Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Why I'm Not Disappointed in the How I Met Your Mother Series Finale

*If you haven't watched the HIMYM series finale yet and plan to, then you might not want to read this post. If you don't care to hear the ramblings of my inner mind and personal life, then you might not want to read this post.

I LOVED the way HIMYM ended.  Probably because in real life I married my Ted Mosby and like Aunt Robin, I married a widower. I wasn't in tears during the finale because it was sad; I was in tears because Adam and I have lived some of it. But we'll come back to that...

I have been a loyal viewer the entire 9 years of the show. While I don't think anything will ever replace my love of Friends, it was great to have a sitcom that made me laugh as well as touched my heart in its absence. There was no question I was eager to see how the show would end as well as disappointed I would no longer had new episodes to look forward to.

I've loved the flashbacks, the flash forwards, the crazy stories, the inside jokes... and the relatable stories that left me saying, "hey, that's like my life!"  Some people argue that entertainment is an escape, and if that's you then I say that's ok! For me, that is true some of the time, but the rest of the time I love feeling connected within this human experience and knowing that others have felt the way I've felt at any given time.  I'm convinced this is the reason why music exists in its form.  Why else do we love songs about heartbreak and play them over and over when we also feel heartbroken?

When everyone started posting how much they hated the HIMYM series finale, I knew I better sit down and watch it (because of course it was on the DVR) before someone revealed something.  I watched it early yesterday morning.  Adam even watched with me, and he's never even watched the show.  By the end, I had laughed so hard he was getting tickled at me, and started crying to the extent that by the end he was holding me and telling me he would never let me go.

I get it. You get invested in a show telling a story about the mother, and then you get frustrated that you don't really get to know the mother.  (Though I'd argue that the show was about the story of meeting her and not about her specifically, so the fact that we got to know anything about her all season was a major win in my book.)  And things happen that make you mad. Do I like that Barney and Robin got divorced? Heck, no. Adam and I believe marriage is for life, so when two characters I loved got divorced, yes! I said out loud, "well I don't like that!" (And Adam laughed that I was talking to the tv.)

But it's real life. If everything had just worked out in the end and all the couples lived happily ever after... well, I think that would have contradicted the first however many episodes of the show. Sure, some of the stories along the way were outlandish, but so many of them were things that we can relate to in life... so why should the ending be any different?

And maybe it's because I feel like this show is SO closely paralleled to my life. I can remember sitting alone in my little apartment in Nashville watching the week's episode and thinking how I wanted to find and marry a Ted.  It's interesting, because I knew that Marshall was a great guy, too, but that Ted was the kind of guy I'd eventually settle down with.

And it turned out to be true. There's no way I can really explain it, but as I've watched this last season it occurred to me more and more that Adam is so much like Ted Mosby (right down to being a hopeless romantic)! And as we got glimpses of his marriage with the mother, I realized that our marriage is so much like theirs (right down to get all nerdy and cheesy with one another)!

But it was the finale that really got me.  As I said, I was in tears during the finale because Adam and I have lived pieces of this story.  Sure, the details are different... but at the end of it all, I don't know how many people can relate to losing your spouse, and finding another great love. So maybe that's why I seem the be the only person who didn't hate the episode. (By the way, I classify that as a happy ending. Ted had more than one great love!)

Adam and I met in 2003.  We never really dated, but we know now that we always liked each other. He had a son while he was in college in 2008 who became his first real love.  Then, he fell in love with an amazing girl and married her in 2011.  They got pregnant, they lost the baby (a girl), and then in 2012 he lost her, too. We first reconnected solely as friends, but over time we fell in love.  And we got married in 2013. I became a step-mom.  We have dreams for our future.  And one day we will tell all our children the stories of how Dad met Jessica and about her life, about their baby sister in Heaven, and about how Mom and Dad were friends for 10 years before they fell in love and got married...

Our stories are beautiful and evidence that God has always been weaving our lives in and out of one another's until bringing us together for good.  There's no way to explain what it's like to marry a widower.  There are days when we talk about Jessica a lot, and there are days when we don't but I know she's on his mind.  There are times when I do something like bring home Safe Haven from the Redbox and totally forget how it ends from when I read the book, and we watch it and by the end we're both in tears because we realize what's happening... and I feel terrible that I didn't remember and tell him beforehand and ask if it's ok to watch it. (Yea. That totally happened.)

Is our story exactly the same as this show? Of course not. For starters, I may sort of be Aunt Robin, but I'm not married to my career, divorced or someone who disappears from her friends.  But the similarities are what had me in tears by the end.  Adam even said he thought the episode was really good, and it's pretty much the only one he's ever sat down and watched entirely.

Everyone has a right to their own opinion.  And I get it, really I do... on the surface, I can see why folks are frustrated with this ending.  But I really believe it was perfect.  Life is unpredictable, and it is full of the happy moments and the heartbreaking moments... and I'm so glad to know that there has been something on tv in the midst of all the reality crap that speaks to the human experience and paints a picture of what life is really like, especially as an adult.

I own all the seasons, and season 9 will definitely be on my Amazon wish list.  This show is something I will end up watching over and over, just like I do Friends. I'm so glad that there are writers out there like the ones who wrote these incredible stories over the last 9 years.

No comments: