For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved Lucy.
I didn’t follow sports, but rooted for Lucy like my life depended on it.
On more than one occasion I came to physical blows with my older brother to gain control of the TV to watch “my” show.
Brother Steve was a hard core Star Trek fan who always seemed to be deeply engrossed by Captain Kirk interacting with bizarre-looking outer space creatures just as I arrived to spend a half hour with the earthly Ricardo’s and Mertz’s. That wasn’t happening.
I could not get enough of watching this kooky housewife and her unflappable friend plan and hatch Lucy’s half-baked schemes. The resulting insanity always gave way to some important takeaway that I diligently filed away knowing someday it would come to good use.
After all, I never knew when I might have to wrestle a hefty Italian woman in a vat of grapes or land a television commercial gig lauding the benefits of a new health serum, and wanted to be prepared for such things.
Obvious humor aside, I believe I have acquired some serious life skills while logging all those hours with Lucy.
For example, from who else could I possibly learn how to convince my friends to trust and follow me blindly into my mission of the day, and then how to cleverly negotiate my way out should those best laid plans be upended by some unexpected hitch? These were not things you could expect to learn from your parents or teachers, or even your coolest friend or relative.
When some of my – let’s just say – more serious-minded friends learn of my early years’ fascination with “I Love Lucy” they roll their eyes in disbelief. Try as I may to get them to recognize the underlying genius of a bored 1950’s housewife running amok, and the trail of wisdom she leaves in her wake, they just don’t see it. I can’t be the only one who laughed at and learned from Lucy, can I?
So here my friends, I will outline simply and candidly for the record, the top ten things I learned from loving Lucy:
1. Headstrong, with a touch of wacky and unconventional, have a 95% success rate.
2. For the 5% of failures, it’s okay to cry and admit you’ve made a mistake.
3. I have no problem following my husband’s lead, provided it’s going my way.
4. I rely on forgiveness of my minor disobediences when they are motivated by unselfish or good intentions.
5. When said disobediences seem unforgivable with a simple explanation plan B is launched to make the aggravated either so confused or amused they forget why they were mad.
6. I am wary of going into business and traveling with friends, particularly if those friends are the Mertz’s.
7. I have learned there is a way to justify just about any impulse purchase to the point of it being nearly “medically necessary.”
8. I have learned to accept my deficiencies on the dance floor but nonetheless unabashedly move as if I belong on Broadway.
9. I know my place. You won’t ever see me trying to get into my husband’s (journalism) “act.” No sir-ee, not a written peep out of me.
10. I have learned that no matter what chaos I create for any of the above infractions, my husband will be there to affirm his love with a big smile and hug just before the credits roll.