Right now, I’m reading Michael Ondaatje’s latest novel, “The Cat’s Table”. It’s wonderful. I gulp it down like rich chocolate. Check this: “I needed to think backwards for a while. Thinking backwards I could remember the comfort of being curious and alone.” Isn’t that a wonderful description?
Or this: “But he had a serenity that came with the choice of the life he wanted to live. And this serenity and certainty I have seen only among those who have the armour of books close by.” Ondaatje is tied for first place in my favourite author category.
I’m prefacing this post with a literary reference because I’m embarrassed about what I’m about to admit. I watch The Bachelor. I’m a smart person! I’m educated, I read lots of books, I have healthy relationships with those around me! But, yes, The Bachelor is my guiltiest of pleasures. I really don’t know what I find appealing about it, aside from maybe the fact that after every episode I’m incredibly thankful for my husband and our normal marriage. My big question when it comes to The Bachelor or The Bachelorette (they’re the same, really) is what has happened to this people? What has to happen in your life that you think this is a good idea to meet your mate? And some of them are so young! At 24 you’ve already given up on having a normal relationship? On meeting someone in a normal way? Start a new hobby, volunteer, stop at a different coffee shop – there are lots of people out there! Why are you on TV? And why do you act like you don’t know you’re on TV? Don’t your parents watch this?
And yet I can’t look away. And since it’s more fun to watch terrible TV with someone else, I would like to share some of my thoughts from last night’s episode. I know some of you out there are watching too. Tell me what you think!
This season’s Bachelor is Ben. I’ve never watched the show and not felt “meh” about the bachelor. I do not understand how all these women fall so instantaneously in love. Ben seems ok although there’s nothing really to recommend him. Oh, he’s a winemaker. Apparently women everywhere love winemakers. That’s not really how you choose a husband, ladies. I respect my husband’s profession but that’s not why I married him. (That said, I would not have married him if he were, say, a drug mule or that guy from Lords of War.) Anyway, here are some of my thoughts:
- This episode they are in Park City, Utah. Why? Because Ben wants the women to “experience the outdoors”. Apparently, none of them have done this before.
- Does someone have to say “the perfect place to fall in love” every episode? A garbage dump can be where you fall in love if you’re with the right person. Peter and I had our first date at cheap restaurant and a duck pond and it was awesome. It was the perfect place to fall in love.
- Rachel, who gets the first 1-on-1 date, has “communication issues”. Uh oh, that’s the worst thing ever in Bachelor world. God forbid you not completely open up on a first date.
- Oh, she does have communication issues. This is awkward. Rachel, Chris Harrison just told you not to talk about the weather with Ben.
- Meanwhile, Kacie is freaking out and getting jealous. There’s one every season. Kacie is my favourite and I think I’m supposed to feel that way.
- Ben describes his date with normal as a “down-to-earth date”. Right after he steps off of a helicopter. (By the way, I don’t think helicopters are romantic. At all. You can’t talk to one another.)
- Rachel overcomes her terrible communication disease and gets a rose. They have dinner in a super tacky, cow-skin setting. Rachel describes it while by saying it looks like it was thrown together in seconds. Rachel seems like she has to work too hard here. This is one of my least favourite thing about the Bachelor: that taking a relationship slow (something I think is important) is impossible and even seen as a bad thing.
- Whoever edits this show really doesn’t want us to like Courtney. I don’t know what to think about her. She does use a completely different (and terribly annoying) voice when she’s around Ben and she doesn’t ever seem to say anything nice about the other women. However, she seems normal when she’s with Ben. I think she may just be one of those women who’s terrible with other women. Or, as Emily said previously, she has a social disorder.
- I wish they were going go-kart racing.
- Okay, they keep referring to Ben on horseback as being a prince, a knight in shining armour, someone coming to rescue them. Have some self-respect, ladies! He’s a guy on a horse and you are grown-ups.
- Really? They are all that excited about fly fishing? Ooh, you get your own hip waders!
- Jamie seems too sweet and normal to be on this show. That’s probably why we never see her
- Kacie says, “He makes me feel like me.” That’s not a good thing. You should feel like you without needing a man to accomplish that.
- Courtney catches a fish. Of course it’s compared to catching Ben. And not in a fishers of men nice kind of way
- Nicki seems a little crazy. How can she say she’s so in love with Ben? I think she’s spent, maybe 20 minutes with him so far.
- The big “unexpected twist” of the night comes when Ben sends Samantha home halfway through the group date. I actually respect this. She’s hounding him about not receiving a one-one-one date, he’s not very into her and has noticed that a lot of drama seems to follow her and he sends her home right then and there. Why draw it out.
- Courtney’s smugness over Samantha’s departure however? That’s aggravating
- Ben and Kacie’s alone time is always removed from the group setting. That seems like a good sign.
- Ben’s idea of reassurance is primarily kissing. Ben strikes me as a guy who agreed to be the bachelor because he knew he’d get to make out with a bunch of girls.
- Jennifer gets the 2nd one-on-one date. Ben has described her as “an account but beautiful”. Hey, Ben, I know at least three super hot accountants. You’re lame for saying that.
- Ben thinks Jennifer is “reserved and shy”. I think she’s normal.
- Jennifer is so nervous about rappelling into this crater. Does she not realize she’s on TV? Obviously, someone tested this before her. She’s not going to die on The Bachelor.
- if a guy told me on a first date that he needs “a relationship that’s flexible”, that would be a major red flag to me.
- Who is Clay Walker? Oh, country music. Also, the lady standing beside Ben and Jennifer at the concert seems SO happy and can’t stop staring at them.
- Ah, the cocktail party. A few fashion thoughts: I like Jennifer, but her dress is ugly. I don’t like Courtney but her dress is cute. I like Kacie’s curly hair better than the straight. Monica’s dress reminds me of the Flintstones. Jamie is wearing a prom dress from the ’90s. Bless her.
- Emily slowly self-destructs throughout the cocktail party. She makes the mistake of spending her alone time with Ben talking about how she doesn’t like Courtney. There is always someone who wants to tell the bachelor about the other contestants and it never works well. You look jealous and spiteful and Ben is not impressed. Emily’s right about one thing: Men don’t like their judgement to be called in to question.
- Casey seems pretty nice. Too bad she’s dressed like a 1960s widow in something beige and shapeless.
- Is Courtney genuinely surprised that Emily thinks she’s mean. Courtney, you may not actually be a horrible person but you’re not exactly sweetness and pie.
- Nicki looks like Sandra Bullock. Unfortunately, that seems to be her defining characteristic.
- Things get tense (of course) and poor Kacie tries to change the subject. “There are roses tonight! How do we feel about that?” Thanks for trying.
- The rose ceremony begins. Ben notices that the group is smaller than before. Monica goes home. Not that surprising. Neither she nor Ben seemed very into each other. In her limo exit she says, “It sucks when someone doesn’t feel the way you feel.” And that does suck. And I think that’s why we keep watching the show, because most of us know that feeling and we can sympathize with this crazy women.
- Ben announces that they’re going to Puerto Rico. They all cheer. Courtney says, “I was just there two months ago.” Awkward silence. Ben: “Well, we’re going back!” Hilarious.
Who else out there is watching this? Do you love it? Hate that you love it? Let me know I’m not alone!