Our birthdays are just four days apart, Lucy and me. Four days and a whole bunch of years. If she were still alive, Lucille Ball would be 100 years old today, and I am… well… much, much, much younger.
For most of my life, I have loved Lucy. My family had a television set before most of my friends did. My dad built it. And every week we watched I Love Lucy.
Eons later, when my children were little, we had a summertime routine: We got up and had breakfast, but we didn’t get dressed because an I Love Lucy rerun was on at 9:00. So we snuggled back in bed and watched it together, laughing at Lucy’s silly antics and quoting familiar lines with her.
Lots of years have passed since then, both for Lucy and for me. One Christmas my daughter got me an I Love Lucy game. Another year, she got me an I Love Lucy lunchbox. For my birthday, my son gave me an I Love Lucy book, and he and his wife got me I Love Lucy pajamas and I Love Lucy magnetic paperdolls. (Do you notice a theme here?)
Not to be outdone, every Christmas my dear husband gets me an I Love Lucy calendar. Each time I turn a page I regale him with an acted out replay of the episode it refers to, complete with dialogue. I know them all. I even know the show’s idiosyncrasies, such as Lucy Ricardo’s middle name (Esmerelda) and Ethel’s three different middle names (Louise, Roberta, May). Evidently they didn’t worry about such details in the days before anyone knew there might possibly be such a thing as reruns.
So, on behalf of all of us who loved the Vitameatavegamin girl, the grape stomp in Italy, LucyEth’s dress shop, the chocolate factory, and all the rest: Happy 100th Birthday, Lucy!
I still love you!
“A man who correctly guesses a woman’s age may be smart, but he isn’t very bright!”