This Carnival Is Not For You

All the Mistakes in all the world

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How I Met Your Mother Finale (sorry this became so long, holy crap)

So I guess here’s my two cents about what bothered me so much about that ending, and I can see why some people do like that it all leads back to that beginning, where Ted meets Robin. There is a potential version of that poetic ending that I could have been happy with, one that wasn’t rushed and didn’t feel so disingenuous. My problem might not even be that Ted and Robin end up together after so long, when it might make sense for them because they have grown up, when kids and career plans aren’t as much in the way. I like the bookend shot, I like that it’s the story line of Ted’s favorite book, and I even like that for most of the hour, it showed that life can be messy, and you can love more than once. But it did that already.

I don’t think it meant he didn’t love Tracey, but I think so many people are reacting that way because of how the writers tried to cramp Robin and Ted back together in season 9. That alone felt like bad writing rehashing the same issue that I thought we should have moved on from. The characters were in different places, and it wasn’t leading up to that ending they planned in season 2, so they had to write it back in, where it still didn’t feel right. They made it feel like the mother was just a plot device all along to have the kids in the first place. What was the point of Barney and Robin’s season-long wedding build-up? just to have her unavailable at the time of meeting the mother?

But here’s my biggest issue:

The Mother was built up to be the background of this story. It was the point of the roommate, the yellow umbrella, the episodes that focused on why this story is taking so long: because every moment of your life adds up to something else. All the misguided love, the true loves that just didn’t work out, the jobs you have and the ones you missed, how your life is connected with your friends’. I sometimes thought the show’s take on “the one” idea was cheesy, and too much like fate, but I always enjoyed a show built on that concept. I turned left here instead of right, and that led me to the life I have now. 

And then in that last 2 minutes is a blatant dismissal of what the story was about, what the audience thought it was about. The daughter says, with such irreverence, that it’s bullshit. I don’t buy it, dad, this wasn’t about mom at all, it’s that you love Aunt Robin. The daughter says this, to Ted, to the audience, and that’s what the writers tell us to take away from it. 

Barney reverts back to an infantile version of himself, and then gets fixed by a child. A child Robin could never have given him, whose mother, guess what, is entirely irrelevant. He calls her “31” for christ’s sake, she doesn’t let him in the delivery room. This mother doesn’t matter either. What about Lily’s career, the conflict and ambition from her wanting to pursue the art life she always wanted. What happened in Rome? Why do we only see their future being Lily having another child and crying about the state of their friendships instead of being Lily and rounding them up, while Marshall sits on the sideline. He gets to be a judge, but he seemed transparent to me in all this. Robin gets the career she wanted, but now is sad she doesn’t have Ted after all, and disappears from her friends like her best friend did to her. 

I liked how they showed us Tracey and Ted together at least a little. They had good chemistry, I really liked her. I even suspected she might be dead during the story telling. And their meeting was perfect. But then the last exchange with the kids who say, that’s nice, but she’s gone, and this wasn’t about her. This wasn’t about how your life then led to your life now, and all the comedic antics and messy depressions along the way. The Mother had a little screen time and I wished she was present more. But she was present every other way when it mattered, I thought. And then the ending said that’s not the point to this story, because even when this story led to Mom, you were in love with Robin the whole time. The same thing could have even happened, maybe, with a more graceful handling. But it wasn’t. In some ways it was realistic and in some ways it wasn’t, and yes you can love more than once. But that doesn’t excuse bad writing. 

Filed under how I met your mother finale

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If you have suffered a tragedy and someone says, “you’re in my prayers” with sincerity, and you respond with some egotistical shit about being atheist you are an emotionally inept moron.

For real though, like think about it. If someone is religious, there’s really no kinder sentiment they can express than appealing to the highest power they know for your recovery. Whether or not you think it “works” is irrelevant— the kindness is absolutely real.

I agree that you should never respond to someone’s sympathy with rudeness, but by the same token, why is it the responsibility of the person who just suffered a tragedy to coddle the person trying to comfort them. Sorry if someone’s parent died and they don’t want to hear about prayers because they are going through an awful time. Pain is not an excuse for treating others badly, but forgive them if they don’t want to hear you say things happen for a reason, because that might actually make them feel worse and they shouldn’t have to thank you for that.

Say you are sorry for their loss, say if there’s anything you can do to help, you’re there for them. Even if you feel like saying you’re praying means more. I respect that religion helps a lot of people but  the only time someone should bring God or religion into their sympathies is if they actually know the person they’re saying it to is receptive to that. Because they have just suffered a tragedy. They are vulnerable and hurting, and lashing out is wrong, but understandable, and frankly what they’re going through is not about you.

So to the original statement, yes, try not to respond rudely to that sentiment, but to the person saying it, please don’t. If you really care and want to pray for them because if you’re religious then do it, because that’s the kindest thing you believe you can do. But it’s not the kindest thing you can express, unless the person you’re comforting is also religious and sees that as a comfort. Otherwise you’re the one being inept and in some ways selfish. Comfort people in the way that helps them, not yourself. 

(Source: cefalopod, via maybe-its-neighbelline)

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Modern House Words from Westeros

House Lannister:
Back the Fuck Off
House Tully:
Do the Right Thing
House Stark:
Never forgive. Never Forget. Pack a sweater.
House Baratheon:
Entitlement and Stubbornness go well together, don't you think?
House Arryn:
You are all beneath me.
House Frey:
You Shall Not Pass.
House Targaryen:
Burn, Motherfuckers.
House Martell:
We want no part in this.
House Tyrell:
Won't Stop. Can't Stop.
House Greyjoy:
Give me that thing. I want it.