Our Personal Therapist

May 23, 2013

So, I wrote a blog about my father.

And I wrote a blog about my sister.

And as I near the end of my High School career…I can’t help but notice there was one person I left out: My mother.

I think the reason I put this off so long is because it’s hard to describe the relationship between a mother and her kids. It’s easy to look at Dad and recognize him as a role model. He’s hilarious, he’s happy, and he seems to have it all together. It’s easy to look at Molly and know that she’s one of my best friends on this planet. And she always will be. But it’s hard to look at Mom and sum her up in one, quick swoop. I don’t say that to belittle the relationships that I’ve built with my other family members…but I’d be surprised if anyone could accurately describe the intricacies of motherhood.

Because mothers are so much to children. Life-givers. Care-takers. Wound-healers. The list goes on. Most apparent, however, is a mother’s ability to understand human nature. It just so happens that my mother also majored in psychology. So…I mean…that was kind of nice for Molly and I. She was like Our Personal Therapist. The public school system can get a little sticky at times, it’s nice to have someone to talk to. And Mom is always understanding. Sure, she could apply a little tough-love sometimes, but it never took long for us to realize that she was right. She was always right.

You know the funny thing? And I know, I just know I got this from my Dad: Sometimes, it would take me forever to realize I had an issue only Mom could solve. (Stupid pride.) I would be faced with a moral dilemma and it would worry me for days before there would just be some night that I’d look at her and think: You Idiot. There’s the solution right there.

And, without fail, the solution was right there.

She’s brilliant. She’s the taker of blurry photographs. She’s funny. She’s the inventor of the middle-aged-woman-friendly dance move: “The Margie” (which mostly just involves snapping your fingers to either side of your head.) She’s got great stories. She understands people better than I ever will. And she was always this constant support in my Life that I know I would be nowhere without.

As I go off to the college where she got her doctorate, I want to raise a glass to her and say: This one’s for you.

This one’s for the Track meets. The PAC shows. The Cross Country races. The Homecomings. The Destination Imaginations. The banquets. The books. The Proms. Everything. This one’s for you.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Our Personal Therapist

I can’t remember if I said that Glee was my favorite show in my post on the Gleeson Four Premiere. If I did…I might have been lying.

Monday the 24th marked the premiere of the 8th Season of How I Met Your Mother. And that may very well be the best show on TV today.

I just can’t help but feel like it’s one of the most well-thought out stories I’ve ever experienced and I think that’s something to be respected. Every plot-line has a purpose, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first, and references to events in the future happen seasons in advance. And it all makes sense. With the amount of flash-backs and flash-forwards that happen on that show, it’s amazing that the audience can follow each little detail. And, yet, I’ve never been confused. I’ve never had to rethink something. It’s always very clear and well laid out. If you don’t like anything else about How I Met your Mother, an applause should at least be given for the successful writing of one of the most complex plots I’ve ever seen in a TV show.

Complex plots aside, I find myself utterly in love with the themes presented in the show. The Importance of Stories. The Importance of Friends. The Quest for “The One.” And, most apparently, the Presence of Fate.

The Importance of Stories. The whole show is one (very long) story (with millions of stories within it). The story of how Ted Mosby met his wife and mother of his children. It’s the story of How I Met Your Mother. And I think one of my favorite moments in the show is in an episode where Ted asks his parents how they met, and they give him some quick, one line response and he says:

“That’s it? Man…when I have kids, and I tell them how I met their mother, I’m gonna tell them everything. The whole damn story.”

However, on the other end of the spectrum, in the premiere of Season 8, they do have a moment in which Barney sums up the entire plot of Ted’s journey for love (from 7 Seasons) in a minute. So, maybe Ted is being a little long winded. But we’re all proud of him for staying true to his word. It’s a story that he feels he must tell. And, personally, I’m glad he is telling it.

The Importance of Friends. It’s hard to top a group of friends like Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lilly. Even Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe, and Joey struggle to match up. All the characters are so clear in their strengths and weaknesses and their relationships to one another are vividly defined. They’re a real group of friends. They’re so familiar to us because, hopefully, we can all picture the people in our lives who make us smile just as much as Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lilly make each other smile.

The Quest for “The One.” Ted is constantly on a journey to find his soulmate. That’s kinda the whole point of the the show. The story of How I Met Your Mother is a quest for love. A Quest for “The One.” As more and more episodes pass, I keep asking myself: “Do the writers really believe in everyone having “One” person who they’ll end up loving?” The idea just seems so far-fetched. I always tell myself that they’re just repeating that for the sake of the show. And, yet, every so often, an episode like the premiere of Season 8 crops up…and I think to myself: “Maybe. Just maybe.” Maybe there really is a soulmate out there for everyone. Maybe the writers really do believe that. Ted Mosby is certainly starting to believe it. Maybe. Just maybe.

The Presence of Fate. This is by far my favorite theme in How I Met Your Mother. It also ties in with the “complex plot” thing I was talking about earlier. Future Ted (the one telling the story) constantly makes references to the fact that he was thankful for this or that happening because it took him one step closer to finding his wife. It took him one step closer to finding “The One.” Future Ted usually follows up a comment about some Fateful event with “I just didn’t know it yet…” And I think that’s something prominent. How can any of us know whether we’ll be regretful or thankful in the long-term for something we do now? Ted was often met with misfortune in his story…but, in the end, we all know it’ll end with him finding her. “The One.

Overall, the show is about Life. And the little miracles that come with it. The miracle of finding love. Of achieving Life-long friends. Of experiencing. Of laughing. Of living. And that’s why I love it. Ted is on the Quest for “The One”, that much is for sure. But he’s also on the quest for happiness. He’s just trying to live Life. And that’s what we’re all here to do. We’re here to love and be loved to our best ability. And…maybe some silly show on TV can really help us learn that.

That’s why, every Monday night…? You’ll find me eagerly awaiting to discover who owns the Yellow Umbrella.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)