How I Saw How You Were Thinking

This week, the series finale of “How I Met Your Mother” aired.

The episode that was 9 years in the making wrapped up the series by identifying the mom was in the aforementioned title.  Now, I’ll be honest.  While I’ve seen some scenes from the show before, until Monday night, I had never watched a full episode before.  Ever.

To me, it was a fun way to wrap up a series.  I got a chance to meet the characters, see where their lives had gone and where they were heading.  It actually reminded me of parts of my life. When the final scene rolled around, I thought, “That was pretty good.”

Then I went to the Internet and saw that fans were up in arms!  They were mad about this, upset about that. The more I read their complaints, the more I realized that it was most likely the show’s younger viewers (and when you’re almost 60, pretty much everyone else is always younger) who just haven’t had very much life experience.  They had in their mind how they wanted the show should end, how it should be clean and conclusive.

This just handed me from the news desk–life just doesn’t work out the way you had in mind.

The show had actually filmed that last scene with the kids back in 2005, so that we’d get to see them in their younger days.  The way the show wrapped up was where the writers and creators had been taking it all along.

One millennial I talked with was saying, “I’m never going to watch the reruns because I didn’t like how it ended!”  Really?  You sound like a Denver Broncos fan that recorded this year’s Super Bowl.

I’m convinced that all the outrage, all the gnashing of teeth is due to lack of life experience.  Twenty, thirty or so years from now, a light bulb will go on and you will have a whole new appreciation for that episode.  A former radio buddy whose life was cut short by lung cancer (that wasn’t how we imagined it was going to end, either) once gave me an outlook that I think of often: “If you ever want to make God laugh, tell him the plans you have for your life.”

Remember, “How I Met Your Mother” was just a show.  Those were characters, not real people.  But the writers made you care, you got to know them, they were a part of your life and now they’re gone.  That’s how it happens.  Blog or tweet your outrage, then move on and get back to what’s really happening.

Your life.

Time is a wonderful teacher.

Tim Hunter

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