On my recent annual pilgrimage to the Friends box set a horrific realisation hit me: I’m now the same age as the main characters in series one. I’ve watched this programme for over a decade, and I’m not ashamed to say I still find it hilarious. I cried at every wedding, child birth, and was verging on hysterical during the final ever episode (SHE GOT OFF THE PLANE!).
It’s just that everything they do now is both completely relatable and unbelievably unrealistic. They’ve set up more expectations about life than a Richard Curtis marathon and a Disney princess rolled into one. Here’s the real life lessons I’ve gained from the world’s most loved sitcom:
– I spend too much money on clothes I can’t afford but not enough to terrify me as I do NOT have parents or friends that can bail me out of a situation I get myself into.
– I love to cook, but if my friends constantly came over to my flat and raided my fridge, I would kick their arses OUT quicker than they could find the dodgy Philadephia on the bottom shelf.
– NOBODY can afford that apartment. Rent control or not, that place is obscenely big. It’s only now that I live away from home in a big city myself and consider my flat a reasonable size that I’ve realised how absolutely obscene Monica’s place is.
– The men in my life don’t seem to crawl back apologetically, they definitely do not put up with any hissy fits I have, and don’t do that stupid head tilt/smile/say something lovely thing that Chandler always does after reassuring Monica that her frankly alarming OCD level of cleaning is actually cute and then follows it up with a kiss.
– I worry about my career path and my relationship (despite them both being absolutely fine), and they both consume the vast majority of the conversations I have with my friends. This really is enough to fill 10 series, so it makes sense to me now. In fact now I think of it, that’s all I ever talk about.
– Eating ice cream straight from the tub and making tiki death punch to cure any woe is also a thing.
– Dates with people you think could only possibly exist in a sitcom actually happen (thanks to my wonderful girl friends for updating me on these bizarre situations!)
– People really do spend that much money on coffee
So which ‘friend’ am I? I have moments of being as clueless as Rachel, quite a few times where I’m as obsessive as Monica, and I’m probably as ‘head-‘in-the-clouds’ as Phoebe at least four days a week. But it all worked out for them; I just need a signature haircut, rent-controlled apartment, and an acoustic guitar. Easy peasy!