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  • H.M. Jackson

The Friends Era

Updated: Sep 10, 2023


Arguably, the most iconic, greatest sitcom of all time. Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, unless that opinion opposes to FRIENDS being the best.

Friends, has always been my go to when I don’t know what to watch or when I need a good laugh. No matter the amount of times I’ve seen whichever episode is playing, it never gets old. The show is centered around 6 friends living in the same complex as they try and make their way through early adulthood. Aside from the hilarious storylines and iconic moments, the series provides much more than laughs. It simply teaches the true meaning of friendship, and the definition of consistently being there -through the triumphs, trials and heartbreaks. 

The greatest coincidence, I’ve ended up living a version of my favorite series. My best friend is my roommate. In the neighborhood across from us lives our third best friend with her boyfriend. The adventures have been nothing short of our own real life version. I randomly met the three of them (Diane, Ann, and Brady) at a total dive bar on a random Saturday night and the rest is history. We just clicked, like we had been friends forever. We’ve had our fair share of hilarious experiences as we navigate our way through adulting, just like the series. 

Friends, is known for titling their episodes “The One….” To my luck, my best friend loves the show as much as me, so we refer to many of our stories in the same way. A few of my favorite real life experiences in our Friends Era are: ‘The One Where They Call The Fire Department,’ ‘The One Where They Build a Bed,’ and The One Where the Triplets Get Exposed.’

‘The One Where They Call The Fire Department' is probably the most obnoxious one. It’s almost as obnoxious as the Pivot Scene in the true Friends series and is a favorite memory of mine. It cracks me up when I think of it. So here’s the synopsis of our Fire Department Fiasco: 

I was sitting in the living room finishing up emails for the day. Diane wasn’t home yet, so it was just me. The fire alarms started blaring through the house, scared the hell out of me, and then the smoke detectors began announcing “fire, fire, fire.” Side note, I had no clue smoke detectors were so advanced nowadays. I didn’t know what to do, I’m not really even qualified to be an adult. I looked around and didn't see anything, a few moments passed then they stopped. I figured everything was fine, so I went back to finish up emails. Not too long later, all the alarms are going off again. I didn’t see a fire, smoke, or smell anything burning. I didn’t want to tie up the fire department if there wasn’t even an emergency, so I decided to call the non-emergency fire department and see what to do. Especially since, I’m not sure how to be an adult in emergency situations. The gentleman I spoke with on the non-emergency line was no help. His attitude presented he must hate he ended up being stuck on phone duty. He told me if they go off again, I start to see any smoke, or smell something burning, to get out of the house and dial 911. 

Diane came up the stairs from work shortly after this call, and she has no idea about the commotion I’d been dealing with. The first thing she asked when she made it up the stairs was, “why is it so hazy in here, like smoke?” Confused, I turned around and questioned her. “You don’t see the haze? It’s foggy, you’re sitting in fog.” Apparently, I didn’t notice anything. I jumped up and told her “alright let’s go we have to get outside and call 911.” And that’s exactly what we did. It’s around 530pm on a Tuesday, and of course it happened to be one of the very few days it’s RAINING. To top it off, I think the entire fire department in the town rolled in. Four fire trucks, and the battalion chief truck. The sirens were blaring, lights flashing, the fire trucks were blocking every street in the neighborhood. Here we stood outside in the rain. The firefighters started rolling out all the hoses, connecting them to the hydrants and running up the stairs in our house. At this point, all the neighbors had emerged from their houses to see what was happening - “Yeah, that’s our house, no we don’t know what happened,” answered the majority of questions.

Then the lieutenant came out to speak with us. I remember he looked extremely confused as he approached. He said, and remember, we are surrounded by the neighbors, “ummm we were able to go through most the house, we don’t see anything, it was a little hazy on the third floor, but mostly faded. We do have one issue though, we are trying to get into the attic to check that, and the guys are having some issues because, ummmm, your attic….” Oh shit, I knew where this was headed. “Ummm your attic is, uh bolted shut? So we had to grab some tools.” Let me tell you, Diane was not any help because she immediately burst in laughter. The neighbors slowly looked at us so confused and I immediately became completely embarrassed. A bolted attic? I can’t even imagine what the neighbors or firefighters were thinking of the situation. “Yeah, yes it is.” I responded. “Do you need anything?” The lieutenant, still confused, quietly said “no, I think they got it figured out, but I wanted you to know we need a little longer.” 

Then, the lieutenant had left and came back after a few minutes. Guess what? That entire fiasco of 4 fire trucks, a battalion chief, and pure embarrassment about the attic - was for nothing. They had no clue what happened, but the house had been cleared and deemed safe to enter. We didn’t know for sure what caused the alarms until about a month later when they sounded off again. It was me, but I blame Brady to do this day. He had us order silicone air frier inserts which caused some smoke. Worst suggestion of an order ever.

Now, we’ve never touched the special silicon inserts again, and yes, I still have utter embarrassment from the announcement to the neighbors about our attic being bolted shut. One day I’ll share the background story to that, it’s a whole different experience, referred to as 'The One With The Breadman.'

Aside from the hilarious adventures, special booth at the local brewery similar to the Friends crew having their couch at Central Perk, living five feet away from each other where we really do come and go at times, we are there for each other at any moment. Just like the original Friends group is throughout the show. Honestly, that’s the greatest part of living in our own version of ‘The Friends Era,’ more than the laughs, each of us truly care and view friendship the same way. That is invaluable. 

⎻ H.M. Jackson

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