And with one sentence I bring my partner back to the humdrum reality of everyday life...
We’ve had a simply dreadful fortnight. We’ve just got back from seeing her relatives in Ireland, and before that I went skiing with my dad and sisters. Awful.
Still it’s nice to be back among the damp, burnt lampshades and constantly mewling cats. Did I mention the lampshade? No I didn’t? Well, just before we went away, my partner called to report a burning smell in our flat. After much searching we finally discovered our lovely “make your own pattern” lampshade had fallen on to the light bulb. Where it was steadily melting above our bed.
Half way through the first season and I already could have been killed in my sleep twice!!
“The One Where I Use Up All My Remaining Annual Leave”
First, some things I noticed about the episode that don’t relate to my life:
- “And a hot cider for Monica” – I... what? No. That’s a thing? Jeez... Just no Monica.
- Ross dating a woman dressed as Han Solo – I can't relate to this at all as my partner never wears waistcoats. Although my ex-girlfriend and I did once go to a party dressed as Han and Leia. My buns looked great.
- Ross can’t talk dirty and only ended up cuddling – Unlike Ross I’m all talk in the bedroom, slamming out smut and filth with reckless abandon.
(Incidentally this also means the “Ross Sexual Partner Count” is still only at 1).
- The masterful slow comic timing in the sex talk practise scene, eking out every laugh to build the audience to applause – I have a terrible sense of timing, particularly where sex is concerned. As I said, I’m all talk.
But imagine my horror at discovering, upon our arrival at the hotel, that I would be sharing a room with my father! He could snore in the Olympics. Though I doubt he’d win a medal. As there isn’t one. It'd just be a large antipodean asleep in the stands, loudly putting off the athletes. But it was pretty horrific, and that’s before you consider the nightmares caused by his lack of compunction over walking around naked! Cats come back all is forgiven...
Aside from the room it was a fantastic holiday and a real chance for me to catch up with my family. This included finding out that my sister has been trying for a child ever since her wedding! No one tells me anything...
I also found out my dad’s got pretty heavily into a vitamin addiction. Within the first few hours our hotel room had enough pills lying around to make Bez envious.
There was quite a strange crossover with this weeks episode too as we had an abundance of amuse-bouches on our holiday. The influence of Friends™ on my family is clear as we immediately started quoting Chandlers “well, it IS amusing...” once we were handed them, and weirdly this was before I’d even watched the episode. What are the chances? About the same as the chances of me and Joey enjoying “whipped fish”.
My sister is yet to be blessed with child but I got a chance to flex my “uncle muscles” with my partner’s relatives in Ireland.
I say uncle, actually the little terrors were my partner’s mother’s cousin’s children. I’m not sure what that makes me, but everyone said I was good with them at least... I didn’t really know what I was doing, I just tried to keep a sense of fun and act how my own older cousins acted when I was a child. I think I got away with it. With so many new relatives around it felt like I was being auditioned for my prospective fatherhood skills (or lack thereof) but they were generous, pleasant and lovely, so the holiday was too!
Weirdly, I think my abiding memory will be us all crammed around a tiny table in a cafe. The Irish certainly don’t skimp on food (despite certain historical tragedies...) so I could only laugh when the waitress brought out our food on giant plates and they had to be pieced together on the table like a jigsaw puzzle to fit.
Anyway, it’s all back to work now and this week Chandler has the opposite experience when he quits his job.
Much like Chandler I’ve been stuck in what was initially supposed to be a “temp job” for several years. Real Live Friends hasn’t quite taken over my life enough for me to follow his lead and quit so I'll be stuck there a while longer. On the plus side my wish of being a Chandler has been granted as I'm now Chandler Number 3!
But, if truth be told, I have been umming and ahhing over leaving for a while myself; largely as getting a promotion in real life isn’t quite as simple as quitting and waiting for my boss to ring - with an offer of a shiny new office, shiny new pay rise, and a shiny new assistant. I wouldn’t mind if my Real Live Friends visited me at work every now and then; as Phoebe does when she goes to see Chandler’s new office. Once again perhaps Friends™ has just given me unrealistic expectations of the amount of free time working adults have.
Shouldn’t Phoebe be massaging people rather than swanning about in Chandler’s office?
My doldrums at returning to work have been further exacerbated by finding out how little effect my absence has had. Apparently things have been ticking over fine without my presence; apart from a minor build up of paperwork that no-one else seems concerned with (my own personal Wenus...).
It’s nice to feel needed. I imagine.
One man who certainly doesn’t need to imagine being appreciated is Jon Lovitz, who becomes the first Friends™ guest star to live the “audience applauding guest star entrance” sitcom cliché. He proves more than worth it with his great turn as a stoned restaurateur and it’s no surprise the character is brought back later. Although some surprise that it isn’t till the 9th season! I’m gona have to wait 9 whole years??
I need to sit down. The enormity of this project suddenly hit me...
Real Live Sitcom Moment:
We have a volunteer at my work, who I suppose is the closest thing I have to an assistant.
The other day I was telling her about Ross Number 1’s stag weekend: we all remembered how in school we used to rip the pockets off of peoples badly made shirts when I drunkenly tried to do the same to Ross’s shirt. Needless to say he wasn’t too happy about having to spend the rest of the weekend with the front of his shirt held together with a safety pin.
“My Assistant” wasn’t happy either when, after hearing the story, she tugged at her pocket to test the strength of the stitches only to accidentally tear a hole in her own shirt!