watch your step
by Liz Davies
SOME PARTS CONTAIN SPOILERS
I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t like “How I Met Your Mother.” Maybe I only talk to people who like the same things that I do, or maybe I just ignore people who say things I disagree with. Of course there are people who have watched it a couple times, found it funny, and never tuned back in for whatever reason. And there are obviously people reading this who are going to say they hate it just to negate my theory; but for the most part, people really like this show. How can you not? It’s got the perfect formula that a successful sitcom needs: a bunch of attractive, relatable 30-somethings living in ridiculously unaffordable apartments in the city despite their meager salaries, who are dating each other, and finding their ways out of hilarious conundrums that are usually resolved within a 22-minute time span. So when my friends and I talk about the show, we’re always left with the same question: when will we actually meet the mother?
We’ve stood by and watched the loveably dorky Ted Mosby date a variety of women, some more loved and better suited for him than others (Victoria over Stella? Obviously) for over 150 episodes. I completely understand the pressure that the writers are under to successfully introduce the mother while fitting all the previous criteria that’s been set up over the past seven seasons. This woman has probably the highest standard set for any romantic interest in television.
I’ve invested over seven years of my life to this show. That’s part of my awkward high school years, all of college, and a portion of my “finding myself (unemployed)” years. When you do the math, I’ve watched the show for about 65 hours total (not including the reruns that I watch on Lifetime between movies starring Poppy Montgomery and Melissa Gilbert). I’ve gotten to know the characters, and have definitely found myself on more than one occasion feeling far too emotionally connected to them.
I talked about Robin’s personal struggles with others as if I actually knew someone who had just found out they couldn’t have children. And I’m not going to lie, a part of me was kinda of psyched when she and too-good-to-be-true therapist Kevin broke up earlier this season, only because I thought I could swoop in and claim him for myself. Then I remembered that this is fiction and that I could probably use a therapist myself. But the point is: the writers have done an incredible job creating characters that are relatable and beloved by viewers. That’s why I want at least one season with Ted’s wife and the mother of his children present.
I want to make sure that this woman fits in with the gang and that she and Ted work just as well as Lily and Marshall, no matter how impossible of an aspiration like that may seem. Side note: Every girl wants to be the Lily of their friend group. They might have the career aspirations of Robin, but when you get down to it, they want to end up like Lily. If you want to pick up a girl, tell her you want to be the Marshall to her Lily. You’ll get whiplash from how fast she drags you to her place. And every guy aged 18-28 wants to be Barney. New flash: you will never be as awesome as Neil Patrick Harris. It’s just not possible. If you try to pull off that lifestyle in real life you’ll seem like a total dick because you are not as charming as NPH, nor can you make up as many legendary puns about putting on a suit or high fiving.
Wow, I rant a lot.
The bottom line is simple: I need to know that this woman is right for Ted. I’ve known him longer than I’ve known some of my actual friends, and I rooted for him through every failed relationship. I was sad but then relieved when he and Stella didn’t work out. I was hopeful when wedding cake-baker Victoria returned (again). And I was so freaking happy when Zoey and Ted didn’t work out, because no matter how much the show tried to make her seem quirky and lovable, she just wasn’t right for Ted. I need his future wife to be perfect; especially after all we’ve gone through with him.
I want to make sure that the chick that ends up being Ted’s wife is acceptable and fits in with the group of people that I feel like I’m actually friends with. This girl has to turn down yet still find Barney’s advances amusing. She has to be able to accept that Robin and Ted will always have a complicated past and relationship. And she has to pass any test that Lily and Marshall give her. They know Ted more than anyone, and passing their test will mean the most to viewers. And how will all of that happen if we don’t get to spend some time with this girl?
I swear, if the last moment of the show is Ted looking up to see a beautiful girl under a yellow umbrella with Bob Saget’s soothing voice uttering the highly-anticipated line “and that’s how I met your mother,” I will loose it. The last episode of the show should obviously be the mother interrupting Bob Saget/Ted Mosby, telling him and the very aged children to come down for dinner or something. Not that I think about this all the time or anything…
If the audience doesn’t get at least half a season with the wife, we’ll never get to experience all the joy that Ted has been waiting for this whole time. We need this just as much as Ted and his friends do. We know that Ted ends up happy and with two very patient children, but we don’t know about a huge portion of his life that leads up to that. I don’t need to see a wedding between Ted and this woman, nor do I need to see their entire lives. I’m just asking to see enough of this mystery character so that I can pass my approval and move on.
The show is currently in its seventh season, which means that it will most likely wind down within the next two or three years. If we “meet the mother” this season, there will be plenty of time to get to know her and hopefully approve of her. Let’s all just hope that the show doesn’t wait until the last minute to introduce one of the most sought-after characters in television history.