how i met your mother basically ruined my life.
i mean, the fact that my life isn’t in complete ruin right now is a testament that it didn’t entirely ruin my life. but it ruined the life i was having more fun with and i haven’t been able to figure out whatever this new life is since.
i wasn’t even into how i met your mother. it was a watered down version of friends without phoebe and with a more overtly predatory joey. and the only episodes i’d ever happen to catch on tbs were either the pilot or the one where robin can’t decide if she wants to go to japan or not. that was it. you can see why i wasn’t impressed.
but then i was at a friend’s house watching it and an a.c. newman song came on and all of it had just gotten put on netflix, so i figured why not give it a shot.
it was good background noise for a while. until the episode where lily and robin go out with a whole bunch of teachers(? I wanna say?). the basic conflict is either lily or robin is mad because this isn’t the kind of fun they have together and thinks that means the other one doesn’t really have fun when they hang out. or, more succinctly: they aren’t as fun as the “woo girls.”
you see, these woo girls are a special type of woman-out-of-college-but-not-yet-settled-down. they’re the ones who go out, have fun in a big group, and yell “woooo!” whenever something makes them happy/excited/remember they’re having fun.
but you have to listen carefully. because this “woo” isn’t a fun “woo.” it’s a sad “woo,” as (i guess) lily(?) explains. then it flashes to the girls woo-hoo-ing, but a little sadder this time, and with subtitles like “why am i not married yet?” and “i hate my job!” and “i haven’t felt anything in years!”
then, you know, it flashes to ted who does his best woo-hoo with a sad subtitle aaaand laugh track.
from my senior year of high school and pretty much up until i saw this episode my last semester of college, i was the definition of woo girl. i went to parties, i went to bars, i got loud while having fun, i never said no. i was a fun person to be around; i was the friend you wanted at a party. in fact, after this episode came out (but before i’d seen it), i had a friend make a joke about me being the wu girl woo girl.
(wu = winthrop university = my alma mater. i thought it was funny at the time. knowing her, i’m sure she meant it to be funny and not the sad comment on one’s lifestyle that it is.)
and, i mean, i knew i had some sad stuff going on. i knew that wasn’t how i was going to be able to handle the stress in my life forever – i’m a perceptive person who comes from a long line of people who deny they have drinking problems! heck, i even knew alcohol is a depressant BUT i was able to have a lot of fun forgetting that along with my other problems at the time.
until that episode.
after that, no “wooo” was loud enough to mask the subtitles i saw – “i have no idea what i’m doing! i half-assed my way to this point and now i have no idea! i’m scared! and i feel so alone! i don’t think any of this is what i ever wanted! but fuck if i know what to do now!”
so i became the maudlin drunk. there wasn’t another escape i could think of, but i also couldn’t muster up the “wooo”s anymore. they were too sad. eventually, i stopped going out, then stopped drinking altogether.
well, except for when social situations call for it. anxiety and depression dictate i’m not interesting enough to be completely sober.
in the meantime, i’ve found other ways to let off steam, but none quite like the release being the unaware woo girl gave me. i’ve gone out since with the intentions of getting too drunk too fast to remember the sad parts, or by just drinking tequila (which is apparently the only alcohol that isn’t a depressant), but my gag reflex and tolerance aren’t quite what they used to be. and there’s nothing sadder than puking in the bar bathroom by yourself.
which is, i guess, to what all of this boils down: feeling alone. i’ve been wanting to make real, solid attempts at my woo girl lifestyle again; it was more fun and at least had me meeting people. it got me out of the house, which made me feel more creative and worthwhile when i had to sit myself down and actually get shit done.
but i lost my fellow woo girls. they’ve moved to other cities where new woo girls can fill my place or evolved past the woo girl mentality altogether.
i haven’t. i still need to be a hurricane regularly, but i’ve lost my emergency responders. which i might could handle had i not lost my coastline as well. and i can’t even properly call myself a woo girl anymore because a real woo girl wouldn’t let something like being alone and a 25+ minute drive from any decent nightlife get in her way.
i need to get back to my woo girl roots. i need to get back the life a tv show i haven’t watched in literally years stole from me. i need to not be a person who allows something like that to cause this many years of emotional stress.
and i think all i’ll need to do it is some new mascara and a lot of uber discount codes.