I Love Lucy…and so should You!

17 Apr

There were very few people that made my grandpa laugh from the bottom of his stomach, so hard that it would send him into acoughing frenzy. John Candy was one of them for sure. But I’m pretty sure his favorite, and it wasn’t just because she was funny, was Lucille Ball. See, Pop had been in the army in the 40’s, right around the same time Miss Ball was a Pin-Up girl in the Army’s weeklies. She was an unconventional beauty, but lets face it, isn’t that the best kind? There’s nobody who can wear that shade of red better than her, and here is why I will ALWAYS Love Lucy…

Lucille Ball was born August 6, 1911. Even 100 years after her birth, people still gather in her honor as look-alikes to celebrate the awesomeness that was Lucy. I knew my husband was the perfect man for me when I came home one day to find him watching old reruns of I Love Lucy on our television at home. I have the fondest memories of sitting across the room from my grandpa, or nudging his elbow to sit on the arm rest of his recliner, and laughing with him while watching Lucy get herself into something else. Some people say the best part of that show was “Ricky” always misinterpreting or mispronouncing some word of the English language. Sure, that hand you a few giggles, but nothing was better than watching Lucy get herself in and out of each predicament, usually going to the good ole woman’s trick of crying incessantly in order to gain sympathy. I have to wonder, did women think that worked before she did it?

While my memories of Lucy all stem from reruns of I Love Lucy, some people remember her vibrant movie career, or her days as a model. I use the term “vibrant” very loosely here, as she was recognizably know as “Queen of the B’s”, because she started in so many “B movies”. Lots of people have made successful careers out of “B movies”. Lucy may have been one of the first. She, like one of my other favorite “B Movie” actresses, Tori Spelling, was maybe not the most wildly successful actress of her time, but she is one that is still relevant to this day, and even more memorable. Sure, she was no Garbo, but she had a quality that made everyone smile when they saw her. Personality is a big part of being admired, and being thought of as beautiful. While you couldn’t necessarily call her a fashion icon, I do believe her style that was portrayed through her TV series resonates even today with the younger generation. Who doesn’t love a good day dress, head scarf, and peep toes! She made being a house wife look chic.

She was highly influential for her time, and quite controversial too. When she married Cuban band leader, Desi Arnaz, she was six years his senior. She was also sited as being part of the Communist party, although Desi refuted this, saying ‘The only thing red about Lucy is her hair, and even that’s not real’. Yes, ladies and gentleman, Lucy was actually a BLONDE.

As if any of that wasn’t enough, she also divorced, quite publicly, in 1960. This was not something many people did during this time period, but for her, she knew it was right. Desi and Lucy’s relationship had turned tumultuous, with the great success of Desilu came great stress, which turned into a not so great drinking problem for Desi. It has been said that during one of their spats, Lucy put a gun to Desi’s head and pulled the trigger. When only a flame came out, he stepped up to the gun and lit his cigar. A once desperate to be together couple had taken a turn for the worse, and Lucy knew it was better for them to be apart than stay together. A brave woman she had to be to divorce a man in the sixties. No matter how disastrous their relationship had turned out, they still spoke very fondly of each other, and remained friends until Desi passed away in 1986. Maybe Lucy wanted to teach the women of her time a lesson here. Get out while you can still respect one another for your children.

I Love Lucy for so many reasons. I love that she was a bottle redhead. I mean, lets be honest, is there really any other kind. I also love that though she was a blonde, she still chose the route of something different, perhaps risky, and definitely unique. Her hair color was just the precedent for the way she lived her life. They say blondes have more fun. I’d have to disagree. Lucy lived her life to the fullest, took her success to a new peak, and made everyone fall in love with her along the way. She was the first reality TV star, in cooperating her life with Desi into a show that gave them a way to spend more time together, and share her life with the world. She was and is and always will be an icon for Hollywood success, an inspiration for women in a “man’s world”, and a legend of class and beauty that was one of a kind. There’s so many reason why I Love Lucy. And I think you’re crazy if you don’t!

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