I’m having some trouble in the bedroom. My wife has started watching reruns of Friends every night on her laptop. She says it’s mindless fun and it distracts her from the COVID news and Trump, and everything awful going on. And I get that.
This Friends marathon has been going on ever since lockdown began and, much as I liked the show back in the day, there’s so much about it that annoys me now—like those electric guitar “stings” at the end of every scene. Still, I’m starting to unconsciously pepper my conversation with 25 year-old catchphrases. (During a recent Zoom call, I actually found myself saying “Can I BE more annoyed with Bill Barr?” It was humiliating.)
I don’t want to deprive my wife of what is clearly a form of mental health self-care, but I don’t think I can last much longer.
—No One Told Me Life Was Gonna Be This Way
Your wife is obviously using old episodes of Friends to remind her of a time when life was simpler and a whole lot less scary. It’s a coping mechanism, and if you truly love her you’ll learn to tolerate it.
Friends always presented a fantasy version of adult life: Huge NYC apartments, ample time to hang out with your peers, and seemingly no need to work for a living. Who wouldn’t find that comforting?
We’re not sure any of those characters would be able to cope with today’s COVID world. (Maybe Monica, who would love all the hand washing. But Phoebe? She’d be a crazy conspiracist for sure.)
Come to think of it, Phoebe and Rachel would be trying to get out of self-isolating with Monica, because of all the activities she keeps planning, and Joey would be hurt that Chandler refuses to be his “face-mask buddy.” Ross would be“on a break” from the museum, stuck in his apartment across the air-shaft, obsessing over finding the best Zoom background to impress his remote learning students. Central Perk would be closed for indoor seating, so Gunther would have to moonlight as an Instacart delivery person. Janice, of course, would be a YouTube star, famous for her vlog “Oh. My. Gawd,” a weekly review of Trump’s tweets.
But enough about your wife. How YOU doin’?
What’s the proper response when you see someone on the street with their nose sticking out of their mask? Do you confront them, or just ignore it?
Dear Schnozz Squad,
Maybe there’s a reason someone is walking around with their honker out. Maybe they find it easier to breathe? We always think it’s best to just live and let live.
Kidding! Fuck these people. Recent studies show that keeping your nose outside your mask basically renders the mask useless, so it’s not a matter of live and let live, it’s live and kill everyone around you.
Also, it looks ridiculous—and not cool-ridiculous, like when Ilana wore a dog sweater on Broad City, but shameful-ridiculous, like when Mitch McConnel shows his face in public.
You know what? We’re going to recommend you go full maskanthrope. Call out anyone and everyone who walks around with their nostrils exposed, or with their mask bunched under their chin, or who—worst of all—has taken their mask off to yell into their phone. (There’s a special place in hell for that).
Editors note: WryTimes does not endorse macing non-mask-wearers. ❏
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Jon Moskowitz is a writer and editor who lives in New York City (and is the last person who should be giving other people advice).