By Steve Flores
You have always been very nice, and I greatly appreciate it when you take the time to send me an email and describe how I may have stirred up a memory, reconnected you to a place, person or thing or, with apologies to my Golden State Junior High English teacher Ms. Newton, correct my grammar.
My recent column about my wife, Susie, talking to the television and hoping "The Bold and the Beautiful" characters would somehow hear her glee or disgust on the other side of the screen brought email and lots of street comments.
With much appreciation, you shared with me your stories of how family members exhibited the same talking-to-the-television behavior as Susie. You also shared that when company came over, you would often overhear what you thought was a serious conversation about a life-threatening surgery, ugly divorce or a doomed marriage. You listened closer thinking they were talking about a neighbor, close friend or family member who had discovered a bitter rival was in reality their own father, mother, daughter or son and that someone had miraculously recovered from amnesia or come back from the dead.
I could see each one of you smile in your email as you recalled this humorous and sometimes delicate memory. Susie wasn't totally pleased with my recounting her behavior to all of you. She quit talking to Eric Forrester, Dr. Taylor Hayes and Bill Spencer -- characters from "The Bold and the Beautiful."
Any time I receive an email from my readers, it's like opening a Christmas present. But the one I got from the director of talent relations for the "The Bold and Beautiful" really caught me by surprise.
I thought "lawsuit," that somehow I had infringed on a copyright policy, unlawfully used the name of the show, diminished the essence of their upstanding characters or somehow betrayed some legal soap opera law that would have me share a foreign prison cell with "The Bold and Beautiful" character Liam Spencer.
To my surprise, it were very pleasant. Actually, way better than pleasant. The writer was downright kind and generous in words and deed, and commented on how "honored" they were that I highlighted them in my column. Wow. Honored! I felt like I won the soap opera Pulitzer Prize. They even offered to send Susie "B&B" bling. Once you are a soap opera insider, you get to say "B&B" instead of the "The Bold and Beautiful".
I opened the email while in was in Los Angeles with Susie and my son-in-law Carlos, and saw the CBS studio address where "B&B" is filmed. I thought, what the heck, we are in Westwood, which is close to the studios. Rather than the mail the bling, I would take a chance and call to see if we could come by and pick up the items. To my greater surprise, not only did they say yes, but they were happy to meet Susie.
Talk about impressing your wife.
I haven't seen Susie smile as big or as long as I did that day at CBS Studios. The "B&B" staff was beyond cordial and pleasant. They were sincere in their welcome, thoughtful and courteous in the time we spent with them as they gave Susie the grand tour of the studio and "B&B" set. She was walking on air the entire time. Susie was treated like a visiting dignitary. They were genuinely nice people.
Susie and my daughters Nikki and Brenna can now be seen wearing their "B&B" bling. And right on our mantle next to numerous family pictures is an autographed photo of Hope Logan. You guessed it: Susie's favorite "B&B" character.
Susie is talking to Eric Forrester, Dr. Taylor Hayes and Bill Spencer -- and more importantly, to me -- again.
I enjoy watching and hearing Susie talking to the television almost as much as I enjoy "B&B." Yes, I am starting to watch the show. So if you hear me talking about how disgusting the relationship is between Taylor and Eric, remember: That's not my real family.
But that's exactly how "B&B" made Susie feel that day: just like part of their family.
Talk about impressing your wife. I am Spartacus.
Steve Flores is a contributing columnist for The Californian. These are his opinions, not necessarily those of The Californian. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.