Finding joy in the everyday can be so hard when surrounded by clutter. But living the past 16 years alone as the solitary Snapple left in the Friends fridge has allowed me to cherish what I have, even if it’s only the royalties from TBS reruns. I could have been a commercial sellout when I came to the big city with a just bottle crate and a dream. By the time ’94 hit, Wendy the Snapple Lady was making my comrades millions, but I took a chance on a little known show.
Now, I’m making my own passion, stripping away all the material glitz and glamour. Some people say I’ve been forgotten. I say I’m spreading love from a distance.
Minimalism doesn’t have to mean cold, even if you live in an ice box.
When I tell people my walls are bare, only illuminated by an appliance lightbulb, they assume my house is impersonal. Kim and Kanye thought the same thing until I convinced them to fill their $60 million mansion with zero decor. But your house’s personality comes from you, not things. Chandler did that with jokes, Phoebe with songs, and I do it with wisdom. Real Fact #1415: I chose this life. Could I BE any happier?
Acknowledge that you can’t have everything, even if Rachel and Monica constantly made it seem like you could.
I get it—watching those girls rise to their dream jobs while galavanting in a spacious, rent-controlled apartment sets the bar pretty high. And for a time, I did think I had it all. I mean a juice with corporate success and homegrown feel? You don’t find that every day. But when you think like that, you’re always looking for the next best thing and forgetting to be thankful for what you already have. I’m lucky enough to have both kiwi and strawberry flavor. I’ve seen friends pop their lid wishing they had just one.
Always keep things of the same size in the same place, which explains why all the Friends looked alike.
For my Snapple pals, our 16 oz. size made this pretty simple, even when we went crazy putting a diet peach next to a lemonade. It wasn't until I saw Charlie, Chandler’s dad, and flashbacks of fat Monica I even realized people could come in different sizes, shapes, and flavors. Then, after watching 6 skinny white people cram into Monica’s place, despite having 3 other apartments to pick from, I realized the benefits of organizing by category rather than location. But while the friends were the inspiration behind my methods, they should only be applied objects, never people. Kendall Jenner and my buddies over at Pepsi learned that the hard way.
Learn what sparks your joy by developing a state of total awareness: Unagi.
To do this, note what you love to talk about. For Ross, it was dinosaurs. Joey, food. Rachel, herself. For me, it’s the sweet caress of a supporting actor sweeping me off my shelf, trying to look busy while another friend delivers a monologue. It’s been so long since I’ve felt a warm hand on my icy ridges. The soft exhale on my neck as I approach their mouth. When they sip me, we become one. You can’t have a wet dream when you’re already liquid. That’s my joy. For most people, it’s puppies.
Deal with sentimental items last. And after all these years of solitude, everyone must think I’m pretty damn sentimental.
You always said, “I’ll be there for you” but where are you now? Yeah, I know, we were on a break. But it’s been 16 years and I thought you’d be back by now. Lucky for me, sensitivity to joy is honed through tidying, and I’m verrrryyyyy sensitive. How you doin’, Joey? I shiver thinking about pouring through your floodgates when a PA forgot your water or you needed a second to remember your line. Hell, I’ll even take Ross. Dust me off like the dirty fossil I am.
I know how scary tidying can be. When you start, things seem more cluttered than before. Who knows how long I’ll be in this fridge but there will always be an end to tidying. Just remember to thank every item you let go.
So, thank you, Friends. You inspired me to spark joy in others, even though I loyally served you for a decade and you treat me like I’m invisible… oh god, I’m Gunther!