Sleeves of Secrets

I am a lover of all things Friends. I own a Friends soup mug, a special commemorative Friends book, and even a Friends board game, which I unfortunately have never been able to play, because I don’t know enough people (who know enough about the show) to survive a round with me.

In previous posts, I’ve analyzed which Friend works the most, I’ve made a word cloud of Phoebe’s music, and I’ve even done the impossible by sticking up for the pedantic critter that is Ross.

When I’m 108, I may no longer remember my name or what year it is – but I’ll probably still be able to rattle off a Chandler quote or two.

Dear God, this parachute is a knapsack! *Paws frantically at back.*

During one of my many Friends marathons, I started to notice something peculiar about the show, particularly in regards to the styles of clothes that the characters wear. In the wonderful, coffee-filled world of Friends-land, seasons and/or weather don’t appear to exist.

Take this scene from the final episode, for example. (I know, it hurts me, too.) Ross and Chandler are both wearing warm pullovers, and Monica and Phoebe are similarly dressed in jackets and high boots. Given these clothing items, one might assume that the weather outside is somewhat chilly.

But then these two jokers are dressed like it’s December in Texas. In other words, as though it’s 90 degrees outside.

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I was going to show you more examples of the weather inappropriateness, but I stumbled upon another weird observation, and then my focus for this post shifted a little.

Observation #2: Ross wears a lot of long-sleeved shirts.

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Like, a lot.

And just like that, the subject  of this post moved from the friends’ inability to dress for the seasons, to the curious monotony that is Ross’ wardrobe.

Sure, many of his clothes are simply appropriate for his line of work – after all, blazers and button-downs are a respectable look for a professor. But not all of his long-sleeved outfits can be considered…er…formal.

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Now, I’m not trying to say that Ross NEVER wears short-sleeved shirts, because he does every now and then. But trust me when I say that his warmer stuff is seen much, much more often. If you have the show on Netflix or DVD, go back and watch five episodes of any season. I guarantee you he’s wearing long sleeves in 4 ½ of them.

The question is, WHY? Obviously, long sleeves are to be expected in the cooler months of the year. But Ross seems to wear them year-round, even when others are sporting more summery things.

What are you hiding, Ross Geller?

After some brainstorming, I’ve come up with a few theories to answer that question:

Theory 1: Ross is unusually sensitive to the cold
Perhaps our favorite paleontologist simply has poor blood circulation and is more susceptible to getting chilled. He needs the sleeves and layers to keep him all cozy and warm, like a baby bear. Granted, circulatory issues are seen more often in elderly folk than in young people, but maybe that explains why Ross and his high school librarian got along so well back in the day. Wink.

Further evidence for this theory: Ross’ reasoning for hating ice cream.

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Theory 2: Ross is hiding some kind of skin abnormality
Something evil may be lurking under those sleeves. Maybe it’s eczema. Maybe it’s warts or boils. Maybe Ross is part reptile, and is shedding. Whatever it is, it probably embarrasses him, which is why he self-consciously hides under the pullovers.  It’s okay, Ross. Let us see your disgustingness. We want to see it.

Further evidence for this theory: Ross has a documented history of weird skin things.

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“Just as I suspected – it’s a kundis.”

Theory 3: Ross takes his skin care routine very seriously
It’s possible that Ross is simply concerned about the health of his skin, and has chosen to protect his pasty white arms from the harsh rays of the sun. Of course, I’m not sure how much direct sunlight New Yorkers even get in the first place, but perhaps he wants to be extra cautious.

Further evidence for this theory: Ross has been known to use moisturizer on his face, and chooses spray tans over tanning booths.

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Theory 4: Ross is hiding a regrettable tattoo
I know what you’re thinking – Ross doesn’t seem like the type of guy to get a tattoo, and there is that one episode where he slightly judges Phoebe and Rachel for getting them. The tattoo theory is probably the least likely of the four, BUT let’s not forget that Ross makes terrible decisions while drunk. He once let Rachel draw all over his face in marker, so it’s not a stretch to think that he might get himself more permanently inked – if he’d had enough to drink.

If Ross did get a tattoo, these would be the designs he’d most likely consider:

  1. A realistic-looking velociraptor, perhaps accompanied by the caption, “Dinos rule!”
  2. Two little lobsters holding claws
  3. “We were on a break” written in cursive script

Unfortunately, we may never know why Ross chooses to cover up his arms so often. If the writers and actors ever decide to do a reunion (which I sort of hope they don’t), perhaps they’ll address this important and confusing question for all of us.

We Need to Talk About Ross

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about my love for the 90s television show Friends. Did I say television show? I meant real-life documentary, because the characters are obviously actual people, and I’m part of their clan.

You can put down your phone. There’s no need to call the psychiatrist.

In previous posts, I’ve analyzed the themes of Phoebe Buffay’s music, and also investigated which Friends character worked the most. But now it’s been more than two months since I’ve blogged about the show, and I think that’s more than what is socially acceptable.

I can feel all the unsaid words and unrepeated quotes building up inside and threatening to bubble out of me.

It’s time. And I think the topic should be about Ross.

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For some reason, Ross (played David Schwimmer) is hated on so much. I understand if he’s not your favorite – he can be pretty childish. And pedantic. And close-minded.

And there’s also that pesky jealousy issue of his.

But there’s no call for loathing the guy. Sure, he’s got his flaws, but who among us doesn’t? He’s only human.

Well, sort of.

 7 Reasons you should see Ross as the complex creature that he is:

 7. As a child, he embraced gender ambiguity. So ahead of his time.

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6. He’s never afraid to be himself.

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5. He has pretty good comebacks.

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4. He was willing to put on a bulky costume and look like a damn fool in order to teach his son about Hanukkah.

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Because, like Jews, armadillos also wandered in the desert

3. His flirting game is on point.

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2. He expresses his excitement for life.

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  1. He wants to be a good host, even when he’s upset – er, I mean fine. He’s FINE.

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In truth, Ross is lovely. If he were a real person, I would definitely be friends with him. I mean, I probably couldn’t spend too much time with him, because he’d drive me up the wall, and I’d start to contemplate poisoning him with his own hair gel, BUT I could definitely see us hanging out once in awhile.

Especially if he’s making fajitas.

Fellow Friends fans, what do you think about Ross? Do you find the guy likeable and funny, or is he a character you just can’t stand to watch?