I admit I need one after my recent boozing.
Well, what have you missed?
I’ve been writing a blog comparing my own life to Friends™ for three years. What absolutely no-one is calling “the definitive comment on Millennial narcissism”.
In that time I’ve changed jobs, moved out our tiny flat, and said goodbye to my elderly dog and grandfather. (Elderly dog AND elderly grandfather, my dog wasn’t my grandfather).
My biggest achievement, other than keeping up my Friends™ schedule, is tricking a wonderful woman into marrying me. Who, to preserve her anonymity, will be referred to as Janice.
It’s all a far cry from the lives of the Friends™, still renting and dating in New York. Of the three main tenets of the Friends™: “your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A”, I’m only living the “broke” part, mostly as a result of our honeymoon. I fully expect the Friends™ Gods to wreak furious vengeance on me any day now.
Thankfully they let the honeymoon fly by without too much trouble!
Last year, when we got engaged in New York, we had to redirect half our holiday thanks to a hurricane. We had to skip over Disneyworld™ entirely! So it wasn’t all bad… But the whole holiday would’ve been cancelled if my, now, mother-in-law hadn’t saved my proposal plans by lending us the money for a new flight. Janice had no idea why she was being so generous…
Stupidly we tried our luck in hurricane season again for the honeymoon. And just got out of Vietnam in time, before the latest tropical storm made its way to us.
That’s not to say the honeymoon didn’t pass without incident, Janice waited all holiday to buy herself a nice present. And then the bracelet she settled on immediately got caught on her sleeve and broke.
Truly, a tragedy of hurricane proportions.
“The One Where I Go On A Honeymoon”
It was an absolute blast, inspired by the Friends™ on their beach holiday, I had copious Margaritas! And whatever else I could get my hands on… Unlike the Friends™ we managed to avoid any strip poker, mercifully, given that most of the other people on our tour were retirees.
It was a little strange for a honeymoon, spending it with around thirty elderly people, but we got to do everything we wanted, lazing by pools, seeing lots of things, and meeting interesting people. And drinking. God the drinking… most of them out drank us! Really, honeymooning on a package tour with a bunch of pensioners was ideal, thanks to the age gap, we could enjoy each others company without the pressure of socialising too much, and could avoid all arguments about where to eat and what to see next.
And the company was great! At times it was like having our own personal entertainment, hearing interesting stories and watching old couples bicker. I’d recommend watching forty elderly people attempt to cross a road with hundreds of mopeds on it to anyone! I reckon you could get a good TV show if you followed an over-50s holiday around with a camera crew. Certainly, different to Friends™.
There was a lot to see, and I don’t want to bore you with it. But, aside from all the excellent temples, I did see one thing you should know about. A jellyfish! Floating in the water, it made a nice change from all the plastic floating down from the China Sea. And I didn’t get stung! No need to make like Chandler and Monica and pee on each other. We may be married but I’m not sure we’re ready to pass that boundary yet…
Real Live Sitcom Moment:
One person who may have passed that boundary was a Scotswoman on the tour. One night she drunkenly confessed to us that, as a child of the sixties, she was no prude and had pretty much “done everything except animals”! I didn’t push the matter further to see if that included incest… When you’re stuck with the same people for two weeks you’ve got to be a little diplomatic.
Her and her two friends were great fun though, cracking dirty jokes the whole time, even suggesting we do it in the shower! I mean, suggesting Janice and I did it in the shower not that I got in the shower with them. This was definitely for the best, sneaking away on my honeymoon for hot shower sex with a granny is not my style.
But my favourite moment was this: After I accidentally sprayed myself in the face with insect repellent, I complained to Janice that my lips were numb. Quick as a flash, one of the old Scotswomen commented “ach, your lips are supposed to be numb on your honeymoon”.
Filth… pure filth.
It’s almost as bad as Ross’s comment about Bonnie “not taking no for an answer” and her starting sex with him whilst he’s asleep. In the age of #MeToo he’s well shot of her, even if she hadn’t shaved her head. I might take a leaf out of her book though. By shaving my head I mean. Not getting cruelly dumped on holiday. I managed to avoid that! When I had my wedding haircut I had a moment of seeing myself in the mirror and thinking “oh, THAT’s what my face actually looks like”. I think I’ll take it a step further and see what my whole head looks like.
I wonder what Janice will think? Being married to a baldy.
It looks like Rachel and Ross are over again already… if only he’d been in the car with my dad on the way to the wedding. I asked what his advice for married life was, and was a little surprised when he came back with “saying sorry never does any harm”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him apologise!
I’ve been trying to say sorry less in my life for the last few years. I often feel like taking responsibility for things that are beyond your control can play havoc with your self-esteem. Although you wouldn’t want to go too far the other way and end up like President Trump!
The benefits of sucking it up and apologising are nowhere clearer than in Phoebe’s, newly discovered, birth mother managing to patch things up with her.
Phoebe’s story is surprisingly dark for such a light character, but thankfully ends on a light note. It’s the complete opposite of the honeymoon.
You can spend two weeks in amazing, beautiful countries, having a wonderful time, thinking you’ve got to know people, only for it to come crashing down.
The last few days of the honeymoon we went to Cambodia. Much like Vietnam, a country still suffering from the scars of atrocities wrought through imperialism, and its aftermath. But you could feel and see it much more there than Vietnam. Our guide took us to a floating village out on a floodplain. It was like the rug had been pulled from our feet. All the fancy resorts we’d driven past, all the lovely hotels we’d stayed in, western booze we’d drunk, here was the cost. People struggling to get by, desperately pleading with rich tourists to take pictures of their children for money, even as their lush environment was filled with the plastic from the tourists; drinking local water purified and re-packaged by Coca-Cola™.
Shanty houses on stilts stood, some barely above the water line, water ever encroaching on their way of life as their neighbours, and American Presidents, refuse to even acknowledge the melting ice caps. Coal fires burn perpetually to produce the very plastic that clogs their water ways, and the thousands of T-Shirts they peddle to tourists, the only hope their economy has.
And amongst all this, you realise you don’t know the people you’ve been with for two weeks at all.
The lovely old lady, who prints off Wikipedia articles about everywhere she goes (even though she can’t remember what she’s read) will happily tell you the articles you read about the horrors that go on behind the scenes of Elephant rides mean nothing as “actually she’s been to a sanctuary and it was lovely.”
You’ll realise the lovely old guy, who you spoke with for hours about brewing, and helped climb those hundreds of steps to the temple, has no problem ignoring the warnings at the airport, taking photos of poor children like they’re an attraction, and indulging in a bit of cheeky child labour by paying for a massage from an eight year old. Despite being a retired teacher.
And you’ll get home and think “oh, maybe it wasn’t all that bad, we all had a great time really, I think I’ll add them all on Facebook™”. And end up immediately unfriending one when you find out they only post articles about, unelected hypocrite, Nigel Farage, and criminal racist, Tommy Robinson.
Maybe I should have realised she wasn’t all there when she said she believed in time travel?
But we’re back now. Life, and Friends™ goes on. I promise to talk a bit more about the show next time! We’ve got seven more years, and plenty more Friends™ to come.