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20 August 2000, 01:00

I think I had promised that I wouldn’t write anything really personal. I still think that is a fine mantra to repeat, and to live by in this age of online bleeding or hanging hearts on multiple cyber sleeves. But this may get a little exposing, at least I think so. You may think it is rather indicative of the age I am influenced by.

I think.

I just saw for the third time, the last episode of “ROSEANNE” where it is told Dan really did die and that the ROSEANNE story is only the yarn spun by the writer revealed to us as Roseanne, basement writer of the blue collar tale. Its a bittersweet ending to a series, of which I identified with and what I had almost grown up with. I had spent my impressionable years with ROSEANNE – her show – her family.

I had first started my newly delivered adulthood when the series Roseanne premiered, and as I didn’t have the Brady Bunch atmosphere at home, I found solace, and the family I wanted. Even with the controversy of Roseanne brewing at that time, something about some utter nonsense that Roseanne shouldn’t be a role model or that the series’ family wasn’t reflective of AMERICA – that was sheer bullshit.

I found the Roseanne model of the family close to my own, and found attractive the strong undercurrant of love and humor throughout the series.

I found those elements there lacking in my own family, and immediately made them a part of my life – probably more than I should – but it was a desirable goal, to be in Roseannes’ family, it was so tempting to wish for it because it seemed so attainable. Her family was built around strong affection and familial bonds lubricated with laughter, and that was something I had desperately seeked in my own reality. So I identified with them. I grew with them and, yes, grew to love them, my superficial, TV family. My most impressionable years were influenced by the series and the woman ROSEANNE. She seemed strong, and indominatable. She went on through crisis, through fallen hopes, through near misses.. She went forward in life. It was so like what real life plodded on to be, only with a cohesiveness, humor and closeness that I think most of us should have had. No punches pulled, but then again no love was pulled, either. Real life on TV. That’s what I found. And I couldn’t have ended up with the humor or the strength that I have without the example of this one woman. (Yes, I know that whole Roseanne thing got weird after a while…).

Anyway. I saw the episode – the last episode, where it is revealed Roseanne was a writer who spun the tale of her life, fixing things along the way, revealing that the character DAN had really died instead of cruising into happily ever after as the story ends. The episode still made me cry. And for a lot more reasons than just the ending of a series. This family that that I had literally grew up with was leaving, and Dan, who I grew to love as a father figure, died. It was heartbreaking and I seemed to suffer, if you can believe it, a betrayal of sorts. The story, and family that I spend ten years of my life with, was for most part a lie, says Roseanne, the weaver of the tale. Hard to believe a series ending would hit me so hard. It suprises me.

I had remembered vividly, like it was yesterday, when this series began. And now it had gotten older and ended, giving a finite mortality to my own existence. After all, TV seemed like a pause in time. We could all be young in reruns, and that appeals to me somewhat . I think I wrote about the milestones of my generation, and how they have become enrooted in the TV I (we) watch, and the media we view. This was never so true as it was tonight. I had watched an episode that I seen and cried over, before. I think you could have forgiven me for that once. For being sappy, for identifying the crossroads and margins of my life with a TV series. But a second and third time, feeling that tug and being overcome withe the sadness AGAIN!! What sort of strong woman am I? Can’t explain that. Maybe its just an emotional association, where rational and logic can’t stop the pain in my heart when I hear that Dan is dead – even for the third time. Its almost like the family that I had adopted and was accustomed to, has been taken away. I don’t think I can remove the influence that shows like this have had on me, but I think I wouldn’t want to.

The only thing I wish I could do is tell Roseanne of the effect that her creation has on me.

Would that sound totally insane? I can just hear her “….(SECURITY) where are you calling from again??