Saturday, July 31, 2010

The real-life sitcom

I've been watching FRIENDS on loop the past months, jumping episodes, shifting seasons, only to find myself back to the series premiere and ready to go through the whole thing again. It's been keeping me sane and I've developed a certain kind of addiction from the habit where I need to hear their voices or else I wouldn't be able to sleep. During the middle of it all, I always continue to wonder the logic behind the series theme song, 'I'll be there for you', and similarly, as the song's happy beat, why the series was so...happy.

If you come to look at it, all six of them should be miserable. Joey is living on a pretense dream, his whole life is made up of a thousand pathetic auditions and nobody has the heart to tell him he's a bad actor. Phobe never went to High School, she went through a very damaging teenage life and will die knowing nothing but touching people's bodies with oil. Chandler will never get out of his suit, and the monotony that comes with it, and also, people don't like him. Monica has a mother that thinks so little of her, and a whole lifetime of proving that she's more than just a fat girl even if it consumed her. Ross have had three divorces before he was 30, and a career that involved talking about a subject that's been dead and extinct and nobody ever cares anymore. Rachel, the girl who knew nothing about life, ironically enough, found herself in the best place among all of them, if the best place is not where you're even friends with your sisters.

My question is, why are they happy? How can you have a job that's a joke, broke, a DOA lovelife, and be happy? How can you feel like it hasn't been your year, and that you've always been on second gear, and be happy? I've enjoyed the show, I did, it's my happy pill, but for a girl who claims she has a personality disorder, the lack of a tragedy just wouldn't suffice. As I said, I need to find a rational explanation to why they have continued to be happy. And then I met my Friends.

Something comes up, like a Booksale, or the premiere of a new movie, or a Chicken-all-you-can promo, and there's not a second of hesitation who to invite. I believe in soulmates, I do, but I also believe that God's destiny person can be anybody - and I'm glad he gave me ten of them. There's a quote from 'Wedding Crashers' which goes, "True love is your soul's recognition of its counterpart on someone else."

And the counterparts are endless. True Love is found on the way we ask somebody for soft copies of a series we both love, or a book the other person have read which the other wants to badly read. True Love is found on the way we borrow each other's ipod, and we're always bound to find at least 10 common favorite songs. True Love is found on our Facebook statuses, where we didn't need to be there to get it. Where our sarcasm goes beyond its function, but nobody is complaining. True Love is found on the way we all don't like to drink, and we all don't like the Party Scene. True Love is found on the way someone keys in a song in Magic sing, and somebody always says, "Hey I was gonna sing that."

There's this storyline in Season 5, when Ross just got his second divorce, was going through a rough, annoying time, and the rest of them shut up about it, supported him when they didn't even like his ex-wife, and they thought he got married too fast. At times, they didn't even like him. I feel like that Ross now. I'm sure that my friends have something to say about my sadness, I'm sure that they all think that some of it borders into foolishness sometimes. But I get that, I would've thought that about myself too. And I know I'm annoying. But somehow, they've managed to go past their opinions - which would've all been valid any other way - and just drag themselves over at my side, shut up, and just as Monica did, cooked me my favorite dinner. Well, not exactly. But there have been lots of good foods, and guilty pleasures like Football (One time, Angelique even let me have a 50-peso Hardbound Candace Bushnell book if only to make me laugh), and even endured my terribly corny jokes. They have all came and pitched in their share of shoulders for me to cry on (even though what we mostly did was laugh, so hysterically, it blows my mind), and never having to ask why.

But they're most likely to be fed up sometimes. But what's really amazing is that, even when they stopped understanding, even when they stopped bothering, they never stopped being there. Someone can rant endlessly that no one would even care to listen anymore, but at the end of the day, when it's all dried out, they're always there, ready to brilliantly mock you and make you laugh again. I guess we also find True Love in that, in the pauses of affection, and moments of disconnection. What we fail to give in the meantime, we give all out in the end. The hatred we feel towards one's annoying quality, or any kind of pain we inflict on each other because we're all so insanely temperamental, or the times we've passed judgments just because we can, and however things seemed bad at the time, is, just the same, a confession of love because at the end of the day, we choose to forgive, we choose to understand, and we choose to overcome the differences, find true love in spite of it, and eventually, find true love because of it.

We've all reached the point where any conflicts that may arise is not considered a criticism of anyone in any way, but instead an acknowledgment that we are different, but yet, we're all the same. We've reached a point where we no longer feel the threat of befriending somebody outside the group, or letting people inside once in a while, or having the group split to sub-groups because it feels more safe that way sometimes. We've reached a level of confidence in our friendship, the kind of level which we're sure to be friends forever - no matter how many times more in the future that someone's bound to hate somebody. I guess, after 4 years, this is kind of it. Whoever we are now, whatever we are now, this is it - this is a product of puberty, hormones, testosterone, insecurity, competition, frustration and flaws that we've managed to overcome to be able to come out as happy, as contented, and as loved as we are now. This is it, whatever The Rembrandts was talking about, this is it. Our season premiere just started rolling.

There's so much more I like to say; like when I'm with them, I never feel inferior, nor superior, or like I never have to explain why I am the way I am nor do I feel the need to shut up when I can't help but do it anyway. Like, how I can just be myself, and belong, even if I'm not from Manila and thus, don't know a thing about the pop trivias the rest of them enjoys discussing. Like how much we all came from different backgrounds, and still ended up living and liking the same life. Like when I visualize my dream apartment in New York, I see Cha, Monica, and Jicky living with me, Nachi, Apol, Sam and Dharel living just across the hall, and Chiara, Candice and Karchelle living just across the street. Like when I visualize my dream coming true, the ones I want standing next to me are the same people who have stood by me when it didn't.

Like, how everytime I watch Friends, I understand why they're happy because I am too, and because they made me.

So much more other things that I need to stay but can't, because I feel like whatever I will write will never come up to par to how truly amazing they are.

But the last thing I'll say is this: when I'm with them, I don't have to ask why I'm happy, I just am.

And that's Friendship. When, as the Rembrandts puts it, even at my worst, I'm at my best with you.
I love you so much, it's retarded, #The Jeep.

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