My 5 Lessons from “I Love Lucy”

August 6th was Lucille Ball’s birthday. If she were alive today she’d be 103. It’s hard to believe a woman as timeless as Lucy could be that age. It seems impossible to me. I’m a huge fan of “I Love Lucy.” I laugh every time. The antics between her and Ethel never get old even though the years keep passing by.

I’m forever impressed Desi Arnaz had the smarts to film their show using film made for movies instead of the film used for the brand new medium – television. He knew the quality of film used for movies would stand the test of time and he was right. (He’s a pretty good storyteller too. Check out the video above.) Have you ever watched the television show “The Honeymooners”? After many years the film became grainy and hard to watch. That show was filmed at the same time as “I Love Lucy” but “The Honeymooners” used film made for television.

I recently read an article printed in the Huffington Post about the author’s 5 lessons she learned from “I Love Lucy.” You can read that article here.  That got me thinking…what are 5 lessons I’ve learned from “I Love Lucy?”

1. Best friends are important to have. My mother always said if you get one good friend in this life you’re lucky. She’s right. Lucy had Ethel and we all need an Ethel to stand by us and help us bury the body. Just kidding. No bodies, please. But we do need a best friend. Someone who will drive miles just to help you sell a few books. Or someone you can call at 8:30 in the morning and vent about the terrible day you’re having. Someone who will share dessert with you and tell you not to count the calories. Someone who knows all your ugly secrets and loves you anyway.

2. Never underestimate the power of a woman. In the 1950s life for women was very different than it is today. Even though Lucy often had to listen to Ricky and do what he wanted, by the end of every episode she usually got what she wanted. She was a modern day feminist ahead of her time. When you want something in this life go get it and don’t let anyone try and stop you. Not even Ricky.

3. Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched. Lucy, Ethel, and Fred decide they’re going to get into the chicken business now that they’ve moved out to the country. (Hey, just like me. Well, I moved to the country. I want nothing to do with chickens. A puppy is enough for me.) Except it’s too cold to put the baby chicks in the barn so Fred tells Lucy put the chicks in the den and turn up the heat. Lucy decides to pull them out of their crates and throw seed around the room so the little chicks can eat. One small problem, Little Ricky sets them free and now there are baby chicks all over the place! Be prepared. Turn up the heat when you have to.

4. Anyone can drive a car. Isn’t it interesting in the ’50s it would be common for women NOT to drive? Lucy and Ethel can’t drive. Ricky brings home a new car for their trip to California and trouble starts. Lucy wants him to teach her how to drive, but before Ricky will she’s got to get a hold of the insurance agent. Well, Lucy tells a little fib, Ricky gives her a lesson and she’s terrible. Why was it women were portrayed to be incapable of anything unless a man was involved? Really? Lucy was smart enough to know not to make a u-turn in the Holland Tunnel. All the stunts she pulled? She’d be smarter than that. Remember, you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Even driving.

5. Laugh. Is there any lesson more important than that? Well, maybe, but it’s still a good one. Even when Lucy was in trouble she told us it was okay to laugh. Laughter brings people closer together. Laughing helps us find the light at the end of the dark tunnel. Laughing calms the mind and lifts the spirit. I’d have to say, thanks, Lucy. Out all of your lessons, teaching us to laugh was the best one.



Girls Night Out

This is us, not at the restaurant by the river. In all the excitement we forgot to take a picture.
This is us, not at the restaurant by the river. In all the excitement we forgot to take a picture.

Recently, I went out to dinner again with my new lady friends. They chose a cute little restaurant on the river near a mill that supposedly is one of the most photographed places ever. We sat outside at wrought iron tables balanced on slate pavers. Red patio umbrellas protected us from the setting sun. When the sun finally set, white lights strung up all around twinkled their hellos. It was a lovely night filled with laughter and friendship. And then there was the waitress.

I realize I’m past my youth and smack in the middle of middle aged and that can affect the way I see the world. I try not to judge, but it is a fact we create an opinion of someone in the first 30 seconds we see them. If you’re going to have your arm covered in tattoos I’m going to form an opinion of that look whether you like it or not. But tattoos don’t make a bad waitress. Oh no. There are other factors to bad waitressing. Let me explain.

We arrived at the restaurant shortly after 7 pm and were seated right away. Obviously, not a busy night. Our food arrived an hour and fifteen minutes later. I didn’t realize the restaurant had to cross the state line to hunt down a few vegetables. Wait a second…don’t we live in the Garden State? But I digress. The waitress, whose name I don’t know and perhaps she doesn’t either, makes a stop at our table 45 minutes after we placed our order and says, “My brain is fried. Your food will be up soon. Sorry guys.” Really? No, “can I refill your drinks, here’s some bread, would you like fries with that?”

It’s a good thing we were enjoying each other’s company because we hadn’t completely noticed how much time had passed until my friend Linda leaned in and said to us, “Do you think our food is ever coming out?” The sun setting should’ve been the other clue. But hey, we were having fun.

So another 20 minutes passes when the Waitress With The Over Done Tattoo returns without our food to let us know it won’t be much longer. When we kindly remind her that the entrees were supposed to come with salads. She checks her little black book and says, “I’m really messing up tonight. It’s my last night.” And to that I say, “Who cares?” and “Probably a good career move.” Although, if she’s taking on a job that requires the use of sharp objects she may want to stick with waitressing. Just saying.

Our food finally arrives and three spiders from the river decided to join us. One spider made himself comfortable on my lap and if you know me at all you know I jumped out of my chair and screamed like a girl. The waitress brought our check and gave us a 25 percent discount for our trouble. Frankly, I think the meal should’ve been free. We tipped her on the discounted amount. Her response to our tip? “Seriously?” 

It took all of my years of yoga practice not to give her a piece of my Italian mind. That and my friend Robin waving me out of the restaurant. Thank God for friends. They see who you are and like you anyway.

Why did the Waitress With The Over Done Tattoo think she was entitled to a better tip? Is it because we’re raising a generation of kids who always get the trophy that when they become adults they say, “Why try hard? Why do my best? I’m going to get the tip anyway.” Or is it just this waitress?

My friends and I didn’t let the bad service ruin our night. But we did walk back to our cars discussing the waitress’s inability to take responsibility for her actions. I don’t think we’ll return to the little restaurant along the river with the red patio umbrellas. If we’re paying for a meal aren’t we entitled to pick a better place?


New Friends, Old Friends, and Unfriend.

These wonderful ladies are some new friends I made since moving to the country. Boy, do we laugh. Thanks, ladies!
These wonderful ladies are some new friends I made since moving to the country. Boy, do we laugh. Thanks, ladies!

Recently, I discovered someone I’ve known since I was 10 “unfriended” me on Facebook. I know, who would do that? I’m nice to everyone. I was rather impressed she had the time to comb through her “friends” and bother to delete me at all. But, she did and that’s that. She isn’t the first friend to change their status with me, in real life I mean, and she won’t be the last. Over the years I’ve had friendships end on a bad note and others that just ended without a sound. I realize now most friendships need to end at some point and I don’t have to make such a loud stink about it. It’s better to go quietly. Which we all know, being quiet is very hard for me. (Go ahead, ma, chime in. I know you want to.)

I’m a firm believer we walk a path with our friends and when we no longer need each other the path splits and we go our separate ways. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m sure you’ve all heard that saying, “a friend for a season, a friend for a reason…” It’s true. When I look back over my life I see it was time for a friendship to end and then another friend steps on the path to walk with me for a while. It’s amazing, really.

Ladies need their girlfriends. We need someone to laugh with, cry with, vent to. We need that person in our life who with only a look knows exactly what’s going on inside us. The friend to crack up with in the dressing rooms when you’re trying on bras and can’t remember where your boobs are supposed to go. The friend to laugh with about raising kids, because some days if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. And remember my parenting tip, better they cry than you do. But we need our friends to cry with too. Someone who can watch our faces turn red, our eyes swell up, and our noses run and still love us for the sloppy mess we’re making.

I’m okay with leaving the path from people I’ve called friend. It made space for new friends to come in. But there are a few women who’ve walked with me for a very long time and I hope the Universe sees fit to keep us on the same path until the end of the road. Love you all!

This friend is chained to me. She can't leave the path even if she wants to! Ha!
This friend is chained to me. She can’t leave the path even if she wants to! Ha!