Yesterday I came upon a wonderful, if not depressing realisation. Human beings seek the same old social structures everywhere. We replicate the same relationship models, no matter what new social settings we are in. This realization came to me courtesy too many back-to-back episodes of How I Met Your Mother.
Why was I spending Sunday alone at home, glued to the TV set, watching reruns of a sitcom past its prime? That’s another story kids, but today let me tell you about the time I discovered that we recreate familiar relationship structures.
I detest Lily Aldrin. I think she’s pushy, overbearing, interfering and self-absorbed. None of those are really reasons to dislike her since these describe a lot of other people and characters that I do not dislike. Yesterday it dawned on me. The HIMYM character cast is nothing more than the modern version of a family sitcom. Cue Lily, the pushy, harassed, center-of-group mother. Marshall is the too-good-to-be-true papa bear who goes to work, is a lawyer who is actually nice and loyal and *never* looks at another woman. Barney is the sometimes annoying, sometimes lovable brother. Robin is – wait for it – not the girlfriend but the elder sister, you know the one you have a teensy crush on but you can’t breathe a word about it to anyone. Ted Mosby of course, is the collective us, the audience.
Think about it. The group’s structure, its habits (remember the episode on smoking?), their hangouts, who is ‘in’ and who is not, even who Ted and Robin date are judged and gavel-on-table’d by Lily. Everyone else nods a guilty ‘Yes mommy’ at her and continues. It’s sickening now that I think of it. No wonder I don’t like Lily then. Intrusive moms-in-law are not for liking, they’re for fearing.
Ted Mosby, you’re newly defined as pathetic. A job you love in a city you’re passionate about, an apartment and a life as a single man in New York and you still want to stay stuck to the oldest family structure ever – tied to mommy’s apron strings, hiding behind daddy and incestuously sharing a wet dream about your sister with your brother? For shame.
I’m deeply disturbed that I’m suddenly crushing a wee bit on you too. This totally sucks.