I love Lucy. No, I’m not talking about Lucille Ball, even though she is fabulous, hilarious, and not a commie. (For those who are too young to remember or fell asleep in their history class, Lucille Ball was accused of being a communist during the beginnings of the Cold War.) No, I’m talking about Lucy, the ball-busting, self-assured little brunette girl from the Peanuts Gang. My obsession with Lucy started in 2002 when I had the pleasure of playing her in a community theatre production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (music and lyrics by Clark Gesner and based on the cartoon by Charles M. Schulz) and eventually led to the spirit and tag line of this blog: “When I grow up, I intend to be a queen.”
Why do I love Lucy? She is what I wish more women were. She is what I wish more women would accept rather than criticize. Simply stated, Lucy is unapologetic, and she is what I want to be: unapologetically confident and resolute in my goals and desires. Lucy never apologizes for wanting more. She never apologizes for her successes. Lucy never even apologizes for her failures. (Note the many, many times Lucy has been rejected by Schroeder. That little twerp never gives her a chance!)
Take a look at one of Lucy’s monologues from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown:
(Picture Lucy standing in an oversized wingback chair.)
“Do you know what I intend? I intend to be a queen. When I grow up I’m going to bethe biggest queen there ever was, and I’ll live in a big palace and when I go out in my coach, all the people will wave and I will shout at them…”
Lucy knows her goal is great and important, but that does not deter her. She not only publicly states her goal she celebrates it. She goes on:
“and…and…in the summertime I will go to my summer palace and I’ll wear my crown in swimming and everything, and all the people will cheer and I will shout at them…”
Lucy would never refuse a crown or a compliment. She would never apologize for having the goal or succeeding in it! She would proudly wear her crown all the time, in swimming and everything!
How many of us are guilty of changing Lucy’s goal from I intend to be a queen to I know it’s stupid, but I really would like to be a queen…maybe…if it’s o.k. with you? How many of us sabotage our goals everyday by apologizing for them? Lucy continues:
“What do you mean I can’t be queen? Nobody should be kept from being a queen if she wants to be one.”
So, here it is. The dilemma we have all faced in the past and will surely face again: your goal has been challenged, laughed at, doubted, or flat out denied. What do you do? Do you apologize for trying? Do you stop trying? Do you settle for less? Or do you stand taller in your oversized, wingback chair and declare to the world that their assumed limitations don’t matter. For Lucy the decision is easy: Queen is what she wants, so queen is what she will become! The ending of the monologue shows just how unapologetic Lucy is:
Well…. if I can’t be a queen, then I’ll be very rich and I will buy myself a queendom. Yes, I will buy myself a queendom and then I’ll kick out the old queen and take over the whole operation myself. I will be head queen.
That’s right, sister, think big!
Oh, sure, Lucy should eventually allow Charlie Brown to kick the football, she should stop threatening to punch Linus in the face, and her pursuit of Schroeder skips joyfully down the road to stalker-ville, but I think we could all learn from Lucy. Did Lucy give up when her goal became difficult to achieve? Did she give up when success seemed impossible? No, Lucy remains eternally optimistic that Schroeder will one day play his little piano just for her, Linus will give up that stupid blanket, Charlie Brown will grow a pair, and she will be queen.