Everyone wants to be thought of as cool. Yes, everyone. You might disagree. You might scrunch up your nose at the very thought and say “ Not me! I am not one of the wannabe kinds who are forever trying to do what the world deems ‘cool’. But me? Never! I have my own way of life, and I give a damn about what others think.” But.
But, the fact is that it is not the idea of being cool, or being thought of as cool, which you, or anyone is ever against. What you might differ upon, is actually the definition of the term cool. For some people, doing something that has been deemed cool by a certain person, or group defines the term. Be it a magazine which says skydiving is cool. Or a movie, where all the cool protagonists go on a road-trip in Spain, thereby deeming that cool. And for you, ‘cool’ might be looking down upon all these deemed cool things with unmasked disgust. As simple as that.
Anyway, this post is not about the various interpretations of ‘cool’, though I wholeheartedly agree that I made it pretty much impossible for you to think otherwise. This post is about ‘How I met your mother’.
Yeah, the popular Sitcom, which I consider awesome, and which some cynics deem a copy of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (I will vouch against it, I love that series and pretty much can mouth every dialogue in it, and they are NOT the same) and slightly repetitive (to which I say, seriously, go write your own screenplays with super-original lines that make everyone crack up, and then talk, ok?). Ok enough diversion, let’s get back to today’s topic.
The characters. If you follow the series, you will know who I am talking about. If you don’t, well, I hope the post gives you some idea. Now in this group of friends, I am going to do away with Ted, who I find an extreme character, tough to identify with. And I mean, that of the guys that I have come across in life, I have come across a ‘Ted’ just once. Always in search of Fairy tale love, dreaming of getting married, having kids, falling in love within seconds, earnest, clear in what he wants, and ok to go to any lengths to get it. That kind. Oh by the way, that ‘one’ guy reads this blog, so if you read this, yep, I am talking about you!
Coming to the ‘cool’ characters in the series. Definitely Barney and Robin. Why, you ask? Well, Barney is the quintessential Joey (with brains, evil brains, but in plenty, money, and funny lines!) who gets all the women he wants, and believes in having fun. No commitment, none of the mush, he just does his own thing. A super cool apartment, a screen which is basically one whole wall, and a weird job which pays him for all this luxury. Cool, if you may.
And Robin. The independent woman, with thoughts similar to Barney’s when it comes to commitment. Career oriented. Adventurous, sets out to see the world on her own. Hot, has men vying for her attention. Has her own studio in Central New York. Oh, and has five dogs. If this doesn’t define cool, I mean what does? And as if all this was not enough, the last season reveals that the two end up together! What a story! I mean, two people, who never wanted to be tied down, eventually give in to love and get married. Wow. Cool, or what!
And then, there are the protagonists. Of this post, not the show. Lily and Marshall. Now these two are the Monica-Chandler of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. But only because they are only with each other throughout. The characters are hugely different. There is no Monica’s OCD and Chandler’s incomparable wit.
What is there, is funny. There is cute. But the thing is, they are definitely not the ones you would want to identify with.They are goofy. Their story is way too straight forward. They meet, they fall in love, they want the same things from life, they have small differences which they take in their stride, and they end up where you think they would right from the first episode. Together. Their lines make you laugh not for their wit or sarcasm, but more in the “Oh God, they are so funny, they are practically duh!” way.
They make fools of themselves over and again. They are definitely not the best looking in the gang. They are average as people, and so is their story. The routine. They are considered the “boring” ones. The ones who would rather stay home and watch TV than go meet new people, or see new places. They have regular jobs, aspirations which have been sidelined for the more practical things, like mortgages, or planning a baby. They have troubles, I mean, come on, they actually buy a house with slanted floors!
They usually spoil the fun by being the sane ones. The want to grow up, cannot believe that they are growing up this fast, and then they don’t want to grow up. In the end the accept things as they are, and just let life go on.
And last Saturday, while doing a rerun marathon of the first few seasons, this epiphany struck me – That we , i.e. The Dude and I, we are Marshall and Lily. Despite what we want, what we think, or what others think of us, as a couple, we are them. Regular, average, growing older, with practical responsibilities, not very adventurous, lazy, loving our Saturday nights at home with beer, thinking of how to pay our next EMIs, doing our routine jobs, living our routine life. And honestly it is tough to accept that the characters that actually match you, are the “uncool ones”.
But when you think long enough, what comes with routine and average and uncool is “real”. And content. And happy. Marshall and Lily do not have the most “fun” as the world defines it. What they have is each other. Like us. And with that, the comfort of knowing that whatever we do, we have each other for company. The relief of having the regular jobs which pay for the needs, which we deem important. The dreams and aspirations that we know if, and which we would work towards, when the time comes. The convenience of choosing to be home, and relaxing, while the world finds ways of having “fun”, because it’s not that we don’t want to have fun, it’s just that fun has a different definition for us now. Because, now, in a weird way, our routine is our way of enjoying ourselves, because after all, it is just ours.
And really, what could be cooler than that?