Phoebe Buffay's Life Before 'Friends', In Order

by Mary Grace Garis

When you're having a severe case of the Mondays — as I'm sure most of us are between a hungover haze and mid-Mercury retrograde — it's easy to want to curl up with the comfort of your Friends. Like, not your actual friends, but the fictional characters that have been killing your social life this winter. Personally I would recommend a Phoebe centric-episode. It's no secret that she's my favorite Friends character, easily being the most offbeat and quotable one of the bunch, but, honestly, her anecdotes about her horrible life really give your everyday struggles a kick in the ass.

Maybe Sunday night's Super Bowl ended early when you spilled some Kahlua-and-coffee all over your computer's trackpad and now you're wondering how to manifest $1500 to finance a new laptop. Maybe that's a problem that you're having if you're a frantic human mess whose name starts with "M" and ends with "ary Grace Garis." I don't know your life. No matter what the problem, though, I can guarantee that Phoebe's pre-Friends adventures as a street urchin and thug probably sucked a lot more.

Because I love you, I compiled a chronological account of Phoebe's life that'll give you some perspective about your own first world problems. For example...

Upset because your dad won't help pay off your student loans?

Phoebe's life was already predestined for hardship when her own father abandoned her and Ursula. Luckily, Phoebe's mother (stepmother? It's complicated) remarried. Unluckily, her stepfather very quickly landed in prison.

Still resentful you never had a Furbie growing up?

When Phoebe was little, she had to be creative when it came to playing.

Bitter because you got a Carvel ice cream cake instead of Cold Stone?

Be grateful you had options, unlike Phoebe, who had her stepdad go through machinations to bring home birthday treats.

Jealous that your best friend is vacationing with her boyfriend?

At least your best friend didn't die prematurely from a freak accident, like Phoebe's.

Angry at your mom for making you do the laundry?

Be grateful that unlike Phoebe's mom she isn't dealing drugs and hasn't killed herself from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Frustrated because living in New York in your 20s is super hard?

Phoebe got here when she was 14 years old, and somehow managed to get by despite frightening circumstances. It was also around this time that she mugged Ross on St. Marks Place! ~*Memories*~

Panicked because only seven people responded to your 25th birthday event?

On the bright side you're PRETTY sure that those seven people aren't homicidal.

You're sad because your landlord raised the rent by 15 dollars?

Aren't your grandparents paying for half of it anyway? Phoebe was surviving in far less glamorous dwellings when she was a full decade younger.

Honestly, you're pissy because you didn't expect to live in a railroad style apartment in Greenpoint?

At least it's not a vehicle.

I mean, you're really going to complain that your OkCupid date took you to Applebees?

You still have an apartment, sustenance, and (to my knowledge) are Hepatitis free. Now excuse me as I cry over my defective Mac Book.

Images: NBC, Giphy (11)