The 20 – some things I know are obsessed with the show “Friends.”
The catchy theme song alone will speak to that age group, and since fashion has been stuck in the skinny jeans/pin – straight hair rut for-ev-er, they can see themselves up on screen – – but with one major difference.
I happened to catch the episode recently where Rachel gives birth and the Friends get to come see little Emma Geller – Green for the first time. There is a reverent moment as they stand around the hospital bed and watch Rachel hold her… then they begin carefully passing Emma around. (Joey, of course, breaks the gravity of the moment by saying, “But, she looks so REAL!”)
And then it hit me. The Friends were having a moment, and no one had a camera or a cell phone. They said, “Me, next!” to hold the baby, not to snap a selfie with her so they could post it immediately. They were PRESENT. You could feel their very strong bond as a group. And wouldn’t those selfies be all about them and their reaction to Emma, instead of the joy of Emma herself?
And that’s why “Friends” wouldn’t get made today – – unless they did it as a retro show. I submitted a Family script to a producer who complained that there wasn’t enough technology in it.”But the character is TWELVE,” I said. “I did that on purpose.”
What does this have to do with Maui? When I moved here in 1999, I didn’t have a cell phone (just like the Friends.) I had to pay per call to talk to my mother. Today if she were still alive, we could Facetime each other in our kitchens.
And that is what makes a move to Maui easier these days – – you don’t have to lose touch with friends and family back home.
But, what about touch?
My friend Becky in California’s 98-year-old mother just fell and broke her hip in Minnesota. Do we really think mom is going to be happy with a FaceTime chat from her hospital bed? Of course not. Becky is making a plane reservation as we speak.
Maybe the 20 – somethings are so enamored with “Friends” for a subconscious reason: the very lack of technology. The Friends go hang out in each other’s apartments. They go to Central Perk and actually talk to each other, instead of staring at their screens.
The theme song says, “I’ll be there for you…” It meant in person.
Has that gotten lost in translation?
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