It’s officially the second half of Real Live Friends, where I’m watching an episode of Friends™ every two weeks and comparing it to my own life.
We’re five years in, arguably past the glory days of Friends™. And now, no longer in my twenties, it’s all downhill from here.
But, how you doin?
We’ve had a lot of laughs, and some more serious moments. I think we all remember the time I got a tattoo cause the Friends™ told me to. The time I got my identity stolen at the same time as Monica, and when I found out I, too, have a secret half brother. What fun.
Things have changed a great deal from five years ago, for the Friends™ and me.
Ross is on marriage number 3, I’m now married. Ross has a child. I have a child (or a little monkey depending on her mood). Ross has a seemingly cushty job but is struggling with a fragile mental state. I have a seemingly cushty job and am strug… you get the picture.
What I’m saying is, despite my best efforts, I’m becoming Ross. No-one told you life was gona be this way indeed.
“The One With the Train Ride”
The major difference between now and Friends™ (other than them living in New York and me being forced to the outskirts of London due to spiralling rental costs) is the world is experiencing the largest health crisis for a century. I don’t remember the theme tune warning us about THAT.
But we’re coping. It’s even amusing, in a way, that, thanks to recent government regulations, I’m now only allowed six friends.
As a new parent, many days it seems like Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel, and Ross ARE my only six friends. I’m the Gunther watching their lives play out. Never allowed to interact with them, no agency of my own, only existing in the background of their narrative.
At least it’s a GOOD story.
Imagine living through a time like this without Netflix™!!
Life goes on though. The children have returned to the school by our house, their playing a pleasant reminder of hope for the future. The world continues outside the four walls of my house. Or the three walls of a sitcom set.
Courtney Cox has got married!
Congratulations Courtney Cox Arquette.
It’s a nice excuse for some fun with the credits, the producers appending “Arquette” to each cast members name. Man, do I LOVE a goofy credit.
Unlike her actor, Monica is NOT getting married, as her and Chandler have cold feet.
Thanks to the pandemic, we know quite a few people who’ve postponed their weddings. But we’re all looking forward to them at the other end of this. Hopefully they’ll be a little bit more flashy than a couple of drinks in a Vegas chapel.
I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff when drunk, including passing out in a plate full of ham salad at a wedding. But I’m not sure it’s possible to get drunk enough to get accidentally Vegas married.
And, yes, I’ve had my share of blackouts, but to not remember that!? Come on. Maybe that’s why Ross is so keen on not becoming Mr Three Divorces. I’d feel a little cheated if I couldn’t remember my wedding night. Especially if it was with Jennifer Aniston…
I can sort of see Ross’s motivation in not wanting to become THAT guy. I think we all live in fear of having some identity forced on us we don’t recognise as our own. Or at least not as the one we wanted. But does he have to be such a prick about it? Thank god nowadays you can get a divorce even if the other person doesn't want it...
You have to wonder how David Schwimmer felt about the way his character is developing. Was he just happy getting laughs? Did he enjoy the acting challenge? Or was he annoyed at the character he played for five years abandoning all reason?
It’s bit like how different things are when you see them through an alcoholic fog, and the moment of clarity.
Am I talking about alcohol too much? Sorry, one thing I’ve learned about parenthood so far is it mainly consists of spending far more time thinking about drinking than actually drinking.
Real Live Sitcom Moment:
Before things get really bad again I managed to snatch some family time in the park.
It was my first weekend with the baby to myself. So naturally, by the second day I was round the grandparents.
We went for a little walk and there was one of those mini trains the kids like. My nephew was eager to go on so quicker than you could say “has this thing been sanitised?” I found myself on a dinky carriage, clinging onto my baby for dear life.
It was the last run of the day, so we set off at an alarming pace, and I’m proud to say the baby loved her first train ride, watching the leaves woosh by, feeling the wind on her face.
The same cannot be said for me, as I spent the entire time gripped by panic.
Without time to think the decision through my brain went into overdrive, like an out of control train in some old timey movie.
“Oh God, I should have asked my wife if this was OK. What if we crash? What if I drop her? What if I jump off the train???”
Fortunately, I didn’t. And I suspect we’re going to have many more rides on that train as she gets older. Just next time, I might want a little more time to prepare myself.