So, in the interests of keeping young viewers' feet firmly planted on the ground, I've compiled a list of suggestions I think will help soap writers create a more balanced and believable plot:
1. Women walking around looking like life-sized Barbie dolls should sometimes get zits. It's only fair.
2. After a popular couple has kids, every single romantic candlelit dinner should be rudely interrupted at just the wrong moment by a hysterical, vomit-soaked toddler.
3. If our heroine crashes her car into a wall, tree or meandering oil tanker and ends up with amnesia, the new hunky health-care professional who is introduced to teach her to love again should first have to teach her how to eat her meals through a straw. Also, the concerned family members keeping vigil in the waiting room should bitterly complain about the inconvenience of dealing with the insurance claim on the car.
4. When, for the third time in five years, you don't know who the father of your baby is, it's time to join a 12-step program.
5. When children return from that boarding school in Switzerland where they age you 6 years for every month you attend, the parents should spend some time hounding them about their report cards, picky eating habits and that pigsty they call their bedroom.
6. If a woman's husband returns from the dead, she should first ask him if he brought her back a souvenir, and then give him the silent treatment if he didn't.
7. Young people graduating from high school or college should not immediately land themselves an executive-type position in fashion, business or law. First, they should have to wait tables or work in the mail room and spend every night eating generic-brand mac and cheese while they panic about how they're going to pay this month's crippling student loan payment.
8. When babies are switched at the hospital, someone just once ought to consider filing a lawsuit.
9. If your evil twin turns out to be the serial killer, you should probably leave town because, black sheep or not, that's just embarrassing.
And while I'd like to get into the even more absurd demonic possessions, civilian rescue missions in Iraq, and pet monkeys, I actually have several piles of laundry, a sink full of dishes and a yard covered in dog poop to tackle. Add to that the 3 year-old with the runny nose, my broken radio to sort out and a couch covered in dog hair and dried ice cream, and I'll be lucky to get a shower today.
I think I just figured out why I watch soap operas.