Jul 9, 2009

"Friends" never goes out of fashion... but does 'Ross & Rachel'?



I love re-runs of 'friends'. They make me chuckle ;) The in-jokes and long standing '20 something and still dating' storylines... everybody can relate to a character and situation they've been in. That's why we like it so much, and why it will never go out of fashion, however dated the wardrobe & set.

Still i seem to be the only one a little frustrated by the tidy last episode when Ross & Rachel finally get together. Really? After 10 years? After Ross went a little odd and Rachel had a baby? I don't buy it. The whole 'meant to be together' thing is just so 90s. Or maybe its just to Hollywood. Movies and dramas have been selling us 'The One', 'guy gets girl' or 'soul mates & true love' script for so long, that we rose tint our way through life expecting it as reality... actually no, correction.... we desire a happy ever after but expect reality to be different. More disappointing. And true to form, we always get what we expect.

In my view the last few generations are confused. We are not the romantics of the early 20th century, who have set family values, classic marriages and courting rituals, nor have we adapted to the realism of the future. Our ideals still cling to the past, to what society used to deem as acceptable.... and yet our lifestyle suggest something very different. How can a woman in her 20s in this day and age live as she desires and yet still fit with historic ideals of what 'should' make her happy?

In the 90s, dramas like 'friends' clearly emphasized this confusion. Thousands of weak heroines like 'Bridget Jones' were our role models. Stupid 'rom-coms' where people mess up in love taught us to accept misunderstanding in each other (men & woman) and see drama or a challenge in love as normal - no guy ever gets the girl straight away, no girl ever has it all without it being by chance and the end-goal is always to be 'lucky in love'.

What happened to strong, independant leading ladies like Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day & Marilyn Monroe? Role models that gave men a run for their money? What happened to guys like James Dean, Cary Grant & Bogart? Men who knew what they wanted (usually the ladies) and charmed their way into getting it? The golden era may have had old-fashioned ideals, but it also had strong personalities to go with it. Now? it seems society is reluctant to let go of these ideals and what is right and wrong behaviour for people in love and relationships. We judge to make ourselves and our situations seem better by comparison and in this messed up world of adult angst, there is not one celebrity out there that i would want to emulate.

Ross & Rachel may have been the 'couple' we all understood and wanted to be in. But seriously... look at the cracks that splintered their relationship time and time again. Where is the 'gone with the wind' moment when he just kisses her and says 'frankly my dear i don't give a dam' and walks off and leaving her hanging because she took him very much for granted? It didn't happen. Ross was weak and too indirect with his intentions. He was sloppy and hesitated way too much in moments when he needed to just act. He had poor boundary function and then pushed her away with his inability to communicate them. And Rachel.... was callous and lacked empathy & understanding. She kept score and nagged. She flirted with other guys to get attention. And generally drove him away with her ego's inability to just 'let it go'. Its no wonder a ton of my friends (men and women) are constantly confused, out of love, and always in the 'friends zone'.... we grew up in our teen years watching 'friends' who were most of the time just that and nothing much else.

And why should Ross & Rachel just settle for each other after all this time? There is more to life, and always someone new, than going back to something that 'just didn't work in the first place'. We all need to let go of past failures and enjoy 'fresh blood' so to speak. I can't tolerate 'love' for love's sake.... it doesn't exist. Like anything 'love' is an addiction to good emotions and feel-good chemicals. And no one is a slave to addiction. We all have the power to face the fear of being on our own and not accept 'second-hand' romances. I know Audrey wouldn't have.... and that's good enough for me.

10 comments:

Carl

Dont u feel an emptiness if u don love for love's sake?
Dont u believe there's a higher power in love?
What much do we have left if we cant believe its possible to love unconditionally..
U spoke of addiction. Dont u think ther's a reson for it? That we may hav adapted to it cause it's good for us?
Hope my questions dont sound rude, i'm just curious..

the.lifestyle.artist

I never said i didn't love. Loving uncoditionally is important but that is a different from personal love between two people. I believe in choice. I believe that your perception of reality (including your perception of love) is the key to happiness. You will never feel empty if you don't choose to feel that. And a higher power is inside you not in an external source. Even religions like christianity and buddhism talk about god being everywhere and in everything.

I'm spiritual but i'm also a scientist. I believe myself in the power to go out and get that happy ending if you so desire it, but for me that happy ending is not a plaster over the cracks of something that lacked strength. Its something that is long lasting and always true. And it has honesty and respect. Accepting a love for the sake of it is like eating at macdonalds because you can't be bothered to walk a few more minutes in search of that perfect restaurant you know is around here somewhere, or you're afraid you'll go hungry.

As for addiction, sure that's a by-product of evolution telling us that being 'in love' is better in terms of survival. But survival is when you are in the lower stages of your Maslow's pyramid of needs. We have evolved to have choice. And choice is the ultimate freedom & happiness for the soul... being able to choose love not settle for it.

and no your questions arent rude. It may sound like my article is bitter or not believing in love. But I'm neither ;)

and your questions make my blog interesting and makes me think!

the.lifestyle.artist

Also Carl have you ever considered that "empty" people are the ones that need personal love... ;)

Carl

Thanks for your reply:)
And i never thought your article is bitter or not believing in love. It's just that i saw you percieved it little differently and i was curious to know more..

You said "happy ending is not a plaster over the cracks of something that lacked strength". But isnt that an important part of love that you dont give up so easily. That you help eachother grow in love?
And ya i share your views about honesty and respect. That is very important.

I'm curious to know.. You believe there's someone made perfectly for you out there? Or do you beleve there's a lot of work you'll have to do on your relationship?
And btw isnt life just too short?

Ya that's right, empty people are the ones who need personal love. But if you dont have someone you find you can love dont you feel just the same? Ofcourse these things would depend on what's important to each person. On their perception and personality.

the.lifestyle.artist

How i percieve love has taken me a lifetime to manifest, but i'll try and explain as concise as i can ;)

But isnt that an important part of love that you dont give up so easily. That you help eachother grow in love?

Its not about giving up on love. Its about having a choice and manifesting the love life you deserve. Love and life was not meant to be a struggle.

You believe there's someone made perfectly for you out there? Or do you beleve there's a lot of work you'll have to do on your relationship?
And btw isnt life just too short?

I belive both and none at the same time. The perfect person is out there because i know what i want and there is always someone to fill every desire. There is effort in understanding others but work is not involved. And life is a long as you decide it is. A day can take lifetime but a year can pass in the blink of an eye. Time passing is our perception of this reality.

empty people are the ones who need personal love. But if you dont have someone you find you can love dont you feel just the same?
No. i believe that if you are not an empty person then you will always find love anywhere and everywhere. that is the gift of loving yourself first.

;)

Chef Green

Le Sigh...I'm so with you, woman. Where have all the Cary Grants and Audreys gone? I'm in love with someone like that before he even opens his mouth, as a rule. And I try to be the boy Greta Garbo..lol

Kelvin Oliver

Very interesting and well thought out post. I never really got into watching "Friends" but yet everyone knows me name. These days and time are not like the way they were in the past. Everything is changing and the living standards are all out of whack. I feel the vibe of this being written in a semi historical perspective dealing with the modern world of being romantic and what may be acceptable lifestyle and way of living.

OceanDreams

I like what you said in a response to Carl that love is about loving yourself first...I agree that we should not settle, but we also shouldn't hold out for a "perfect" person because that person does not exist. Instead we should hold out for a person who is there for us, builds us up, and makes us a better person than who we are right now. I think that love comes in many forms, but there is a love that lasts and there is a love that is true. Once you find it, you definitely should not let it go.

the.lifestyle.artist

OD - ur comment inspired my next post. I cheekily took some time out of working tonight to write it! ;)

J - yep the best idols are all gone :( but we can still worship what they stood for...

Kelvin - i just kinda started writing this post after watching a re-run of the lobster episode. Sometimes i don't realise where i'm going with something until it is blogged ;) thx for the feedback!

OceanDreams

So glad I inspired you some! You inspire me too! :)

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