(Disclaimer: Usually, I write these with the knowledge that my Grandma will eventually read them. It’s possible this one isn’t for the weak-at-heart. However, it’s the truth. The precise truth. I love you, Grandma!)
There are two options when discussing the greatest sitcoms of all time: Seinfeld or Friends. Both shows are classics but give me Seinfeld any day of the week. It is probably because I gravitate towards the humor of a Jerry Seinfeld, particularly when dealing with the everyday human occurrences and interactions that are so insignificant yet intricate. Some days, I cannot even exit a Taco Bell drive-through without being perturbed by the smallest of details. “Hi, can I get a potato griller,” to which the employee will respond, “Okay, so beefy nacho griller, anything else?” (Of course, that’s not all I intended to order. Any excursion to Taco Bell requires ordering a smorgasbord.) What? How did that just happen? Now, I have no choice but to come across as an asshole and say, “Uhh, no. Not nacho, but a potato griller.” On the heels of me being a fake asshole, now I’ll get my potato griller, but with the added ingredient of ball sweat. Then, I have to squeeze my way out of the thinnest, narrowest drive-thru exit known to man. My own little episode of Seinfeld over a 30-second interaction. I don’t ever get an “eye-roll moment” when I’m watching Seinfeld. One of my favorite shows is “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” but even that show gives me eye-roll moments when the episode revolves around Frank Reynolds. When it comes to “Friends,” they will have my attention all the way until one character becomes a central focus of the show: Ross. ‘Friends’ becomes “Eye-Roll City” whenever Ross enters the fray. In David Schwimmer’s defense, he plays the character perfectly, but Ross Geller is the biggest pussy in television history.
Since I’ve moved to the South, I find myself discussing the topic of dating a felon quite frequently. You don’t need a Freudian Theory to explain why. It’s pretty simple. A lot of men out here with nothing to do other than meth become felons. I’m not judging anybody by any stretch. My problems with alcohol are at this point well documented, and I could have very easily drunk drove my way into a felony of my own. If not for the grace of God, I would have been a felon myself. I will say that if I had known that I would end up in Tennessee, I probably would have allowed myself to obtain felony status, which would have, in turn, made me exponentially more sexually viable out here. Why might that be? That’s a pretty simple theory, too. There is something so attractive in the element of danger. We have already established that women much prefer the asshole over the nice guy even though they say they don’t. It’s not any different with men either. You can find the men attracted to danger in almost every bar-top conversation. “My girlfriend is fuckin’ crazy, bro! I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do with this crazy bitch!” Most likely, that relationship will end, and then he will be on to the next one repeating the same lines six months from now. To be honest, he may be correct in that his current girlfriend or wife is crazy but allow me to translate: “I love that my current girlfriend or wife is crazy because it’s exciting, and the truth is, if I didn’t have her around, I would just be bored here watching the game.” Danger is attractive, no doubt, but danger by itself is never good. You need security along with it.
I think I can speak for casual Friends viewers like myself in that we remember the main focus of the show being the story of Ross and Rachel. We don’t remember every moment that occurred between the two. In fact, we just automatically assume that Ross and Rachel live happily ever after. It always seemed as though in one episode, Ross would end up heartbroken by something Rachel said or did, and in the next episode, the studio audience would roar with approval over the make-up kiss. It’s your classic “will they or won’t they” or “do they or don’t they” story. The problem I have with the writing of the story is that there is absolutely zero reality behind it whatsoever. In order to get a viewer to suspend their disbelief, you have to write mostly reality so that when you write something unbelievable, it’s believable. There is nothing believable in Ross bagging Rachel. Nothing. The writers do the Ross character an injustice by giving him no element of being dangerous. He is the embodiment of security by itself, which is perhaps worse than danger by itself. At least if you’re only dangerous, you won’t allow yourself to get pushed around. For the record, I don’t mean he is the embodiment of security in that he is not insecure. From what we are shown, Ross acts like the neediest, whiniest, codependent man of all time when it comes to Rachel, and what is more insecure than that? Men who have watched Friends do not root for Ross. We roll our eyes at Ross because we have all been Ross at one point in our lives, and we know that the writers are bullshitting us when Ross achieves any success with Rachel. It’s the same reason we root for Denzel Washington over Ethan Hawke in the movie “Training Day.” At first, we do. Alonzo is danger, but he is only danger. Only being dangerous, meaning without any security, means that eventually it will be revealed that you are a piece of shit. Ethan Hawke wins out in the end because he has the right combination of both danger and security. They wrote that movie correctly, in my opinion, although it must be said that I still root for Alonzo until the bitter end. What can I say? Addicts love danger. Anyway, you know what the reality of the show Friends would be? One of Chandler or Joey gives Rachel the pipe while Ross jerks off in the corner. As a matter of fact, that basically happened! Remember when Rachel brings back that Latino hunk, and Ross doesn’t even lift a finger? Rachel openly discusses with Monica and Phoebe in front of Ross that she has nothing in common with this Paolo guy, but he makes her cum in her pants. Grow a fuckin’ set, Ross! Truth is, he doesn’t have a set; otherwise, he would have done or said something about it. Anybody can whine about how much they love somebody, but that isn’t “the truth.” That’s too much security. Security by itself will have you jerking off in the corner and crying while the woman you love gets piped by your friends. You don’t have to be a felon to be dangerous. It takes a set of balls to say precisely what you think or feel and to do so like a fuckin’ man. Any man knows how dangerous that is, as there is a possibility that you take a huge L in the process. Hey, better that than what the aforementioned security by itself will bring you.
Recently, I was having one of those “dating a felon” conversations with a friend of mine. She’s hot. As fuck. This girl, in particular, was on the side of the felons, most likely because she probably topped off more than a few of them in her day. She had asked me what was wrong with dating a felon, and I replied immediately and nervously, “Nothing!” God, forbid I talk my way out of some pussy that I wasn’t going to get anyway! My inner Ross Geller had been channeled, and I was disgusted with myself when the conversation ended. I was a liar in that moment. Why is it wrong to date a felon? Because felons commit felonies, that’s why! Instead of telling the truth, I Ross’d it up. Not only did I do myself an injustice, but I did the girl I was talking to an injustice as well. Nobody grew as a result of this conversation. As a matter of fact, I did more of an injustice to her by not telling the truth and letting her idea of it being okay to date felons go unchallenged. At least I’m aware that I was being a liar and can rectify that going forward, whereas she gets to continue on with life looking at armed robbers thinking she can change them. I’m not saying that people don’t deserve second chances. Of course, they do. If people didn’t deserve second chances, my alcoholic self would be shit out of luck. Be that as it may, it is still not good to date solely dangerous people just because it’s attractive. Until they show the ability to add security and subtract the danger, it’s a very bad idea.
Jordan Peterson has a quote that says, “if you think tough men are dangerous, wait until you see what weak men are capable of.” This quote resonates, especially when we think about Ross. Throughout Ross’ quest for Rachel, he dates other women once he thinks all is lost but is he really dating them? The only reason he dates other women is out of the hope of getting Rachel back. On the surface, we don’t see Ross as an evil, malevolent man, but how are we to think otherwise, knowing this? He convinces Emily that he is to marry her, even so much as getting her to the alter, but it’s all just a fuckin’ ruse. That is a lie on such a large scale; it’s unthinkable. We don’t actually believe that the ‘name-slip’ was just an accident, do we? Of course, we don’t. Ross Geller is a malicious liar disguised as a loving, caring man. I had mentioned that no man roots for Ross. By this point, no woman should be rooting for him either. People can become vindictive like Ross did when security stands alone. He turned to the means of lying and manipulation because he didn’t have the stones to speak his truth precisely. Like a man. A lot of people got severely hurt along the way because Ross fell into the pits of security. Because he wouldn’t dare do anything dangerous.
Perhaps, I would still be with the woman whom I thought I would marry one day had I spoken the precise truth, like a man. Instead, I did my best to avoid confrontation by not saying how I felt or what I thought. If I had done this, maybe we would’ve fought. Hell, maybe we would’ve had a huge fight. However, looking back now, I would much prefer going through a fight than not telling the truth, continuing on my merry alcoholic way, and leaving people more damaged than they ever had to be. That’s the reality that should have been written in “Friends.” Ross was not an alcoholic or a felon, but he certainly had the tendencies that they have. Manipulative, lying, “poor me mentality,” vindictive, blaming others, all the classics. Let me be clear, Rachel is an absolute bird in every way, but it is of no fault of her own. A lot of men are afraid of attractive women and will constantly lie to them or omit the truth. That isn’t fair to her or yourself. Don’t be like who I once was. Don’t be a fuckin’ Ross.