"When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships." - Andy Warhol

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How I lost interest

Sometimes, these things happen. You grow apart or decide that you don’t share the same interests anymore. It’s hard, but it’s part of life.

On our first date, my husband quoted a line from How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM). I didn’t want to risk not knowing the context of future quotes from this cute, sweet guy, so I had no choice but to get caught up on HIMYM.

On the tattered couch in Steve’s bachelor pad apartment, we started with season one and progressed until we were caught up to current episodes. I liked the show, and not just because watching it with Steve gave me the opportunity to sit in the crook of his arm and hear him laugh.

(To temper this lovey-dovey picture of our first year together, though, I will say that watching TV with Steve isn't all rose petals and champagne – he likes to dump artificial cheddar cheese flavor powder all over his microwave popcorn, which he eats out of a giant wood bowl that I'm never sure is clean. And the bright orange popcorn smells as noxious as it sounds. He also occasionally uses his socks as a make-shift napkin when snacking on the couch. Hopefully I don't even need to explain why that isn't romantic).

When I first got to know Barney, Ted, Marshall, Lily, and Robin, I liked them. None of the characters were too ostentatious to be real – although Barney is a well-dressed womanizer, he’s also a good friend. Marshall and Lily are the quintessential cute couple, and Ted is the endearingly vulnerable wants-to-be-married guy. Robin is smart, independent, and the perfect character to generate romantic tension among the close-knit group.

So what went wrong? Why have I grown apart from the gang?

I think I started having my doubts when Ted and Robin hooked up. Then dated. Then broke up. Then hooked up again. And throughout their relationship, viewers were left hanging – is Robin the mother of Ted’s kids?

And then, when the Ted/Robin storyline was exhausted, they replaced Ted with Barney and played out the same boy-meets-girl, boy-and-girl-fall-in-love, boy-and-girl-break-up scenario.

And just when you were losing hope that any of them would ever find a lasting relationship, they rekindled Ted’s love for Robin. And viewers were once again left to wonder – okay, so is Robin the mother of Ted’s kids? I think it was just an episode or two later when viewers were told the answer (again): no.

If HIMYM has me questioning if Robin is the mother of Ted’s kids one more time, I don’t think I’ll have the patience to stick around for the answer. I feel just as frustrated as Ted must feel. When the show started in 2005, Ted was ready for a wife, a house, and a family. Now, in 2012, after numerous failed relationships (and even a broken engagement), Ted is in pretty much the same predicament.

If the name of the show didn’t set the expectation for Ted to meet a partner and procreate, I think I’d be more patient. But when the title and format of the show set you up to hear Ted tell specific story, you get annoyed when he refuses to name names. And you get equally annoyed when he goes off on tangents that provide no clues as to how he met the mother of his kids.

I may still snuggle into the crook of Steve’s arm to watch HIMYM, but I won’t be crushed if he watches an episode without me, either.

All that being said, I won’t leave you hanging. So in response to the title of this post, I’ll say this: I lost interest when the story went on too long (Ted, how did you meet your kids’ mother already?!) and when Robin became the go-to girl for two out of the three men in the close-knit group.


  1. For the record, In the pilot episode Ted goes on the date with Robin and at the end of that one he (as the narrator) is talking to the kids on the couch and says something like "and kids, that's how I met... your Aunt Robin"

    I'll agree that they do go back and forth with the dating, but we know they are not meant to be...

    And PS... that cheese powder stuff is GOOD!

  2. I was afraid to read this one because I'm still catching up on HIMYM - Sal and I are in Season 4 or 5 (he keeps track, I just watch). But I'll disagree with you - I keep watching BECAUSE I know that Ted eventually winds up with the mother of his kids. If it was called Ted's Quest for Love but he never actually settled with anyone, I think I would have lost interest by now.

    As for cheese powder, I cannot weigh in. But we have spicy buffalo powder for our popcorn and it's delish!!

  3. Glad to hear the gang can still count on you and Steve! As for the buffalo powder - it sounds even worse than cheddar powder! But for Steve's sake, text me where you got it, as I'm sure he'd love to try it...(it'd better not smell worse than the cheddar haha!).