Seeking solace in the soaps!

December 6th, 2022 3:30 PM

By Emma Connolly

Between the TV ads and the Christmas songs I’m an emotional wreck and it’s not even December 8th yet. I never thought I’d say it, but I’m glad of the likes of Fair City and Coronation Street for a bit of light relief! (Photos: Shutterstock)

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The Christmas TV ads have turned me into a blubbering mess yet again this year. Why do they have to make them so sad? I’ll never know. That’s  why I’ve switched to the soap operas for some light relief

• YOU’D be sick of it, wouldn’t you? The weather I’m talking about. I know we shouldn’t expect too much for this time of the year but the rain has been biblical, not to mind the thunder and lightning. Jeepers! I was actually sitting on the loo in Southern Star HQ when that epic bang of thunder hit last week … I think I aged at least five years in five seconds. The fright I got! Also, is it just me or does it seem almost extra dark these days? The sky has an intensity to it that I don’t seem to remember before  – pitch black, and then some more. It’s making it very hard to get out of the leaba these mornings. I’ve also found out, the hard way, that even though I own around nine coats that all claim to be waterproof, they’re not. At all. That’s something else for the Santa list.  

• Right so, I’m taking the opportunity to apologise in advance to anyone I meet out and about over the coming weeks because there’s a very good chance I’m going to be a blubbering mess. It’s all down to the Christmas songs, they turn me into a pure pity. Chris Rea’s Driving Home for Christmas gets me every time; same with Band Aid’s Feed the World, and even Wham’s Last Christmas will have my lip wobbling in minutes. Not to mind the oldies like When a Child is Born, Silent Night, O Holy Night (all the nights), it’s like flicking a switch, three lines in and I’m bawling. It’s all well and good if I’m pottering around the kitchen where I can have a good cleansing cry into a tea towel; but it’s a bit awkward if I’m caught out in the supermarket aisle. Sobbing into the fruit and veg will probably make most shoppers feel a bit uncomfortable, or see them call security. That was the one thing about the masks, not that I want them back or anything, but there could be a lot going on behind the scenes that no one knew about. Anyway, to the supermarket cashier who asked me for my value club card last week only for me to get all teary, I’m sorry, but Little Drummer Boy had just come on in the background. I did appreciate your look of concern, though. And to anyone who saw me shedding a tear while stopped at the lights in Clonakilty earlier this week, well, that was nothing to do with Christmas songs, but was all down to the absolutely head-melting traffic. 

• It’s not just the songs that set me off, it’s the festive TV ads too. There’s all that sad music, old people sitting alone at tables, abandoned puppies, kids looking forlornly out of windows, people phoning home from Australia and the like. Even the slightly random An Post ad with the Tin Man seems laden with an unnecessary amount of pathos. Even McDonalds have gone all deep and meaningful with their seasonal ad – surely a company who produces the Happy Meal should be just that? If it’s meant to be the most wonderful time of the year, why is everything so laden with emotion? It’s exhausting and we’ve a few weeks to go yet. 

• Anyway, after talking about my long list last week, I’ve finally made a bit of a start on things  and got the festive pyjamas out. Actually, in the spirit of honesty, I’ll come clean and admit that it’s been out since around August. One of the nights when we were camping I went in search of something cosy, and a candy-cane festooned pair of jammies were the first I came upon in the hot press, and they’ve been in circulation ever since. That’s mainly why I didn’t feel the need to post a photo of myself in them on Instagram before last weekend’s Late Late Toy Show. That, and the fact everyone else doing that was royally giving me the pip. Of course I know I could just not have scrolled, but sure what would I give out about then? Exactly. Seriously, though, the platform seems to be after getting really dull and tedious of late. Maybe it’s time for me to move on. 

• And I think I’ve found to where, as I’ve accidentally rediscovered my softness for the soaps. I was flicking through the channels the other night, probably trying to dodge a tear-jerking ad and I came across EastEnders. Now who’d have thought you could get comfort from a soap but I did, and even though I hadn’t seen an episode in at least three years, it was like I was never away. All the familiar faces were still there, just all in different couple combinations (Mick and Janine? Who’d have thought!), and all still shouting at each other in the Queen Vic or the Square. Then later in the week, I was in a neighbour’s TV room and Coronation Street was on and I got a glimpse of Ken Barlow who I thought had long since gone to his eternal reward. Far from it! He was looking so good I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in next season’s I’m a Celebrity. And as I was on a roll I deliberately switched on Fair City a few days later, where I’m pleased to report the cast and sets are all holding up relatively well, and again, I was able to catch up with storylines pretty effortlessly. I was never what you’d call a complete soap addict but there was a time in my life when I was pretty up to speed on all the main storylines. Then when I became responsible for keeping someone else alive (nappies, bottles, bed times etc) I lost touch, and I thought I was ‘cured.’ Obviously not! I better nip it in the bud, though, before I get too invested and find myself settling in for the seven hour omnibus on a Sunday. Maybe Instagram’s not so bad after all!

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