That “I Love Lucy” Thing

My husband is a good provider.  He has a sometimes exciting, always demanding job that he truly enjoys.  Our family is lucky–and he and I are grateful–he has this opportunity because it has in many ways defined our life here in the city.  To be certain, it has given us a life here in the city.  Important to both my husband and me is that one of us be home with our children; we decided this before our first child was born.  We are fortunate that I have been able to stay home these past three and one-half years.  I have gotten to share many moments of joy and discovery at home with my children.

Okay.  The other side of the stay-at-home mom coin is this: it’s a really boring, frustrating, unglamorous and identity-sucking lifestyle.  And that’s most of the time.  I am often looking for distractions to my life–online shopping (shout out to my peeps at J.Crew), wine, lots of television, some books.  Writing a blog seems like a more constructive use of my free time than trolling Facebook (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Naturally, when a friend posted on Facebook (this was before I was writing my blog) that a national television show was looking for a NYC mom who hates her eyebrows to appear on an upcoming segment, I jumped at the chance!  Who wouldn’t?

I told my husband, family and friends that I was going to have my eyebrows scrutinized and plucked on national television (again, who wouldn’t?) because it would give me a great blog post (I was thinking about my blog, just not writing it).  I went to the set that day sort of nervous, kind of excited and ready for anything.

Overall, it was a fun day.  I met a few of Rachael Ray’s viewers who had also volunteered for the segment (I have never seen The Rachael Ray Show; I had to fake this to fit in).  I had my makeup and hair done.  I talked show business with the producers.  I smiled in front of a studio audience.  I sat inappropriately close to Rachael Ray (who is so cute in person).  I felt like I was living a life more fun and interesting than my own.  And I had something to talk about for a few days.

So when the segment producer e-mailed me with the upcoming air date, I should have been amused and looking forward to seeing myself on television, right?

(This is me without makeup by the way; the made up version is better.  See picture and link at end of post.)

I was filled with dread.  During the time between taping that segment and learning when it would air, I had discovered something about myself–what Oprah would call an “A-ha moment” (I think that’s what she says; I don’t watch Oprah either).

First: I have developed an obsession for the domestic sitcoms of the fifties and sixties: Leave It to Beaver, The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy.  I cannot get enough of these shows.  Few sitcoms can compare with these classics.  I love the wives on these shows.  Yes, they represent old fashioned, anti-feminist, stereotypical ideals of mothers and women.  I still like them.  I think June Cleaver rocked; she got everything done around the house, cooked meals for her family and was never in a bad mood!  I still want to be Laura Petrie.  And Lucy Ricardo–what can I say?  I root for her every time.  Funniest character ever.  Best show.  Period.

Why this is relevant: I began having a very uneasy feeling about having appeared on national television to have my eyebrows plucked by Rachael Ray’s best friend (who is also really cute).  I had told everyone that I was subjecting myself to this for blog material.  I told the segment producer that. It seemed reasonable.  And then a feeling that started as a dull pain in my stomach made its way to my brain, and it hit me: I am the housewife desperate to share in her husband’s limelight.  Oh Lucy, why won’t they put us in the show?  I have internalized quite a bit of the classic American sitcom.

Ironically, it is liberating to have this knowledge–my insecurities about no longer having a career, an income, validation and solo bathroom breaks are wound deeply into my being.  I saw an opportunity to chase a bit of excitement and I went for it.  Opportunities outside of preschool, the playground, birthday parties and time-outs don’t really come my way anymore.  Appearing on television for any reason, including hair removal, gave me a connection to a world outside of my own.  I liked the attention.  Every so often, I need to hear the applause at the Tropicana.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Debut of my eyebrows on Rachael Ray.

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This entry was posted in Family Life, It's All About Me, New York City Living and Coping. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to That “I Love Lucy” Thing

  1. Justine says:

    This is priceless! I love that you did this and I love Lucy! “Wendy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do! “

  2. Pingback: Beauty and What I Mean | Mama One to Three

  3. I didn’t know you did this! I feel like I’m friends with a celebrity now. 🙂
    I just watched it with the girls, by the way. They were impressed.
    xoxo

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