While I understand that Rachel and Ross ending Friends together was the whole point of the show and the ideal payoff for fans, I’m still furious that Rachel abandoned her dream job for an absolute trashbag of a man.
We have pointed out before all of the reasons why Ross is the worst, but in addition to being the epitome of toxic masculinity and trying it on with his cousin, my bugbear with the paleontologist was how he treated Rachel’s career.
Ross seemed to hate Rachel’s success from the get-go, as we saw in the infamous The One Where Ross and Rachel Take A Break. Rachel, a former trust fund baby who lived off her father’s credit cards, had finally started to succeed in her dream fashion job, working up the ranks at Bloomingdales. Her high pressure job meant that she was late to her anniversary dinner. So what did Ross do? Throw his toys out of the pram and show up with a picnic TO HER PLACE OF WORK until the guise of romance.
When Rachel pointed out why this was totally inappropriate, he complained about how he wasn’t her constant priority in every minute of every day – because that’s what a healthy relationship looks like, right?
Fast forward to season 10, and Ross is meddling in Rachel’s career even when they’re not a couple. In an effort to get her to stay in the US and turn down the Paris job, Ross went behind her back to her old boss, and offered him various incentives to get Rachel’s old job back. A job she was not chasing herself. Ross took it upon himself to decide the course of his ex’s career, just because he might miss her.
(No mention of missing their daughter Emma, by the way.)
Ross had 10 seasons to figure out his feelings for Rachel, and finally decided he was ready to commit when she was following her dreams and taking up a top job in the fashion capital of the world. Rachel worked her way up the fashion ladder from untangling hangers, and deserved to take the Paris job. Yet she got off the plane for a man who will most likely end up shrieking ‘we were on a break’ the next time she took a raincheck on a plan. Ross showed on countless occasions that he was threatened by Rachel’s career and was only happy when he was the one getting all the attention – and despite their happy ending on the show, there’s no way these ‘lobsters’ would have lived happily every after in the real world.
In my dream Friends ending, the plane took off with Rachel and extra falangies on board, she became a top figure in Louis Vuitton, split her time between attending fabulous parties and eating pastries, and lived a wonderful life without an insecure man dragging her down.
Meanwhile, Ross carried on throwing hissy fits every time a woman didn’t fit his exact unrealistic expectations, continued to be a terrible dad by pretending Ben doesn’t exist, and lived in a cocoon of his own insecurity and toxic masculinity.
Every female character’s endgame shouldn’t be being pared off in a ‘love conquers all’ scenario. Sure, we all love a love story, but Rachel deserved to have her career alongside her ‘happy ever after’. Grand gestures may seem romantic, but your true lobster won’t hold you back.
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