Monday, August 20, 2012

How I'm Like: Monica from Friends

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

We're starting a new series of Monday posts, guys! It's been a while since we wrapped up our highlights of Game Shows, and we wanted to go in a completely different direction. The idea is that I'll write about how I'm similar to a different television character every week, plain and simple. This stemmed from people telling me that I'm "just like x" every once in a while, but was cemented in a few recent things that have happened, including my latest viewing of the Friends episode, "The One with the Butt." So, we're starting with how I'm like Monica Gellar (Bing), but you can look forward to such future features as "How I'm Like Leonard Hofstadter" and "How I'm Like DJ Tanner," to give a few more examples. You're encouraged to weigh in on your own similarities with these characters in the comments. Enjoy!
In "The One with the Butt," after Rachel cleaned the apartment, Monica notices that the ottoman has been moved. Phoebe, Ross, and Chandler all know what's in store... Monica moves it back and the others begin talking about how fierce Monica can be about cleanliness and organization. She claims she's just responsible, but the others don't see it as such a cut-and-dried issue. Well, though I am not obsessed with cleaning, things being out-of-order tend to drive me a little crazy! Plus, I can handle having a chair moved until after the guests leave, haha!

Also in the episode, Monica can't imagine why someone wouldn't pay their phone bill immediately. Well, when I first had my own bills when I went to college, I paid them as soon as possible... I don't know if I was paranoid that I'd forget or something, but I still tend to pay most things as soon as they post. It just makes sense to me.

Monica actually realizes that she's a bit out of control about being in control. Well, it might not be the best thing to admit, but I have a tendency to be a bit of a control freak in things. You have no idea how many extra hours I have worked on projects to make sure that things were flowing smoothly. I can handle someone else being in charge, but if they're consistently not performing their duties, I'm going to step in and do them. Sure, this has been challenged, but it's one of those areas where I'm not budging... I think that, once you take responsibility for something, you really should see it through to the end, even if it is more work than you anticipated.

Later in the episode, Monica does try to change, pointing out advice that "the old Monica" would give but she would not, and trying to leave her shoes out overnight when she normally puts them away... then stays up half the night deciding if she should go move them, and trying to guess what the others would think of she did so. I can't remember a time where I verbalized "old Amy would do xyz," but I'm sure that I've thought it, particularly when it comes to anything time-related. I have issues with the non-punctual, especially if no contact has been made in advance to notify others of your absence or tardiness. I time things to the second. Sometimes, when I take notes, I pay attention to which topic was brought up in which minute. In the first three months that my husband and I were dating, he challenged me to go a day without wearing a watch. I did it but struggled. I still struggle. It's the day and age of people using the cellular phones as their primary time source, but I still wear a digital watch most of the time, so that I can see what second it is. I've tried to change this numerous times over the years, and my biggest improvement is that, sometimes, I can go with an analog watch instead. To look at that second point, however, I love that Monica considered moving the shoes to their appropriate place but also getting up early to move them back so nobody would know! That completely sounds like something I would do, only not with shoes. Well, let's confess... I'm pretty sure that I have done something like this before...

Moving to the larger sense of Monica, outside of this one episode, her apartment is generally the gathering place of the gang (if they're not at Central Perk). I've had this going on ever since I was a kid (though that was more because my house had board games and I wouldn't go in somebody else's house if they didn't lock-up their dogs), and it continues to this day... rarely do the people we hang out with ever suggest we go to their place. Another big Monica-ism is her competitive personality... ever since the eighth grade, I have been a "go big or go home" person... even in chemistry class, I'd be willing to "bet it all" in study Jeopardy! for the final round. Theoretically, I owe my husband several million dollars, should he wish to cash-in on all of the bets I have made and lost... because I always go "double or nothing." ;)  Monica can't stand to lose... while I can handle losing, I can't handle if the other team is cheating - like in the episode with Emma's first birthday party when the stuffed dog never crosses the finish line, so technically the race hasn't ended. Though I'm not a chef, I like to cook, so we also have that in common... as well as a habit of having lunch with someone and keeping a secret from someone else (Monica does this at least twice that I can think of!). Oh, and I'm loud. Someone tells me at least once a month that I need to quiet down, LoL.

Looking at other specific instances, there's an episode where Monica makes a lot of Rachel's decisions for her... and I've definitely been the one a couple of friends call when they're not sure what to do! In another episode, she bakes cookies to give as tips around the holidays... which I do for my mail carrier and garbage boy. While she's dating Richard, she's upset that he isn't quirky... and I definitely put my husband through the same because I'm very particular about so many random things! We don't see Monica actively taking photos much in the series (if at all), but she is the one who keeps track of them all... and I have all of the photos I have taken since I was eleven years old. Monica and Chandler return from their honeymoon with a fake number from another couple... well, it wasn't our honeymoon, but my husband and I definitely thought we made friends with another couple and exchanged email addresses, only for them to never respond. Close enough! Oh, and for a chunk of season nine, Monica and Chandler have a long-distance relationship... well, not only did my husband and I spend two and a half years of dating and two years of engagement long distance, we actually didn't even live together until shortly before our first anniversary!

Monica and I differ in many ways, but one way in which I'd love to be like her and I'm not is that she had a crazy dance with Ross planned in case they ever appears on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve... which sounds like a great idea!
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