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.