Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Telenovela Lives.

There are some people who live their lives as though they’re starring in their own telenovela.  For the uninitiated, a telenovela is a tv soap opera usually known for outrageously dramatic storylines and BIG performances (I’d say stage chewing and hammy, but you never know whose auntie might be in one).  The thing is, if you’re going to live your life like that?  It gives me license to watch.  And review.

I have a running list of characters I interact with that allow me to constantly use the phrase that is taped to my computer monitor: “I cannot make this crap up.”  And I can’t.  These folks are always up to their elbows in drama of their own scripting, and when I re-tell the tale — because, bless your cotton-pickin’ little soul for thinking your life is your own — I WILL re-tell the tale.  Often.  And when I do?  People shake their heads and stare at me in disbelief, and I assure them: “I cannot make this crap up.”

For example, there’s the woman who casually sauntered into an established Leave it to Beaver kind of family and summarily tore it asunder with her feminine wiles and had the temerity to be upset when Mrs. Cleaver gave her the title of Adulteress (funny that she got upset over that one name, because June alternated between Other Woman, Mistress and few other terribly colorful, awfully creative made up ones that are waaay more suited for my late night comedy set* than Tea with T.).  Throughout the entire sordid ordeal, Mrs. Cleaver had been very quiet, a true lady. So, when Mrs. (she was married at the time) Hinged Panties (MY name, not June’s) got herself in a wad upon finding out that the orphaned Cleaver kids called her by the scarlet letter name in their own broken home?  Well, well.  Totally, telenovela.  Right?

Some storylines are rehashed so often, that I have to wonder why the shortage of good material for the telenovela lives.  Seriously, how many times must I watch as powerful leading men fall in love with their sparkly lil’ nubile secretaries, only to discover down the line that it was only lust?  And luster.  And that their wallets are missing.

In my computer files, I have a whole television sitcom I want to write on the wealthy family who for 30 years hired & fired housekeepers seemingly out of Central Casting.  There was Jack who quietly drained the mansion’s wine cellar of top shelf wines (his employers weren’t really drinkers. But he was); sweet, single Dana who hid her entire pregnancy with the married pastor of her church; Edwin who used to work for America’s only “royal” family and revealed all of their household secrets (and took a whole new household’s with him when he left); Marny & Kino the couple who chased after noisy 9pm pool guests with a butcher knife… oh, the episodes that wrote themselves.  Ones best performed before a live audience.

One story, brewing now, has me completely captivated because I’m pretty sure I know how it’s going to end.  Not well.  Still, I sit back and watch, hoping that the characters will not turn out to be as cliché as they’re shaping up to be, but knowing that in the end – all that will be left is lipstick stains and sawdust in the glitter.  Telenovelas can be a bit like opera, a high body count when all is said and done.  But, man – the costumes and high notes were totally worth sitting through.

The way I see it, it’s not gossip when I’m the only one being entertained by these telenovela lives.  After all, I don’t go around spreading your tales and naming names in coffee shops and over aperitifs.  But, I am a storyteller.  And at some point, tales must be told.  Maybe in composite form or steeped for years (and possibly putting a gnarly red fright wig on all Adulteresses), but people!  People!  Your telenovela storylines are just too good to keep to myself.  You go ahead and live it, I’ll watch. Just know, I’m taking notes.  Viva La Vida, baby.


* or tell all book


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