Mine was incredible.
What started as a few days off for Christmas became an extended holiday. We stayed in a cottage again with my Real Live Friends. And then I was only back at work a few days before going Skiing.
I’ll regret using all my remaining holiday allowance in one go, but I feel super refreshed.
And spent zero time in a box.
I did suggest to my wife doing it for some of New Years, but her response was:
“If you want to sit in a box, why don’t you do it by yourself when no-one else is around?”
Sometimes I think she isn’t getting into the spirit of Real Live Friends.
“The One Where I Partay”
Appropriately enough, the Friends™ boys are looking to partay as “party wizard” Gandalf is in town.
Except he lets them down at the last minute. So much for a wizard never being late.
If I were them I’d take Monica and Phoebe’s new van out for a spin. Monica reviews herself into her dream job as a head chef, and royally screws Phoebe in the process, so they don’t need it anymore.
It’s nice how forgiving the Friends™ always are. The way Monica treats Phoebe could end most friendships. Jumping ship right as their business gets going, and after they’d put in a substantial investment. But you can’t really blame her for taking the job, and mercifully neither does Phoebe. It might put a bit of a dampener on the next six years if two of the Friends™ hated each other.
Rachel’s getting lucky with her job too. Or so she thinks. Her boss scuppers her chances of promotion, after admitting to sleeping her way to the top (hey, it worked for me…).
It would be hard to forgive my bosses if they blocked my career. Even if it’s because they wanted to keep me, and ended up giving me a promotion. Hang on a minute. That’s basically what happened! I only ended up where I am now with the lure of more money (if not my own office… yet). My dream of working in a museum has long since died.
If they’d actually sabotaged an interview, like Joanna does, it would be pretty awkward working with them afterwards. Fortunately Rachel doesn’t have to, as Joanna is mercilessly killed by the writers.
It’s a bit of a dark turn really. I guess they didn’t have any of the reasons for stalling her career that Millennials face now. Although Rachel does strike me as someone who’d spend nine pounds on avocado on toast.
But, like Millennials, all the Friends™ seem to be experiencing a gulf between their expectations and reality.
Phoebe and Rachel see their career advances stunted before they’ve even began. Monica finds her dream job less than satisfying; when she realises she now has to work with the people she savaged in her review.
And the boys see their partay dreams crushed after Gandalf’s disappearing trick.
They try and get on it. Pledge to meet random strangers, have an adventure, and even start drinking before noon! (Where do they think they are, on a ski trip??)
But in the end they’re defeated. Crumpled up once again on Central Perk’s sofa, with a decaf coffee and ready for an early night.
I don’t think the show has ever seemed more relevant to my own life.
As Chandler points out, I’m not twenty-one anymore. Despite my efforts to drink myself to oblivion up a mountain, most nights we were in bed by ten thirty. (Although my room buddy did point out everyone else we were staying with were couples… so had a pretty good reason for an early night.) And the Friends™ complaining the music’s too loud seems all too familiar after Chandler Number One’s leaving do.
The closest we got to hanging out with strangers on the trip was the one night we did go out. Things were finally kicking off, the music was pumping, we were dancing on a table, I even had a Smirnoff Ice™!
Then we went home early after our table was invaded by some over-friendly middle-aged Germans.
I’ve been struggling to remember the last time I had a crazy night, akin to ending up on a boat to Nova Scotia. When I was a student I once went to the Isle of Dogs just because I was bored. It’s fair to say it didn’t alleviate the boredom.
New Years Eve! Of course!! That ever reliable bastion of debauchery.
Blissfully stuck in a cottage, there was no risk of meeting anyone other than my Real Live Friends. Just good mates and gooood alcohol. And a heated pool!
As the clock struck midnight, we kissed, sang the song, and everyone ran off to get their bathing suits to jump in the pool. With the exception of my wife, who decided she’d had enough to drink to not really bother. And jumped in the pool fully clothed.
God how I love her. I guess we’re not too old to partay yet!
Real Live Sitcom Moment:
Compared to the holiday shenanigans Christmas™ was a little tame. But as always it was lovely spending time with the family, and poking my sister’s expanding belly.
We were having a great, festive time. Until dad decided to make us watch a two hour long Shania Twain concert.
There’s something deeply disturbing about hearing your dad lavish praise on a singers “talent”, whilst seeing her prance around with a horse in a tight one-piece. (She was in the one-piece, the horse was nude).
Still, it’s better that than it being his way of telling us “man, I feel like a woman.”