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Daze of My Life/Not a Friend of “Friends”

by Kenneth B. Lourie

As the series finale of Friends approaches I say, “Goodbye. Good riddance. See you later. ‘Hasta la vista, baby.’” You won’t be missed in my house, or at least on my television.

But I think my wife, Dina, however, might watch on another television. She has a secret liking for Friends. She thinks the show is funny as do millions of other viewers whose loyalty and Neilson ratings have kept Friends on the air for 10 years, or however long it’s been promoted as “Must See TV.” Also, I think Dina enjoys the show because she attended a Quaker Friends school in Pennsylvania for a few years and as a result has an affection for all things Friends.

I’m sure she’d disagree with my theory, but what else is new? (That’s a rhetorical question if you’re not a regular reader.) Really, about the only thing that Dina and I have in common is our last name and, oh, we’re both right-handed.

Other than that, we have tested the often-talked-about relationship theory - opposites attract - to the max. And I have to tell you that it would be nice if just once, when either one of us suggested something or offered an opinion or expressed a desire, that the other one might respond by saying, “Yeah, I was thinking that exact same thing.”

Right. Wake me up. I must be dreaming because as long as I’ve been awake these past 27 1/2 years, rarely has Dina said what I thought or have I said what she thought. If there was a reality television show about our lives together - I doubt anyone would watch it - it would probably be called, “Marriage: I Wonder How They Made it all These Years.” And the theme song would be “We Just Disagree,” the 1970’s solo single by Dave Mason from Traffic. But I guess the differences are what’s made it interesting.

Believe me, it’s nothing personal, it’s just that we’re hardly two peas in a pod. I don’t even like vegetables. In fact, I’m more meat and potatoes compared to Dina’s preference, seafood and salad. She has a much more sophisticated palate than I do - I’m still working on tasting the difference between Coke and Pepsi. Moreover, she’d rather meet me out somewhere for dinner than be at home eating meat. Other than tolerating an occasional cheese steak or a burger on the grill - my preferences - she would be much happier eating some kind of fresh fish: Chilean sea bass, red snapper, grouper, salmon, to name a few I can even remember. On the contrary, to me, fish is a four-letter word, even tuna. I can barely write the words, let alone eat them, unless I’m made to, somehow.

The only time the “Catch of the Day” would ever end up on my plate would be in a restaurant, and only if the waiter made a mistake. I’d certainly be polite, but when the waiter excused himself and leaned over to serve my dinner “And for you sir, the swordfish,” I’d likely reply, “Ah, no. Do I look like a fish eater? I’m the New York strip. My wife is having the fish.”

“Pardon me, sir.”

“No problem. By the way, can we get more bread?”

“Kenny, do you have to?...”

“Yes, Dina, I do!”

And so it goes. Dina says “foie gras” and I say french fry. I’m into carbs, she’s into a size six. I bet she thinks she’ll have the last laugh, and maybe she will. But, thankfully, it won’t come from watching Friends.

Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.

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