Guy Confession: Why I Love Soap Operas

By Aaron Traister, REDBOOK

I've written about my appreciation for General Hospital a few times here, and people keep asking me if I'm serious. I'm as serious as Carly Corinthos Jax when she's out for revenge. So yeah, I'm serious.

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I grew up with soaps on in the background. My baby sitters, my older sister, and my friends' mothers (my mom doesn't really watch TV) always seemed to have them on, specifically Days of Our Lives and General Hospital. I gradually realized that soaps aren't that different from the story-driven material created for guys, like comic books and WWE. In fact, soaps tend to showcase fewer Spandex-clad dudes than both of those examples-just something to think about.

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For a while, I was uncomfortable about letting my wife Karel in on the fact that I was an expert on the genealogy of the residents of Port Charles and Salem. I knew she was a Days fan and had watched some GH in her past, but I still felt kind of embarrassed about my little secret. Then when she was home on maternity leave with our first kid, she started watching them again. After she went back to work, we found ourselves watching Tivoed episodes of General Hospital every evening. And frankly, it was the perfect show for our baby-addled minds. We were just too wiped out to follow anything as challenging as The Sopranos or Big Love, but we weren't quite ready to jump off the reality show bridge, either. It was during this period that I let Karel in on the fact that I knew that Frisco and Felicia were Maxi and Georgie's parents and that things would have been different for Jason if his brother AJ hadn't been such a reckless drunk. She seemed unfazed by my admission.

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I sometimes wonder: Deep down, does Karel thinks it's weird that I enjoy a good soap opera, and just rolls with it because now we don't argue about what to watch, or has she never given it a second thought?

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Help me out here. How many of you watch soaps? How many of you have guys who occasionally watch soaps with you? And how many of you would think it's strange, or even a turn-off, if you found out your guy watched soaps?

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