Out of an episode of the hit television sitcom, Friends, yet again, I find principles of my life emerging, creating beautiful I told you so’s.
Rachel told her dad that she was pregnant in an episode I watched the other day, Season 8. She had been terrified to tell him the truth, because he’d react like a maniac. He did, angry that she was pregnant, angry that she and Ross weren’t planning to get married as a result, all kinds of unjustified angry as far as supportive, loving fathers go. Rachel tried to blame it on Ross, out of fear. Mr. Green tried to reprimand Ross in the most irrational way, potentially sabotaging a current relationship of Ross’s, and thus, Rachel had to—again—set everything straight with Daddy.
She sits in her and Joey’s apartment, reading her Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy and we can hear Mr. Green ranting over the phone, which she holds a good 6 inches from her ear. Phoebe walks in, So? You told him the truth? Rachel says yes. They go to a movie and leave Mr. Green hollering about what’s right and what Rachel should do with her life to an empty Joey’s kitchen.
Comedically, Joey emerges from his bedroom, having just woken up. He rubs his eyes, walks in pajama pants straight to fridge. He hears Mr. Green and starts to look around, to the ceiling, the heavens. We know he can’t figure out where the voice is coming from. [Can you blame me for loving this show?] He finally picks up the phone and Mr. Green is telling him how poorly he has made decisions. I do, too, think of the consequences of my actions! Joey screams into the phone. He and Mr. Green banter and Joey hangs up the phone in an abated fluster.
He reaches into the fridge for a bottle of beer, muttering, I’m not listening to you, man on my phone. He’s hardly phased by the interaction. He, of course, doesn’t think twice about the fact that there was a random man on the telephone telling him how to live his life. But in all of Joey’s casted idiocy, I’m jealous of him. I’m jealous of how he can brush off the commentary and drink his beer in sleepy peace.
I want to be done with all this judging, too. I want to cast off these unending opinions that don’t matter to me. Want to live blamelessly. I don’t care what the man in the phone thinks. I want to hang up on him and be free from the weight of his opinions. I want to set him on the counter, while he wastes his arrogant energy, and go see a movie.