In a writing class I took this year, the instructor told me that one of my (many) challenges as a writer would be to avoid falling into melodrama.
Of all the criticisms I received, this one was the most understandable.
My first memories are of melodrama. I was a die-hard soap opera watcher from the age of 4. When the powers-that-were assessed the local preschoolers for their “readiness” to enter the school system, they asked us each the question, “What is your favorite television program?”
“Can I have two?” I countered.
“Sure.” They smiled. Surely this little urchin couldn’t decide between Sesame Street and Mr. Dress-Up.
“Another World and General Hospital.” They stopped asking questions.
When women gathered in kitchens, the best stories weren’t lists of chores completed, or narratives about their children’s accomplishments.
They were the tales of drunken fights, affairs (real or suspected), money troubles, anything with a whiff of the salacious.
When you come from somewhere with spaces like these,
you’re going to need some pretty big stories to fill them up.
(photo by Etep)