I grew up on ABC soap operas. My mother and aunt both watched them, and though my grandmother loathed them and wouldn't let them on if my mom wasn't home, as soon as we had a small b/w set in our bedroom, my sisters and I retreated upstairs to watch. General Hospital was the most popular, if only because it came on at 3pm and we got home from school at 2:50. We watched it religiously, I had friends who watched it religiously - including one hugely talented artist friend who did a pencil sketch of Jack Wagner that I still have - and we fell in love with falling in love.
I grew a little pickier over the years. I stopped watching One Life to Live when Vicki got yet another personality. I tried watching the new ones ABC kept bringing on to replace Ryan's Hope but those never took. Then I moved to the UK in '99 where it was next to impossible to get any American soaps at all, and stopped watching them completely for nearly 7 years.
I saw a commercial a year and a half ago about the 25th anniversary of Luke and Laura's wedding and decided to watch, for nostalgia's sake. By the end of the month, I was hooked again.
Watching soaps is a guilty pleasure. Tivo has made it better because now I can fast forward through all the boring bits and characters I can't stand. Sometimes, it only takes me 5 minutes to watch All My Children, lol. There are still plot devices I can't stand, and it annoys me that all the women on General Hospital are obsessed with babies.
But I still watch. And I still get all worked when there's a couple I like and they kiss for the first time. It's that rush of first desire, that indefinable chemistry. It's a couple that sizzle onscreen, or have such wonderful banter that I fall for them as characters. It's an enigmatic character that gets introduced and promptly makes me want, "More! More!" (Like Johnny Zacchara. Holy moley, that boy has chemistry with absolutely everybody on the show. Can I be Lulu just for one day? Preferably not one where she gets kidnapped, unless it's the day Johnny rescues her, lol.)
Every day, it feels like falling in love all over again. Because there's always a new couple to root for, an old couple to hope for a happily ever after.