(Subhead: Yeah. Um. Nope. Not a chance…now stop laughing, please. Seriously. Stop laughing…)
What is it about crappy TV that totally pulls us in? Especially those of us who find ourselves reeling post-betrayal or post-divorce: There’s just something about curling up on the sofa in oversized flannel PJs with a fresh box of wine and a heaping bowl of Cookie Crisp and watching someone whose life may, in fact, be worse than our own.
Of course, it also may be the new reality of endless alone time on our hands. Once my Ex left, I had seemingly infinite stretches of time (especially when the kids were in his custody) to dwell, cry, fixate, ruminate, pontificate, overspeculate, exfoliate and clean my refrigerator coils.
Seriously. My pores practically disappeared, and you could eat off of those goddamn coils.
But it was one ridiculous reality show that pulled me in entirely. And its name was The Bachelorette.
Daffy, I know. And really kinda embarrassing to even admit. But hell, I thought to myself, if I’m going to be a new bachelorette, I should totally watch The Bachelorette and figure out what it’s all about. Right?
First off, there was just entirely too much rejection going on for my freshly-rejected self to process. I first started watching during the season with DeAnna — who had been rejected the season before by Brad. DeAnna then rejected Jason the next season, choosing the juvenile Jesse the snowboarder instead. So Jason became the next Bachelor, rejecting Molly at the end of the season and choosing perky Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Melissa.
Need a bouncing ball yet? Because it’s about to get fun…
Then Jason rejected Melissa on live TV and asked Molly to give him another chance.
He realized he always had feelings for Molly. That he wasn’t over Molly. That during the engagement to Melissa, it was Molly on his mind. That he needed Molly to complete him. That he couldn’t live without Molly.
The audience collectively sighed as though it had just witnessed the birth of a kitten: “Awwwwwww.”
I, on the other hand, pelted the TV screen with Cookie Crisp chunks and begged host Chris Harrison to sack up and karate chop the douchebag in the throat.
Sadly, he didn’t hear me.
For those who know my back story (feel free to read here for the sordid details), perhaps you can understand why I wanted to hurl a brick at Jason. The story of two loves, one not exactly right, the haunting memory of that perfect old love, rekindling with an ex — it hit too close to home. Like a ton of bricks.
And I seriously hit rock bottom during that season. The exfoliating was overtaken by intoxicating. A whole lot of intoxicating.
Now that I’m
sober healed from my post-divorce pain, I have continued to watch The Bachelorette, as well as The Bachelor. It’s my guilty pleasure — the only reality show I allow myself to follow, out of sheer curiosity about the sociology of competitive dating. With one caveat: I have to continually remind myself that this isn’t real dating.
But that doesn’t stop me from waiting for Boyfriend Brett to take me on safari in some crazy-cool African country like Swaziland, meticulously hand-constructing a spectacular yet quaint tree-house perch made of pure ivory and spun gold and hiring a band of merry buff boys to fan me with palm fronds as I dine on caviar, Diet Coke and Cadbury Mini Eggs. Only the pink ones of course.
Yet I keep waiting…
Anyhow, this season has opened my eyes to many things. The most important realization I’ve had: I will never be The Bachelorette.
Yes, I am a bachelorette. But I couldn’t pull off being The Bachelorette. And here’s why.
The Top 10 Reasons I Will Never Be The Bachelorette:
10. Because I remember Reagan being shot. And my “healthy” childhood snacks included Space Food Sticks and Tang. And I had a Solid Gold lunch box. And I totally wanted to be Sabrina from Charlie’s Angels when I grew up. Or Marie Osmond.
In other words: Born in the wrong decade. Next…
9. Because The Bachelorette + 100 degrees + 100 percent humidity = glowing, dewy, radiant goddess. While Mikalee + 100 degrees + 100 percent humidity = Your. Worst. Nightmare.
Invariably, the cast and crew go on the most exotic of roadies to a dazzling tropical locale.
Sounds perfectly dreamy — until the inevitable torrential downpours. And when I notice everyone start to become radiant with dew, I think to myself: that would so not be me.
My dear grandmother (God rest her beautiful soul … seriously) used to proclaim, “Women don’t sweat. They glisten.”
Well guess what, Gram: I’m a sweater. Not the variety sporting gaudy patterns that you wear on holidays, but the kind small children follow around because they love to splash in the trail of puddles that undoubtedly would appear beneath me in these aforementioned steamy locales.
8. Because I’m bad with names. And faces, apparently.
I frequently find myself at the end of a season, having breathlessly consumed every ounce of the show up to that point, and yet they interview a guy who I swear I’ve never seen before. I think to myself, “Did they just pluck this guy from the street in an effort to throw her off?” But nope, it turns out he’s been there. The entire time. And in fact, he’s been on a few dates with her. Maybe 17 or so. Alone.
And I’m still confused as to who in the hell he is.
I’d be the only chick in the history of Bachelorette television needing her guys to wear a “Hi, My Name is” tag. Until the very last (dead) gerbera daisy was handed out.
7. Because a shirt on me is just a shirt. A shirt on The Bachelorette is always a dress.
(Translation: I could crush any one of them by merely stepping on them. I believe dwarfs are given preferential status on the application.)
6. Because in order to participate in a fun and sporty date, I’d require training wheels.
Seriously, and I hope you all know that I’m letting you in on a personal secret of unparalleled caliber. You see, when I was little, I never learned how to ride a bike. It’s fairly tragic, really. And on The Bachelorette, there’s always a beach boardwalk bike ride, or a mountain bike ride, or a canyon bike ride. I’d be the first bachelorette to request one of those stupid adult trikes…
(And by the way, yes…I do realize I could probably learn how to ride a bike, and that it would be a piece of cake, and blah blah blah. But now I’m against the idea on principle. And out of sheer stubbornness. And since I’ve been likened to a giraffe what with my long-ass legs and neck — I ask you: Have you ever seen a giraffe ride a bike? Didn’t think so.)
(And by the way #2: I will neither confirm nor deny the fact that this is, indeed, my mom’s bike. And that my dad has one, too. Thanks Mom and Dad for allowing me to use your bike — that I will neither confirm nor deny is yours — for this pic. XOXO.)
5. Because I fixate on stupid things.
Exhibit A: This season, the gang traveled to Phuket.
Come on now: That’s funny shit! And let me tell ya, the “Fuck it” jokes practically write themselves! Yet while I giggle, and giggle some more, and maybe giggle a little more over the aptly named (though admittedly mispronounced) booty-call destination, Boyfriend Brett only seems agitated by my fixation.
Oh well. Phuket.
Exhibit B: So there’s this guy on the show this season with the biggest forehead ever. It’s so wide, his eyes practically live on the sides of his head, like a fish. So I’ve decided that if I went on a date with him, I’d spend the entire time trying to place myself directly in front of his field of vision. Just to see if I’d be invisible to him.
You see? Obsessing. Little things. Buttloads of giggles. And that doesn’t make for good TV.
4. Because my teeth don’t glow.
Post-divorce, and in the absence of having enough money for a boob job, I did the dental-bleaching thing. And holy shit, was that not a good experience. Funny thing is, there were red flags I ignored pre-treatment. Namely:
a. When I walked in, the bleacher chick kept saying to me, “You know, your teeth are already really white…” This made me feel oh-so-confident when I plopped down my check for $985. Plus tax.
b. I have TMJ, which means my jaw pops when opened too wide — and occasionally (like twice in my life) it completely locks when forced open for too long. Sadly, I won’t be revealing the circumstances surrounding the first time my jaw locked from being forced open too long (a girl has to have some secrets…). But the second: Teeth bleaching.
c. Between the jaw lockage and the endless zingers of shooting pain post-bleaching (I was advised, “you may feel sensitivity for a few hours” — make that, twinges for years to come), I’ve never been in so much pain in my life. Well, perhaps that time my face was peeled off…
3. Because I freak the fuck out in small spaces.
Caves. Bungalows. Light houses. Cages. All have made appearances on former episodes, and all would send me into a full-on, can’t-breathe-must-die-now panic attack.
2. Because I’m a nervous eater.
If you’ve ever watched this show, you’ll notice that these people go on dates. Yet they never really eat. Sure, they pick at food, and they may even nibble. But the one and only time they end up consuming something, invariably the camera zooms in, revealing a self-conscious bachelor/bachelorette and copious amounts of mastication.
I, on the other hand, would be eating. The entire time. Despite the producers entreaties to stop, I’d be shoving every sophisticated morsel of dragon fruit and brie cheese and herbed focaccia bread in sight into my pie hole.
And I’d be bumming food off of my dates, too. “You gonna eat that?” would be the catch-phrase of the season.
1. Because despite assertions to the contrary recently made in a courtroom, I AM NOT bat-shit crazy.
Really, that’s the bottom line: Who does this? Who chooses this level of scrutiny, trusts ratings-obsessed-producers to weave an accurate yarn, assumes that a relationship forged through competition can end up translating to happily ever after? Not me. I’ve had enough crazy in my life, thank you very much.
So for now, I will remain a bachelorette … sane yet crazy tall, panicking in small spaces yet remaining wide open to love, wilting in humidity yet growing every day into Me 2.0.
How about you?
- Could you be the next Bachelor/Bachelorette?
- Do you have a guilty-pleasure show, one that you only watch in complete privacy with a box of wine — especially when overcoming heartbreak?
- If you’re watching this season: Fishface (a.k.a. Ames) or JP?
- Should I give in and learn to ride a bike? Or is a giraffe on a creepy oversized tricycle as über-sexy as I imagine?
Love ya mean it!