FUN: Of Blogs and Soaps


Here I am as a candy striper for Tallahassee Memorial Hospital in the 1970s. Come to think of it, I never got to stripe any candy...but I did have tons of fun. (Photo Credit: Dad)

Every now and then the 30 minutes teachers get for lunch contains enough conversation and lightheartedness that it seems as though 30 minutes is actually plenty of time to eat and enjoy visiting.

We’re four days back from Spring Break, within a week of 3rd quarter grades being due, facing “how to make FCAT run smoothly” training and a day off.

It all started as our round table was ringed with teachers and some of our favorite subs when a male sub asked another of our favorite subs – a woman with a young child – what she does when she’s not, well, subbing at our school.

I know her well enough to interject a non-sensical answer, so I replied, while winking at her, that she was content to “sit at home and eat bon bons” when not subbing at our school. A good laugh was had by all.

This, (eating bon bons) of course, can NEVER be done alone. That’s because then next oldest assumption about women who aren’t working fulltime is that they’re engaged in some sort of time wasting activities that rot their minds.

About 30 years ago, the bon bon part would logically be accompanied with a kinship acitivity – that of watching of endless soap operas thereby signaling the height of laziness. And subsequently, this meant dinner would be late, and NOT served at 6 p.m. But that, too, is another topic for later.

The first thing I want you to know about this female sub is that she is ANYTHING but lazy. Secondly, I’m so happy for her that she has the opportunity to NOT work fulltime, but that’s another story as well.

She laughed after I “confessed” about her non-existent bon bon and soap opera habit. It is here where we’re pausing this topic because a second one surfaced next.

It was an informal poll around the table soliciting topic suggestions for today’s blog post. From there, we answered bon bon girl’s questions about blogs, how to and where to get one, etc. She’s interested in starting one with a focus on finding the best deals on antiques. She loves to score them and share her “antique acquirement tips” with others. We discussed the pros and cons of blogging, topic possibilities and suggested sites she investigate for more information.

Disclaimer: No one has ever suggested our lunchtime topics were educational or serious, but how many people do you know who are willing and able to share the candid and kooky conversations they love having with their coworkers? So between nuking our frozen lunches and leftovers, we ping-ponged between blog talk and soap operas.

Anyway, I re-visited the soap opera topic begun earlier. I asked (already knowing the answer was “yes”) if anyone still knew soaps whether or not soaps were STILL aired. I mentioned remembering the sacred hour after I arrived home from middle school and then high school where “The Young and The Restless” were the “one and only” afternoon activity. (And there’s nothing wrong with that.)

“There’s a whole network dedicated to playing soap operas now,” one friend interjected. I realize that this is NOT news to the rest of the world – probably just me.

“Really?” I responded trying to imagine my life sucked into the soap opera zone. I’m simply trying to keep it from being absorbed in the Facebook and email zones….

“Yes,” said my friend who also does NOT eat bon bons. “I remember when I was 12 and volunteered as a candy striper at our local hospital…”

“Me, too,” I interrupted. I was suddenly transported back to 1970-something and the photo my parents took in our backyard. It’s the one I added above! I proudly smiled with my purple rimmed plastic glasses and pageboy haircut as I modeled my official red and white striped pinafore and white blouse. I was especially proud of the white sheer hosiery and the “earth shoe” type soles on the white nursing type shoes I wore. Those wavy, hard rubberized soles were the epitome of foot friendliness.

I especially enjoyed two primary duties: visiting patient rooms to help them fill out their menu requests if they hadn’t already done so and when I was promoted to transporting patients via wheelchair. (I am an accident-free wheelchair driver, just thought you should know.)

And then, I flashed forward to today, lunchtime and my friend’s candy striper story. She confided that that hallowed hour for soap operas ALSO existed at the nurses’ station/lunchroom as THEY watched their soaps.

“It was very quiet on the floor during lunch,” my friend said. “Candy stripers weren’t supposed to interrupt the nurses during that time.”

And there you have it. Lunch was over and it was time to resurface in the school cafeteria to claim our classes.

I love my job and the amazing people I work alongside.

And the lunchtime banter ain’t so bad either!

Hey. Can someone go get my class while I enjoy a hallowed hour?


4 thoughts on “FUN: Of Blogs and Soaps

  1. olivia

    My beautiful candystriper big sissy. I remember watching you leave in your cute non figure friendly dress and wishing for my time to come. And it finally did…red and white are our colors and look at the excellent caregivers we became! I love you.


    • Kathy: Thank you for posting a comment. I can’t even remember if you and Karen did the candystriper thing. It sure made me feel official! If you ever need a wheelchair ride, I have a safe driving record! But let’s hope that won’t be necessary in the future! Cheryl


  2. Ronny McCaskill

    A great picture! Just like I remember you! As good as your mind works now, I think that it was racing a little faster back then.


    • Ronny: Thank you for reading and yes, you can say you knew me when I went through that awkward teenage stage and still lived to tell about it! I should have kept those glasses! Isn’t it amazing what random conversations can remind you of? Cheryl


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