Did you hear that? That was my scream cry heard 'round the world the day I found out that my beloved soap operas One Life to Live and All My Children were coming back to life. I grew up watching these timeless tales and the fact that they're coming back into my life makes me just about as happy I was on the day that I found out the Jessica was actually Clint Buchanan's daughter after a decade of paternity mishaps on One Life to Live. There's simply no reason not to watch these shows and since they begin filming again next week, now is the perfect time to get excited about soap operas again. Everything I have ever learned about life was acquired by my soap opera pathos. Because TV, is, in fact, just like real life, here are the 21 life lessons I've learned from soap operas.
1. If you're going to "accidentally" hit someone with a car, make sure it's not yours.
Duh. If you are in hysterics, driving down a country road at 90 miles an hour and accidentally plow over a woman (who of course you know by name and is most likely pregnant) it's always best that you've borrowed a friends car beforehand. And even though you didn't mean to do, you will deny that you hit said woman with your car until the day you die. If all else fails, you can always blame Lindsay Rappaport.
2. Time Stands Still.
What may seem like days, weeks or years of your life going by mean absolutely nothing. Because life is like a soap opera, you'll often find yourself in the same outfit, in the same room, fighting about the same thing for an endless period of time. The problem will most likely never be resolved. I know, because it happens to me all the time.
3. Time Flys By.
You may be in the same outfit you were wearing last week, but your child has aged rapidly while you were busy fighting with your arch nemesis in the living room for the past five weeks. Just yesterday he was in diapers, today he's getting girls pregnant and trying drugs. Kids on TV are boring unless they're stirring up some kind of bullshit, so hang onto those fleeting childhood moments -- because they won't last long.
4. People Will Disappear Without A Trace.
Ever wonder what happened to that smack talking waitress that you used to see at the diner every day? Well, she's disappeared without explanation. And you'll never hear from her -- or mention her name again. Ever.
5. Blame It On Your Evil Twin.
When all else fails and the shit has literally hit the fan, blame all of your misfortune on your evil twin that no one has ever heard of until it's relevant to reveal him or her.
6. Blame It On Your Clone.
When all else fails and the shit has literally hit the fan, blame all of your misfortune on your evil clone that no one realized existed until now.
7. Blame It On Your Multiple Personalities.
When all else fails and you've killed two family members, set your house on fire and threw your husband out of a window, blame it on your multiple personalities that no one ever knew you had until now.
8. Blame It On The Boogie.
Oh... wait... Michael Jackson taught me that.
9. Every Disease Is Curable.
Just because you have an incurable form of cancer doesn't mean you're going to die. Chances are a doctor from Romania with a secret cure is on his way to your sleepy little town to save the day as we speak -- but watch out, because that mysterious doctor has a medical bag full of secrets.
10. When In Doubt, Plead Insanity.
Feel like pushing your sister down a well? Have things gotten so bad that you just feel like shooting your ex-husband in the back? Have no fear -- simply plead insanity in a court of law and for no rhyme or reason whatsoever, you will be back on the streets by next Monday.
11. If There's A Party... Something Horrible is Going to Happen.
If there is a party -- say a masquerade ball, celebration of some sort of achievement or wedding -- and all 40 people who live in your town are in attendance, something horrible is going to happen and if you haven't been pulling your weight in the storyline department, I'd watch out for falling chandeliers if I were you.
12. You'll Have At Least 10 Children.
Most of whom, you'll never realize you had until your later years in life. Nothing brings out the best in us, quite like an illegitimate child we never knew we had and who was our arch-rival until revelation. Because from my knowledge, women give birth all the time and completely forget about it moments later.
13. You'll Live Like, Forever.
Since life is like a soap opera, you will literally never die. You can get shot, stabbed, get into a horrible jet ski accident, get run over by a car, go up in flames in an explosion or literally flat line on an operating table and come back to life in a few short years or even weeks. Not only that, when you take off your shirt for a steamy reunion with the love of your life, you won't have a scratch on you.
14. You Can Come Back With A New Face.
Feel like leaving town for a bit? Go ahead -- and feel free to come back with an entirely new face. Not only that, no one will ever question that you have a different voice, height and facial expressions than you did before.
15. You're Good At Everything.
Life is just like TV. Because if you run a magazine, you can also be a lounge singer, a detective, a doctor, a pilot, a mob wife/chanteuse, a spy and run a cosmetics company all from a town that no one has ever heard of.
16. You're Related to Everyone.
Since there are only 40 people living in your town anyway, be careful who you sleep with. Chances are, your new love interest is most likely your long lost brother and you'll probably end up almost sleeping with him.
17. So You Thought You Had An Abortion...
Well... think again. That fetus you thought you aborted 25 years ago was actually put into another woman, carried to term and is now a doctor... who's out for revenge against YOU! Because hospital doors are literally NEVER locked, it's easy to do something like this. It's also effortless to switch DNA and paternity tests which is great because you'll most likely need to do that twice in your lifetime at the very least.
18. When In Doubt... Get Pregnant!
Is your marriage failing because you think your husband is sleeping with your best friend? Have no fear! Just get pregnant, question the paternity of the baby for months and cling to the fact that your husband will stay with you if the baby is his. If it's not, just lie to him for years about the baby's paternity and reveal that the child isn't his at a party (see above).
19. Even If You Live in Pennsylvania You Can Go To The Beach.
Just because you live in a landlocked state doesn't mean you can't go to the beach in that state every summer. Also, watch out for the tsunami's that will inevitably terrorize your land locked town.
20. There's Always A Serial Killer Coming.
Since life is just like a daytime drama, you are destined to have to deal with a serial killer six times in your life, at the very least. And because the police have absolutely no idea what they're doing, the issue probably won't resolve itself until November Sweeps and it will never be who you imagined.
21. Rivalries Never End.
Someone looked at you the wrong way? Great! Start a rivalry with them that lasts until you're in your mid-sixties that consists of you personally, literally terrorizing every member of their family. Years later, you won't remember why you started fighting with that person in the first place but you hate them nonetheless and always will.
There you have it -- all of life's lessons brought to you by the good people of daytime television. I can't wait to see what new drama unfolds when my two favorite shows come back from the dead themselves this spring.
Follow Mark Brennan Rosenberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/markbrosenberg