second in a series
ROBIN SCHERBATZKY has been the more difficult of Ted Mosby’s friends to like long-term. Introduced in the first episode of How I Met Your Mother, Robin is the one who Ted falls for more than any of his other interests. She’s somewhat cold, overly career-oriented, and hilariously Canadian. She’s also Ted’s last serious relationship before he meets and gets engaged to Stella. It’s at Ted and Stella’s wedding that Robin finally steps up to the plate and speaks compassionate truth.
The Moment: Stella and Ted decide to get married on Shelter Island after her sister steals her wedding dreams but then breaks up with her fiance. The wedding is, of course, a rush, and the almost-married couples end up having bother exes there. In a moment of awkward confrontation, Robin encourages ever-romantic Ted to “get back to his real life,” that he’s “trying to skip ahead to the end of the book” and that he’s “disappearing into someone else’s house and wedding and marriage.” It was a good moment for Robin, a hard truth that needed to be said. And it’s a good first moment to see an important truth from the life of Ted Mosby. What’s true for a television relationship can also be true of life.
The Lesson: In a world that worships connection at any cost, losing yourself in the life of another is an easy option, a real possibility. And it’s not just a romantic thing. Any time something new starts, balance is easily lost. One of the blessings of my life in Texas was that so many of us were new to town, new to each other, and had to make some kind of life together. Life in Hawaii hasn’t quite been the same: almost all of my friends have had a long life here and there have been very few moments of equilibrium and integration (and believe me: I have had many good moments here).
How easy it is to lose our stories in the stories of others, settling for someone else’s narrative instead of making something new together. Real life can’t just be filling someone else’s shoes; it’s about finding new places and ways to walk.
For the first entry in the “Importance in Being Mosby” series, click here.