Everyone can remember what it’s like to be naive when you’re young.
It is easy to think that you already know everything there is to know and if someone contradicts your thoughts, they are the one that is naive. Edie, the main character in How I Met My Husband, is naive at her young age and is led to believe she has feelings for a man she really doesn’t know. Many of the characters in this story are so one-sided in their mindset that they are not able to acknowledge what is right under their nose.The characters and the overall plot of this story contribute to the theme that preconceived notions make you oblivious to the reality under your nose. Edie is the most easily blinded by her desires in this story. In the beginning of the story she meets Chris Watters who is the main reason for the veil over her eyes. Edie doesn’t have much experience with boys she admits, “I wasn’t even old enough then to realize how out of the common it is, for a man to say something like that to a woman, or somebody he is treating like a woman” (206).Edie’s surprise at the way she is treated by Chris, especially after she tells him she’s a servant, contributes to masking the reality behind her and Chris’s relationship.
When Edie develops strong feelings towards Chris she allows herself to be easily persuaded into kissing him even though when this happens she knows that he is engaged, “…such kindness in his face and lovely kisses…all over, then me kissing back as well as I could” (211). She has this preconceived notion that because Chris is treating her a certain way and obviously doesn’t want to be with his fiance that he must be genuine about his feelings for her.Even after Chris leaves Edie thinks that he is going to write to her, “It never crossed my mind for a long time a letter might not come. I believed in it coming just like I believed the sun would rise in the morning” (213). At this point Edie is so overcome by her desire for truth behind Chris’s parting promise that she doesn’t notice the mailman trying to get her attention.
Edie let’s herself be oblivious to the mailman because she is under the impression that Chris is the guy she is meant to be with due to his ability to take advantage of Edie’s naivety.Alice Kelling is another character that allows herself to ignore the obvious reality of her situation because of her feelings for Chris. Alice announces her and Chris’s engagement upon her arrival and Mrs.
Peebles says, “He never mentioned his fiance” (208). After talking briefly Mrs. Peebles invites her to stay with them and Edie recalls, “I got the feeling it was a temptation to her, to be that close” (209). At this point, the reader can start to understand that there is something off about Alice’s relationship with Chris.It seems strange not only that he had never mentioned a fiance but also her demeanor gives the impression of anxiety. The author also foreshadows the fate of their relationship right after when Chris arrives in the scene, “‘Here I am chasing after you to see what you’re up to,’ said Alice Kelling… ‘You’re going to spend a lot on gas that way,’ Chris said” (209). It has been made obvious to the reader that Chris isn’t as interested in his relationship with Alice as she is.
Alice seems to want to connect with him and he seems to be avoiding her. However, because Chris is her fiance and she loves him she is able to disregard his obvious signs of resistance. Alice is also able to ignore Chris’s role in provoking Edie into kissing him, instead placing all of the blame on Edie. When Alice finds out about Edie and Chris she says, “Loose little bitch, aren’t you? I knew as soon as I saw you.
Men despise girls like you. He just made use of you and went off, you know that don’t you” (212)?This is ironic because it also appears as though he has done the same thing to Alice by proposing to her and now sending her on a wild goose chase. Alice is so blinded by the hurt she feels at his betrayal that she does not even acknowledge that he didn’t just leave Edie but once again, he left her too. Alice’s preconceived notions about her and Chris’s relationship allows her to be misguided in her judgments. The plot of this story is also a big contributor to this theme of preconceived notions make you oblivious because the entire story misleads the reader until the last paragraph.The first encounter Edie and Chris have in the beginning of the story is the first scene that makes the reader assume that they already can predict the ending of this story. When Chris first meets Edie she is wearing a beautiful gown of Mrs.
Peebles and to the reader this might seem like the narrator is foreshadowing the fate of their relationship. In addition, because Chris is the first male character to be introduced to her outside of the main characters it is easy to make the assumption he will be her husband. Since the title is How I Met MyHusband when she is describing this scene with the dress and how they met the reader automatically connects this scene to the title, which makes them believe they have figured out the ending before it has ended. Throughout the story Edie and Chris continue to have an allusive relationship and even when the plot thickens with the arrival of Chris’s fiance the reader doesn’t start to doubt yet who might actually be Edie’s husband. When the mailman is introduced to the story the reader already has it so set in their mind that Chris will marry Edie that even the possibility of the mailman being the actual husband in the story is overlooked.
The entire story is designed to create a false sense of understanding in the reader from the beginning so that they think they have it figured out and the ending is a surprise they didn’t expect. The characters and the plot are the two major contributors in supporting the theme of this story. Edie is easily manipulated into thinking that her and Chris are supposed to be together so she is surprised when it turns out the mailman is the one who is really interested.Alice is also led astray by Chris and is so blinded by her feelings for him that she is unable to recognize when he is dismissing her. This entire story gives the impression that it is easy to decipher until the very end when it shockingly turns out to be the mailman who ends up Edie’s husband. This story just goes to show that things aren’t what they seem and people shouldn’t let their preconceived notions get in the way of noticing something that could be better right under their nose.