Finding My Ethel

It gets harder each morning to watch the news.

I just can’t anymore. I find myself channel surfing.

Today, I was rescued from the political madness by an episode of I Love Lucy. My mother was a Lucy fan. All of our mothers might have been.

Lucy and Ethel

Lucy and Ethel. Google image.

The formula was always the same.

Madcap adventures. Miscommunication. Ridiculous situations. Tragedy avoided. Comedy ensued.

Ricky was important, Fred had some of the best lines, but it was all about Lucy.

And Ethel.

Brilliant, funny, adventurous, risk-taking, problem solving, but always loving, always supportive, Ethel was the kind of friend we all craved.

Growing up, I chose the safe road.  Having a mischievous older sibling taught me how to behave, how to avoid trouble, how to create less stress for a family.

As a teen, my friends were always the good kids; we played by the rules.

My “Lucy” years came much later. There was a bit of rebellion in my late 20’s. There were adventures, thrills, even moderate danger.

Things became conventional again during the parenting years. No surprise there. Role model issues prevailed.

Somewhere into the 40’s, there was a stirring.  A spirit awakened. I found my version of Ethel. I lost her when we moved. And I found another. And then another.

My hope is that at every age, she will be there in some form. We won’t be wrapping chocolates, stomping grapes, buying sides of beef, or scheming to finally get into the nightclub show,  but there will be adventures.

And if I’m lucky, they will be madcap.



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62 Responses to Finding My Ethel

  1. themomfred says:


  2. kingmidget says:

    I’m still waiting for my Lucy-Ethel years. Safe and conventional have defined me my whole life.

  3. Better late than never. 🙂

  4. My life has kind of been like yours, usually a good girl, lol! But I have a wonderful group of friends and there are Ethels among them. We take turns!

  5. I had an Ethel for a while (after all, I’m the redhead). My husband who looks more like Ricky would be my Ethel now…or maybe I’m his, LOL. Great post, I LOVE Lucy!!

    • Yep. Good point. There is a lot of Ethel in my husband as well. Never thought of that. He’s my co-conspirator so often, especially as we age, and together reach that “what the hell, who cares” stage of life.☺ Thanks, Terri. We all loved Lucy. ❤️ 💛 💙 💜

  6. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Same page, Van. I am avoiding the news like the plague, have for a long time, but even more so now. I lost my adventurous self for many years, and with that, my “feelings” as a woman. Life certainly can do that!! Lately due to Chiropractic adjustments and deep massage, I am “springing” back to life and the glint in my eye, the passion arising, the laugh that just wants to never cease, are all tumbling back which has me saying, ” OH WOW! I thought all this was gone!!” There is HOPE that we can truly be Ethel again or Lucy again, or just ourselves again! I am happy for you …. Keep watching what makes me LAUGH!!!! 🙂 ❤

  7. What a fun post. No Ethel in my adult years, but there was one in elementary school. I hadn’t thought of her in that way before though. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  8. Bradley says:

    I’ve had a couple of Ethel’s in my life. Most of my adventures wouldn’t be called madcap, though. They’re more commonly viewed as just stupid. 🙂

  9. So glad you seem to find your Ethels! What a great way to think of it. 🙂

  10. Because British TV had so few channels when I was wee – three and then a whole four when I reached my teens – we would watch whatever was on and often that was reruns of older shows. I loved Harold Lloyd and I thought I Love Lucy was fantastic. I agree with you that the friendship dynamic between Lucy and Ethel was a core to the show’s success. Now that you have made me think about it, I think my husband might be my Ethel.

  11. How sweet…we all need an Ethel!

  12. George says:

    It’s so interesting how we evolve over the years and the things, people and shows which may influence us. Lime you, I have a difficult time watching the news in the morning . Lucy is a great alternative…:)

  13. The best show, think I watched every episode. The chocolates was my favorite. The honeymooners was also funny. I didn’t watch when on TV but they never when out of style. I also got addicted to Monty Python! f my granny knew she would have grown the TV outside!

    • Ha…we saw our share of Monty P. as well. Always, the comedies. ☺☺ I thought of that chocolate scene when I worked on a Pepperidge Farm assembly line. Thanks, M. 💖

  14. I love that Vivian Vance moved on with Lucy to her other TV shows after I Love Lucy ended. Makes me want to believe that they truly were real life “Lucy and Ethel”! (with nicer clothes!)

    Lucy and Ethel, Thelma and Louise, Cagney and Lacey…. We all need those crazy gal pals!

  15. I love having ‘Lucy’ moments. Those and loving keep the world spinning for me, Van. 😀

  16. Wow finding Ethel…. love it

  17. Didn’t watch much of I love Lucy. My mother and father did and I wondered what they laughed so hard about then. I guess I didn’t understand. Now I am becoming my parents, searching for old happy stuff and not the terrible, tiresome news.

  18. Scout says:

    Oh Van, this was wonderful. I’m a huge Lucy fan. My brother and I used to play Lucy and Ricky when we were kids–imitating them. Such fun. Did you watch The Long Trailer? I have, so many times. Lucy and Ethel’s friendship was something I always longed for as an adult. (Of course I’d of had to come out of isolation, lol!) I loved that they had each other. The escapades, oh my!
    Thanks for the memories. Though I have a serious side, I’ve been told I’m a goofball. I love that. Maybe a little Lucy/Ethel… 🙂

  19. TanGental says:

    we watched this too, over here and laughed out loud. My mum, the snob refused to like it but dad did and I think mum did as well but as American TV it had to be treated with appropriate disdain!

  20. Deb says:

    I never watch the news anymore, haven’t for over a year now. Not only because of politics but it’s just too negative..I’ve often thought of having a Good News channel where it’s all about the good things that happen, because lots of good things happen all day every day, we have just been brain-washed by the Bad News channels to think they don’t or at least not often! But I digress…
    Oh we all need an Ethel…and we all need to be an Ethel too!! Wishing you many mad-cap adventures with your Ethels!

    • I’ve heard folks talk of a good news network before, Deb. They seem to thing we are more drawn to the tragedies, the negative. Sad. There are a few websites that feature good news, though.
      And, we all do need that Ethel. Thanks. 💕

  21. Thank you for the smiles. I loved I Love Lucy and as one of your other readers commented the chocolate episode always comes to mind when I think about the show. I like Deb’s idea of a Good News channel because there really is so much more good that goes on in the world however it seems good doesn’t sell or maybe we haven’t figured out how to capitalize on the idea.

  22. Elissa says:

    I love this. Maybe you should be your own best Ethel! Lol

  23. Pingback: My Picks Of The Week #16 | A Momma's View

  24. Wish I had an Ethel in my life now. Have great neighbors, but no Ethel.

  25. nimi naren says:

    This is so beautiful. We all have our phases…

  26. jsgreenblog says:

    I never watch the news, and I often watch Lucy in the mornings, though for the same reasons as you. I see news headlines scrolling the net later in the day after my first cup of coffee, at least. My Ethel lives 4 hours away, and I haven’t really had one in years, but I always hope to find another one. Early marriage, work, and my toddler keep me quite busy – hard to find an Ethel.

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