Truthfully, I wanted to cry when the last How I Met Your Mother aired this week. For the last 9 years I have tuned in faithfully to watch the evolution of 5 great characters as they flowed from youth through their 30’s. The series followed Ted Mosby as he explains to his teenage children the story of how he met their mother. The show’s creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays took the show from what could have been a short lived comedy and through their direction and even writing talents the show blossomed into something more.
In the 208 episodes we fell in love with 5 completely relatable characters and watched as some fell both in and out of love, married, tried to find “The One” and even dealt with death, absent parents, job losses, and growing up. The characters were touching as they all made us feel as if we understood what they were going through. We felt the pangs of loneliness and wonder as lead character Ted Mosby walked us through the story of his life and recounted the story of the lives of his closest friends. HIMYM is a great story about love, romance, and how life sometimes and often does suck. The show addresses the lifetimes of friendships, sometimes they are short and serve a purpose, sometimes they end when you thought they would be forever, and sometimes they are worth all of the effort you put into them in hopes that they will be there for you in the finale.
So now that it is over many of us are sitting here in that limbo place trying to figure out how we actually feel about the wrap up of this show and how now that we look back at the lives of Ted, Lily, Marshal, Robin and Barney how we saw it all coming, much like our own relationships we didn’t want to see the results while we were in the middle of the show but wondered how we didn’t see what everyone else did when it ends. HIMYM isn’t about the Mother really at all. It’s about friendships, growing as a person, not giving up and giving in. While the Mother in the show is an important character, in truth she isn’t the reason we love the show, sadly finally meeting her and falling in love with her actually heralds the end of a much loved story. And while we were all hunting for the girl in the yellow umbrella we should have seen that her coming along meant that things must change for us as viewers as well.
So what did we learn about Love and Romance in HIMYM?
Romance isn’t all about the flash and theatrical dates, it is about remembering the little things like blue French horns and going out of your way to show someone how special they are. Sure staging an elaborate proposal was really awesome and Barney and Robin’s romance was fun. But there was always something missing from what should have been a good match up and that was chemistry.
Chemistry is what makes up the best romances. It’s knowing that the other person is going to get your little inside jokes, forgive you when you are wrong, and when to stage an intervention. Chemistry is being Lilypad and Marshmallow, making breakfast in bed on Sundays even when you are exhausted. Chemistry is looking across the room and seeing that special someone is looking right back at you and feels that same spark that you do running down your spine.
Love means compromises and letting go. There were several times throughout the years of this show that HIMYM gently told the story of letting go of someone you love because it is what is best for them, unselfishly being the better man. Marshall and Lily both had to go separate ways in order to be sure they were doing what was best for themselves, follow their dreams. Even though they found their way back to each other and as their front porch futures promised, they were stronger than ever. Barney and Robin were both troubled with how to make their lives together work several times, and sometimes it just is better to let go and stay friends. And Ted went through several relationships where he tried to figure out how to remain unjaded and uncompromised in his character in spite of losing the women he loved.
HIMYM has been a classic love story from several different angles of relationships and it is going to take some time to adjust to not having these unique characters making us laugh, cry, and sigh happily. Thank you to the clever cast and crew of HIMYM for 9 years of Legendary entertainment… even though you suck for doing what you did.