Young and the Restless, Bold and the Beautiful What Happened?

bold and beautifulI don’t usually write posts on the soap operas I have watched for more years than I can count. At least it is that way with the Young and the Restless. I have followed the soap from the beginning. I began watching the Bold and the Beautiful when As The World Turns went off the air. Yes, I am a soap junkie starting from my teen years when my mom got me hooked. I won’t tell you how old I am now. Let’s just say almost older than dirt.

I will start by commenting on the Bold and the Beautiful. Since I have begun watching this soap, and I am not sure why I am watching anymore, it has pretty much consisted of Hope in love with Liam, Liam marrying Stephy, then divorcing Stephy and going back with Hope, and then back to Stephy and letting Stephy go, throwing  in a few more people for them to marry before they trade around again.

Then we have Ridge and Brooke. Ridge is with Brooke,  he marries someone else and back to Brooke, another distraction and then he is back with Brooke. You get my gist. In between, we have had a few other storylines like the one with Sheila coming back. I wasn’t in on the first times Sheila was in the mix but it was tiring having her come back again. You knew exactly what was going to happen. I really felt the mark was missed on the Quinn shooting too. The story could have been so much more.

I am a mystery writer and as a long time fan, I think I could even do better than what has happened. I was very hopeful when someone shot Bill and they had all these suspects. But then they ended the story quickly. My mystery writer mind had all kinds of twists and turns along with offshoot stories that could have kept us fans enticed for a long time. Add some history and the writers could have rocked it. But no, first the writers showed us Liam shot his father and then it was Taylor.  And I might add I have been very disappointed with the way the police are portrayed in this soap opera. It doesn’t do justice to what would really happen if crimes unfolded they way they did the past few months.

Elation bubbled over me when they brought the Spectra’s back but again it was quickly over and the writers dropped the ball not only on Bill’s involvement in trying to try to kill Sally and endangering Liam but also in the entire story that could have developed with Spectra and Forrester once again going head to head especially with Thomas helping Sally lead the battle.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the actors playing the characters. They are doing an excellent job with what they are given but I feel as if the Bold and the Beautiful are living in the movie Groundhog Day and every day is the same. Perhaps the problem is the writers and the networks are too young and not seasoned enough to understand what makes a soap great or what makes fans keep watching. Maybe they should hire a real author who spends their lives writing great stories.

Here is what I imagine in my head when I think of the Bold and the Beautiful. Liam and Wyatt actually finally say enough and start their own company to compete with Spencer Enterprises. Someone starts to sabotage Spencer Enterprises and of course Bill blames Liam and Wyatt but who is lurking from the past that could be the villain? Hope and Stephy finally both have had enough of Liam’s waffling between the two of them. Stephy becomes a single mother and though Liam will have a say in her child’s future, she doesn’t need a man to complete her. She is an independent woman and takes charge with her dad at Forrester. Hope takes time to figure out why she can’t move on and spends time figuring out who Hope Logan really is, maybe meeting someone new along the way that could take her in an entirely new direction. I feel this program shows a disrespect to these two characters who are supposed to be leading executives and strong women. Meanwhile, Liam and Wyatt also have someone sabotaging their efforts to start their new company. Both father and sons are too busy blaming each other to see what is really going on right under their noses.

Ridge and Brooke, Eric and Quinn become the stable couples although Quinn still has that impish spark inside of her and decides she is going to investigate who is trying to take down her son. Of course, her life might be put in danger but does she pull Eric into it too or does he still try to be the voice of reason?

We can’t forget about Pam and Charlie. They add a comedic touch to the show. As for Wyatt and Katie, well use your imagination and find a story for them so they don’t get boring. After all, they don’t do much right now as a couple except having trysts in Katie’s house or worry about what other people on the soap thnk of their relationship.

I know my storyline dreams might be lame but what I am saying is get off the same ole, same ole. A subject is talked about for days with not much action. It is very easy to fast forward through many conversations because there are not many surprises. Bring back some history. Tie the show together and add some mystery, strife, and comedy. Make us care about the stories and the characters. I might be wrong but it is time to find someone who truly understands the Forrester’s and is bold with the storyline and makes it a beautiful tale to weave.

Tomorrow my take on the Young and the Restless.

Who am I? Just a fan that wants my soap opera back. Is that too much to ask?


Embrace Your Differences

My column from the Albert Lea Tribune the week of April 9, 2018

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf

IMG_0300I was getting ready to meet my grandchildren, one of whom is a teenage granddaughter, and I wondered if I would pass muster and dress appropriately so I wouldn’t embarrass her. I know she used to enjoy my quirky and colorful clothes, but that was when she was little and wasn’t as aware of what her peers were doing.

To be fair to her, she has never acted embarrassed about introducing me to anyone, especially her friends. I happen to love her teenage friends because they are so respectful and fun to be with, but I wonder if silently she may question my choices.

I have toned down what I wear in the last year or two. I must admit, I haven’t felt as if I was myself in my senior adult clothes choice, which is what is expected of someone my age. I tried to conform again.

Recently with all the hoopla surrounding Kelly Ripa and Brooke Shields and the criticism for wearing bikinis at their age, I thought long and hard about my choices. No, I do not plan on trying a bikini — I never looked good in them, but I happen to think these two women looked beautiful. It is their choice to choose what they wear at their age and not our business.

When I changed my natural hair color and went red a few months ago, I did have to endure comments from people who thought the drastic changing of my hair color was terrible. I got many more compliments than criticism, but it is the criticism that stayed with me.

My mom wasn’t a dresser and did not take good care of her looks. I know now she just didn’t have time, and clothes were not important to her. Although recently finding pictures of her in her early 20s, I realized at one time she had style and her clothes were beautiful. Somewhere in her busy life, she lost all that. I must admit, at times I was ashamed of the way she dressed and the fact she had bobby pins keeping her hair in place long after bobby pins were fashionable. I was a teenager, and it wasn’t my friends who gave me a hard time about how my mom dressed. It was other adults such as relatives and neighbors. They would ask me as a teenager and especially as an adult why I didn’t do something. As a teenager, I didn’t know what to do and as an adult, instead of not seeing dementia taking hold, I tried to help, but to no avail. The bottom line is I should not have been ashamed. That was who she was.

Recently, I acquired some bright clothes with wild patterns, and they really are me. The first time I put on a wild pair of pants my husband asked, “You aren’t really going out in that are you?” I proudly replied, “Yes, I am.”

I was told to dress brightly for a small school play I was involved in by Retired Senior Volunteers. I wore my bright clothes everywhere that day. I smiled all day; I felt like me.

I have a cousin who I got to know when she was a teenager. She is now an adult, a mother, and a beautiful person. Her mother, who I love, lamented during her daughter’s teenage years that her daughter liked to shop at thrift stores when they had more than enough money to buy the best of clothing. This teenager went on to college and earned a degree or two and first was going to be a lawyer or a doctor and follow in her family’s footsteps. But she knew this life wasn’t for her, and now she works for the DNR at a lower wage than she would have made at one of the other careers.  She lives in a beautiful state, tracks wildlife (yikes wolves) and works on sustaining our environment. She followed her own path. She knew early on who she was. She knows her value and is happy with her choices.

This is my advice for the teenagers in my life and in yours. God made us all different. We come in all different shapes and sizes. We like different things and have different personalities. Embrace that. Why would God make us each different if he wanted us to try and all be the same?

As a teenager, follow your style and don’t wear clothes just because they have a certain designer label or because you feel you need to look like your friends. A true friend will embrace that. Be you. Be different because God made you uniquely you. Celebrate it. Don’t let anyone make you feel you are less smart or less beautiful because you are smaller, bigger, look different or have flaws. Those flaws are all part of the wonderful you. Live your life. Take it from an adult who didn’t learn these lessons until I got old. Making choices to accept who you are in the noise of the world will be your pathway to a more peaceful life. If we were, all the same, it would be a dull world.

Love Is Earned

Boris, our hulk of a cat at 17 pounds, came to us via a friend of my daughters. He had hidden somewhere in a vehicle and ended up at a home that couldn’t keep him. I took one look at him and knew he was for us. From a tiny kitty, he grew to be a handsome boy that has always loved to cuddle and be near one of us at all times. He is not a mischief maker but quiet and mellow.

A couple of weeks after we adopted Boris I saw Natasha at an adoption event sponsored by a humane society. It was clear she was part Siamese and also around 7 months old, the same age as Boris. We hadn’t planned on adopting another cat, but after seeing Natasha, I couldn’t forget about her, and a week later we contacted the humane society and Natasha came home with us.

It was clear from the start Natasha was a troublemaker. She immediately was able to unlatch our bi-fold door between the kitchen and the porch and enter the room. We had to put a hook on the door and then she tried to unhook the hook. We had to put child locks back on our cupboard doors in the kitchen, and occasionally we spend a good amount of time trying to find out where she is when she hides somewhere, including inside the back of our recliner. And any closed box is a challenge to her.

Where Boris loved to be held, Natasha was standoffish. She would only be petted on her terms, wouldn’t come out when we had company and mostly ignored us. In looking into her history we found she had been born and raised in the shelter. We thought that contributed to her not wanting to be held or not being very social. She loved Boris, and the two of them were two peas in a pod although he would look at her at times and we could only guess he was thinking, “What is she doing?”

We have had our two cuties five years. About two years ago, Natasha would come to me and sit for a few seconds so I could pet her. Soon she moved to sleeping down at the end of my bed. During the day she began to follow me around. As time passed, she decided she liked to sit up near my shoulder and she even began to purr, which was something that we heard very seldom.

And then about six months ago she began to sit on the arm of the chair where my husband sits when he watches television. She wouldn’t stay very long and wouldn’t get on his lap or shoulder, but we could hear the purrs when she was there. One day she decided she wanted to be picked up and carried on his shoulder like a small child. She looks over his shoulder just like a baby would and she now will meow when she wants him to pick her up and walk with her. The minute he stops or sits, she is done and gets down. She also enjoys a ride in the empty clothes hamper across the floor back to where it is supposed to sit. She will sit at the laundry room door waiting for her ride.

Before I go to sleep and right away in the morning she now climbs up on my chest and nuzzles my nose and then sits for at least 15 minutes purring while I pet her. She is the last thing I see before I close my eyes and the first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning.

It took over three years for Natasha to give us her trust and love. During the years she was being standoffish she would sleep with and nuzzle Boris for comfort. I suspect other cats were the only way she was given love her early months. Not that the volunteers at the shelter didn’t give her love and attention but it wasn’t what she needed to bond and trust.

Her mischievousness didn’t always make life with Natasha easy. Loving her was not always easy. But we persevered, and no matter what trouble she got into or how distant she was, we always tried to let her know she was loved and cherished. We had patience and after three years we didn’t think she would change, but eventually our loving her won out and she is a loving, cuddly cat and she trusts us.

Maybe as humans, love can win out, too, when it comes to each other. We don’t make it easy for someone to love us. And trust has to be earned, especially after it has been broken. If we are hurt, we pull back. We become standoffish.

Or perhaps the other shoe is that we think someone is beyond repair, and so we give up on them too easily. We don’t understand their past or the hurts they have suffered. Maybe others have never had love and because of it find it hard to trust.

Natasha has taught me patience can eventually have its reward and it is possible to break through the barriers if we love someone through the muck of life. The outcome purrs are worth it.

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” — Martin Luther King Jr.