The BIG REVEAL!!  It turned out to be NOT so big after all, didn't it?  We all pretty much figured out, for ourselves, that Dixie "willingly" signed away her daughter for adoption.  Let's face it, they made it easy to figure out - since they've been telegraphing this twist since before Dixie even returned.  I've been hearing a lot of "THAT?!  THAT is why Dixie abandoned her poor-ickle-baby-boy?!"   A lot of fans are outraged.  There are even some who are heartbroken.  For Tad.  For JR. Even Dixie has her contingent of loyalists, believe it or not.   Saint Dixie stayed away for four years because she felt guilty over what she "allowed" Madden to do - steal her child.  And (I hate it when this happens), but I could see a little bit where she is coming from.

*dons flame-retardant suit*

Madden (or "Madman," as he is called in some circles) is a MASTER manipulator. He knows his victims well, he does his research and he KNOWS which buttons to push to get the result he wants. He grasped little Dixie (as a cat would a mouse) firmly in his clutches and PLAYED her for all she was worth. He hit the exact right chord to exploit her fears and doubts about Tad, and they were realistic fears! (I hate it when that happens!!) God-love-him, but Tad is one of the biggest hypocrites to ever inhabit the Valley. He DID want her to abort the baby as soon as he found out she was pregnant. He WASN'T willing to sacrifice the woman he loved for another child. He aired his views so strongly on that subject that she left town to get away from him. Madden knew this and he used it perfectly to manipulate her.

She WAS at death's door, doped up on sedatives and painkillers and about to go into surgery she never expected to come out of.  She knows the Martin hypocrisy all too well. She knew how much Tad did NOT want her to have the baby. Of COURSE it would make sense to her - at the time and UNDER THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES - that Tad would resent or blame the baby for her death. And if we're being totally honest with ourselves, that very thing HAS been known to happen - in real life.  There have been instances whereby a new father, who has lost his wife in childbirth, tends to subconsciously/unconsciously hold the wee bairn to blame for the loss of his wife.

Do I believe Tad would have blamed Kate if Dixie had died?  No, of course not.  He would have blamed himself.  I know that.  You know that.  But we weren't on the verge of death, drugged up, in excruciating pain, with an evil Madman feeding our worst fears, however irrational those fears might be.  So, yeah.I get where she was coming from.  I can buy it.  In that one agonizing, excruciating moment,  yeah, I buy it.  Now, that said, I can only buy it for so long.  In the first days and weeks following her surgery, I still buy it.  Once she finally realized that she was going to make it, and she started to be weaned off whatever painkillers and drugs she'd been given and finally gained a little clarity, I buy it.  The haze fades away only to be replaced by the gut-wrenching guilt of realizing that she's been manipulated - and by a MASTER!  "What have I done?!"  Just imagine the horror!

I get the guilt.  I get the horror.  That could be enough to render even the hardiest of characters immobile.  Temporarily.  But, along with the guilt and horror, comes the sinking realization that her "holier than thou" family (of which she was a charter member - not defending her!) would treat her as something less than pond scum for daring to be anything less than the perfect woman they perceived her to be.  Let's face it people, they WOULD have.  Now, does that justify her staying away for FOUR years?  No.  No. No. No. No. No.  Does she want forgiveness?  Of course, who wouldn't?  Does she EXPECT forgiveness or absolution?  No, I really don't think she does.  She knows who she's dealing with here.  And I really don't think she's forgiven herself.

In the fictional world of Pine Valley, we cannot take into account the fact that Cady McClain was the only actress people would accept in the role of Dixie, leaving the idea of a recast as no option, and hey, Cady was unavailable for those four years - so they had to come up with SOMETHING to have kept her away.  With McTavish in charge, we weren't likely to get a satisfying reason anyway, but I digress.   No one wanted the same, tired old amnesia storyline, been there, done that.  Coma-Dixie?  Been there, too! What about. No, wait... GH did the old "she's-slowly-dying-from-a-horribly-disfiguring-disease, so-why-not-just-let-them-believe-I-died-in-the-accident-and-spare-them-the-agony-of-watching-me-wither-and-die-before-their-eyes-while-they-suffer-mercilessly-because-there's-no-cure-and-nothing-they-can-do-to-make-it-better-so, I'll-just-shack-up-with-this-ruthless-gangster-who-fell-in-love-with-me-and-refuses-to-let-me-go" storyline.  With their seemingly limited imagination, McTavish & Co. were running severely low on possible storyline options.  Think anyone would have bought a "Beauty and the Beast" spin on explaining her four year absence? Anyone?  Bueller?  No?  Well then, how to satisfactorily explain why Dixie Cooney-Chandler-Martin-Martin-Bodine-Martin, the very image of womanly perfection who could do no wrong - actually did.wrong, that is.

You have to admit, it's not easy being a Saint.  Especially the Patron Saint of Pine Valley.  Just ask Ryan Lavery.  He cracked under the weight of that moniker a while ago, and people are STILL treating him like a Saint.  Dixie tried to show everyone that she WASN'T perfect when she fell for the considerable charms of wicked Doctor David.  (Methinks that wasn't a momentary lapse of judgment so much as it was common sense.  (I mean, come ON - David can really pour on the charm, mixed with a healthy dose of sex appeal whenever he wants!)  Dixie simply responded to what the writers and other idiots in charge don't (but WE do) see:  David is sex-on-a-stick..

Where was I going with this..?  Oh, right.  Dixie!

She's not perfect.  She never claimed to be.  She TRIED to be good and kind and decent - for the most part, like all Patron Saints are supposed to be, but she got tired.  She couldn't do it anymore, and who could blame her.  No one, least of all JR or Tad would listen to her when she told them she was only human - just like the rest of them, but noooooooo.  She was their perfect little Dixie.

*insert eye-roll here*

So there she was.. All alone, dying, scared, drugged up, and Madman twisting her heart into little balloon animals over Kate's possible fate.  She screwed up.  She screwed up big time.  Who's to say any one of us wouldn't have done the same thing?  At least in that moment.  What they could have done, to make her staying away for four years more believable, would be to threaten  the lives and safety of everyone she loved.  "Show your face in Pine Valley, Dixie, and watch what happens to your OTHER child, JR.." Or, "Ooops!  Did those brakes just WEAR OUT on his expensive new car, or was it my minions who tampered with them?"  As for Tad, "just look at how easily we can get to him." Heck, they could have even held Kate over her head to get her to cooperate.  "Stay dead or not only won't you ever see Kate again - but we'll kill her ourselves just to punish you! " Would anyone have bought that?  Maybe.  I would buy that additional threat as motivation enough to keep her away, more than just the guilt of having given away her baby in a moment of hazy, desperate fear and confusion.  (But, maybe that's just me!) Tad would still be furious with her.  As would the other people she left behind in Hypocrite Valley, but she would have been more justified in her actions.

Do I like Dixie?  Not particularly.  I don't HATE her, though.  If she grows a spine and an edge like Di has, I might come to like her quite a lot.  I don't want Saint Dixie back.  I want REAL Dixie.  The one who gave in to her baser instincts and got it on with Doc Dave.  No, I don't want David Hayward fawning over her like a love-sick puppy - that's unfair and so unworthy of him.  Nor do I want her back with Tad.  Those two are SOOO over.  I want strong, independent, imperfect Dixie - a woman who can still kick JR in the ass and call him on BEING an ass, without sounding like a pedestal dwelling Saint.  I want her to call Tad on being a sanctimonious, judgmental, hypocritical ass, too, all the while admitting to her own imperfections.

That, I can live with.

By Cindy

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