Rachel—I mean Jennifer Aniston—has tied the knot with
longtime boyfriend Justin Theroux, and Monica—I mean Courteney
Cox—stood up for her as Maid of Honor. If only
Joey could have officiated.
Despite the recent rash of celebrity divorce announcements,
I have high hopes for Jennifer. She took her time, learned from her mistakes,
and perhaps most importantly, she was on "Friends," which taught us everything
we need to know about love and marriage:
1. You have to want the same things. Despite their
age difference, Monica and Richard (Tom Selleck) had incredible chemistry. But Richard didn't want to have children with
her, and Monica was smart enough to move on.
2. Sex is important. Rachel and Joey shared romantic feelings, but kissing him made her giggle uncomfortably. If the
chemistry's not there, it's not meant to be. Monica, on the other hand, admitted that Chandler was the best sex she ever
had, perhaps in part because of the memorable episode in which she taught him
about women's erogenous zones ("Seven! Seven! Seven!")
3. Absurd ultimatums will doom a relationship. Newlyweds Ross and Emily got off to a rocky start when Ross blurted out
Rachel's name at the ceremony. Emily insisted that Ross never speak to Rachel again, but it was too high a price
to pay, and their marriage soon ended.
4. You gotta have each other's back. Phoebe donated
her wedding fund to charity, then changed her mind and asked for a refund.
Despite the extreme awkwardness, fiancé Mike (Paul Rudd) supported her choices
and shared the shame. Princess Consuela
Bananahammock and Crap Bag truly were made for each other.
5. Happy couples still fight. When Monica and
Chandler had their first fight, Chandler assumed that meant they were breaking
up and was relieved to learn they could weather the storm. "Welcome to an adult relationship," said
Their coupling was such a surprise yet made perfect sense, since they'd always been such close friends.
6. If you do split up, try to co-parent graciously. Ross and first wife Carol clearly weren't meant to be, but they kept it cordial
for son Ben. Ross even gave Carol away
when she married Susan. (Their custody
arrangement seemed to work out beautifully for Ross's dating life, with Ben
only appearing about once a season.)
7. It's better to be a runaway bride than trapped
in the wrong marriage. When we first met Rachel, she was escaping cheating
cheeseball Barry-the-dentist on her wedding day. Little did she know that her fateful dash
into Central Perk would lead to the greatest friendships and love of her
8. Marriage should not be entered into lightly. When Ross and Rachel got drunk-hitched in Vegas, he lied to her about annulling
it because he didn't want to be the guy with three failed marriages under his
belt. Eventually, he had to come to terms with his track record: "If you have to
call me a name, I prefer 'Ross, the Divorcer,'" He told the gang. "It's just cooler."
9. Marry your best friend. When Monica and
Chandler woke up in bed together after Ross and Emily's London wedding, I
literally screamed, as did everyone in the studio audience. Their coupling was such a surprise yet made
perfect sense, since they'd always been such close friends. Knowing each other as well as they did,
Monica and Chandler were able to handle wedding stress, in-law drama and
infertility with grace.
10. Lobsters mate for life . No matter what life
threw at Ross and Rachel —from the "we were on a break" debacle an an
unplanned pregnancy—they always found their way back to each other, because
they were each other's crustacean soulmate, at least according to Phoebe. After one bad fight, Rachel saw a prom video that proved how much Ross loved her and she raced into his arms. "See," said Phoebe proudly. "He's her lobster!"