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.

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

5 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.

  4. Tara Forrest says:

    Nice blog thanks for postingg

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