Rejection and acceptance

This week’s episode opens with Robin in a psychiatrist’s office. I feel like there’s a collective thought by many “How I Met Your Mother” fans — FINALLY. Robin’s character has clearly exhibited signs that she needs some serious therapy, and we’re proud of her for seeking help. Until we find out that it’s actually court-mandated, which she received for assaulting someone.

After the slight letdown, Robin begins telling the story about how she ended up in the office. By the way, is anyone else kind of excited that the writers switched it up and let Robin tell the story from her perspective? I found it pretty interesting, not to mention I was comforted knowing that other people tell personal stories terribly. Thank goodness I’m a better journalist. But I digress.

As I’ve said before, Robin seems to be getting the short end of the stick in life right now. She’s still in love with Barney, who keeps sending Nora gifts at work to prove he’s changed. One of my favorite lines ever delivered by Robin: “No one asked you, Patrice!” Poor Robin, who sits behind Nora at work. Also, in an attempt to get rid of her, Robin suggests Nora for an assignment overseas. Her boss then tells her that even though Robin has seniority, he was going to suggest Nora for it anyway — because he wants to sleep with her. Good thing for him this show is fictional for the most part.

Barney’s pursuit of Nora and being passed over for a great opportunity at work makes Robin feel both dejected and rejected. Can you blame her? I’d be pretty bummed if I were her. But she’s not alone. Ted’s feeling pretty rejected as well, when Lily tells him to butt out of hers and Marshall’s intimate moments as if they are his own (See “Team Baby” shirt).

Marshall takes pity on Ted and they tell Lily that 1. they don’t like her doctor, Dr. Sonya, who allows Lily to have “just a little bit” of things pregnant women shouldn’t be doing, and 2. she should take a birthing class. Ignoring Lily’s protest, Marshall and Ted show up to the class and attempt to take it themselves. This, of course, ends predictably: they realize Lily should be involved (obviously) and Ted freaks out about the fact that he imagined himself married and having children by this point in his life.

Okay, now back to Robin, who is the real star of this episode. Robin takes advantage of Nora’s absence to make an attempt at winning Barney back. She volunteers to help Barney get rid of all his old, let’s call them “props,” from his apparently abandoned player days.

In the process, a former “prop” contacts a clearly crazy woman, instructing her to meet Barney at MacLaren’s. At this point, Robin is angry because Barney told her she’s actually more like a bro. I feel Robin’s pain — I’d be pretty mad if the man I was in love with still said I was more like a bro than a woman he’d be attracted to. This drives Robin to tell the crazy woman, who she runs into at MacLaren’s, where Barney and Nora are.

By this point, I’m pretty surprised her conscience hasn’t kicked in. Robin’s pretty practical, even in matters of the heart (yes, that was probably a cliché phrase — oh well). But not to worry, Robin fans. As the crazy woman approaches the restaurant Nora and Barney are at, we see Robin tackle, fight and get herself arrested. Not only do we discover whom Robin assaulted — obviously not Nora, too easy — but we cheer on our beloved Robin.

Robin is commended by her therapist for being a good friend, and frankly, we all probably should. Maybe she didn’t make the right decisions along the way, but she got there — and got herself arrested to make up for it.

It really seemed as though this episode was very moral-based, with the lesson being, “be a good friend.” Normally I can pick these lessons out a mile away (I watched a lot of Disney as a child), but I have to admit, my predictions were a little off this time. But Ted says it well, and I think the lesson can be applied to many different situations: “Sometimes love takes a step back.” Whether it’s letting someone you love go, taking a break to get some perspective or backing off so others can make their memories together, everyone needs a step back every once in awhile.

While the show deviated from its normal direction, I appreciated the change. We got to know more about Robin and learned an important lesson at the same time. Who said you can’t learn anything from television? I can find a lesson in anything.

Let me know what you thought about this week’s episode and my opinions. Side note: Barney’s still wearing the duckie tie. #ducktieslams

#ducktieslams

After all the hyped-up excitement over last week’s two-episode season premiere, this week’s season installment seemed to fall a little short. Now I will be the first to tell you that I haven’t met an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” I didn’t like. But I have a lot of trouble getting super excited about this week’s when it has to follow what was the legen… wait for it… season premiere.

Two stories are being told at once: both Ted’s retelling of his encounter with Victoria and Barney’s attempt to hustle Lily and Marshall. How does he try to hustle them, you ask? Well, knowing Barney, it likely has something to do with female genitalia.

We are not disappointed, because with Lily’s recent acquisition of her “pregnancy boobs,” Barney makes a bet that he can perform the complicated Japanese cooking skills that the chef at Shinjitsu does. If he wins, he gets to touch Lily’s pregnancy boobs. If he loses, he has to wear the silly rubber ducky tie that Marshall is wearing throughout the episode, which Barney wastes no time making fun of with his recently acquired obsession: hashtags (“Duck, duck, gross. #burn #ducktieslams #stinsonrocks).

The bet is soon discovered as a hustle, when it is revealed Barney spent six months learning hibachi grilling techniques in Hoboken, and subsequently trained Marshall to crave Shinjitsu, Pavlovian-style. Lily soon tricks him by flashing him, and Barney messes up the last trick. Barney now has to sport everyone’s favorite bathtime toy on his tie for a year, a wardrobe selection we will likely see for the rest of the season (#burn #ducktieslams #lilyandmarshallrock).

As much as I enjoy the entertaining schtick I can count on with HIMYM, I bet you’re wondering what happened with Victoria after their eyes meet at the end of last week’s second episode? Luckily, lulls in the conversation allow Ted to tell his story.

After an awkward moment with Robin, Ted apologizes for cheating on her and offers to wash her dishes as a small form of repayment. And yes, I did notice “washing her dishes” could be a euphemism for sex that I would not be surprised to hear in this show. Well, she agrees, and during his dishwashing task, he discovers Victoria is engaged to a German man named Klaus (spelling correct, yes?).

Ted continues, then considers, and realizes that Victoria began dating this guy very soon after she and Ted broke up. I would venture to say she may have cheated on him as well. Either way, their break up was shady.

Anyway, the classic Ted and HIMYM plot would have them end their encounter with a kiss, which is does not disappoint. To his friends, this is the end of Ted’s story. But he leaves out the next part. He takes her to the bus station, where Victoria drops a bomb on Ted that he doesn’t know how to deal with. Victoria believes that the reason none of Ted’s relationships have worked out is because of Robin’s continued influence and presence in his life.

What does that mean for Ted? Is Victoria suggesting Robin is holding him back, or will we see a return of the Ted/Barney/Robin love triangle? Is Robin actually the mother, and the creators have just been teasing us the whole time?

I refuse to believe Robin is the mother. She was not present in the first class he mistakenly began to teach, she was not roommates with the student Ted got involved with and I REFUSE to accept that HIMYM is going to repeat their major plotlines again in this way.

Now what does the future hold for Ted and Robin? We know Robin wants to give dating Barney another shot, but he’s all about Nora. Will Ted stop spending time with Robin so he can have a successful relationship, aka find his wife? Sounds like Robin’s getting the short end of the stick a lot recently.

Another question that is always on my mind in relation to HIMYM: will we at least meet the mother soon, even if we don’t know it’s her? And for the love of all things that are good, I will freak out if it is Katie Holmes as the Slutty Pumpkin.

Feedback please!

Oh. …dary.

A Work in Progress

With a hint of ambition, I started this blog more than nine months ago with little direction. Instead of blogging with no idea about where I want to go as a whole, I decided to have some fun with it. The question of who the mother of Ted’s children is plagues any fan of CBS’ hit comedy series “How I Met Your Mother.” The creators and writers have been known for inserting numerous clues and foreshadowing into episodes, making the path to discovery that much more exciting and fun.

So fans, come one, come all to discuss your thoughts about not only the elusive identity of Ted’s wife, but also the futures of the other characters. But fair warning, all posts contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the most recent episodes, I have one question: WHY? Go watch it!

In last night’s double-episode premiere of season 7, the first episode began with Barney debating whether he chose “the right tie” for his wedding. A metaphor for his concern whether he was marrying the right woman, we begin to wonder who he is actually marrying. Is it Robin? Is it Nora? Or is it some woman that we’ve already met but hasn’t played as major of a role until now?

The new question of who Barney’s wife will be is one of three major themes brought up by the premiere. It’s easy to think the wife is Nora, considering her past confessions that she wants to get married and be in love. But the writers have continued to hint toward Robin long after their weirdly calm breakup.

We find out that Robin misses Barney and wants to try dating again, when Lily points out Robin’s “truth voice,” aka the high-pitched girly voice which she uses when she wants to say what she’s really thinking but doesn’t want to let on it’s the truth. She also tells Barney she wants to give it a second shot, but in the form of helping him score another date with Nora.

Will Barney realize it, and will he and Robin ever give it another chance? Honestly, I think it’s too early to tell. At the end of the second episode (named “The Naked Man,” though this definitely references a different naked man than last time), Nora returns to the diner where Barney told her he would wait for her, proving that he is making an effort to change his womanizing ways. Considering the smile on her face at the end of the episode, I’d say she gave him another date. We’ll just have to wait and see on this one.

Call it shallow, but Lily’s dress in the scene with Barney’s wedding doesn’t look like a matron of honor dress to me, leading me to believe the wife isn’t Robin. But that’s purely a personal guess.

All I really need to say about Robin and Barney though is Dancing With the Stars should really consider getting Neil Patrick Harris or Cobie Smulders to be on the show, because their dance scene at Punchy’s wedding was pretty fabulous.

The next relationship worth discussing is Lily, Marshall and their new pregnancy. They begin trying to keep the baby a secret, because Lily doesn’t “want to jinx it.” But eventually they give in at Punchy’s wedding by telling Robin, Ted and Barney, which leads to Marshall “ruining” Punchy’s wedding.

The next episode begins with Marshall’s “sweeping declaration” of never drinking again, which Ted claims never last. Shortly thereafter, Marshall gets a call from an environmental lawyer, played by Martin Short, whom he applied to work with. After being told he got the job unless they find anything incriminating about him, Marshall patrols the Internet, looking for such evidence. He finds it in the form of “Beercules,” a video of Marshall from college drunkenly streaking across campus.

In his attempt to prevent his future boss from finding it, he finds the guy who posted it and asks him to take it down. This results in him playing Edward Fortyhands and repeating the incident. Marshall drunkenly tells the group that he isn’t ready to be a father, and that his dad didn’t do things like that and he wanted to be someone his child was proud of.

During that confession, all I could think was “uh, you’re a little late to be saying this now, Marshall.”

But either way, Marshall finds pride in himself, especially when he ends up getting the job after his employer sees the “Beercules” video and doesn’t seem to care. If only the job market was actually like that.

Last thing I want to know: in the flash forward scene at the end with Marshall gambling, he’s wearing a shirt saying “Marshall & Steph 4-Eva” with a heart around it. Who’s Steph? A new baby, or new Lily? With their past claim they have a son in the future, can we assume this is a second child? There’s no use in speculating, really. It’ll be more fun to just wait and see.

And of course, what we’ve been waiting for: Ted. He uses a cover story about him in New York Magazine and meets 16 women, two of which he takes out and subsequently can’t choose between. As he debates who to take to the prestigious Architects’ Ball, he tells Robin at Punchy’s wedding that he feels like he’s losing his belief in destiny — a trait of Ted’s we’ve come to love and, at times, feel annoyed with.

Just as Ted begins to lose faith in the universe, the universe comes roaring back at him with a “gotcha!” attitude. After deciding to take Robin to the Architects’ Ball — a well-made choice, in my opinion — who does he lay eyes on? None other than Victoria, his baker ex who left for a two-year fellowship in Germany season 1 and the woman he cheated on with Robin.

Is this the creators’ way of saying she’s the mother? No, I don’t think so. Victoria was due for a comeback — she was only supposed to be in Germany for two years, after all. But it was already established that Ted’s wife was in the class he walked in and began mistakenly teaching. She was also the roommate of the student he dated briefly, which was likely not Victoria. But who says she won’t somehow lead him to his wife? I’m kind of excited for her return, but I prefer single Ted.

After the phenomenal season premiere, what’s next? Will Barney choose Robin, Nora or some other woman? How will Marshall continue to deal with the prospect of becoming a father? What does Victoria’s return mean for the show and Ted’s love life? And as always, who is the mother?!

Also, damnit Trudy, what about the pineapple?!

Community service… without the service

Welcome to my blog! That was kind of cheesy. Anyway, there is really no rhyme or reason to the topics I might talk about here, which is really a reflection of my personality. Typically one can’t predict what might come out of my mouth (unless it’s puppies.)

So I didn’t really know what to write for my first post, but then this topic kind of fell into my lap. I logged in to Facebook on Friday to notice that many of my friends’ profile pictures were now of cartoon characters — particularly ones that are no longer airing. Wondering what this was all about, I saw a friend’s status update explaining the reason for the change:

“Change your Facebook profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same. Until Monday (December 6), there should be no human faces on Facebook, but a stash of memories. This is for eliminating violence against children.”

Activism is about as old as politics, and its methods to attaining a goal are always changing. The apparent campaign (which may or may not actually be a hoax) is just the latest of many that falls within the bounds of slacktivism, a term that describes “feel-good” measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it feel satisfaction, according to Wikipedia. Slacktivism requires little or no effort, and many activities people participate in in the name of activism can be considered examples of it. Practices such as the Livestrong bracelet trend and participation in Facebook events like wearing purple for LGBT awareness use social media and other mediums to create awareness.

I’m not saying these attempts are useless — quite the opposite actually. Social media create and continue communication between people; why not use them for good, rather than just fun? Awareness is important to a cause. Without it, people wouldn’t know about or understand the cause in question. But the problem arises when support stops there.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no saint. I’ve done a fair share of community service in my 21 years on this planet, but I could certainly stand to do some more. I’ve participated in social media-motivated awareness, like the aforementioned purple-wearing event. But if that’s where the activism stops, everyone has a serious problem.

So while I’ll keep attending awareness-based events I’m invited to on Facebook, I’m going to make an attempt to take that step past being a slacktivist and start doing some real community service again as well. It certainly feels a lot better, not to mention you can actually see the resulting good. The world will thank you for it.