Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Killing Jack

I'm fortunate to say that one of my two favorite places on this earth is just 36.5 miles from my driveway. 
I'm foolish to say that I don't get there nearly as much as I'd like to because of my "busy" schedule. 

Last Friday I drove to The Original Jean's house after work. We had big plans for our grandma/granddaughter date: eat one of her famous cheeseburgers, then indulge in ice-cream as Granddad did, then sort family photos. The same thing we've done for three decades. It was Friday, after all, and our diets didn't start until Monday. 

We were having a peaceful evening watching the daily murder recap on the Dayton, Ohio news station when she suddenly stopped chewing. 
"What time is it?!" The Original asked as she dropped her fork of potato salad. 
I looked to the clock that has hung over the kitchen sink for at least 30 years. 
"5:48," I told her. 
Then, she started hustling:
"We've got to get the channel changed. I have to see if Jack dies for good this time..."
Wait. What? I thought to myself. I asked for clarification. 
"Jack," she went on, "it should be this one where we find out if he dies for good or lives forever." 
I stared at her blankly. 
She tried to explain, using her terrible eyes to change the channel with her perfectly painted nails. 
"What show are you looking for?" I asked. 
"The Young and the Restless....I can't see these damn numbers anymore...."
I took the remote and switched to The Young and the Restless rerun just in time.
"I wish they'd stop beating around the bush and just kill him off..." Grandma feverishly continued. 

World. Stopped. Turning. 

Just like that - it was as though I was 25 years younger, a stout blonde with bad hair, back in my little rocking chair in front of the TV eating bologna and cheese and drinking Kool-Aid, passing time before afternoon kindergarten and waiting to see if Jack died. Now - 25 years later - I can plainly see why Momma wanted me in afternoon kindergarten: so she wouldn't miss The Young and the Restless. 

Did you know I Grew Up Rich? 

"Is Jack Abbott still alive??" I asked The Original, a bit taken back as it felt like 25 years of my life flew by and somehow this slimy Jack is still escaping death avery 6 weeks. 

The Original and I continued watching the pivotal episode, my jaw fixin' to hit my dinner plate. 
They were all still alive. I was certain when I graduated kindergarten they had all died in a fiery crash on their way to Malibu. 

She really did have great hair. 

Can't. Deal. With. This.  

I still couldn't get over the fact that Nikki hadn't killed Victor off. Like...she tried really hard in 1993. 
I remember. 
She reminded me of my reading teacher and scared the crap out of me.

But perhaps it wasn't the fact that they were all still alive that really had me floored, but rather the idea that my incredible grandmother - 85 years bold - is still waiting for something to happen on the screen. year to...decade. 

Later (but not by much) that night The Original went to bed and I continued to dive into a Rubbermaid tub of photos, sorting/labeling each one. It took so long because of gems such as this:

The handsome face of Bowman Superior Genetics.

While I sat and sorted, I couldn't help but think of - and laugh about - the soap opera situation I experienced earlier. For entertainment reasons, Grandma continued to keep up with Jack, Victor and Nikki after all of these years. Daily, wondering - without control of the situation - what is next
But it's more than that. 
So much more than daytime television, what things are we clinging to, keeping up with or holding on to, in hopes things will finally materialize? Or maybe even fear that they will?

The money you should have invested some time ago?
The succession plan you desperately need to address?
The wrong relationship you've tried to make work 100 times?
The plan to begin taking care of your body - your one and only body?
The resume that you need to submit?
The call you need to make, telling her how you really feel?
The two weeks you need to give?
The doctor appointment you desperately need to make but won't, out of fear?
The admission of guilt?
The sibling relationship you need to salvage?
The leap of faith keeping you awake at night?
The letter you need to write?
The application you need to submit?
The life you need to live - for yourself for once?

What are you waiting on? I sure hope it's not Jack to die off because that's taken decades....thus far. 

Would you rather change the channel and move on with your life or spend so many precious days wondering what will happen next?

Be the change agent. 

Or this could be you. 

....To be continued. 


  1. Love Y&R! I remember my grandmother watching it and my babysitter! Thanks to DVR, I can keep up now after kids go to bed. Guilty pleasures.

  2. I wanna know who your reading teacher was! :)