So, I watched the Friends Reunion last night. And somewhat unexpectedly, I cried through much of it. It was unexpected because I would never have called myself a huge fan of the show. Sure, I enjoyed it very much and we watched it together every week, but considering the extreme levels of devotion experienced by so many, I just felt that maybe my connection to it wasn’t the same. Apparently, I was wrong.
The thing is, on May 19th, Steph and I celebrated our 25th anniversary. Since we gave up buying gifts for each other quite some time ago, I wrote her a letter to express my appreciation of our life together. And, yes, of course, I cried writing it and again proofreading it. Since 2017, I’ve been anti-depressant free and therefore, fully experience all the extremes and cry at the slightest tug on my heart. Anyway, part of that letter was remembering, more than a little fondly, our life together before we were mom and dad. Those were the special years in Morgantown and more importantly, the early years in Stonewood, when it was merely a home base for our countless travels and experiences together. It’s one of those “other lifetimes,” I like to talk about and remember so frequently. Literally, the building of a foundation for a relationship that will certainly last the rest of our lives.
So what does that have to do with Friends? A lot apparently. Friends ran from 1994 to 2004 and followed the young characters through the period of time “when friends were your family” as one of the shows creators commented during the reunion show. As they grew up, so did we. From, more or less, kids to adults, or in the case of Monica and Chandler, parents. For us, 1994 was the year that school ended and professional careers began. We had parties, we took road trips, and we logged a lot of miles at sea forging the cruise ship passion we still have. Then in 2004, my little buddy Colton came on the scene and formally marked the end of that lifetime, and the beginning of this one. I had never put together that Friends so perfectly accompanied us through that era. At least not until last night.
As the actors cried thinking about how incredibly special those ten years were to them, I did the same. And to compound it all, I couldn’t help but be blown away by remembering the night that our timelines, literally, crossed paths. In the fall of 1998, the old Mikey and Steffie, along with one of those friends who was, and will always be, family, attended a taping of Friends in Los Angeles. That I was able to get tickets to that, considering how huge it was by season 5, is unbelievable. We laughed with them and applauded all evening, and, in that respect, that special version of Mikey and Steffie will always be a part of the show, just like the memories of Friends and, especially that lifetime, will always be a part of us.