Sunday, December 11, 2016

How and When Things Happen

Life does things when it does them. It doesn't consider the timing.

Besides, there are some events in life for which there are no convenient times. They always seem to happen at the most inconvenient times possible, though, don't they?

In the episode of How I Met Your Mother that aired on this night in 2006, Ted (Josh Radnor) had decided that he didn't want to spend the holidays with his mother and her boyfriend or with his father. Instead, he had opted to stay in New York with his "other family."

But the happy holidays ambiance was shattered when, while decorating the apartment, Lily (Alyson Hannigan) came across their old answering machine. She listened to the messages that were still on the machine — including one from Ted to Marshall (Jason Segel) while Marshall and Lily were apart.

In that message, Ted called Lily a "grinch." Well, he used a word that sounded like grinch, but it was really another word. As Ted's older self put it in his role as narrator, "a very, very bad word." The actual word was never specified. Just grinch. You fill in the blank with the word you think is most likely (two words come to mind for me, based on what I know of Ted and his speech patterns and word preferences).

Lily wanted to know why Ted would call her that, and he tried to explain he was being supportive of his friend. That probably is something that is difficult for many women to understand — while this may sound sexist, the truth is that males and females really do perceive and respond to many things differently, and that is simply a statement of fact — but I understand where Ted was coming from. I've been in his shoes — trying to be supportive of a broken–hearted friend — but, fortunately for me, there was no evidence with which the girl could confront me later.

It doesn't take too much imagination to visualize what the discovery of the message did to the Christmas season for the gang. For one thing, Lily packed up all the decorations and carted them away — knowing that Marshall was expecting to see them when he returned from working on the final term paper that he had to turn in before he could conclude his work for the semester.

Marshall was such a sentimentalist. He loved the holidays so much that he went around the apartment with his eyes closed so he wouldn't see even a sliver of the "winter wonderland" that he said would be his reward for finishing his school responsibilities. Lily had to know he would be crushed when he came home to an apartment stripped of its festive appearance.

But things happen when they happen.

And when friends have a falling out like that, they make up (if they do) when they make up. I have known people who let years go by because of an argument they had, and I have known people who made up quickly and didn't let something like that stand in the way of their friendship.

Ted and Lily made up rather quickly — and under rather unexpected circumstances.

That's the way things happen in life.