The Anatomy of a Triangle….

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Long before Melina Kanakaredes was on shows like Providence and CSI:NY she was playing a Greek immigrant who came to Springfield for a better life, or more appropriately, a husband.  She wanted a life like what she saw in American movies, complete with a home and family.  In 1991 Stavros Kouperakis arranged for her to come to America as a wife for his nephew Frank.  However Uncle Stavros neglected to inform Frank of this arrangement and naturally Frank was dead set against this arranged marriage.  Although they bickered constantly Eleni and Frank soon developed feelings for each other.   Eleni planned an intimate dinner with Frank however, he ended up having it with Blake.  Alan-Michael swooped in and whisked Eleni away on the Spaulding yacht.  Eleni was unlike any woman Alan-Michael had been with before, she was sweet and genuine and he became determined to make her his own.  Frank realized his mistake and wanted to make it up to Eleni so, without her knowledge, he hired an immigration lawyer. Eleni was given a three-month extension on her visa thanks to the lawyer that Frank hired but Eleni was under the wrong impression that Alan-Michael had hired the lawyer.  Still not giving up hope on a relationship with Frank she asked Alan-Michael to fly her to Paris where Frank was on a business trip.  There she found a woman named Musette in Frank’s bed.  After being led to believe that Musette and Frank slept together a heartbroken Eleni returned to the United States.  Unfortunately she was denied admittance due to the fact that she was an illegal alien.  Alan-Michael offered to marry her at the customs office.  Although she was uncertain about continuing a sham marriage Eleni was convinced that Frank didn’t love her.  So in 1992 Alan-Michael and Eleni married in a ceremony in Greece.

Though Eleni cared for Alan-Michael she refused to start a family with him because she wasn’t fully invested.  Frank saved Eleni and Stavros when they were caught in a fire at the diner.  Afterwards, Frank told Eleni that he loved her but that he wouldn’t interfere in her marriage.   Meanwhile Musette came to Springfield and threatened Alan-Michael that she’d reveal the truth to Eleni—that Alan-Michael set up Eleni to find Musette in a drugged Frank’s bed!  Scared of losing Eleni, Alan-Michael hired a man named Pierre to get rid of Musette. Unfortunately, Pierre went too far and planted a bomb in Musette’s car that injured both her and Mallet. Meanwhile, Stavros gave Frank a letter from Musette detailing how Alan-Michael had used her to break up him and Eleni. Frank confronted Alan-Michael but decided not to show the letter to Eleni after he saw that she really loved Alan-Michael. In the meantime, doubtful that Eleni would stay with him, Alan-Michael switched Eleni’s birth control pills with placebos knowing that she would never leave him if she were pregnant.

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Eleni went to visit Frank, she saw him through the window trying to burn a letter. When Frank went outside, Eleni went in and read the letter from Musette detailing what Alan-Michael had done. When Frank came in, he realized that Eleni read the letter and comforted her. Eleni was so devastated that she made love to Frank and was ready to leave Alan-Michael.

Unfortunately Eleni learned that her mother had a stroke and quickly flew to Greece to be by her side.   Alan-Michael followed her and arranged doctors to save her mother. Eleni talked to the priest and to her grandmother, Ya-Ya, about Alan-Michael’s schemes but both advised her to stay with him. When Eleni took one of her grandmother’s sleeping pills, she dreamt of sleeping with Frank but when she awoke she realized that she has slept with Alan-Michael instead.

She decided that she needed some time alone and went to a remote island where Frank tracked her down and they made love again. Later, Eleni learned she was pregnant and, believing Alan-Michael was the father, she and Frank decided to hide the truth from him and run away together.

Finally, one day in February 1993, Eleni found the placebos in Alan-Michael’s office had them analyzed. She was shocked to discover the truth and later was delighted to learn that the baby she was carrying was in fact Frank’s! Later, Ed Bauer confirmed the baby’s paternity and Alan-Michael finally let Eleni go though he continued to pine for her until his relationship with Lucy developed.

***

In my opinion the Alan-Michael/Eleni/Frank story was one of the best love triangles on Guiding Light.  In fact, I dare say, it is a prime example of how to do a triangle correctly.  On one side you had Alan-Michael at his most devious.  Plotting and manipulating to obtain, and later hold on to, the love of Eleni Andros.  Then on the other there was Frank Cooper, willing to give up the woman he loves in order for her to be happy.  As a viewer I was completely torn, as I am sure many others were as well.  (Okay, so Alan-Michael had extra points in his favor simply because I simply love Rick Hearst’s Alan-Michael)  However, in the end my shipper heart went with Eleni and Frank and everyone knows my love for Alan-Michael and Lucy.  But the triangle was interesting while it lasted.

The Love Story of Alan-Michael and Eleni

6349e42aaa13d2b6c3df8bc145cfeaf2Eleni , Alan-Michael and Frank………… November 91 to September 93

Eleni came to Springfield from Crete. She arrived with dreams of what America was from the movies she so loved. She wanted to be an American woman. She wanted a job, home and family. Uncle Stavros wanted her to marry Frankie. Frankie was less then thrilled to have this immigrant girl to baby sit. Eleni had to pay off her passage money by working in the diner. Frank bossed her around while she twirled her eyes at “The Big Frank” and started to date Dylan instead.

 

A-M fell for Eleni on an innocent trip to his yacht. Eleni had fixed a special dinner for Frankie. Frank, not knowing Eleni had done this, left and went skinny dipping with Blake at the country club pool.  He never showed up and Eleni was hurt by this. A-M stopped by the diner,  finding her alone sitting in the dark. While talking to Eleni he became more and more enchanted with her innocence and naiveté. Eleni insists A-M eat what she had made for Frank. A-M tells her it is the BEST food he ever had at the diner. He notices the huge improvement in the diner and tells her. After Eleni made it be known she had never rode in a convertible A-M is thrilled to give her something to make her happy too. He takes her around Springfield then to his yacht. They talk of their childhood memories. Eleni saying that she had always wanted to be one of the girls on the yachts that docked at her village. A-M told her when he was ten he went to Crete on the yacht.  He told her about how he liked to play pirates with his brother, Phillip. His favorite role was Captain Hook ! Eleni stands at the front of the boat and dives in. A-M pulls her up and wraps his tux coat around her saying “Your a very bad child !” They lock eyes and it is electric. He brings Eleni back to the diner. He lets her use his calling card to speak to her family. The next day a huge bouquet of flowers arrives. The note said “Thanks for the magical evening. Captain Hook.”


A few days later Frank returns from his job and breezes by Eleni standing in the diner doorway. He doesn’t even bother to say hello. She is obviously hurt and you suddenly hear locking brakes and a car speeding into the parking lot. A-M leaps out of his car and asks, “Are you doing anything tonight?” Eleni sadly says “I guess not”. A-M says “COME ON THEN !!” He takes her to the Spaulding jet and tells her that they will fly to NY for dinner. Eleni, embarrassed by her waitress dress, is told “I have something for you to wear.” Behind a curtain is a beautiful sequined gown. Eleni puts it on. When she comes back A-M is speechless! She is so beautiful. He has her try champagne for the first time. He first tells her this story of how champagne was invented. “A blind monk making wine had found that he left one of the kegs to long. He tastes it and then calls out to the other monks. Hurry come quick ! I am tasting stars !” They toast to “drinking stars”. Eleni finds an art auction book and begins to look through it. She finds a beautiful Greek Adonis that was made by an artist from her village. She tells A-M how this statue was sold by her village after an earthquake. That she had heard stories about it from her Yaya. A-M tells her that piece will be auctioned in Chicago tonight. He takes her to Chicago to see it. He has his buyer purchase it and when they get back on the plane it is there. Eleni at first thinks the crate is drugs brought in by smugglers. She had no idea A-M had bought it ! When Eleni asks “But why, why would you buy this, it was so much money ?” A-M said “ because I fell in love………………..with it”.

Eleni asks A-M a few days later if it is all right for a woman to ask a man out. A-M assumes she is talking about him and he is thrilled. He later finds out it was Frank she wanted to ask. He is crushed, this is the first he knew Eleni liked Frank. She had confided in A-M that she wanted to meet Frank at her favorite movie. Again Frank was late so A-M takes the ticket and goes. Frank comes in to the diner later and ,not finding the ticket, he did not know where to meet Eleni. Meanwhile A-M heads to the theater. He watches Eleni during the love making scene and is enchanted. He talks to her after the movie and persuades her to come to the yacht.

Eleni is hurt by how Frank has stood her up and confides in A-M. He says “If I had a date with you I would be sure and show up ! “ They have champagne and dance. A-M confesses he was watching Eleni during the love making scene. “ I didn’t mean to but I just couldn’t take my eyes off of you ! There is always so much going on with you.” Eleni backs away saying “NO” A-M says “Yes, I saw it” He kisses her, Eleni kisses him back passionately. She grabs his coat and starts to pull it off his shoulders. She catches her self, pulls away and starts to walk away FAST. Apologizing stuttering “A-M I, I, I, am so sorry ! I must have had too much champagne I …….. “ A-M softly touches her shoulder and whispers “shhhhh Eleni it’s all right, we didn’t do anything wrong. Don’t be afraid.” Eleni says “I’m not afraid, but I want to go home now. “ A-M takes her back to the diner but tells her he has waited long enough to know what he wants and it’s her.

Then there are more dates. A-M brings her Christmas lights for her apartment. He takes her to get a Christmas tree. Finally Eleni tells him that she feels some day she will be marrying Frank. That she probably should not see him any more. A-M gets drunk and shows up at Eleni’s apartment. This was an Emmy nominated scene for Rick in ’92. One of my faves so you’ll get the whole thing !

A-M comes into Elen’s apartment above the diner and starts kissing and hugging her. Eleni keeps saying “STOP IT” and finally decks him ! He goes flying over the coffee table. ( never mess with a woman that has two brothers ! ) A-M pulls him self up and sits down “I thought we were friends”.


E– We most definitely are NOT friends ! I have so much trouble and it’s all cause of you !

AM– says softly “Really ? I never wanted you to have any trouble, or feel bad or anything never.”

E– Maybe you don’t mean to cause trouble but every time………DON’T LOOK AT ME THAT WAY !!! It makes me forget your trouble !

A– I am not trouble

E– ranting around the room “You say hey Eleni, I got a great idea and then there is trouble ! But this time you have gone too far A-M ! You come here drunk and you put your hands on me! You don’t respect me ! You think I am common ! You think I am just a poor girl so I must be cheap ! I can do what ever I want and so what !!! Well, A-M yes I am poor. But I am not here for you to play games with. I am saving myself for the man who will respect me and marry me ! “

A– “Come on Eleni, please don’t say that, stop it !”

E– “What do you want from me ? Why do you keep coming here ?! “

AM– “Don’t you know ? I come here cause you’re the only good thing I know anymore. Eleni when I see you, I see lights. Being with you is like seeing things for the first time. You always find something new, something exciting, something that I might have missed or forgot. Something I need to see. I come here cause you make me laugh. You make me happy and you’re beautiful. You’re so beautiful that sometimes it hurts to look at you, you’re so beautiful. Sometimes when I close my eyes I can still see you. No matter where I’m at. I see the little crease you get right here ( Points to his forehead) when your concentrating on something new and you’re trying to understand it. I see the way the corner of your mouth goes up when your about to tease me about something. ( Rick’s eyes are now filling with tears. ) I see that light in the corner of your eye when your excited about a new sight or a new sound. ( Long sigh ) Ohhhh I live for that light Eleni. Day and night I try to think, how am I going to put that light into your eye. You’re all I think about anymore. You’re all I care about. ( tears are running down his face. Through a sigh he whispers) I love you……… All day, board meetings, business lunches and all I can think about is that light. You didn’t even know………I can’t believe I love you so much and you didn’t even know.” A-M lays his head down and passes out. Eleni calls a cab. While waiting she looks at a picture of her and Frankie.


The next day A-M apologizes for showing up drunk. It is evening and Eleni is still running all over the diner. Taking stuff off the counters. Starting to fold laundry. A-M can hardly bare it. He says “Eleni you shouldn’t work so hard ! “ Eleni starts to laugh “What kind of a world you must live in.” She tells A-M again that she can not see him any more. That she is sure she will marry Frankie now. A-M asks if he has proposed. Eleni says “No but I am sure it will happen. “ A-M has a flash of a conversation he had with Blake earlier. Blake stating that she bet Frank was having a great time with the women in Paris. A-M knows that for the rest of Eleni’s life she will work like this. The thought of Eleni in that diner with Frank was too much to bear. He offers to take her to Paris to see Frank.

They arrive in Paris. A-M has her knock on Frank’s door at the hotel. They go in Frank’s room and Musette is there in his bed naked. She tells them she was waiting for Frankie to return and they could all wait for him together. Eleni runs out crying. A-M thanks Musette and says “good job.”

On the flight back A-M already starts to get repaid for what he has done ! Eleni sobs uncontrollably all the way home. A-M is horrified with what he has done. I don’t think he realized till then that Eleni genuinely loved Frank. Now if he tells her the truth Eleni will hate him. Eleni goes on and on about how wonderful A-M was to bring her there. What an honest and good man he is !

They land in Springfield only to have Eleni detained by immigration. Blake decided the best way she could get A-M back is to get rid of Eleni. So Blake alerted immigration about Eleni. ( Eleni did not yet have a green card and was able to stay in the US because she stated she was engaged to Frank ) Eleni is told she will be sent back to Paris and that she will not be allowed to reenter the US. Eleni is crying and doesn’t know what she will do. A-M begs her to marry him. Frankie is at the same time checking the items he bought Eleni in Paris. Including Eleni’s engagement ring. He is going to the house he bought her and is fixing up as a surprise. Eleni, desperate to stay and certain Frank is no good, marries A-M. During the ceremony you see them saying their vows while Frankie paints the living room.

AM and Eleni Customs

A-M carries her to his bedroom. He goes and gets champagne to toast with. He tells Eleni when he first knew he was in love with her. That night on the yacht when she dove in the water. A-M moves closer. They kiss slowly, softly, then deeply. Eleni again pulls away trembling and apologizing. A-M stops her saying “Eleni, it is OK, I’m a little nervous too. But it is nice just being close to you. I will sleep down stairs until you are ready. “ Eleni says “NO I will sleep on the couch”.   A-M says “Eleni, I want you in my bed. You’re welcome here.” He starts to leave then pauses in the doorway. “How do you say good night in Greek.” Eleni tells him and he repeats it and adds “I love you”.


The next week brings tantrums and tears all over Springfield ! Stavros who insists the only reason Eleni married A-M was because of the money. He now feels Eleni is a tramp ! Blake, who thought for sure A-M would love her and marry her again, vows she will get him back ! Harley was ready to rip A-M’s throat out for hurting her brother. Frankie could not understand why Eleni could not wait for him.   Eleni who was frustrated because Frank could not admit to what he had done, but too shy to tell him what she thought she saw. And Alex who was sure Eleni was a gold digger that was taking her love sick nephew for a ride! A-M wisely decides to take his bride to Greece !! Smart man….get out of Dodge while the getting is good !

The Spaulding jet is delayed awhile so Eleni begs A-M to tell her where they are going. A-M tells her they will go to Crete. Eleni says “No we can’t go there” She tells him that she had told her family she married Frank. A-M is crushed by this announcement. But promises Eleni that he will make her family love him. When they arrive in Crete the family jubilantly greets “Mr. Frankie Cooper.” When A-M tells them who he really is the entire family is upset with them both. Eleni’s mom says, “And what about a dowry ! Look at how skinny he is !! ( A-M looks at his stomach ) his family can probably not afford one !!”   That night A-M tries to sleep on a wood floor but is invited into Eleni’s bed. She wakes up with her arms around him.

The next day, A-M goes fishing with the brothers, convinces Eleni’s Mom and Grandma that he has respected Eleni all along. He also insists that they are waiting till a church wedding before they consummate their marriage. He has the Adonis brought to the village and put in the center of the square where it originally set. One morning Eleni gets up and A-M is no where to be found. She fears he has grown tired of waiting and has left her ! She is heart broken and crying! Then the yacht reappears with ELENI painted on the side. A-M comes up the street and sits and watches while the priest tells everyone that someone has helped the little crippled boy in their village. That he will walk and run like all the other children now. Eleni sees A-M on the church steps.

E– Where have you been ? The boat was gone. You sent them on the boat for the surgery !

A-M– I don’t know anything about it.

Priest — I asked the family how they came upon this great fortune. They said it was an American man that arranged everything. Now her son will walk and run like all the other children.

E — You didn’t know anything about it huh ? This was so wonderful.

A-M– I was out walking and thinking all night, just wandering the streets of your village. I think I have done everything I came to Crete to do. I returned the Adonis to its real home. I really enjoyed meeting your family and I have improved my Greek. I think it’s time I go. I have a lot of things I need to do and you are really enjoying this time with your family. I’ll get ready for your return. I want a bigger apartment for us. One with two bedrooms. You shouldn’t have to live up to some tired expectation of what we are supposed to be. ( Eleni grabs his face and kisses him ) What was that all about ?

E– It was the only way I could get you to stop.

 A-M– It worked.

 

E — Now you listen to me. I have made an important decision. I want to marry you again. This time for real. I want to marry here with my family and the Priest’s blessing. I want to be your wife under God’s eyes.

 A-M– I don’t know what to say……I hope you’re not doing this to show your gratitude for what I did for your village, or the little boy. I have already been repaid for that. You don’t owe me anything. And I don’t mean to buy your approval. I would have done it anyway. It’s the right thing to do, he should be able to walk like anyone else. I have a lot of money, so it doesn’t really matter.

 Eleni — Yes, you have a lot of money A-M but you are so generous with it. I know you are rich and you have been everywhere and you can do anything you want. But that doesn’t matter to me. I am in this square and all I can think about is my Father and what kind of a man he was. I wish he could have met you. I know he would have approved. Ohhh A-M… everyone knows how I feel about you except for you. So now I must tell you…… I love you A-M, I love you.

 A-M—- (eyes overflowing with tears ) I just became a very rich man.

 E–Oh and I will be your wife, your true wife today !

 A-M ( Screaming picking her up and carrying her towards her family ) Call the priest call the priest WE’RE GETTING MARRIED !!!!

 

 

*************************Wedding Vows***************************

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Alan-Michael and Eleni’s wedding was full of Greek traditions.  The candles, flowers, and flower girls were beautiful. Eleni came in with the theme from “Somewhere In Time.” As an added twist we did not see them say their vows we heard their thoughts as the priest said mass and blessed their union.

 A-M – Eleni, how can I tell you what you mean to me ? How can I tell you what I am feeling when just looking at you takes my breath away and with it all my practiced eloquence.

 E- A-M, today I am giving my life to you. Someone who loves me the way no one else ever could. I am so proud to stand here beside you. You are the best man I have ever known.

 A- M– How can I tell you that for the first time in my life it means nothing to be a Spaulding. And when I stand here beside you, life feels right, for the very first time.

 E — I remember the night when you came to tell me how you felt. Your eyes had a look of such surprise because you didn’t think I knew. But I knew even then that you loved me. You never had to say the words. And today when I look into your eyes you don’t have to tell me anything because I already know.

 A-M — I promise you, I will become the man you believe I already am. And I will spend the rest of my life taking care of you and making you happy.

 E – I promise to love you from now on the way you have always loved me.

 A-M — I promise you will be the first thing I think of every morning and the last thing I think of each night.

 E – I promise to be a good wife to you. And a good mother to our children. To make our home a refuge for what ever happens to you in the world outside. I promise I will always be there waiting for you.

 A-M — I promise you will never regret marrying me. I will do my best to deserve the way you are looking at me right now. I would give my life for that look.

 E — I love you A-M

 A-M– I love you Eleni

 


After the wedding they dance in the square and around the Adonis. The brothers tease    A-M while Mom and Yaya ask Eleni if she is afraid. When Eleni says no her Grandma tells her. “It is the most beautiful thing. If you truly love the man. “ Soon A-M comes back they start to dance and decide to leave.

Eleni’s bedroom has been lovingly decorated for their wedding night. Candles are lit rose petals are everywhere. The flowered crowns they wore when they got married are on the head board. A-M has removed his shirt. He looks around the room and at the bed. Eleni enters. She is sooo beautiful ! Her hair up with white lace pearls and tiny pink rose buds on her nightgown. A-M, speechless, sits down on the bed. Then he jumps up and screams !!!

A-M –OUCH OUCH OUCH !!! (while rubbing the OUCH)

E–Oh A-M I am so sorry ! It must have been my brothers it’s, it’s a tradition…

A-M –What, STAB the happy couple ?!? ( He picks pins off his side of the bed ! )

E– No, (She turns around so he can not see her face and says quietly) It is so the groom will be sure to come on my side of the bed…..

A-M –( Rick does his thing. If you have seen his acting you know what I mean ! He says nothing, but you can read him so well it rips your heart out !! He swallows hard, his eyes are so soft and gentle. He lets you know how much A-M loves and wants Eleni. His face has such sweet concern…..) He walks up slowly wraps his arms around Eleni and says so softly “Eleni, I don’t want you to be afraid……”

E– ( Eleni has this full grin on her face that let’s you know fear is the farthest thing from her mind ! ) “I’m not afraid A-M”

A-M — We don’t have to do anything……. if, if, you don’t want to.

E– A-M I married you. I want to be a real wife to you.

A-M ( Whispering in her ear ) You are ( Kissing her neck ) and you will be. But it’s got to be at the right time.

Eleni– (obviously enjoying herself) says “You don’t understand I” She turns to look in his eyes and can not speak. They begin to Kiss. A-M unpins her hair and pulls it around her face he brings her to the bed. Their theme song is playing . A-M on his knees kisses her as she sits on the bed. He waits for Eleni to unbutton her gown. A-M lovingly takes the spaghetti straps off her shoulders. They kiss and fall back on the bed…………. Afterwards Eleni and A-M still out of breath. :)

E– It was like……… Flying on your skin ! Does that happen all the time ?!

A-M — I hope so. GOD I hope so !!

E– A-M, can I ask you a question ?

A-M ( Kissing up her back ) sure anything…….

E–How much longer do we have to wait before we can do this again ?

A-M– (pulls back with a full grin and deeply sighs, looks at his watch, then ravages Eleni again)

 

The next five months of their marriage went well. Except for the uncomfortable run-ins with Frank and Stavros.  Aunt Alex even accepts Eleni as A-M’s wife. They move in to The Spaulding mansion with Aunt Alex. During the Black out of ’92 Frank and A-M teamed up to look all over Springfield for Eleni. After she is found in the freezer at the diner she is taken to Cedars. For a few moments it looks like Frank and A-M will have a truce then……

A-M— I want you to know, I don’t blame you for loving Eleni. She is incredible. I want to thank you for what you did, the CPR and everything…..

F– LOOK I didn’t do it for you. I did it for Eleni. Let’s get something straight right now. I don’t like you. I don’t like the way you operate. I don’t like your use of money. How ever it happened Eleni is your wife and she won’t break her wedding vows.

A-M — I’m glad you have come to terms with that Frank !

F- What’s going to end your marriage is you pal !

A-M— What are you talking about ?!?

F– Oh the way you lie, your dirty deals and tricks. All that is going to come back to you and when that happens…….

A- Well it’s not gonna happen Frank ! So you better get use to how things are. Our marriage is sacred it’s forever !!

When Eleni at last comes to she mummers Frank’s name. A-M now starts to have serious doubts as to whether she loves him or Frank.

A-M brings Eleni home to the mansion. Just when you think all is well in Springfield, A-M comes home from work and finds Eleni in bed. “What’s up sweet heart you were supposed to meet me at the country club remember ?” The sheets are pulled back and there lays a NAKED Musette ! She tells A-M she thinks she will just stay here till Eleni comes up the stairs ! “ I bet she will think this pretty funny. The same woman from her other man’s bed, hey A-M ” ?  He hears Eleni’s car come in the drive and SWEARS Musette can have ANYTHING to keep quiet about Paris. She ends up taking Eleni’s emerald ring and A-M has to lie to Eleni and tells her it is being cleaned. Musette starts following Eleni around Springfield even stopping in at the diner to have coffee with Frank. A-M gives her money and tries to deal with her. But he can’t get her to stop dropping in at Spaulding, the country club, the diner ! He hires Pierre and tells him, “I don’t care how but get rid of her !” Pierre makes a bomb and sets it at the towers parking garage. When A-M finds out he calls the police hoping to stop it before it detonates.

 


Musette has left a letter as insurance with Frank. In case anything bad were to happen to her. Frank reads it and at last finds out why Eleni married A-M at the airport. A-M shows up at the diner and the following occurs.

F– I waited for this day for a long time and how it was going to go down. I thought about hurting you pretty bad. But losing Eleni is going to be bad enough and I refuse to lower myself to your level.

A– Oh that’s rich, this coming from a guy who used to chop up stolen cars for a living. Don’t make me laugh.

F– Well, we can’t all be born into big fat trust funds huh ?

A-M– Oh and I guess that justifies it huh ?

F– Look, I never said I was perfect.

A-M– No, you just tried to convince my wife that you were.

F — What’s your point ?

A-M — We do what we have to right ? That’s why I hired Musette. You of all people should understand that. We’re not so different you and I Frank. We both love Eleni and we will do what ever it takes to keep her. You wanted to ruin my marriage and you’re willing to use what ever is available to do it. Don’t paint your self into some kind of a hero here cause your not doing it for anyone but yourself ! If you love Eleni so much why do you want to hurt her ?

F– Hurt her ?! I’m trying to save her !

A-M–From what ? She has everything a woman could want. I am not talking about nice things and money. I am talking about freedom. What do you have to offer her Frank? You save your pennies maybe in five years you can take her to Greece. Her Grandmother is eighty two ! What if something happens to Eleni ? You don’t even have health insurance do you ? What do you have to offer her…. THIS ? Your hanging on by a thread here. This diner was a hole in the wall till Eleni convinced you to fix it up ! It’s all very nice Frank. The simple honest life with the simple noble Frank. But once the money runs out and you’re up against it.

F– You’re right A-M.  You have all the money in the world to offer her. But that is no reason to stay in a relationship.  I bet somewhere deep down inside those fancy suits even you know that.

A-M– Money is not the real issue here and you know that. I love her.

F– Is that what you call it ?

A-M– You’re so honest Frank.   Be honest with yourself for once !

F– You’re right you love her and it’s a regular Grimms’ Fairy tale.

A-M — I did what I said I would do. The most amazing thing was after that she fell in love with me too. Now you can say I stole her. But how can that be when she gave herself to me so openly and willingly.

F– A-M you knew once you married Eleni. Once you slept with her she would never break her vow at least not so easily…. ( Waving the letter in A-Ms face ) But this would do it wouldn’t it ?!

A-M — All I want for Eleni is what’s best for her !

F– Is that what you call it living up there on the hill ?!?

A-M — I am not talking about money !

F– What you’re talking about is this and not letting it get in Eleni’s hands ! So you can keep living the lie right ?

A-M –It’s not a lie!  Why don’t you just let go.  Be happy for Eleni that things worked out.     (he says the following in Greek) “Once we are this close nothing can ever separate us” Her words to me ! She has everything a woman could want. Don’t take it away from her.

F– Eleni will find out the truth and it’s gonna hurt her. But she will get over it . Just like she will get over you.

A-M– No I don’t think so Frank. Like it or not she loves me. She chose me. She chose this life, don’t take it away from her.


A-M, desperate, knowing Eleni will surely leave him if Frank gives her the letter takes her to the yacht. He says they will leave to Greece maybe for a few months. As A-M’s luck will have it a thick fog sets in. A-M and Eleni clear the air. She tells him she knows he has been lying and is afraid and asks him to tell her the truth ! He tells her he is afraid he will lose her one day to Frank. He begs her to have his baby. Eleni refuses saying “If all were right with our relationship we would not be here right now ! “ A-M desperate to hold on to her substitutes her birth control pills with sugar pills. They make love twice this night.

The next morning A-M goes to Cedars. Harley gives him hell for what he did to Frank. While she is screaming at him Musette is removed from her room and sent back to Paris.  A-M thinks it is smooth sailing ahead when Eleni decides to see Frank.

She watches Frank from the window of his house as he crumples up and throws away Musette’s letter in the fireplace. Eleni goes in as Frank goes to the back of the house. She reads the letter and dissolves in tears to a lump on the floor. Frank, hearing her crying, enters the room.


 

E– My whole marriage. My whole life was nothing but a lie. He talked about honor, honesty and love. I was so stupid ! I thought I was smart, but I am just a dumb immigrant woman. I deserve all of this. I didn’t know this man ! I let a stranger sleep with me. Sleep in my bed ! I didn’t see it Frank ! I am not a wife. I am like anything else he has bought. I am nothing but a whore !! (said in Greek )

F– You are NOT a WHORE ! Don’t you ever say that !!

E– I hate myself Frank because I let it happen ! I hate him for what he did. But I hate myself more ! I thought I loved him…..

F–Maybe you still do. Look, he is all you have talked about since you have been here.  I don’t want you beating yourself up about this. You’re going to be OK.

E– Frank if A-M would not have done this we would be living in this house now. Don’t you understand ? When I went to Paris I was going to tell you I loved you. You are the most honest and decent man I know. This house, you built this beautiful house with your hands. Because you wanted to show me your love, not to tell me. It was our dream and A-M ripped it away from us without thinking or caring ! I don’t know how I could have ever believed you could sleep with another woman. I knew deep down how you really felt. Oh Frank I am so sorry ! What hurts me the most is that I hurt you so badly !

F– It’s my fault too Eleni. I shouldn’t have waited. I should have told you sooner how I felt.

E– Please forgive me for this, please Frank !

F– Forgive you…….Eleni, A-M did this. He tricked you into marrying him.

E– I am not married. I don’t think there is a church anywhere that will except these vows. This is not a man I knew. This is not the man I wanted to marry. The man I wanted to marry was you. The man I wanted A-M to be was you. Just you, it was always you. ( She starts to kiss Frank )

F–It’s always been you Eleni. Just you. I love you, I never stopped. ( They make love)

FrankandEleni


Eleni decides she will leave A-M that night. She sits in their bedroom and changes her dress back to the waitress dress she used to wear. A-M comes in with a rose from their garden. He hands it to her and she says “I don’ want it. This is hard for me but I must tell you…….” The phone rings and Eleni’s mom has had a stroke in Greece. A-M gets his private jet ready he wants to go too but Eleni begs him not to come. She leaves and packs in such a hurry she has forgotten her birth control pills. (So she took EXACTLY one of the sugar pills.) Her mother near death survives due to the special doctors A-M was able to fly into Create. Eleni tells her Grandma and her Priest that A-M had tricked her into marrying him. They both tell her that she is now married to A-M. She must do the right thing and stay his wife. Four days later Eleni takes some of her Grandma’s sleeping pills and passes out. She dreams she is making love to Frank on their honeymoon night. She wakes up and sees it is A-M that she has just made love to !!

Eleni is certain that A-M is the father and the baby was conceived in Greece. She and Frank decide they will run off together and never tell A-M about the baby. One day the phone rings A-M picks it up and it is Dr. Sedwick’s office canceling Eleni’s prenatal visit !!! Overjoyed with this news A-M goes to Eleni. He assumes that she was afraid to tell him because he would be upset but tells her he is the happiest man in the entire world !! Eleni tells Frank she must stay with A-M now because he will never leave them alone. Eleni is sure A-M will take her baby away if she leaves him for Frank. Frank gives up and tells her to have a great life on the hill !

Pierre shows up and wants money to get out of Springfield. He starts to black mail A-M. A-M gets him money and a plane to get out of his life for good. Pierre kidnaps Harley ! A-M will not let him take her as hostage and tells him to take him instead. Mallet and Nick drive their car in front of the plane so it can not leave. When Pierre insists on taking Harley A-M signals at her to run and he steps in front of Pierre’s bullet. Then Mallet shoots and Pierre is dead ! The police are called. Harley and Mallet decide since A-M has saved her life they will say Pierre had been acting alone. “The Bomb in Springfield mystery” solved, A-M comes out the hero !

Now Eleni starts to lie to A-M she has refused to make love with him for months. She tells him that Dr. Sedwick has forbidden them to have relations for the safety of the baby. A-M, a few weeks later, discusses this with Dr. Sedwick and discovers there is no such problem. This scene takes place in their bedroom……..


A-M– Well there is no reason we can’t have sex. But you have not yet told me why you lied. You really snowed me Eleni with that whole chapter in the book. Eleni, why do you not want to make love ?

E– I wanted to just keep everything fine the way it was. I wanted to just think about the baby and not get into this now.

A-M– Well, it wasn’t a very smart lie Eleni. Did you honestly assume that if you told me there was something wrong with you or our unborn child that I would not care enough to go to the doctor with you ? Maybe you don’t know me at all.

E– You wouldn’t let me. But I know you very well now A-M.

A-M– Eleni, do you think we should continue this now ? I mean I have heard emotional upsets during pregnancy….that is how my mother almost lost me. (She glares at him ) I guess you have been pretty miserable so getting this off your chest might be best.

E– You want to make me afraid ? But I am NOT afraid !

A-M– No, no Eleni that’s not what I want. I know what it’s like to be afraid every minute of the day. I have been so afraid of losing you for so long that even when I thought there was no possibility of it It was too much of a habit to shake. But still, even that was better then watching it happen.

E– Yes A-M I know all about you and Musette. All the lies you told one after the other. About her. About Frank. Just to keep me from guessing that it was you !

A-M– I would have done, I would have said anything. I did what ever I could to keep her away from you. I pay her money, I still do. Eleni, if it gives you any satisfaction to know how much this one mistake has cost me !

E– Cost YOU ?!? You made me throw myself away for something ugly and fake dressed up to look like a life ! What you paid is nothing to what I paid. I should be married to…… a man I can trust. I should be happy now. Not lonely, hopeless and lying because I can’t STAND the thought of you touching me.

A-M — (Looking like he had just been slapped ! ) And what do you think my motives for all this was Eleni ?

E– Don’t say it was love A-M cause I know better. All those stories you told about industrial spies and cheating competitors. They told me a lot more then you wanted them too. That I was acquired like a business to small to defend it’s self. And for the same reason too. Because I just go a long so well with all the other things you already have !!

A-M– WAIT A MINUTE !! You listen to me ! It’s true I put an unfair obstacle in your way. I made you think Frank was unworthy of you. But that was all ! The rest of it was you ! You want to talk about stupid lies ? You think I was completely cold blooded through this entire thing ? The truth is Eleni I would never have been so careless or desperate in business. All you ever had to do was confront Frank with this. But you didn’t. Maybe because he didn’t mean as much to you. Eleni you chose me ! ( he is in tears ) You didn’t have to do that. It didn’t have to happen. You chose me and not cause of Musette…….I had a tough time believing it myself……but you found something in me to love. I don’t say this as an excuse. But you have to face that fact ! That you LOVED me ! And what a kick in the teeth it is because of it you are leaving a better man then the man you married. ( He gets his suit case and starts to pack )

E– What are you doing ?

A-M– Isn’t this what you want? I will get a clients room at the Regency. You should stay here where people can take care of you. Till after the baby is born…….Eleni, please don’t ask me for a divorce, not yet……I know that is probably what you want right now….

E– I do NOT want my child to grow up without it’s mother.

A-M (incredulously) Why would it ?

E– Put that away. I don’t want you moving out of your house A-M. It is stupid and dramatic and the kind of thing people will not leave alone. You know there are a lot of people forced to raise their children alone. But we are not.

A-M — ( astonished and begging )– Eleni, your not going to regret this ! I will be everything for you. As a husband and a father. You will see !

E– You would do it all again wouldn’t you ?

A-M– NO not that way, not now. I regret hurting you. But as bad as it was how can you expect me to regret what led you to me ? Eleni, I can’t be you ! I try, but you are sure of your self in a way I can never be. You don’t know what it feels like to do something out of desperation.

E– Believe me A-M I know what it is to be desperate. To want something so much that you don’t think of the consequences !

A-M– Then can you understand me then ? Eleni, you told me once that you were not naive. That you understood the way the world works. Is what I did so incomprehensible to you ?

E– No A-M lying is common enough. I understand that. But what I can never forgive is that you made me fall in love with you ! I would have been so much happier and so would have you if I just married you for your money !

A-M — (in tears ) Eleni, I’ll make you love me again I swear. And for the right reasons this time !

E– No A-M as clever as you are you can not MAKE me do anything again. Please go.

A-M picks up his jacket and coat. He pauses in the door way looking at Eleni. She never looks his way.


We watch A-M do everything right. He is the best husband any woman could hope for. He is attentive and honest. Eleni comes first with him. He is so excited about the baby and loves Eleni more with each day. Eleni ignores this. At Christmas Eleni is caught in a compromising position with Frank. ( She uses some of       A-M’s money to buy him a new furnace for Christmas. Frankie kisses her and begs her to let him make love to her again. A-M comes in at the end of that conversation ).  On Christmas day A-M gives Eleni a beautiful butterfly pin…..”It stands for freedom, yours if you want it” Eleni declines and says she will stay with A-M. When A-M’s Aunt Mo dies you see A-M get no comfort from her.

Soon after while A-M cleans out his office Eleni finds the board display for birth control pills from Spaulding pharmaceuticals. She notices her brand refill is missing. She finds the pills has them analyzed and discovers they are sugar ! An ultra sound is performed that proves Frank is the baby’s father !!!

Eleni leaves A-M and joins Frank in Malaysia. A-M is told by Stavros that she has left to see her Aunt in Greece. When A-M finds out where she is he flies there to find out what happened. He makes the pilot land in a terrible storm. He makes it to the cabin in time to see the two saints about to make love !


A-M– What is going on…..

E– You should not have come !

A-M– You’re my wife ! Did you think I was just going to let you run half way across the world ? Eleni you are having a baby ! Have you lost your mind ?! You risk my child’s life….

E– NO ! This is not YOUR child A-M !

F– ( Standing triumphantly ) It’s mine !

A-M — You slept with him when you were married to me… ( He turns and looks down unable to look at her or Frank )

E– Frank and I are in love A-M. We have always been in love. You knew that in your heart A-M !

A-M– I don’t know anything anymore. I thought I knew you. I thought you were special…

F– She IS special ! It’s just that you took that for granted.

A-M– How many times did you tell her that Frank ? How many times did you whisper lies in her ear because you wanted her for yourself ? You filthy thieving son of a…..( He kicks a chair and breaks it ! )

E– STOP IT !! A-M from the beginning the lies were yours. When you tried to tell me there was another woman in Frank’s bed so I would leave him !

A-M– Wait a minute !! That’s not fair Eleni ! We have been through this already ! I admitted I was wrong. I told you how ashamed I was for doing that. Am I wrong ?! You told me we could try again. That I could have another chance.

E– I was wrong.

A-M– About what ?!? I told you I would change and I have. I keep nothing from you anymore. Not even small things. I am honest with you because finally I realized with out that we have nothing. And everyday since, I have been down on my knees because you had the compassion to take me back. Now you are telling me it was all lies from the very beginning ?!

E– You were not honest with me A-M, you were NOT !! Didn’t you think it important to tell me about the pills ?

A-M– Pills ?

F– Yes, the ones you switched.

E– So I would think I was protected. I told you I was not yet ready to have a child. But once again you went behind my back. That’s when I made love to Frank. Frank and I are now going to have a child. (smiling ) Isn’t that strange that it is also thanks to you ?

A-M– Eleni, how do you know this is Frank’s child and not mine ?

E– I saw the sonogram with my doctor.

F– NOT even YOU can change what was meant to be !

A-M– (Laughs ) Do you believe that ? Do you believe that IF this is Frank’s baby you were meant to be ? Even if it means dismissing every feeling you ever had for me ? Breaking every promise we made for better or worse ?

E– YES I believe that A-M !

A-M– Well, I am sorry but I don’t feel life is that black and white. Sometimes things happen for reasons that we just don’t understand.

F– We don’t care what you think !

A-M — YEAH ?!?! Well that’s just too bad ! I am Eleni’s HUSBAND ! I don’t just dissolve ! I just don’t disappear because I am inconvenient now ! I have loved this woman ! I have wept for this woman and more then that I have learned from her ! I have learned that when you take your marriage vows it is like shaking hands with God. I also learned it can turn you into something better then you are. It can even make you love a child with all of your heart and soul. Even if it’s not yours. Eleni, maybe that’s what was meant to be. Maybe I was meant to raise this child as my own and give it everything I have been dreaming about since you told me you were pregnant. I mean, didn’t you believe I was capable of that ?

E– It doesn’t matter A-M.

A-M– It matters to me ! YOU matter to me !! Eleni, if you give up on me I don’t know how I will go on. I don’t know how to be better with out you. PLEASE don’t take away my best my last chance……COULD YOU FOR GOD’S SAKE LET GO OF HIS HAND AT LEAST ?!?!?

E– Not this time A-M ! This time I will never let go again !! ( Eleni puts on her clothes )

A-M– Eleni what has happened to you ?! Your family, I think of them as my family too. They would not recognize this woman in front of me !

E– Look, A-M maybe you will understand when we get back to Springfield. Then it will be about business. We all know you understand business !

A-M– Eleni, there were things, personal things I wanted you to have forever. I still want that. ( notices her bare ring finger ) Where is your wedding ring ?

E– I gave it to the man that brought me here and I sold my engagement ring as well.

A-M ( The shock and hurt on A-Ms face is excruciating ! He nods his head in shock slowly letting the whole thing sink in. In a near whisper… ) You sold your engagement ring ?

E– I had NO money. Look A-M I am willing to pay you what ever it was worth.

A-M– Pay me ? You want to pay me now ? For what…. after all you just proved to me that those rings were worth nothing. Worth what our entire life together was worth nothing, nothing at all…… ( Eleni and Frank walk out the door A-M follows carrying a glass of water he tried to hand Eleni ) Eleni, I love you………why can’t I stop ?

E–Goodbye A-M


 

A-M starts to cry and breaks the glass he is holding in his hand. He takes a hanky out of his pocket and wipes the glass out while sobbing. The contract typed up by Bess Lowell falls to the ground.

A-M returns to Springfield. He has lost the document Bess Lowell had typed up. Because of that document Jenna can sue for Spaulding. He ends up losing the company and Spaulding home to Jenna and Roger. He begs Eleni to stay with him till after the child is born. She moves in with Frank. A-M works at the paper and lives at the boat house. He tells Eleni he will not divorce her till after the baby is born.

He goes to the cabin. Trying to figure out what he will do to win Eleni back. Blake comes in. She had just had a terrible fight with Ross. There is a blizzard going on outside so A-M makes Blake stay. They get drunk……..end up naked in bed the next morning.

bam

Blake– Are you waiting for me to say something ? A ) I’m sorry B ) Thanks for  the memories.

A-M– C ) A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh ?


Eleni figures out where he is. She goes to the cabin and sees A-M just out of the shower. Blake is in the shower and Eleni finds Blake’s black teddy on the floor. The bed in disarray. She tells A-M she will sue him for adultery if he does not sign for the divorce. ( interesting concept being as she is married to A-M but carrying FRANK’S child ! )

The famous final scene on the yacht. A-M has just come from seeing his Uncle Ed at Cedars. He showed him the ultrasound that PROVED it was Frank’s kid. ( LOL !! Excuse me I need to go scream in the street !! ) A-M is standing drinking brandy. It is February and there is snow on the decks.

A-M–How did you find me here? I don’t believe I ever asked you that question before.

E– I know how your mind works A-M. This is where it all began for us……our place.

A-M– I was asking Uncle Ed before about why marriages don’t work. He seems to think it is because people are careless.

E– I went to Ross’es office. I got these legal papers……it is for you.

A-M– Consent to divorce ( his eyes fill with tears ) I was just thinking…..the first time we came here remember ? It was warm. We were like two kids, laughing, playing. You dove into the sea. The sky was purple, the water black. Your skin was white against it. I will never forget that time. It was perfect, you were perfect.

E– I remember that time too but not because it was perfect ! I was upset because Frank had forgotten about me that night. But you know, perhaps that was just another one of your plans. Another one of your manipulations to keep us apart.

A-M–That’s NOT fair ! Don’t blame me because something in you wanted to be with me instead of with him ! It was something we both felt ! Don’t take that away from me too Eleni !!

E– You’re wrong, the water it was not warm. The waters in Springfield are cold. When you went to see Ed at Cedars did you see the sonogram ? Did you see how it proves that this child is Frank’s ?

A-M– YES !! It DOESN’T mean I have to give you a divorce.

E– This child should be with his father ! I want you to sign those papers. For ONCE in your life A-M do what is right ! Give me the divorce I deserve !

A-M — When you went to see Ross did you tell him that Blake and I slept together ?

E– Tell Ross that his girlfriend was sleeping with my husband ? Do you think I could really do something like that A-M ?

A-M–Yes

E– You’re right, but I didn’t yet. The secretary gave me those papers. Ross was not there. But you know….I think he would be back there right now. So if you don’t sign these papers I could just go over there and…..

A-M– Just black mail me into giving you the divorce ?

E– No A-M that is a word you would use. I would use these papers to convince you. Perhaps use one of your words call this ……..a bargaining chip. I will tell Ross everything if you continue to refuse to sign those papers.

A-M– You’ve changed Eleni. You have become cold, calculating.

E– Like a Spaulding A-M ? No, you know Blake tried to say the same thing to me earlier. I am NOT like you ! I just will NOT let you take anything else from me !

A-M– I wouldn’t oh not EVER again Eleni ! I just, look, I STILL love you Eleni !!

E– I DON’T want to hear that anymore !!

A-M — Just give me a little time to think. A lot of details need to be worked out. ( His voice breaks) and if you want to go through with this I want you to have some money.

E– I am WARNING you A-M. If you don’t sign those papers very, VERY, soon…..I WILL go back to Ross’es office and he will be there. He will learn EVERYTHING ! Blake will be hurt, your Uncle Ed ! You have lost your wife A-M. Do you want to lose the few left that still care anything about you ?

( A-M stands at the railing in tears as Eleni leaves……… )


A-M goes to the police station where Frank, Eleni , Harley and Mallet are. They tease him about having a meeting of the A-M fan club. A-M signs and hands the divorce papers to Eleni.  Eleni laughs hugs and kisses Frank and they leave.  Only Harley seems to notice A-M’s pain.

For the next seven months A-M is rarely seen. You see him in the background of scenes. He works at The Springfield Journal. Sometimes falling asleep at his desk. The main thing you know is that he has no one and nothing but his work. He becomes close with Nick and Fletcher during this time. Both men are surprised with A-M giving his all to keep this little paper he owns up and running. Eleni marries Frank and has the little girl A-M so wanted as his own. When Harley marries Mallet A-M comes alone right after work. Eleni tells him “You know, I was never the right person for you A-M. I was always trying to be something I wasn’t and so were you. Someday you will find someone that you won’t have to try for. You can just be who you are.”

That night on Springfield Route 66 a girl is walking angry ! Her Dad has spent the money in her trust fund. To top it all off her car has broke down and she must walk the ten miles to Fifth and Lester….

Holding On~ A Tony Santos Short

I have had this short in my head since I finished What Matters Most but I kept trying to put it on the back burner to get Lost and Found completed.  Unfortunately, Tony Santos was pretty adamant about his voice being heard and Tony Santos never was known for his patience.   So I thought this would be a nice Christmas treat for the readers of this blog….This short is a bit different than the other shorts in that is entirely from Tony’s POV while Marah was unconscious in the hospital.  Hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

GLXMas

Beep…beep…beep…

I watch the monitor as it registers every beat of her heart.  To me that beeping is the most beautiful sound in the world.  She may not be conscious but as long as that sound keeps echoing in this sterile room I know she is still here. Still holding on.

And I need her to keep holding on because without Marah I am lost. She has always been the only one able to keep the darkness from overtaking me. My very own guiding light.  The saint to my sinner.

So yes, I relish every beat of her heart. Right now it is the only thing keeping me from doing something that would destroy what’s left of my tarnished soul. Because if I could get my hands on Carlos I would choke the very breath from his body. So instead I close my eyes and just listen.

Beep…beep…beep…

I reach forward and hold her small listless hand in my larger ones and pray like I have never prayed before. Pray that she will open her eyes, pray that when she wakes up we still have a chance.

Time moves incredibly slow here. Other than the shift nurses and the occasional visitor I feel like we are part of a movie stuck on pause just waiting until someone comes along and presses play. Presses play and the world is right again. Taking a deep breath I rub the back of my fingers down her cheek. “I have prayed more in the past two days than I have my entire life.  I am not sure if God hears the prayers of a sinner like me, he certainly never answered them the years I was locked in Romeo’s cage but maybe that was part of the plan.  Maybe he knew I’d need them now, and Baby I need them more than ever.”  I take a deep breath as the tears welling up in my eyes threaten to spill over.  “I got to see Lanie earlier and I swear she’s the prettiest baby that I have ever seen.  She’s a little small and they are monitoring her but I could see it in her eyes, she is a fighter just like her mama.  And I need you to keep fighting baby because I don’t think I can do this without you.”

***

I hang back as Reva and Josh spend time with their daughter.  I know I should probably give them some privacy but the only time I’ve left this room in the past forty-eight hours has been to see Lanie.  To reach through the incubator and reassure her that she is not alone, but visiting hours in the NICU aren’t for another twenty minutes.  I am so lost in thought that I don’t realize Josh has come over until he places his hand on my shoulder.

“Why don’t you go home and get some sleep.  Maybe get yourself a proper meal.” He smiles ruefully, “No offense Tony buy you look like hammered shit.”

I appreciate his attempt at humor even if I can’t find it within me to laugh.  “No offense Josh but you don’t look any better.”  And he doesn’t/  Josh looks like he’s aged about ten years in the past couple of days.

Josh lets out a grunt of agreement,  “True enough.  I certainly feel it.”  We stand in comfortable silence for a few moments.  Simply watching Reva talk animatedly with Marah.  “You know it never gets easier, being a father.  No matter how old they get you will always see them as the children that looked at you like you could fix the world.  They have a way of making you feel like you can take on the world and yet feel helpless at the same time.”

That is a feeling I am all too familiar with.  “I have been a father for two days and I already feel helpless.”

Josh reaches over and slaps my on the back, “Better get used to it because it never gets easier.”

“How can you be so nice to me?  I am part of the reason she is in here and not at home where she belongs.”  The words burst forth unchecked but damn if I don’t want to know.  By all rights Josh should be plotting the best way to kill me and dispose of the body.  And I wouldn’t blame him one bit.

But Josh just shakes his head.  “This isn’t your fault.  Because my daughter loves you.  Because you are the father of my grandchild.  Pick a reason.”  With another slap on the back he moves away from the wall.  “Now I am going to collect my wife and go visit our granddaughter.  I hear she is quite the little beauty.”

And I can tell he is thinking exactly what I am.  Just like her mom.

***

I stare out the hospital window watching the snow gently falling on the ground. Christmas was always Marah’s favorite holiday, in fact the entire Lewis clan celebrated Christmas like no one I’d ever seen. This time last year we were putting up their first tree together and now Marah was lying in a hospital bed fighting for her life. But this snow reminded me of another Christmas I held dear.

“Do you remember that Christmas we went up to your parent’s cabin?” I smiled at how different they were then. How much time had changed them. “I had never seen anything as beautiful as you by the fire. How everything seemed to be falling into place for us then the snow began.”

“You know that is one of my favorite moments, well not so much the stealing of the snowmobile or Josh’s death stares, but what came afterwards. Decorating the tree with your family, you making me part of your family tradition.” I take a deep breath and turn to see her lying there, looking so much like an angel. Like the saint to my sinner. “I held that memory with me for years until I was able to come home and make new traditions with you.”

Moving around the room I once again take up vigil at Marah’s bedside. And the silence envelops us, the only sound the beeping from the machines keeping her alive. Leaning down I press my lips to hers, hoping that even lost in her mind that she can feel my desperation and return to me. “You need to keep holding on baby. Because I want a lifetime of making new traditions with you. Hell, a lifetime will not even be long enough!”

But the only answer I got was silence.

The History of Harley and Mallet

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The history of Harley & Mallet starts with Harley Davidson Cooper deciding yet another career move, police woman.   Working at Spaulding Harley set up a password that only Alan-Michael would know.  Unfortunately she was drugged by John Davis, a friend of Roger Thorpe, and she revealed the password, enabling Roger to embezzle money from Spaulding.  Though Alan-Michael and Blake accused her of corporate espionage, Harley couldn’t remember anything and was soon able to prove that she’d been drugged and had Davies arrested. A few days later, Harley met friends in a bar on 5th Street and discovered  corrupt cops Hutchins and Murry  demanding protection money from the barkeeper and threatened her friend, Tracey, a hooker.  When she was arrested for prostitution in an attempt to buy her silence she decided she’d rather be on the other side of the bars and enrolled in the Springfield Police Academy where she came upon her hard-nosed instructor, A.C. Mallet (aka Anthony Camaletti).

Mallet, as he came to be called had been in Springfield for a while but hadn’t discovered Harley as of yet. He came to Springfield from NYC where he was a successful Detective. Unfortunately, a romance with a mobster’s daughter, Francesca ended his reign there and sent him running with a new name and straight into the arms of Melinda Sue Lewis. Mindy and Mallet became quick friends and she was the first person he knew in Springfield. Mindy helped her friend Mallet move on after he realized he’d never be with the woman he loved again.

Mallet was a strict teacher. He resented being made to teach rookies and took it out on them as much as possible, especially a rookie who thought she deserved to be more, Rookie Cooper. Harley desperately wanted to be in some cases already and somehow always found herself where she wasn’t supposed to and surprisingly right next to Mallet.

Finally, while chasing after Dr. Daniel St. John in the cold stretch of woods it happened: Harley was kidnapped and Mallet came to rescue. When Mallet found her she was freezing and delirious. While trying to warm up his rookie Harley made an oh-so-cute comment about her instructor’s lips. Mallet took it as delirium, but Harley meant more. She confessed her feelings to her big brother Frank, who also had become a close pal to Mall

She left Springfield unhappy with wanting Mallet but not having him want her back, so she headed for Cross Creek. But Mallet had no idea that Harley wanted him, because secretly he had fallen for her too.

When Harley disappeared Mallet begged Frank to tell him where Harley had gone, but Frank promised Harley he wouldn’t. That is until Frank realized Mallet shared Harley’s feelings.

Mallet went to Dylan and finally got him to tell him that Harley was at Cross Creek. Mindy also got involved when Harley called her and she covered for Dylan so Harley wouldn’t know Mallet was on his way there.

When Mallet showed up at the Cross Creek cabin only one thing could follow: passion. Harley and Mallet made love for the first time there in what many remember as Harley and Mallet’s best moment. When the couple returned to Springfield, Harley took her police test and passed, but their romance was still a secret since Mallet was still her instructor.

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But happiness can never last for long on a soap opera. Harley and Mallet then began to work on their first case together much to the dismay of their captain, who wanted Harley as a rookie, but now she had to help. Jenna Bradshaw, international jewel thief had set her sights on the jewels of the Springfield, but Mallet knew her. Or at least recognized her as what she was, a thief; but that wasn’t enough to arrest her. Mallet had to catch her in the act.

So they set up a plan. Jenna had already become interested in Mallet and he used that against her, but he needed someone on the inside so Harley became Jenna’s assistant. But while the sting went on Harley & Mallet couldn’t be seen together so once again their romance became secret and was confined to a small hotel. After awhile Jenna found out she had been set up, but the couple already had enough to get her. Jenna was caught but in true soap fashion the beautiful temptress got away and reformed herself

Just when Harley & Mallet thought the rough times were behind them, the worst moment of their romance took place. All at the hands of Harley’s former husband and now friend, Alan Michael Spaulding.  A-M wanted Eleni Andros, but Eleni wanted Frank Cooper, Harley trustworthy big brother. Eleni had been shipped from Greece to marry Frank, but he wanted no part in it, because he didn’t love her. But soon the two really fell for each other but before their passion could be sealed Frank was called away to France. While there A-M set it up so a prostitute named Mussette would sneak into Frank’s bed just as Eleni, who A-M sent there to “surprise” her love would find them. When she did Frank was out like a light from a “Mickey” Mussette slipped him. Eleni was devastated and headed back for the states with A-M. But when she tried to get back into the states she was stopped and called an illegal alien.

Blake Thorpe, A-M’s ex-wife, who was jealous of her ex’s lust for the Grecian beauty called the authorities on her. But her plan backfired when on the spot, A-M offered to marry Eleni to keep her in the country. Eleni only believed in marrying someone she loved, but A-M confessed his true feelings and Eleni felt she could grow to love one of her closest friends.

When Frank found out A-M’s deception and Eleni’s marriage he was extremely hurt. Harley & Mallet were upset at A-M for marrying Eleni when he knew how she felt toward Frank. But Eleni grew to deeply love A-M, but his past was coming back to haunt him.

Mussette, the woman A-M had hired to deceive Eleni was back. She wanted more money for she’d done once she found out what it did for A-M. But A-M wanted no more to do with her and hired a man to stop her, Pierre. But Pierre wasn’t the best of hitmen/spies. His big plan for getting rid of Mussette, who recently showed up in Springfield and even befriended Eleni was to blow her up.

Pierre put a bomb in Mussette’s car. But some complications came along the way, like the fact that Eleni’s car was in the same parking garage and when A-M found this out he freaked. Mallet had also stumbled upon what was going on and went to try to stop Mussette from opening her car door and exploding herself to pieces. But something worse happened. Even though Eleni got away before the bomb went off, Mallet got there right as Mussette opened her door. The bomb went off right in front of Mussette and Mallet.

Mallet was rushed to the hospital … in grave condition. Mussette was dead. Harley was a wreck, and so was A-M, because all he knew was a dark-haired woman had been hurt as well, but it wasn’t his precious Eleni. A tough time was ahead: Mallet couldn’t walk and he couldn’t hear. His only communication with Harley was him seeing her lips move.

His paralysis might be permanent and if not he maybe be sterile. He was give a hearing ear dog (Xyla) to assist him in every day living.

Mallet was crushed and decided the best thing to do was to break it off with Harley, for her own good. Harley was crushed, she had no idea why Mallet would cut her off when he needed her the most. But soon Mallet and Harley were back together and decided to move in together. Mallet who was now confined to a wheelchair tried to be his old self but couldn’t. Soon his hearing returned.

Then all of A-M secrets were unleashed. Pierre was back ready to destroy A-M and anybody in his way. In a daring shoot-out at the airport: Harley, A-M, Mallet and Nick Spaulding stop Pierre. The police arrive and ask what’s going on, Nick wants to turn A-M in for the explosion that killed Mussette and hurt Mallet, but Mallet stops him. A-M had saved Harley’s life and took a bullet for her. Mallet and Harley kept quiet.

On Xmas day Mallet’s present to Harley was the fact that he could take a few steps, and now he was on his way to walking on his own.  Then Mallet did something he never thought he would: he proposed and Harley gladly accepted .

By January 1993, Mallet had almost fully recovered and since he had to give Xyla back to his owner in Washington, he and Harley traveled there and decided to visit the Vietnam Memorial to find Harley’s father’s name.  To her surprise his name wasn’t there.  An Army official confessed that her father had not died in Vietnam.  All those years Frank and Harley believed their father Frank Buzz Cooper Sr. had died in Vietnam were lies.  When Harley couldn’t find his name anywhere on the wall she had to find out from her mother Nadine. Buzz had been MIA and she didn’t want to give them any false hope so she said he died.

When Nadine’s cousin Rex showed up in town no one thought anything of it, except Mallet. Rex was strange, but really Rex was none other than Buzz, who had been back in the States since ’77. With slight reconstructive surgery he was almost unrecognizable to Nadine, but she knew who he was.

When Harley & Frank finally found out who Rex was they were hurt, but soon accepted Buzz into their lives. Harley & Mallet soon became second fiddle as Frank & Eleni who had once again found each other were getting married. Even as Eleni was expecting their child any day.

Harley & Mallet were the maid of honor and best man and were also named god parents of Marina, Frank & Eleni’s daughter born just hours after they exchanged vows.

David Grant, who worked at Harley’s family’s diner: Meals & Wheels was on the run for murdering a neighborhood racist. But David was only defending himself. Though Harley & Mallet believed in his innocence they had to do their job, at David’s trial it was revealed that he was innocent and he was released. Upon this good news, Buzz had some more good news. He wanted to throw his daughter a surprise wedding.

So finally after Eleni gave Harley her wedding dress, the guests assembled, and Harley wearing her big clunky police shoes, the couple married in what was the most romantic wedding ever. Some may have called it tacky, but it never lacked emotion and love. Soon afterward Harley and Mallet boarded a plane for Florida to begin their honeymoon, where they stayed and joined the police force.

In 1997, Harley returned to Springfield after discovering that Mallet had an affair with his partner. Months later, Mallet called Harley requesting a divorce.

The Many Faces of Susan (Daisy) Lemay

Susan Lemay was born Daisy Cooper in September of 1987 to teenage parents Harley Cooper and Dylan Lewis.  Her birth, and subsequent adoption, would impact Harley for the rest of her life.  Susan Lemay did not have the easiest early life, in fact her childhood could be described as somewhat “traumatic”.  She had a life threatening illness, she was kidnapped (twice), the only mother she had ever known died of cancer, and then her father died in a fire.

harleydylandaisy1. Brittany Slatterly : (August 1989-October 1989;  March-April 1995) Daisy made her way into the world on the side of the highway when her mother Harley was involved in a car accident on the way to Cedars hospital.  Harley named the baby Daisy after the flower Dylan used to bring her.  A teenager, Harley was unable to take care of young Daisy and put her up for adoption.  Daisy’s adoptive parents JimDylanHarleySusan and Connie Lemay would rename her Susan.  In 1989 Susan’s biological father Dylan learned he had a daughter and convinced Harley to reclaim their child.  Dylan and Samantha Marler worked as Susan’s nannies unbeknownst to the Lemays, which granted Harley access to her daughter.   Harley’s then-husband Alan-Michael attempted to buy Susan from the Lemays but was refused.  Alan-Michael retaliated by revealing the true identity of Dylan to the Lemays.  As a result Harley’s only connection to her child was severed and placed a great strain on her marriage to Alan-Michael.  In an attempt to hold on to Harley Alan-Michael kidnapped young Susan and made plans for them to leave the country.  Harley refused and returned Susan to her adoptive parents who then moved away from Springfield.  In 1994, Connie Lemay revealed to Dylan that an eight-year old Susan had contracted a rare form of diabetes.  She convinced Dylan to donate part of his pancreas to Susan in a life-threatening surgery.  The procedure was a success and young Susan recovered yet the Lemays barred Dylan from seeing his daughter. Harley gives up Daisy for Adoption , Mrs. Lemay informs Dylan that Daisy is sick Guiding Light-August 19, 1989 (Dylan and Daisy montage)

 

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Brittany Snow2. Brittany Snow (December 1998 to March 2001; May  2001) In 1998 Connie Lemay died of cancer and a distraught Susan ran away from home in order to find Harley.  Susan begged Harley and her then-husband Phillip Spaulding to not return her to her father.  When Jim Lemay arrived to collect his daughter Harley convinced him to let Susan stay in Springfield for the holidays.   Susan plotted to get Harley’s full attention and faked an illness in January 1999 in order to prolong her stay in Springfield.  Susan’s real plan was to bring Harley and her father Jim together, however her matchmaking plans failed.  Phillip urged his wife to let Susan and Jim live their own lives.  When Harley became pregnant a hurt Susan left town.  However Susan later reached out to Harley and mother and daughter continued to keep in contact without Phillip and Jim’s knowledge.   In February 1999, Susan called Harley from the bus station after being accused of shoplifting.  When Phillip and Jim arrived they argued about Harley’s intervention in Susan’s life.  Because Harley and Susan refused to part Phillip suggested Jim love to Springfield and even offered him a position at Spaulding Enterprises.  Not long after, the Nursery Rhyme Stalker, Holly Reade, kidnapped Susan along with other Springfield children.   Susan and the children escaped but were caught again by Holly.  They would eventually be rescued by Susan’s grandmother Reva Lewis.  Susan tried to play on Harley’s jealousy by getting close to Phillip’s ex-wife, Beth Raines.  Phillip overheard Susan asking questions about miscarriages and he warned a pregnant Harley that Susan could be dangerous.  Jim threatened to leave town over Phillip’s accusations, but Harley and Beth persuaded Phillip to convince Jim to stay in Springfield.  In the spring on 1999 Susan befriended a boy named Max Nickerson.  Susan and Max sneaked into Buzz’s new restaurant to make dinner. Max dropped a cigarette on the floor, setting the diner ablaze. Though both were rescued the restaurant was destroyed.  When Susan learned that Jim and Beth were going on a business trip to the Bahamas, Susan hoped that lacing Beth’s drink would cause Beth to miss her flight. However Susan drank it herself and in daze jumped into the lake.  A Jim and Harley planned to send Susan to a camp for trouble teens, Susan and Max attempted to run away together.  Susan and Max reconciled their friendship when they both wound up in the camp for troubled teens. Later, Jim and Susan talked their problems through, and Jim took her home.   Susan apologized to Beth, but continued bfa6555da70bc1e5ac070a22ad35d0bato disapprove of Beth’s relationship with Jim. Susan traveled to San Cristobel with Beth, Jim, Phillip, and Harley for Thanksgiving with Cassie and Prince Richard Winslow.  Phillip and Beth needed to return home for business, and Jim agreed to fly them in a private jet. The jet crashed, but the three were eventually rescued.   In January 2000, Susan and Max found Beth’s prenatal vitamins, and realized that Beth was pregnant.  Soon after, it was revealed that Phillip, not Jim, was the baby’s father however Jim and Beth married despite Susan’s suspicions.  Susan began to act out, even getting involved in Sam Spencer’s pirating CDs.  Then tragedy struck for Susan once again when her father Jim Lemay died in a fire saving Lizzie gl3and James Spaulding. Susan grew more distant from Harley and became increasingly close to Beth.  Feeling out-of-place in Springfield Susan eventually went away to boarding school.  Brittany Snow was great at portraying a teenage Susan Lemay.  Susan Lemay had faced numerous heart breaks in  her young life but there was a “realness” to the character.  She was very much a teenager for she would dance and sing along to songs on the radio and her room was cluttered with Backstreet Boy posters.  And Brittany Snow was fabulous at portraying those pesky teenage emotions, like Susan’s crush on Max to her jealousy over her father’s relationship with Beth as well as her overwhelming grief at losing her father.  And though she had a tendency to be manipulative it was very “Harleyesque” for when Harley was a teenager she was a bit of a wild child herself.  Susan and Max’s House Party. Christmas 1999.  How to Live (Classic GL clips after Jim’s death). 

 

 

BonnieDennison33. Bonnie Dennison (January 2007-September 2009) : In 2007, Harley and her husband Gus Aitoro were seeking to adopt an abandoned baby they had found.   Needing a statement from Harley’s firstborn, they visited Susan’s school and learned that Susan, who now went by Daisy, was not the innocent girl that Harley remembered.  Daisy’s boyfriend Mark Gillespie, A.K.A. “G,” burglarized Harley and Gus’ house then struck Daisy’s cousin Tammy Winslow with his car before fleeing the scene.  Gus discovered Daisy passed out in the back of the car and attempted to get her to see “G” for the criminal he was.  Gus locked her in a room at Towers in the hopes of sobering her up.   While giving testimony at Harley and Gus’ adoption hearing Daisy broke down and confessed that she was in the car that hit Tammy.  The judge denied Harley and Gus custody of Sydney, and expressed concerns that Harley’s absentee parenting had adversely affected Daisy. Harley realized that her daughter needed structure.  She enrolled Daisy in public school and set her up as a candy striper at Cedars.  Daisy would rebel against the structure Harley attempted to put in place while Gus stood up for the teenager and tried to mend the mother-daughter rift.  Gus’ support and understanding resulted in Daisy developing a crush on her stepfather.  After she was nearly raped by a boy at school she called Gus and Harley, but Harley believed Bobby over Daisy, and put Daisy in jail overnight to teach her a lesson.  Harley and Daisy’s relationship reached an all-time low when Harley slapped Daisy for claiming that her mother would’ve screwed up Sydney more than she already did Daisy.  Harley told Daisy that she was sending her to boot camp.  Though Daisy tried to hide at Reva’s Harley was adamant that Daisy go to boot camp.  Gus offered to drive her there and during a rest stop Daisy confessed her love for him.  When he didn’t reciprocate her feelings Daisy drugged him and slipped into his bed.  The candles caught fire, and a panicked Daisy called the paramedics when she couldn’t revive Gus to make an escape. Gus kept Daisy’s secret and claimed that the fire was his fault claiming he had taken painkillers when he woke up.   A bitter Daisy found the mysterious Natalia in Chicago, and upon learning that Natalia still had feelings for Gus, Daisy hinted to Natalia that Harley and Gus were having marital problems.   A traffic ticket from Chicago proved that Daisy had violated her parole by leaving Springfield.  Seeing that she was out of control, her mother decided it would be best if she was sent away to juvenile detention. Once there, she befriended Ashlee Wolfe who protected her from a fight.  She also began speaking to another guy she called “vent boy” since they communicated through the vents.  Daisy refused to see or speak to Harley, but she allowed Gus to visit, though he expressed his anger that Daisy had lured Natalia to Springfield. Dylan took Harley to see Daisy, and he confessed that boot camp had been his idea. Daisy softened toward Harley, even hugging her. When Daisy arrived home from detention, she was shocked to see that Rafe was “vent boy.”  Rafe and Daisy pretended that they’d never met, so that they could carry on their relationship under the same roof. Their secret caused Rafe and Harley to butt heads until Daisy finally revealed the truth about her relationship with Rafe.  Daisy moved in with Dylan yet their parents still forbade them from seeing each other. They snuck around behind their parents’ backs but were found out when Rafe went into insulin shock during their secret date at the Spaulding lake house.  Daisy tried to strike an allegiance with Natalia, in which Daisy would help Natalia win Gus in exchange for time with Rafe.  Weeks later, Daisy and Rafe declared their love for each other, and made love at the Spaulding lake house. More time passed, and Daisy Harley and Daisyseemingly pulled herself together. However, around the time she won vice president of the student council, she also discovered that she was pregnant.   Daisy had an abortion which angered Rafe since it went against his Catholic beliefs though Dylan and Harley supported her though this time. Things drew to a head when an angry-at-the-world Rafe got drunk, and disrupted Thanksgiving at Harley’s house. Daisy went to Rafe, and confided in him that she’d felt empty inside ever since the abortion.  Daisy turned on divorcee Harley after catching her kissing Marina’s fiancé, Cyrus Foley. Disgusted by her mother’s actions, Daisy moved out of the house, and suggested to Rafe that they find a place of their own.  Daisy told Harley she needed money for school but was upset when Harley didn’t have any money to spare.  After Gus’s sudden death in a motorcycle crash, Rafe nixed plans to move in with Daisy to be there for Natalia. In his grief, Rafe turned cold to Daisy and on graduation day, Rafe shot Jeffrey, and went on the run.  Not long after, G returned to town, despite still being wanted in connection with Tammy’s murder.  Daisy hid G from the police, and when Cyrus discovered them, he shockingly revealed that G was his younger brother, Grady Foley.  When Daisy learned that Grady was the mysterious man who’d been flirting with Ashlee, Daisy spitefully called the police on him. Though confused about her feelings for Grady she Unable to send him to prison, Daisy lied on the stand, testifying that Tammy’s death had been an accident.  In 2009, Daisy encouraged Bill not to give up when Lizzie suspected that he was her kidnapper. When Coop died in a terrible car accident, a distraught Buzz sought revenge on Alan. Buzz urged Grady to testify that Alan had hired Grady to kill Jonathan. Grady reluctantly agreed to do it when he saw how important it was to Daisy, but he never showed up at the hearing.  Daisy took a gun and went to confront Alan, convinced he had something to do with Grady’s disappearance.  Daisy fired at Alan, but missed. Buzz arrived, and convinced her to let it go.  Towards the end of the show Daisy grew more mature.  She began dating James Spaulding (the young boy her father Jim died saving), and helped her family by babysitting for Marina and Reva.  Daisy applied to Berkley and was eventually accepted.  Her and Ashlee went to California together with James and Daisy exchanging “I love yous”.  The most interesting aspect of Bonnie Dennison’s character on Guiding Light was that the character of Susan Lemay was completely erased in favor of this new entity named Daisy.  As a young girl Susan had sought out her birth mother and they had a rather amicable relationship.  Daisy was a bitter teenager who dated lowlife Grady and even lied for him to spare him prison time for killing her cousin.  For a lot of viewers the Daisy character was very polarizing.  I felt Dennison did a good job of playing a teenager, but I disliked Daisy for a multitude of reasons.  But that tends to happen when writers ignore the character history in order to play the conflict.  But the biggest problem with the Daisy character is that towards the end of the show the writing began to focus on the teen scene.  As a legendary soap came to a close I wanted to see the legendary characters get their final hurrah, I didn’t want to see Daisy sucking face with that greasy Grady character.  But I digress. Bonnie Dennison’s Daisy, A very polarizing character.  Though I would have rather seen a little less Daisy and a lot more Susan I think the best part of Daisy was her friendship with Ashlee (even if it was more one-sided).  But that’s just me.  Some Daisy clips: Taking Back (Dylan tells Daisy that Harley wanted her baby back), When she was Good , Choices (The Daisy abortion storyline), March 2009-A Daring Confrontation  (Daisy VS Alan…please!)

Soap Operas and Romance Novels: The Feminist Debate

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Recently on Twitter I saw two things that really made me stop and take a second look.  The first was a comment that said that “Soap opera is the most feminist of genres, by nature of ongoing narrative” and the second being “Feminism and the writing of romantic novels are a contradiction in terms. ” Why did these statements make me take pause?  Simply said, I am a fan of both.

I have watched soap operas since I was a little girl who was too young to recognize the true complexities that were taking place on my television screen.  One of my first ever “ships” was between Alan-Michael Spaulding and Lucy Cooper.  I simply loved everything about them.  The contrast between their social classes, how Alan-Michael fought his feelings for Lucy, and how hard they had to strive to get their happily ever after.  I simply loved them.  The same can be said for my love of romance novels.  I have always loved to read, and one day I picked up my mom’s Sandra Brown novel and from then on I have been a big fan of the genre.  So yes, these broad sweeping statements made me take pause.

Feminism: (n) the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes 

Early romance novels were classified as “bodice rippers”.  The hero was typically older rogue who is assertive of his dominance over the younger, often virginal, heroine.  A woman’s wants and needs were secondary to the hero’s.  Indeed, romance novels in the early 70’s were very patriarchal in nature, even as the feminist movement was simultaneously taking place in America.  Modern romance novels feature stronger heroines who are successful in their careers, and the heroes are men that see them as equals.  Why the shift?  Because the women writing romance novels today grew up during and after the feminist era.  They take feminist ideas that were seen as revolutionary as a given.   The heroines are no longer pushed into making changes in their life but take the proverbial bull by the horns and choose their own destiny.  In other words, they can maintain their personal relationships without sacrificing their careers.

Romance novels are a billion dollar industry.  Yes you read that right, a BILLION dollar industry, with the majority of the writers being women.  In my opinion that is impressive in that women have carved out an industry that is highly lucrative, though this “for women written by women” mentality has also led to the stigma attached with reading romance novels.   Like all things romance novels can be as feminist or not depending on the writer.  But in my opinion romance novels give readers a chance to read about and examine their own desires.

Soap Operas emerged from detergent companies sponsoring radio shows aimed at the housewife.  But while the soap opera may be a female genre, it has a strong patriarchal ideology that remains to this day.    The women can be smart, sexy, and successful but that the end of the day the men will more than likely triumph.  A powerful female character will often time become more sensitive and thus lose her edge, or will be destined for a life of loneliness.  That while female characters will often time use their sexuality in order to influence men, that realization is never full achieved.    In fact, most female characters in soaps are likely to fall into these trends.

dn6504qp9lad5x_oTake for instance, Alexandra Spaulding from Guiding Light.  She was a cutthroat businesswoman who was out to prove that she was just as good as her brother Alan at running Spaulding Enterprises.  She was however, always unlucky in love.  When she was desperate to retain power at Spaulding she resorted to drugging her brother to drive him crazy.  She got into the illegal trading of the drug Antimonius and of course, her brother Alan tried to save her.

70518ae37663b3551235bd809a0265cbLucinda Walsh on As the World Turns was another savvy businesswoman but none of her marriages lasted very long and towards the end of the show’s run the writers even had her marry a gay man.  Stephanie Forrester on the Bold and the Beautiful manipulated Eric Forrester into marrying her, and it was her driving force that helped make Forrester Creations a success.  She was rewarded by her husband Eric having countless affairs with younger women, divorcing her repeatedly, and ultimately ending her reign as matriarch by suffering from lung cancer.  Victoria Newman on the Young and the Restless is a middle-aged billionaire yet everyone knows Victor is the one in charge, and that Victoria kowtows to “daddy”.  She left Newman Enterprises to write and illustrate children’s books, which didn’t pan out.  This is the same woman who constantly put Newman over her so-called “miracle baby” Reed, as if motherhood and career was too much to balance.  However, the very fact she still refers to Victor as “daddy” doesn’t exactly scream feminist.

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So what was the point of this article?  Well I will tell you.  1. Soap Operas are FEMININE by nature of the ongoing narrative but in my opinion they are not exactly FEMINIST in nature.  The males on soap operas will always be the ones that come out on top while women on soaps will always have to balance family and careers, with one side always losing.  Some may be strong successful businesswomen but there is almost always a man to either be their downfall or their savior.  And 2.  Feminism does exist in modern-day romance novels.  Many romance novels today contain feminist ideas while also retaining traditional notions of love and family and these relationships are based on equality.