The show covered their lives and how at the end of the day this group of friends who were so different were always there for each other - it was funny and heartwarming. It made most people grateful for the friends they had. As for who my favourite was, it was always Phoebe. I liked Phoebe and Joey when the show centred around their kooky friendship and I also loved Chandler for a small amount of time as he made me laugh. I never thought Ross and Rachel were appealing because they were dull and boring. As a teenager who wanted the world and more, I just didn't get the appeal of dinosaurs, staying at home, cleaning and being 'boring'. My group of friends were kinda similar to the Friends cast. There was the popular girl, the geeky sidekick, the clever clogs, the shy girl and the wildly unpredictable and zany one.
In your group of friends which one would you have been? Did you find your place within the group changed over the years?
I played a lot of varied roles in my changing friend groups mostly not through choice. I say played because looking back it certainly felt like I was acting rather than just being 'me' - to those who really knew me I played the funny friend, funny but unobtrusive. In my teenage years I played the quirky but shy girl and this position didn't change mostly because I don't feel I allowed many of my school friends to see my funny personality for fear of being mocked (oxymoron I know), as an adult I became the weird one - the girl that didn't drink or didn't like to 'hit it hard and get mortal' and I became the 'know-it-all or the one you went to for answers'.
At first I tried to fight back from these labels. I had the same sort of emotions towards being placed into these roles as I had felt for Monica and Ross's roles on the TV show. No-one wanted to be the boring one. I later realised this was why I just didn't connect with Monica, Rachel and Ross in Friends, it wasn't because they were bad characters it was more about my worry about being considered as being boring.
These days I actually really identify with Monica, Rachel and Ross, I am boring; if boring means not getting drunk, not partying, not going to amazing parties, festivals and concerts - if this is what boring means then yes-I-am-boring. I hated being considered as being a nerd and I know realise that comes from teasing in primary school, it affected me so badly that I actually deliberately made sure I got things wrong or kept saying I didn't know answers - I kind of sacrificed my future opportunities at the expense of name calling.
I've since found out that Hungarians are known for being sponge-like, intelligent and having a huge thirst for knowledge, my grandad was Hungarian and yes I take after that side more than any other branches of my family tree - growing up without that side of my family in my younger years absolutely made me feel alienated because the rest of my family are considered bright, bubbly and fun. But what they have in terms of fun they lack in having a need for knowledge.
If I could go back in time to speak to my eleven-year-old self I would give her a hefty shake or kick up the backside. I'd explain that it's OK to be the organised, bohemian, quirky, shy, clever and funny girl - that stereotypes aren't true examples of who we are and just to be herself. I'd tell her that anyone who didn't like her true character could be dropped by the wayside as most friends don't stick around, people's lives change, friends come and go but you will always be you and you need to be comfortable with that.
Now as a parent I aim to ensure my sons never feel so out of place like I did in my friend groups growing up, I hope that they never sacrifice themselves just to fit in - we are a quirky family, we embrace our quirky nature and our shy natures and our funny natures and hell's we are boring to others but boring in an absolutely non-boring way. It's my job to make sure my little dudes are good friends, good teenagers and awesome adults.
So if I was to ask you now what character you played in your friend group would you say yours has changed or looking back was your placement in your group actually not what you thought it was at all?
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