Friends indeed

Favourite Man (FM) has quite frankly been Grumpy Man (GM) about the much hyped recent ‘Friends’ reunion. You think after a couple of years that you know a person and then you discover that you do not know them at all when they confess to having never watched a single episode of ‘Friends’ and look blankly at you when you start singing a Phoebesque rendition of ‘Smelly Cat’. No-one told me life was going to be this way.

Suddenly there is no, ‘I’ll be there for you,’ and I have to look elsewhere for some Central Perk style conversation. Thankfully the rest of my tribe ‘get it’ and I have been able to while away the last few weeks with some shallow – but enjoyable – ‘Friends’ related chit chat. Conversations have spiralled around:

  • selection of the ‘Friends’ actor who has aged best – followed by a quick Google of their actual age and then…
  • identification of the ‘Friends’ actor(s) who has had ‘work’ done …followed swiftly by some self-hate for noticing/judging/feeling a little sad about this.
  • evaluation of whether we have aged in parallel with the cast/should consider having work done/are really just kidding ourselves and thankful that our fading eyesight can spare our blushes on the ‘work’ front. i.e we can indulge our delusion if we resist a trip to Specsavers.
  • realisation that we may have mistaken canned laughter for the actual live audience who were present during the 10 season run.
  • more Googling to track down Rachel Green’s – sorry Jennifer Anniston’s – favoured shampoo and a discussion about whether it is wrong to still be asking your hairdresser for ‘a Rachel’.
  • identification – proof required – of which one of us can pull off Monica and Ross’s iconic dance routine – sorry, ‘The Routine’. (Turns out that I am not in the running to partner Ed Sheeran in a reprisal opportunity on social media).
  • musings about whether Lisa Kudrow and Lady Gaga could be persuaded to release their ‘Smelly Cat’ duet.
  • evaluation of who could have been chosen as less star struck than James Corden to host the reunion show. #letthecastspeakJamesit’snotallaboutyou.
  • incredulity about why Justin Bieber made a cameo appearance on the reunion show dressed as a giant potato
  • sadness about Matt Perry. It is always hard to see a friend in need and even harder to realise that our ‘Friend’ fan-zone may have contributed to his troubles.
  • whether we can nominate Matt Le Blanc for a belated Bafta just for ‘keeping it real’

Then, in other news I find myself shocked to read in this week’s papers that six is the maximum number of friends that anyone can meaningfully have for any more will dilute your friends into mere acquaintances. Suddenly I have a new debate on my hands and have to leave my ‘Friends’ discussions to research whether this ‘Rule of Six’ edict is Covid-Related.

Now, I need to state that I am not in favour of this rule controlling my fun, even for Monica’s sake. It is bad enough having to break it to guests that they are only on a reserve list for a wedding, christening or other knees up – imagine how hurt they will feel to discover that they have not made the cut to be one of your chosen six ‘best’ buddies if we are forced to gather in groups of half a dozen at any one time. I love ‘Friends’ (I think we have established this) but I am not ready to live my life by remodelling the numbers in their cast.

I literally would not have made it through my midlife rollercoaster – the days, the months and even the years – without my band of brothers. I will not name them, or count them, but I know who they are both when the sun is shining and when the, ‘rain starts to pour’. I do know that I am blessed to have more than six very good friends and I do not want a culling party. If I am allowed a shindig in the near future – or if Sky is interested in our reunion appearance – I will want all of my friends there and we will require a gigantic sofa. I will also request Matt Le Blanc as host (see below).

So that you can follow my reasoning, for the record, I list below just some of the best things about my friends:

  • none of them has had, or needs, ‘work’ done (unless they are flipping good liars or have a genius ‘tweaker’).
  • there is no requirement for canned laughter when we get together – and no one mentions that I laugh like Janice.
  • they have seen me through some very un-Rachel like hair cuts over the years and always tell me I look fab.
  • they do not care if I can – or can not – dance or sing. (for the record, I can not).
  • all of them have watched/still watch ‘Friends’ (take note Grumpy Man) and have passed this joy on to their children, even if we have had to acknowledge, that not all episodes would now pass the test of political correctness.
  • none of them mention that I run like Phoebe
  • all of them have managed to ‘keep it real’ across many, many seasons with no hint of royalties needing to be paid.

I pivot (#The One with the Cop c. 1999) to watch the allocated ‘Celebrity Google Box’ pairings as they in turn view the ‘Friends Reunion’; this leads me to consider who I would really want to watch the ‘Friends Reunion’ with if I was allowed company – and the remote control (oh and if Grumpy Man could be persuaded to run in and out with snacks).

It is a no-brainer. Ideally I would want all my tribe with me and we would settle down to watch the ‘Friends’ cast with a beer and some snacks on the aforementioned giant sofa, for if I can count on anyone to convert Grumpy Man back into Favourite Man it will be these friends.

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