Tonight Ellyn and I were watching some "Friends" episodes and it got me thinking about the Friends group. Oh, the Friends group.
When Em and I met, we realized that we both loved the show, so we decided to watch it straight through, every episode, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 seasons. Starting in September 06. We started off watching in her room, but then moved to the Watts lounge (oh, Watts lounge. Wonderful, cozy, comfy-sofa Watts lounge). Sometimes people would drop in (it was by the door, after all)-- maybe chuckle and head back out, or sit with us for a few minutes, or maybe the entire half hour (or hour... or two...) Soon Lisa, Becca, Anna, Shields, and Sam were all staples, sometimes Suich if we could convince him, and anyone else who happened to be around-- Mike, Tory, Louis, Ericka, Cara... it became a nightly ritual, times jumping around depending on the day of the week, the amount of work, but we hardly ever missed a night.
And suddenly it was May-- and we'd finished up to season seven.
Then, somehow, we weren't freshmen anymore-- it was August again-- and most all of us lived on the same hall. And so we started up again.
But the Belk lounge is really by the door, and impossible to ignore. Zach stopped in one night on the way to his room, dropped into a chair, "what's this?" and hardly missed a single episode after that. Mike joined in every night now, rolling his eyes as we clapped (in unison) along to the intro. Gavin came along whenever he was around, Caroline and Sarah (Caro often bearing baked goods), Rieti, Patty...random people who stuck their heads in and exclaimed, "Oh! Friends! What a great episode!"
So many people that we started an email list (with creative :-) subject lines, like "a friend-ly gathering" and a good one of Em's, "what's the only boat that never sinks? FRIENDship!") with the viewing time for every night, since it still jumped around. People would slowly trickle into the lounge, sometimes bringing work with them, Emily and Caroline would bring food... we celebrated birthdays together before an episode, talked, laughed and laughed and teased each other, worked like the crazy overworked Davidson students that we are...one of my favorite parts was watching how much all the guys who had never seen the show before enjoyed it.
Sometimes people would walk past and spot us, a knowing look in their eye-- that group is always watching Friends! It was just a given that we would be around every night, watching an episode or two.
In November, we finished it, and I have missed it ever since. Not the show really, but the wonderful group that formed because of it-- just hanging out with everyone, joking around and catching up after a long busy day, before another busy one tomorrow...taking that time to be together and having it mean something. It seems like forever ago and yesterday at the same time. It'll always be one of my happiest parts of college.
And I was thinking about that tonight.