Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Love of Desi and Lucille

If you really think of it, the fundamental reason for the separation of the two lovebirds is actually because of the traumatic childhoods they had suffered.
Desi had been born a prince, but his worldly belongings and privileged way of life have all been immorally snatched from him when he was still too young to comprehend what revolution is. All he knew was that his father had been a great political leader who had fought relentlessly for his people. Now, it is damaging for a kid because I'm sure you all know how children stand up for justice when they are young. When Desi finally had success as the president of Desilu Productions, he aimed for more and more, probably to compensate all that he hadn't have when he was young, probably to let his wife and children enjoy abundance of wealth, probably to reassure himself of his manliness, capability and standing in Hollywood, but was constantly outshone by his wife's success. It's not easy for a Cuban man, any man in fact to take this. Imagine the constant struggle to come to terms with it, to shrug off the devil because of his passion for his wife.

Desi had been taunted while serving his country during World War II. He had been called Mr Ball too many times, I suppose his ego was permanently damaged. No one back then ever credited him for the success of I Love Lucy. In fact, I'm sure that not a lot of people know that he was essentially the brains behind the top comedy ever made. He was the the executive producer who okayed every major and minor decision, the talent who could read the scripts once through and be able to memorize them. He was the one who played Ricky Ricardo such that Lucy Ricardo had room to shine. He helped to pioneer the 3-camera technique which became today's format for any situational comedy.

I suppose the complications and pressures drove him to forms of escapism. What else but whores and alcohol?
Lucille Ball had a beautiful childhood of 3 years before it changed overnight and became a complete nightmare. Her kind and loving father died suddenly, and after her mother remarried, young Lucy was forced to live with her stepfather's parents who in short, forever damaged her psychologically. Lucy became a perfectionist who felt that no matter what she did, she did not deserve the success and this trait worsened when she aged. When poor Lucy finally came back to live with her mother and family, she found herself barely the age of 10 but the head of the family. Moreover, similar to Desi Arnaz, Lucy had witnessed the evil deeds human beings could exhibit. As her grandfather was being accused of negligent shooting of a young boy, the whole town watched on and thrived on the tragical event. Overnight, angels turned into devils. The law never protected her family, but made a happy old man turn depressed overnight with the ugly accusations, with the confiscation of every single penny he ever earned. As a teenager, Lucy was a rebellious girl and had an extremely ill reputation in Jamestown, but most of the onlookers never understood her need to release her pent up anger, mainly her anger at the unfairness of the world.

Lucy was fiercely independent and self-sufficient. She practically rose to become a millionaire from being a penniless girl. I've never known of anyone else to have worked as diligently as she did, and selfless at that, because she supported her entire family once she started working. She supported her family her entire life. She was filial, loyal and level headed, and she had to fall in love with the man who was as different from her as the sun from moon. This fatal attraction made her both the happiest and saddest woman on earth. 

No other person has ever loved anyone the way Lucy loved Desi. Imagine the constant conflicting values that troubled her for almost two decades. She loved Desi Arnaz, put up with the humiliation and never gave up on him, but his faults (alcoholism and philandering) drove her so crazy that she became more blunt and cold. Nearing the end of their marriage, the only common ground that she shared with Desi was I Love Lucy. For half an hour a week, she was able to pretend marital bliss with the great love of her life, and therefore, she was fiercely protective of the sitcom. She would not allow any actor to louse it up. 
I've always thought that love would conquer all. I realize that I've been naive. It takes more than love to maintain marital bliss. One would say that if we love a person enough, we would change for him or her. Is it really possible to change the traits that you have formed at a young age? Is it really possible to undo the damages that were done on you when you were an impressionable kid? Is it really possible to change what society has taught you? 

I'm very sure that in spite of the separation, Desi and Lucy loved none else but each other. People marry for all sorts of reasons. Lucy admitted that she liked Gary and was looking for family stability. Desi had always admitted freely to anyone who had the guts to ask him if he was still in love with Lucy, years after the painful divorce. Desi and Lucy corresponded on the phone almost every night since the divorce.

2 days before Desi's death, Lucy finally removed her defensive shield and said to Desi "I love you, I love you, Desi, I love you", and Desi said his "I love you too, honey", his tone full of love, regret and sorrow, and imagine how he felt: he knew he was on his way to the other side of the world and he had to leave the love of his life behind forever. He spoke to Lucy and no one else, and who else would he think of in his deathbed? Lucy.

Lucy lived another 2 years, but she hadn't wanted to live after Desi's death. Following his death, her emotional and physical health. In medical terms, she died of heart failure. In my opinion, she died of a broken heart.

For two people who have brought the world such profound happiness, they sure led tragic lives.

1 comment:

  1. This was so beautifully written, I could not agree more.<3