There are a few memories from childhood that are etched deeply into some erase-resistant sectors of the brain. Huge parts of such sectors in my brain are occupied by videos of songs by Wham (mainly George Michael), Madonna, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, and so on. The list is so long. I see why there’s no space for much else nowadays.
When I think back, I cannot recall how we laid hands on these videos. What was our source? Did we buy it from music stores? Did we ‘borrow’ it from neighbors? See — there’s no memory about this aspect. Clearly, it is inconsequential compared to the video itself.
My cousins and I used to play and replay and replay these songs off the VHS tapes so often, it is a wonder the tapes didn’t just crumble and fall apart. Those were times when we didn’t own a VCR to play these tapes. We had to hire them for a day. When we did, we had to maximize the time available. So we watched movies in a loop, and when someone went to address urgent calls from nature, we used the time to play these songs. Did we kids take loo breaks at all?
One of the videos we watched most often was ‘Dancing in the Dark’ sung by the iconic Bruce Springsteen. Heck — he is The Boss!! I watched the video again now to jog my memory, and still felt the same tingle I used to feel back then. Guess I haven’t aged at all. Tight jeans, white shirt, and singing about dancing in the dark — little wonder that we watched the video a zillion times.
And that moment when he stops, yells, ‘hey baby’ and hauls a girl from the audience onto the stage to dance with him, how much we have all wished to be that girl! That girl was stunning and so worth being called on stage. She danced so effortlessly with him without missing a beat. How did she do that? Was it premeditated? Had she been informed? Maybe she had practiced. We consoled ourselves with such wicked thoughts while praying that we’d get such a chance too.
Cut to a couple of decades later. YouTube, Prime Video, Netflix, and a plethora of other media channels ensured that everybody on earth watched all seasons of F.R.I.E.N.D.S at least three times. Everyone has one favorite Friends character and everyone has taken the ‘which Friends character are you?’ quiz at least once.
May 2021 was particularly special because the cast of Friends was going to come together on screen again after a huge hiatus. I couldn’t wait to watch and feel warm and fuzzy and laugh some. There is something about watching your favorite onscreen characters displaying the same camaraderie outside of the series they starred in. It makes the series seem more real, more believable.
But the real AHA moment for me was the passing mention by someone about how Courtney Cox was the girl in the audience in Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark video all those years ago. Wait! What? No way! That was our Monica Geller? Oooh, now that I know, she does look like Monica. Omigod! Monica Geller starred in The Boss’s video! Everything is right with the world.
There you have it. That’s what’s common between Bruce and Monica. Yes! Monica! I almost never remember the real names of the Friends cast.
Such a revelation. After all those years, being able to connect two seemingly unconnected dots gave me such pleasure. There is no rational explanation for why this factoid makes me happy. It just does. Go figure!
I can’t be sure I heard that Courtney Cox was the girl in the video on the Reunion show. Heck, I am not sure what I ate for breakfast today. Just trust me when I say I heard about this very recently and I am still very kicked about it.