“Well, hang on a minute there Janice. I thought you’d think shaving my head because of Friends™ was a stupid idea…”
“You’re gona have to do it at some point anyway.”
“I am not receding!”
“Of course not, baby…” she lied, “but this way it’s like you’re taking control. Like when you got a Mohawk cause you were worried you wouldn’t be able to do stuff like that once we were married.”
“You know about that?!”
“Everyone knows about that… it was obvious.”
“The One Where I Shave My Head”
And so I marched into that barbers. And said: “I’d like you to shave my head please, because I’m gonna go bald at some point anyway, and not because Friends™ (and my wife) told me to.”
My heart started beating faster as the clippers came near. Why? I’ve had my hair cut thousands of times. I find it quite therapeutic. I’ve had my fair share of ridiculous haircuts!
The clippers worked their magic as I sat in silence, feeling like an extra in a war film, or a new cast member in a prison drama. Staring, forlornly, into the mirror and… seeing absolutely nothing as my glasses were off. “Oh god”, I thought, “what if I’ve got a really lumpy head? What if I look like a neo-Nazi? What if you can see the moonlight reflecting on my head?”
And then it was done. I put my glasses on, looked in the mirror, and it was… fine? I’d been worried for nothing, acting like a big baby. Which was ironic, because I now look like one.
Rachel and Ross are still mad at each other, and Ross takes things up a notch by tricking her into thinking her old prom date has called. Shock, horror, he actually rang for Monica! But it doesn’t last long as Monica finds he hasn’t moved on since school.
Even though I went to school with Janice it seems a world away now. Like Monica (and unlike Chip) we’ve moved on from those days. It sometimes feels like the woman I know and love now is a different person to the one I knew back then.
Also like Monica we’ve lost touch a little with our school friends, only five of them made it to the wedding. I sometimes wonder if there’ll be a school reunion at any point. And then I stop because I worry it’s already happened and no-one thought to invite us.
My prom date wasn’t one of the five at the wedding. We’ve had no contact in years, outside the odd Facebook™ like, but I’m happy to report she’s doing well, married herself, and with a kid. It’s crazy how easy it is to stay connected now. We’re no longer reliant on chance meetings, like Chip and Monica, old friends and lovers are just one Facebook™ message away. That’s how Janice and I met again in the first place! A message out of the blue to see how I was, and now we’re married!
Crikey, I really must thank Mark Zuckerberg one day…
I’m still thinking about the wedding, as the odd drunken memory comes back to me.
One little thing I remembered is seeing my parents towards the end, sitting arms folded, looking surprisingly unhappy. I realised I never did have that cliché moment of seeing my dad beaming with pride. I hope they were just tired. But can’t help worrying, perhaps they weren’t proud? Had I said something to upset them in my speech? Was my drunken dancing THAT embarrassing?
Shortly before the wedding my mum told me she heard my dad telling his sister on the phone that I’m the meanest person he’s ever met (and have never bought him a drink). I know I can be a little self involved, but mean? All I do is try to get by, trying to be my own person, trying to be “self-sufficient”. But have my efforts to not take gone too far? Have I stopped giving as well?
It can be a bit of a struggle moneywise. I try and be as generous as possible, but can never come close to matching my father’s generosity. Perhaps because of that I never really tried? It’s quite hard to escape the dynamic of parents paying for drinks, and meals. In my case even clothes! I’ve been trying to get my mum to stop buying me clothes for years now. I’d quite like to start buying my own at some point. But her standard of me needing new clothes is remarkably higher than mine. I know my trousers have holes in them, but they’re fine!
Sometimes it’s like she doesn’t even know the environmental damage caused by the fashion industry. Can’t she consider the effect that has on me?
OK, maybe I am a bit selfish. I guess I’ll have to take them out for a meal, just as soon as I’ve paid for this honeymoon… and filled our house with the furniture we need. At the moment it’s looking a lot like Chandler and Joeys after they’ve been robbed.
But mean though… that’ll stick with you. A few years ago I DID make the New Year’s Resolution to be more selfish. I know, I know, I am a ridiculous human. At the time it was about not wanting to waste time doing things I didn’t want to do. Being more assertive and not wasting energy on things I didn’t gain much from seemed like a smart idea. I’d say generally it worked, I’ve been much happier since then. Care less, enjoy more. But is it worth it if it’s doing damage to my family?
Phoebe’s having some concerns about her family too. She’s reacting very badly to finding her real mother, and has taken to pretending a lost cat is her original mother, reincarnated. I hope that’s not what happened to ours when she disappeared a few months ago… I’d hate to think someone’s mother was sitting on the sofa with me now. Nuzzling my shiny head.
Phoebe’s ongoing family troubles are reminding me of my secret half-brother. I still haven’t asked my sister about it, it seemed wrong bringing it up before the wedding. No-one wants hidden family scandals to come to light shortly before the most important day of their life.
Maybe it’s the shaved head, or the honeymoon being over, or it being the start of season four… but I feel like it’s time for a change. I’ve already resolved to stop drinking again, after spending the last two days of our honeymoon with a VERY dodgy tummy.
Maybe I can try being more giving again too? With my time and emotions (if not money…)
What if I’m missing out on friendships as well as family times? One of the main reasons I started this was to take more interest in my Real Live Friends lives. Yet I just realised I haven’t seen Rachel Number 1 and Ross Number 2 since my wedding, and now THEY’RE about to get married. (In stark contrast to the real Rachel and Ross).
I feel there’s a whole build up I’ve missed out on! And, just like the Friends™ with Chandler, I still have no idea what Ross Number 2 even does for a living…
Real Live Sitcom Moment:
Despite my gurgling tummy, we did the whole “unsubtly try and get a honeymoon upgrade” for our flights.
It worked on the way out. If you consider being moved to the seat next to the emergency exit an upgrade. It was nice having the extra leg room, but every time someone looked out the window I imagined them crazily opening the door and dooming us all. For twelve. Freaking. Hours.
We tried our luck again on the way back. Our guide told us several members of our party were hoping for an upgrade, but there were limited spaces available. Not to be outdone by a bunch of grannies, we charged on ahead. Only to realise we’d gone to the wrong gate, and were now at the back of the queue…
Serves us right for being so selfish.