Saturday, September 16, 2017

Jaki Jean on My Love Affair with Aurora Teagarden

For what seems like forever, or at least decades, I have steadfastly refused to pay for cable TV.  Until 18 months ago.

Challenged by the poor reception our rabbit ears gave us on our flat screens (the best reception was, & still is, the oldest retro TV taking up way too much space in one of our front rooms.)

Since the days since Jack & Jean built this house, when we existed & thrived with only one television, that room has always had the best reception – rabbit ears or cable.
When the poor reception became intolerable, I bit the bullet & got Basic Cable. 

And now I have morphed into Jon Kemp.

Jon Kemp, my brother-in-law David’s golf partner, is married to a woman he describes as his “Red Hot Smoking’ Wife” – (also known as RHSW) Dottie, who is my sister Janet’s dear, dear friend. 

Jon Kemp, a former gymnast in college, loves his RHSW, the Astros, the Cowboys, his two daughters, his two granddaughters & grandson named Jon David, the Lord & the Hallmark Channel.

I think Jon has read The Hunger Games series, probably the Twilight series & records Hallmark movies on his DVR.

I am guilty of all three.

Part of me feels corrupted. 

I knew, from experience, that if I had access to cable programming, I would lose sleep, reading time, important time folding clothes & using the Swiffer Jet on the tile floors & baking Sweet Potato Brownie Bites.

What I did not expect, even after the times Jean & I have been together in hospitals with cable, to become an avid observer of The Hallmark Channel or Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

In the beginning, I would watch (always under guise of sharing the experience with Jean) & analyze.  I began to critique the plots, the formulas, the scripts, the characters.

All of which amused Jean.

I did not expect to fall in love with Aurora Teagarden.

One of the things I have observed about the multiple mystery series on Hallmark Murders & Mysteries is that each series features a woman – beautiful, smart, independent & obsessed with mysteries & murder.

As an avid mystery fan, I could relate.

One of the Hallmark mystery heroines is a mother & married – she owns an antique store.  Then there is the baker, the chef, the book store owner, the tormented ex-attorney turned counselor, the not so tormented ex-attorney who owns a flower shop & a part-time librarian.

Aurora Teagarden is the part-time librarian.  It is a good thing that Aurora’s mother Aida is a successful real estate agent & Aurora only has to work part-time with her Masters in Library Science. 

Because, like Jessica Fletcher, people die around Aurora Teagarden.  (At least once a body fell out of an airplane on her lawn).  It takes a lot of her time to solve mysteries & murders.

Aurora is currently the president of The Real Murderer’s Club.  Which drives the police department crazy – Aurora always solves the case before them – one of her ex boyfriends & his wife are part of that department she drives crazy.

Aurora has a season worth of exes – the cop, the preacher, the writer.
And now, at last, a recurring love interest – Martin, ex-CIA turned mogul & persistent suitor.

In the interest of transparency, I was pleased to see Aurora finally has a steady suitor.

I blame my childhood for this obsession with Aurora Teagarden.

It was watching the soap operas my mother & paternal grandmother Helen watched – I should be embarrassed, but am not, that I remember those plots & characters as well as I know beloved narratives & characters from cherished books.

The plots & narratives & characters on the Hallmark channels are predictable, familiar, a known formula.  Like those soap operas.

That predictability & familiarity represent the known.  And comfort.

In this crazy, upside down, inside out world we are currently know as our reality, moments of comfort, however brief, are welcome & needed.

And that is why I fell in love with Aurora Teagarden.

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