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 near physical blows with my older brother to gain control of the TV to watch “my” show.
Brother Steve was a Star Trek devotee who found fascination with Captain Kirk and Spock (among others on the Starship Enterprise) interacting with bizarre-looking outer space creatures whereas I simply preferred the very earthly Ricardos and the Mertzes.
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 (bad) humor aside, I believe I acquired some fairly helpful 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 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 more serious-minded friends learn of my devotion to “I Love Lucy” they roll their eyes in disbelief. Most are unable to recognize that there is actual wisdom to be gained from following the escapades of a bored and stage-crazy 1950’s housewife running amok.
Don't think so?
So here are my ten take-aways from I Love Lucy:
1. Headstrong, with a touch of wacky, and if necessary, unconventional, has 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 he's headed in the same direction I am.
4. I rely on forgiveness of minor transgressions when they are motivated by unselfish or good intentions.
5. When said transgressions are 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/or traveling with friends, particularly if those friends are the Mertzes.
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 stay in my lane. You won’t ever see me trying to get into my husband’s writing “act.” No sir-ee not a written peep out of me.
10. I have learned that no matter what chaos I may inadvertently create from being overly adventurous (one of my most commonly used phrases is "how hard can it be?), it can quickly be remedied by an unfailing sense of humor and humility.
Laughter is, after all, the best medicine.