Heather Gough – Winston-Salem, NC


I want to live a soap-opera life.  Everyone’s beautiful and – though they rarely attend school or work at their jobs – they’re fabulously rich.  Soaps are the best escapism television.  I’m a middle school teacher in real life.  I know what you’re thinking – how much more glamour and wealth could anyone want?  And as far as jobs go, mine is a pretty good one.  But let’s face it, sometimes work just gets in the way of living life.  My career goal is retirement.  I know that’s not a very “enlightened” attitude; Cosmo would probably revoke my independent woman status if they heard me say that.  But that’s exactly what I want – independence.  I want to do less working and more living . . . just like in the soap operas.

My soap-opera name would be Brandy Kenwood.  Isn’t that great?  In case you don’t know, your soap-opera name is the name of your first pet combined with the name of the first street you lived on.  Brandy Kenwood sounds like a woman who gets things done – mostly for her own benefit, of course.  I’m sure she doesn’t have to clean up dog poop or change the litter box, and she probably never folded laundry in her whole life!  Of course, she has her fair of stress – I’m sure at least one of her ex-husbands cheated on her with her best friend, or her mother, or her mother’s best friend.  And then there was probably a time when the town thought Brandy was dead for a couple of years, when she was actually lost in a far-off town and struggling with total amnesia.  But for the most part, my soap-opera life would be full of exotic, high-fashion adventure.

I (Brandy) might jump on my chartered, or better yet, private jet at a moment’s notice to have a romantic dinner in Italy with my latest husband.  This could possibly happen right after one of us has returned from the dead.  While we’re there, I’d probably become a local hero by writing a zillion dollar check to the local orphanage and then end up adopting the most adorable and charming child in the whole country, who also happens to be a terrific singer.  I’d take the child back to my home somewhere in Middle America, where we would live a posh, high-fashion life.  I mean, really, who among us hasn’t wished for that?

Or maybe I’d live in a penthouse on 5th Avenue in New York, wear only designer clothes, and carry a tiny dog around in my $1,200 purse.  I could buy myself a seat on the board of directors of a huge corporation.  I’d secretly buy up stock in my arch enemy’s business empire, then stage a hostile takeover as revenge for her having stolen my high school prom date.  To celebrate my victory, I’d fly off to an obscure European county no one’s ever heard of in my private jet, where I’d be swept off my feet by the prince of this country.  My current husband would be angry at first, but he would eventually go back to his childhood sweetheart/former wife, who is really his true soulmate.  The prince and I would eventually get married and I’d be known as Princess Brandy.  I’d even wear a tiara.  Fabulous! 

So it’s easy to see why the soap-opera life is so seductive.  Not even one of those scenarios involved doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms, or bad hair days.  But even as I write this, a glance at he calendar tells me it’s almost time to get back to reality.  School will start again before I know it, and there won’t be any more time for soaps.  I may have to put Brandy Kenwood away for a while, but someone that fabulous can’t stay hidden for long.  I have a feeling she’ll pop up again by Christmas vacation.

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