Vacation from Marriage

Vacation from Marriage – I Love Lucy, episode 41, season 2

Vacation from Marriage begins with Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) and Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance) sitting in Lucy’s kitchen, talking about their husbands — and how predictable they are. Ethel relates how her husband Fred will ask her where his glasses are, only for them to be on top of his head. And how then Fred will reply that, if they had been a snake, they would have bitten him.  On cue, Fred Mertz (William Frawley) walks in looking for his glasses — which are on top of his head.  Shortly afterwards, Lucy’s husband Ricky (Desi Arnaz) walks in in his pajamas (since he works nights, he sleeps in the morning) only semi-conscious, looking for coffee.  After laughing about their spouses, they decide that every day it’s the same old thing; and they want to change that.

That night, after having been to the library and reading up on the topic, the girls have decided that their marriages are in a rut, and to fix that, they are going to take a week-long vacation from marriage, with the girls living in the Mertz’ apartment, and the boys living in the Ricardos’.  Ricky doesn’t initially like the idea, but after cajoling from Fred, he goes along.  Only a few days later, the girls are bored silly, and missing their spouses … And wanting to spend Saturday night with them.  But feminine pride gets in the way, and so Lucy has an idea …

Lucy and Ethel dress up in their finest, and visit the boys, supposedly to let Lucy get to her perfume in the Ricardos’ apartment. But the actual goal is to get the boys jealous, in hopes that they’ll take them out.  Male pride gets in the way, however, and Ricky and Fred counter the girls’ bragging with the lie that they, also have dates.  The girls are dejected, and go back to the Mertz’ apartment, while keeping up the facade of their going out.  Back in their pajamas, they’re now worried that their husbands are going out with other women, they decide to go back downstairs to see if the boys are actually going out — only to hide on the roof when they hear the boys coming (talking about how they’re jealous and missing their wives).

I Love Lucy - Vacation from Marriage - Lucy and Ethel stuck on the rooftop

Adding insult to injury, Lucy and Ethel lock themselves out of the building on the rooftop.  A wonderful stint of physical comedy occurs when Lucy attempts to use a plank to cross over to the neighboring building … Only to have Ethel balk at the effort, and to eventually drop the plank onto the street below.  Ricky and Fred eventually find out where the girls are, and in an effort to teach them a lesson they turn a garden hose on the girls, making them think that it’s started to rain on them!  Despite the trick, everybody reconciles and goes back to their respective apartments.

Vacation from Marriage is available as part of the season 2 I Love Lucy DVD collection.

Quotes from I Love Lucy – Vacation from Marriage

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): The four of us have allowed ourselves to deteriorate.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Yes.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): We have become stuffy, moldy, and musty.  We are knee-deep in a pool of stagnation.  Now what are we going to do about it?
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m gonna go and take a shower.

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Alright, let’s not fight with each other — we’re all we’ve got!

Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): You know, Fred, I hate to admit this, but I’d like to see Lucy tonight.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): I can top that — I’d like to see Ethel.

Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): You two have really been living it up this week?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Yes — we’ve been to ’21’ four times with week; that’s 84!

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Ethel, where’s your pride?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): I don’t know, but wherever it is, it’s probably frozen!

[stuck on the rooftop]
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): I know — one of us could jump down onto the sidewalk below, and when a crowd gathers, she could tell them that I’m up here.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): I hope you don’t think that I’m a bum sport …

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): [to Ricky] I’m tired of a vacation from marriage … I want to be in a rut with you.

Trivia about I Love Lucy – Vacation from Marriage

  • In this episode, Fred and Ethel Mertz have been married for 25 years.  However, in the next episode The Courtroom they celebrate their 25th Anniversary, and in the previous season’s episode, The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub they were only married for 18 years!  How time flies when you’re having fun …
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