One of my favorite things in the world is to sit on the couch with my mom and watch Friends. I was a kid who loved to stay up late and my mom was not going to let that cut into her Must See TV Thursday, so it became our thing. She figured I wouldn’t understand most of it and I realize watching it now, she was right. That didn’t stop me from advertising the fact that I was the cool second grader who was allowed to watch a show none of my friends were allowed to see or walk confidently into class sporting a haircut I informed everyone was “The Rachael.” Any free time was spend daydreaming about how awesome my life would be if only I was their age.
Which is why recently while my mom and I were settling in to enjoy a Nick at Night episode of Friends, I was shocked when she pointed out that the beginning of the theme song must really resonate with me now. What was she talking about? Yeah, my post college life might not be exactly as I’d imagined, but hey these Friends didn’t have it all figured out either, right? Their lives are messy; their jobs suck and scream things like “we were on a break.” But was I missing something? In the hundreds of episodes I’ve watched, should I have focused less on the life lessons Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey and Ross were experiencing, and more on what the Rembrandts were trying to warn me of every time that catchy song started up?
I started breaking the lyrics down in my head:
1. So no one told you life was going to be this way (clap, clap, clap, clap)
I mean I don’t want to throw blame around, but no one did tell me my life would be this way. Is it really my fault that I imagined my biggest problem in the “real world” would be my inability to get down to Central Perk for my third cup of coffee of the day? It seemed way more reasonable than fighting my dad over who gets the last scoop of Folgers. Though not really taking those lyrics to heart might have been my own fault, I was always way too focused on getting the claps right.
2. You’re jobs a joke
Well, I’ve got you beat on that one because I don’t have a job….
3. You’re broke
There is the forty thousand in student loans, but I have some extra cash from my job at a fun park this summer (and no unfortunately that’s not a joke).
4. Your love life’s DOA
I think the empty white space speaks for itself. I have had a lot of interaction with Tim Riggins the last few months, but even as my heart says he’s building that house in Texas for me, my head reminds me he’s a fictional character. Just to make sure, can someone confirm that boys other than my father still exist?
5. It’s like your always stuck in second gear
I think finding myself back in my twin size bed, in a room I share with my sister, in a town I swore I would never get stuck in feels more like reverse than second gear. Then again I know nothing about cars and I’m not even sure what second gear is.
6. When it hasn’t been your day
Today I realized that over the last few months the closet I’ve come to “living while I’m young” has been listening to One Direction on repeat.
7. Your week
As I said, “Live While We’re Young” has been on constant repeat, so things could be worse.
8. Your month
Which one is it again, I’ve started to lose track of time?
9. Or even your year
I still have time, the years not over yet, I can totally change my life, as long as the world doesn’t end.
So maybe she has a point, but can I really be blamed for thinking my twenties would be like a sitcom? Those six make it look like so much fun. I thought after college everyone moved to New York and hung out with their friends who also happened to live just across the hall. So I guess this is my final farewell to that dream. It’s alright though, I’m pretty confident my ’60s will be exactly like the Golden Girls.
By Chelle Skinner