Here we are already at the hometown dates! This is where Ben visits the families of his last four women – who are Kacie, Nicki, Lindzi, and Courtney. In any season I’ve watched, this is my favourite episode. It’s a little less formulaic, a little more to the practical side of a relationship.
Lindzi’s hometown of Ocala, Florida is the first stop. Here are some of my observations:
- She likes horses. I mean, she really likes horses. This is one seriously horsey gal. I just don’t know if I see Ben loving horses as much as Lindzi does and I feel like Lindzi needs someone who shares this intense passion. (Haha, look at me, talking as if I know these people. Oh dear.)
- Lindzi says they are on a horse farm. Isn’t the correct term a horse ranch? I feel like farm implies they will eat the horses.
- They have a little picnic and it gets pretty windy. It draws attention to the fact that Lindzi’s bangs are too long. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a very pretty woman, but she needs to brush her bangs to the side, not straight down.
- Ben licks his lips in a weird way before they kiss. I didn’t like it.
- Lindzi introduces her dad as Sean and then Ben keeps calling him Harry. Why didn’t anyone correct him? That’s so embarrassing. That guarantees they can never get married.
- Ben and Lindzi tell her parents about their first date at the San Francisco city hall and it turns out that her parents got married there. I find it strange that Lindzi didn’t know this. I know where my parents got married. Don’t most people? Especially girls?
- Ben and Lindzi’s dad hit it off well; I got the feeling that Ben saw Sean as fulfilling a dad role in Ben’s own life. Her dad says he would be honoured to have Ben as a son-in-law. This is what he’s supposed to say in the context of this bizarre show but it still seems weird and completely wrong to me. Your only child has gone on a handful of dates with this guy you just met, while he was dating multiple other women, and you’re honoured? Be more protective of your children!
- They have really odd wine glasses.
Next stop is Clarksville, Tennessee (I don’t know how to spell that state), Kacie’s home town.
- It’s no surprise that Kacie is from a small town. She meets Ben on a field named after her grandfather (I noticed right away when we saw the field but Ben seemed surprised to learn this. Not very observant, mister. Minus 2 points.) She greets him with a baton twirling routine and a marching band.
- Kacie shares with Ben how important her grandparents were to her and how they passed away only a short time apart. Ben’s reaction is completely emotionless, as if she just told him she was hungry or that she had broccoli for lunch. I was super unimpressed that he couldn’t come up with a single comment.
- Kacie’s dad doesn’t drink. Ben is a winemaker. Uh oh.
- Ben brings Kacie’s parents a gift that looks suspiciously like a bottle of wine in a bag. Why would he bring that after Kacie told him her dad doesn’t drink?
- They all sit down to supper on one side of the table. I understand that it’s because of the cameras but it still made me laugh because it looks like they are recreating Da Vinci’s Last Supper.
- Ben’s hair during this visit is the worst I’ve seen yet.
- It’s hammered in that Kacie’s dad is skeptical, that he doesn’t take risks like going on the Bachelor. Kacie wants her parents to trust her decisions. Her dad says he wouldn’t be able to give his blessing at this point and I think that’s absolutely fair. He’s being honest and he clearly loves his daughter. He mentions that he doesn’t want to see either Kacie or Ben hurt.
- I get the feeling that Kacie’s family has some sort of Christian background. Her dad urges her to make decisions prayerfully and both of her parents stress that they wouldn’t want the couple to move in together before marriage. I like this family.
- Kacie’s dad tells Ben that if Kacie is not the one, Ben should tell her soon. I think this seals it that Kacie will go home soon. And, honestly, I’m glad. She seems sweet and young and like she got swept up in the emotion of The Bachelor but I don’t think she and Ben are at all well matched.
Next up is Nicki’s home town of Fort Worth, Texas.
- Did you all remember that Nicki is divorced? Let’s remind you a dozen times.
- Look, I’m sure divorce is difficult and heartbreaking and it changes you as a person. However, I’m tired of The Bachelor treating divorce as something that automatically makes you a better person or more ready for marriage. Maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not. It doesn’t make you a hero and it’s not equal to overcoming cancer or something like that. Let’s stop romanticizing divorce.
- Also, Nicki says she worked hard at her marriage…for two years. Now I have no idea what the circumstances of that marriage or that divorce were (aside from the fact that she was quite young) and, frankly, it’s none of my business. But two years is not very long and it probably didn’t go bad right away.
- Ben and Nicki pick out cowboy outfits? Have you figured out the theme to their relationship? That’s right! It’s dressing up like stereotypes!
- All these families have such big houses. Don’t any poor girls go on The Bachelor?
- Ben brings flowers to Nicki’s family. Should have brought those to Kacie’s, Ben.
- What on earth would make Nicki think Ben would be a good dad? What possible evidence does she have in that direction? Is it because he has a dog? Good grief.
- Nicki’s dad has some guilt over not protecting her more in her first marriage and it seems like he will be hesitant to bless this Bachelor union. Until maybe an hour later when he says they have his full support. Come on, Nicki’s dad! I expected better from you.
- I don’t like the way Ben talks about Nicki. He says he likes the way Nicki makes him feel. Later on he says, “I have a good feeling about her ability to make me happy for the rest of my life.” What about your ability to make her happy, Ben? Relationships are all about putting the other person first. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Ben is not ready for marriage.
The most anticipated home town visit is saved for last – Scottsdale, Arizona and Courtney!
- I have to say, I was really pleasantly surprised with Courtney and I have to re-evaluate my assessment of her. Right off the bat, she says she regrets the way she treated the other girls. I wish she had said this to Ben, but it’s a step in the right direction. I think it’s quite possible that she got caught up in competitiveness and that she does not know how to get along with other women. I hope she’s able to talk to Ben/the other women about this.
- Ben brings flowers and wine. Is that a sign?
- Did anyone else think that Courtney’s sister looks like Ben’s sister?
- Throughout the visit, Courtney’s smile and demeanour seem so much more natural than we’ve seen so far in the show. She’s clearly more comfortable here and she comes across so much better. Also, I’ve been annoyed by the sort of babyish voice she uses with Ben, but I noticed she used it with her mom too. It’s still annoying but it seems less manipulative now.
- Courtney’s dad says marriage is a gamble with only a 50% success rate. I fully disagree. Marriage isn’t a gamble, you get back what you put in. In gambling you throw your dice or pick your cards and that’s it. In marriage, you work at it every day (some days it’s not work at all, some days it’s hard work) and you continually make the decision to do so.
- I was sort of surprised to see that Courtney comes from a family where her parents are still married and her dad is in the picture. From the way she talked about her relationships, I wondered if there were issues with her dad. Teach me to jump to conclusions.
- Courtney wants to tell Ben she loves him and she sets up a fake wedding to do so. It’s a little weird but Ben goes along with it completely which tells me a lot about how he feels about Courtney. She’s genuinely nervous as she tells Ben how she feels and I liked her for the first time.
The whole gang meets up in Los Angeles for another rose ceremony. Kacie does not receive a rose. I hope she realizes soon that this is the best thing possible. It was sad to watch her cry and blame herself. Honey, you are better off, I promise.
Next week: Switzerland!