animals: lobsters

Lobsters vs Mondler

Having recently become addicted to Friends, I expected - like the rest of the world - to be drawn to the Ross and Rachel relationship. When I first heard about the show (I think it was a media studies assignment, go figure) they were the first thing mentioned. Ross and Rachel, the staple of the storyline, the Lobsters, the ‘It’ couple, the great romance of the 90’s.

But when I actually watched the show, what was my reaction? Meh. Maybe because I watched episodes in hindsight (and totally out of order), but I never really fell for Ross and Rachel. They were cute yes, especially in early seasons, but not a soul-searching, obsessive OTP.

The pairing that did captivate me though, was Monica and Chandler.

Monica and Chandler. The ‘background’ couple. The spares. The two neurotic screw ups who the writers only ever intended to be a quick fling. The utterly, utterly adorable romance that lasted until the end of the series and combined the very best features of sweetness, humour and friendship. I love Monica and Chandler. And, now comparing the two main ‘Friends’ couples, I truly believe they represent the better relationship.

First, Monica and Chandler’s relationship improved them as individuals. Monica, the control freak, learnt to compromise and allowed Chandler make decisions. She let him persuade her to have a cheaper wedding, gave up her perfect dress for his dream band, made room for his chair, and even decided to adopt with him instead of getting a sperm donor. At the same time Chandler, the commitment phobic, overcame his childhood insecurities in persevering with a relationship beyond the first fight, admitting he loved her and getting married despite becoming the ‘Bings’. She gave him security, and he made her relax. They were better together than apart. As Chandler himself said “All I know is that you make me happier than I ever thought I could be.” Ultimately they made each other better, more contented people.

Ross and Rachel on the other hand, seemed to do nothing but make each other miserable, especially in later seasons. They fought constantly, got crazily over-possessive and rarely communicated. Their relationship was made of big; romantic gestures not steady reliability and understanding.

Second, Monica and Chandler’s relationship actually developed more than Ross and Rachel’s. They started off as a fling, started dating, hid the truth from everyone, fell in love, went public with their feelings, moved in together, got engaged, got married, couldn’t have children, adopted children and settled in the suburbs. That’s a whole (very satisfying) story. On the other hand, Ross and Rachel, despite spanning the whole series, wasted it getting together and breaking up continuously, (managing to have a baby and divorce on the way). The relationship never actually went anywhere. They pined after each other, but not until the last five minutes of the show did they get it together. (And even then, there are no guarantee’s it will last). Monica and Chandler did more in six series than Ross and Rachel did in ten.

Third, Monica and Chandler seemed more compatibles than Ross and Rachel. When I say compatible I’m talking with what they’ve got in common and what they could do together. Ross and Rachel were such polar opposites it was a tad unrealistic. He was intellectual, into museum, science and movies with subtitles. She was sociable, into fashion and clothes. They found each other’s jobs boring, and shared no hobbies. It seemed the only things that held them together were mutual friends and later a daughter. Monica and Chandler however, you can actually see hanging out, talking about mutually interesting topics and sharing their lives. Not that they loved each other’s jobs, but Monica could talk about cooking with Chandler (what guy doesn’t love food?) and Chandler jokes about all his advertising campaigns with her. (We don’t count his first job, seeing as no one, not even Chandler himself talked about it, so obviously that wasn’t a point of interest, let alone common interest). Plus they do regular things together: crosswords, reading the newspaper, playing foosball, discussing current events. And as their both intelligent, practical people, it’s not a stretch to imagine them enjoying the same movies and books. Their personalities are different, but have enough common interests to keep things stable. Not that a couple has to do everything together, (Chandler has Joey for watching Baywatch, playing dress up and raising chickens) but it helps to have common ground.

I don’t have anything against Ross and Rachel, they’re sweet and I’m glad they got their happy ending. It’s just annoying when people talk like they’re the only couple on Friends. And really in the end, what was the great love story?  The couple that longed for each other but were incapable of spitting it out? Or best friends who overcame their emotional insecurities together…and did not break up once in their entire relationship? 

I know who I’d rather be.

Lobsters vs Mondler

After getting addicted to Friends I expected to fall in love with Ross and Rachel. When first I heard about the show (I think it was a media studies assignment, go figure) they were the first thing mentioned. Ross and Rachel: the Lobsters, the ‘It’ couple, the great romance of the 90’s.

But when I actually watched the show, what was my reaction? Meh. Maybe because I watched episodes in hindsight (and totally out of order), but I never really fell for Ross and Rachel. They were cute yes, especially in early seasons, but not a soul-searching, obsessive OTP.

The pairing thatI did fall in love with though, was Monica and Chandler.

Monica and Chandler. The ‘background’ couple. The spares. The two neurotic screw ups who the writers only ever intended to be a quick fling. The utterly, utterly adorable romance that lasted until the end of the series and combined the very best features of sweetness, humour and friendship. I love Monica and Chandler. And, now comparing the two main ‘Friends’ couples, I truly believe they represent the better relationship.

First, Monica and Chandler’s relationship improved them as individuals. Monica, the control freak, learnt to compromise and allowed Chandler make decisions. She let him persuade her to have a cheaper wedding, gave up her perfect dress for his dream band, made room for his chair, and even decided to adopt with him instead of getting a sperm donor. At the same time Chandler, the commitment phobic, overcame his childhood insecurities in persevering with a relationship beyond the first fight, admitting he loved her and getting married despite becoming the ‘Bings’. She gave him security, and he made her relax. They were better together than apart. As Chandler himself said “All I know is that you make me happier than I ever thought I could be.” Ultimately they made each other better, more contented people.

Ross and Rachel on the other hand, seemed to do nothing but make each other miserable, especially in later seasons. They fought constantly, got crazily over-possessive and rarely communicated. Their relationship was made of big; romantic gestures not steady reliability and understanding.

Second, Monica and Chandler’s relationship actually developed more than Ross and Rachel’s. They started off as a fling, started dating, hid the truth from everyone, fell in love, went public with their feelings, moved in together, got engaged, got married, couldn’t have children, adopted children and settled in the suburbs. That’s a whole (very satisfying) story. On the other hand, Ross and Rachel, despite spanning the whole series, wasted it getting together and breaking up continuously, (managing to have a baby and divorce on the way). The relationship never actually went anywhere. They pined after each other, but not until the last five minutes of the show did they get it together. (And even then, there are no guarantee’s it will last). Monica and Chandler did more in six series than Ross and Rachel did in ten.

Third, Monica and Chandler seemed more compatibles than Ross and Rachel. When I say compatible I’m talking with what they’ve got in common and what they could do together. Ross and Rachel were such polar opposites it was a tad unrealistic. He was intellectual, into museums, science and movies with subtitles. She was sociable, into fashion and clothes. They found each other’s jobs boring, and shared no hobbies. It seemed the only things that held them together were mutual friends and later a daughter. Monica and Chandler however, you can actually see hanging out, talking about mutually interesting topics and sharing their lives. Not that they loved each other’s jobs, but Monica could talk about cooking with Chandler (what guy doesn’t love food?) and Chandler jokes about all his advertising campaigns with her. (We don’t count his first job, seeing as no one, not even Chandler himself talked about it, so obviously that wasn’t a point of interest, let alone common interest). Plus they do regular things together: crosswords, reading the newspaper, playing foosball, discussing current events. And as their both intelligent, practical people, it’s not a stretch to imagine them enjoying the same movies and books. Their personalities are different, but have enough common interests to keep things stable. Not that a couple has to do everything together, (Chandler has Joey for watching Baywatch, playing dress up and raising chickens) but it helps to have common ground.

 

 

I don’t have anything against Ross and Rachel, they’re sweet and I’m glad they got their happy ending. It’s just annoying when people talk like they’re the only couple on Friends. And really in the end, what was the great love story?  The couple that longed for each other but were incapable of spitting it out? Or best friends who overcame their emotional insecurities together…and did not break up once in their entire relationship? 

I know who I’d rather be.