were on night time TV, I’m so glad you explained the picture, I would of remained clueless, lol

  27. Virginia Grenier

    “Like sands through the hourglass so are the days of our lives.” My folks were die-hard watchers to the point that when I became an adult they asked me to record the episodes while they were out of town on vacation.

    Because of an advertisement during the episodes, I discovered Debbie Mumm’s Quick Country Quilting. I loved how she broke the steps down for cutting the pieces for a quilt.

    I also discovered that if you watch the soaps on Friday and Monday you pretty much knew what was going on – no need to watch on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. LOL

    Virginia
    Clearbrook MN

  28. Sally

    I watched “soul poppers” in the late 70s when in college. Laura was married to Scotty Baldwin. Remember Cliffs first wife Nina? Erica was married to Tom. Yes, I watched GH and AMC. Also remember Edge of Night (wasn’t Meg Ryan on that?) iI remember the theme songs! Love is a Many Spelndid Thing. We had a black and white tv and you had to change the channel just right to keep the picture still.

  29. Barbara F

    Hi Jo. I knew exactly who that was and why it was funny! I’m around your age and my mom watched Days since I was a little kid. I was actively watching when Bo and Hope became a couple, then married. I always thought she was so beautiful! She still is. Mom is still watching, but I’ve lost track of the story lines since I haven’t watched in many years. I remember Tom & Alice, Mickey & Maggie, Steve & Kayla “Like sands through the hour glass, so are the Days of Our Lives” . . . (ha! ha!)

  30. Charlene

    I watched soap operas back in the day. I did because my mom did. I have a friend and an aunt who still tape them every day. I don’t think they necessarily watch them but they are taped just Incase they want to. I based my wedding dress off of Hope’s when she married Bo. I recently heard that Hope has retired. Not sure how they planned out her exit. A few months ago I was watching because there was nothing else on that interested me and guess what, most of the old time characters are still there with the same story lines. You could catch on really quick. Just saying

  31. mpv61

    In the 1970s, my family lived in Dubuque, where we had moved from upstate NY. Every summer we went back to upstate NY to visit our grandparents, staying for anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. One of my grandpas was retired (I personally don’t remember a time he worked, but maybe my memory is faulty) and he always watched the soaps. My sisters, my mom, and I all got hooked on All My Children and General Hospital.

    We left Dubuque in 1979, just after I graduated from high school. In college in MA, my Friday afternoon treat was to watch my soap operas, tidy my dorm room, water my plants, read books for fun, and just relax — no homework. :) Good times. In the summer, I could often watch the soaps and get caught up a bit. My mom and my sisters and I would update each other when we were able to see something the others hadn’t been able to see.

    When I started to work a nine-to-five schedule, I could only watch the soaps on vacation or if there was a Monday holiday or something. When I had kids, I put soaps back onto my daily routine, until there was a scene that sent me running to the TV to turn it off — it wasn’t something I wanted my toddlers to see! It happened to be a Friday and I knew I was busy Monday and wouldn’t be able to see the soaps, so I decided to quit cold turkey!

    I watch a LOT of other TV…but no daytime soaps for many years (those toddlers are 22 now).

  32. ChristieB

    I remember my parents always watched “As The World Turns”. In college, The Pit in the Union was always packed when General Hospital came on. That’s when I got hooked on General Hospital. Married my farmer in 76, and he watched the farmers’ soap, The Bold and the Beautiful because it came on right after the weather and the market report. So, to this day it’s The B & B, and General Hospital. The DVR has enabled us to watch our soaps any time of the day! Gotta love those soaps!

  33. Susan the Farm Quilter

    My college roommate love All My Children, so I watched it with her, but after I moved back home I stopped watching. A friend went on a month-long vacation in the early 1990’s and asked me to record General Hospital for her for the entire month! She was addicted and South Africa (where she went for vacation) didn’t have the show. I swear she really missed nothing!!

  34. Lace Faerie

    OMGosh, Jo! The first memories I have of Tv is the stacked TV sets! My Mama bemoaned the bad luck that it was the color set that the picture tube went out on. I remember foil covered wire hangers standing in for lost rabbit ear antennas! And changing the channel with pliers because the knob broke off!

    I remember Ryan’s Hope but the one I got hooked on was All My Children. The office clerical staff used to gather in the conference room to eat our brown bag lunches and watch AMC during the lunch hour!

    I was the boss’ daughter and he used to tease us women about watching soaps and asking if he should bring us slippers and chocolate covered bon-bons but then he got hooked, too. Good memories.

  35. Roberta Badovick

    I was mainly an NBC fan: The Doctors, Another World, Somerset, and Days of Our Lives! OH, those were the days!

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