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In particular, I love Janice’s character for her freshness; she’s remarkably uncomplicated; loud, boisterous and unapologetic who stakes claim on whatever god is around quite vehemently. And who would not want a friend with an infectious laughter?
But here’s the thing – whether intentionally or unintentionally, the makers of Friends have revealed a universal truth. If one is ‘good looking’ in the conventional sense, then being weird is cute. We love Phoebe’s quirky weirdness. We love Monica’s OCD. We quite tolerate Rachel’s dumbness. But let’s say you are not the conventional beauty; then people can point at you and laugh at your weirdness.
I think one should be lucky to have a Janice in their lives. Janice-like characters are more open about their emotions, almost in a child-like way. They are guileless, and are not burdened by outward conditioning of How To Behave and Blend In. They are so free – free from ‘people are watching’ syndrome.
Next time you cringe when an unconventional friend meets you on the road – probe a bit deeper into your hypocrisy. Do you cringe because he/she is genuinely embarrassing – you know...like referring to unmentionable body parts as a matter of conversation – or do you cringe because the person is just different from the mould?
© Sumana Khan – 2015