It was Saturday night at 8 p.m. My grad school—and forever—friend Shannon texted me. Rachel. Then a link to the news about Matthew Perry, who starred as Chandler Bing on Friends and passed away this weekend at the age of 54. We were both gutted.
Shannon and I actually met thanks to Friends. We were in one of our very first journalism masters degree classes in Boston and going around the room introducing ourselves when we discovered we had a few things in common. She jokingly piped up, “Could I BE any more excited?” (A reference to Chandler Bing’s iconic turn-of-phrase.)
Our mutual adoration for the hit show, which ran from 1994 to 2004, became the anchor of what’s turned into a nearly two-decade friendship. To this day, she jokingly calls me Rachel Green and I call her Shannandeler Bong (a variation on the name Chandler chose to snail mail his TV guide to, as revealed during The One with All the Trivia—a classic).
Our texting continued: We both felt so sad—and in the midst of an already horrific news cycle this month—again quoted Friends: “It’s like there’s rock bottom, 50 feet of crap, then [this].”