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The Anniversary Present

The Anniversary Present –I Love Lucy episode 36, season 2, originally aired 9/29/1952

Just like the first season of I Love Lucy began with a conflict over how to celebrate the Mertzes anniversary, the second season begins with The Anniversary Present, dealing with the Ricardo’s anniversary.  The episode begins with Lucy coming into the bedroom with two cups of coffee, which she seemingly dumps out the window; Ricky, just waking up, is trying to figure it out, and Lucy explains that she’s just bringing some coffee to the painters who are repainting the building.  Relieved, Ricky asks for some breakfast, and while Lucy is out of the room, he makes a telephone call to the Fosters, other tenants in the same building.  Grace Foster works at a jewelry store, and Ricky is hoping that she will use her employee discount to help him afford a genuine pearl necklace for their upcoming anniversary.  When Lucy unexpectedly walks into the room, Ricky quickly pretends to be speaking to ‘Sam’—Grace catches on, and is a good sport, not only volunteering to let Ricky use her discount, but she will also bring different pearl necklaces home for Ricky to choose from.

Ricky doesn’t want Lucy to know about his surprise, and so he pretends that he doesn’t remember the upcoming anniversary.  Lucy, however, is dropping various ‘subtle’ hints, such as a glass filled with rice, leaving her wedding ring on his plate, and circling their anniversary date (the 19th) on the calendar.  But, in a very funny moment, Ricky refuses to fall for any of the ‘reminders’, and goes to talk to Fred—actually, he’s going to visit Grace Foster about the necklace, and using Fred as an excuse.  Grace’s husband is out of town for the week, but that doesn’t intrude on on Ricky’s thoughts for even a moment.  It does enter Ethel’s thoughts, however, when she sees Ricky going into the Fosters’ apartment, and she shares her suspicions with Lucy.

Lucy begins to let her imagination run away with her, and after listening in on a conversation with Ricky and Grace via the furnace pipes, she decides that she has to see for herself what’s going on in that apartment.  In the basement by the furnace, she sees the painters outfits, and soon she and Ethel are disguised as painters, on a scaffold outside the window—and soon losing control of the scaffold, spilling paint over themselves, and being rescued by Ricky and Grace.  Once Lucy and Ethel are safely inside, Ricky (after a moment of teasing her) reveals that his only interest in Grace was in procuring an authentic pearl necklace for Lucy.  Lucy is overwhelmed, and gives Ricky a big, paint-soaked kiss—and the look on Ricky’s face is priceless.

The Anniversary Present is available as part of the season 2 I Love Lucy DVD collection.

Quotes from The Anniversary Present - I Love Lucy

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): [hinting to Ricky about their anniversary] Do you remember anything important that happens on that day?
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Oh yeah, That’s the day they collect the trash.


Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) [crying over Ricky]: I still can’t believe that he chose her over me.  After all, don’t eleven years of faithful service count for anything?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Oh, you poor little thing.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): You’d think that if he was going to let me go like this, he’d at least give me a gold watch.  Or a letter of recommendation.

Trivia from The Anniversary Present - I Love Lucy

  • The Ricardo’s anniversary is on the 19th of an unspecified month.  Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz actually had two different anniversaries , their original on November 30, 1940 at the Byram River Beagle Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, and they renewed their vows in a Catholic ceremony on June 19, 1949 at Our Lady of the Valley Church in Canoga Park, California.  Desi and Lucy always celebrated the November 30th date—in fact, the last time they spoke was on November 30, 1986, two days before Desi Arnaz’s death.

Originally published at Clown Ministry

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