Friday, June 10, 2011

I Love Lucy

New York City as seen from the Empire State Building.

As I was watching an episode of I Love Lucy last night, I started to wonder: how many hours of my life have been spent watching I Love Lucy? It must rank in the hundreds, if not thousands. I've seen every episode; many so often that I have lines memorized. When I thought about that, it scared me at first. So many hours of my life spent watching the same thing. But then I shrugged and realized that that was hundreds or thousands of happy hours spent.

I first started watching re-runs of I Love Lucy when I was a teenager. My mother introduced me to it and I was always amazed that she knew what episode it was simply by the opening scene. She was quick to announce whether it was "a good one." In my first rounds of watching them, they were all good, but like her, I've grown to have my favorites.

For me, none top the zany antics of Lucy meeting William Holden in Hollywood. That episode makes me laugh out loud every single time I see it, and I've seen it more times than I can count. I also love the Vitameatavegamin episode, and the classic candy factory and freezer episodes. But there are a few more obscure ones that I like, too, such as the one where Lucy and Ethel make salad dressing to sell, the one when Lucy wears a heavy headdress and tilts down the stairs, when Lucy tells Ricky she's pregnant, and when Lucy dons a short, dark Italian-style wig and pretends to be a stranger flirting with Ricky.

I'm running through the lines and the scenes in my head as I write this. It is that ingrained in me. It's comforting to listen to the notes of the opening theme and picture the black and grey heart on the screen. It takes me back to mornings when I sat and drank coffee and played cards with my mother before we each went to work. I'd moved out of the house as soon as I finished high school, never guessing how homesick I would be. My job as a lunch waitress didn't start until 11:00, so I went back home to my mother every morning and fell into the comforting routine of cards, coffee, and Lucy.

I later introduced Lucy to many friends who'd never watched I Love Lucy before. They all loved it and I found myself watching all of the episodes again.

Then I had a daughter. I Love Lucy was playing on TV one day when she was about five years old and I begged her to watch it with me. She loved it and we ended up watching an I Love Lucy marathon. That Mother's Day, she bought me Seasons 1-4 on DVD. She has her favorites -- the one in which the gang finally leaves for California, and the one where Ricky and Fred try to teach Lucy and Ethel equal rights by leaving them to wash dishes after dinner at a restaurant. It's fun to watch them through her eyes, and interesting to see which ones she likes.

Ahhh... they're all good. We've watched them many times, spending many hours on these same classic episodes. Yes, I've definitely spent thousands of hours watching Lucy. Those have been good hours in my life, first with my mother and now with my daughter. And I'm looking forward to many more.


  1. This is how I feel about Friends!! I watch reruns all the time, and they never get old. That's the power of good writing and comedy, yanno?

    I do enjoy I Love Lucy too, but I'm not a mega-fan like you. ;)

    (My fave episodes are the Vita Vida Vegimin one (not sure I spelled that right) and the infamous grape-squishing one.)

    There's also a great vibe about some of those older shows, like I Love Lucy and Bewitched!

  2. Ahhhh. Good memories! Maybe someday you'll have a granddaughter and you'll get to enjoy Lucy all over again!