As a little girl, one of the first crushes I ever had, was on Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz). I vividly remember watching I Love Lucy with my mother while folding towels warm from the dryer. I sometimes wonder how much this later influenced what I sought in a man because from a young age (we’re talking Elementary school), I very much developed a “type” and my crushes on boys very rarely strayed from a particular set of qualities.
In 7th grade, as part of sex education class, the teacher had us make a list of things we sought in a partner. It was to help us realize what we wanted. Some of the things on my list were quite different from the other girls in my class. I had the typical virtues on my list: kind, intelligent, generous, romantic… but #1 on my list was the word “accent”.
I’m pretty sure Desi Arnaz influenced this preference. It’s an odd thing to think about. To imagine that if a young Cuban man I would never meet, hadn’t pursued his dreams back in the 1950’s, my life could be dramatically different. (And the fact that an interracial couple was put on TV back then and became popular is even more shocking.)
Here is one of my favorite clips from the show. This is the episode where Lucy goes to Cuba on vacation and meets Ricky for the first time.