Tuesday, January 11, 2011

You know what makes me feel better about life? "The Bachelor"

So some crap went down today, and you know what they say: "When crap goes down, sometimes life gets clogged."  (I now have the strangest urge to embroider that on a pillow.)

Anyway, my emotional plunger today consisted of a simple evening in, with the Husband and the Dog.  We made a healthy supper, set the DVR, and poured a glass of red wine.  Apparently, the Husband is destined to be a saint, because he can look at THIS,

and say, "I love you.  You're wonderful.  What can I do to help?"

Me: (croaking) "I want to eat chocolate and watch something dumb on TV."
Husband: "Like a cartoon?  Like Family Guy?"
Me: "No... something really dumb, like stupid dumb."
Husband: "... Futurama?"
Me: (glare)
Husband: "Say, I know what would make you feel better!  Do you want to watch The Bachelor?"*

(*the Husband may not have used those exact words, and it may have required minimal prompting, but the intent was there.)

For some reason beyond my understanding, there is something about watching that gooey, gonorrheic Malibu trainwreck that makes me feel warm and bubbly inside, like a fluteful of champagne in an "aspiring model's" esophagus.  Sometimes I don't even watch the show - I just read the snarky write-ups at Entertainment Weekly (worth checking out, even if you are unfamiliar with the show).  Watching one testament to natural selection after another profess their undying and unquestionable love for SOMEONE THEY DON'T KNOW FROM ADAM?  It fills me with just enough humor and headsmacks to avoid reaching for the sharp objects after a tough day.

In the event that I sound uncharacteristically mean-spirited, let me also say that there are "contestants" that I root for every time I watch, young ladies who truly seem to have brains in their heads and Disney magic in their hearts: dentists, teachers, single moms, artists... women who have devoted themselves to another goal or dream in life and are now truly hoping to meet someone special, or at least have an adventure while trying.  I cheer for these women.  Unfortunately, these ladies often fall by the self-actualized wayside (see EDIT below), as the suit with the roses so often opts for the giddier, poutier, sillier variety.

Regardless of this sad eventuality, there are several things about The Bachelor, this season in particular, that make it worth watching... or at least, worth DVR-ing for those days when you just want to kick back and marinate in the comforting self-esteem booster that there are people out there more shallow, more desperate, and more ridiculous than you.

1. You can watch any episode of the season, and it will pretty much encapsulate the essence of the show, distilling it from a handle of cheap vodka into a 90-proof shot (which, from the looks of things tonight, was probably the drink of choice among some of the "ladies").  Which brings me to my next high point...

2.  There is alcohol EVERYWHERE in this show.  Your liver may actually suffer sympathetic cirrhosis just by watching.  Every date and cocktail party starts with champagne or wine, followed by mixed drinks and more wine, followed by mysterious glasses of Heaven-knows-What. 
Watching some of the talking-head interviews with the women during these parties is like getting cornered by that girl you don't know that well at a party, when she's suddenly, drunkenly decided that you're her new BFF, so you obviously want to belt "Don't Stop Believin'" and start a congo line with her. 
Tonight's episode even featured the Bachelor and his suitors (suitresses?) filming some PSAs for the Red Cross -- the AMERICAN RED CROSS -- during their "group date," and there was a conspicuously well-stocked full bar on set.  I felt like I was getting a contact buzz just from watching.  Or maybe that was just some neurons committing suicide.

3. The fashion.  I know this is catty, but seriously.  Some of the outfits on this show make me think there's a well-stocked bar in the wardrobe department as well.  This show has more sequins and less fabric than "Dancing with the Stars."  And is there any earthly reason for a dozen girls to sit around in their string bikinis, INSIDE, AT BREAKFAST?

4. The occasional heartwarming moments, such as tonight, when the Bachelor and his one-on-one date bonded over their absent fathers, or when another contestant (the single mom) tearfully talked to her daughter on the phone.  These moments remind me that these ARE real people.  In a laughably non-realistic context, of course, but they are real people who are "putting themselves out there," for whatever reason.

5. All the awkward, fake-drama, she-said-she-said moments in between the heartwarmers.  Sometimes, you almost wonder if the girls are really that ninth-grade, or if they are in cahoots to charade the biggest. most dramatic. cat fight. EVER.  The Husband and I are hoping for the latter, because the former is just too depressing.

It was kind of a shocker when I realized that the past two seasons of The Bachelor have featured ladies who are younger than I am.  At first, I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and wondered for a brief panicky moment if I was starting to wrinkle and sag, and just hadn't realized it yet.  I was being ridiculous, natch, but it was a good reminder all the same: I wouldn't trade my happiness and normalcy for the kind of "journey" this show is selling, and I certainly wouldn't trade them for some collagen-silicone-bleached-plucked-nip-tucked facade of myself.

Watching the women on this show might make me feel a tiny bit old, but it also just makes me glad that I'm sitting between my Husband and my Canine on a Monday night, living a real life instead of a Reality life.

***emotionally plunged***

EDIT: So Keltie Colleen, one of the self-actualized women on "The Bachelor," who was sent home as a result of having a personality and enough spunk to not be a paperdoll, is actually a blogger!  She's also a Rockette, actress, model, and published author, thus rounding out my feelings of inadequacy nicely.  Check out her blog at highkicksandhighhopes.blogspot.com


  1. I've never been able to get into the Bachelor, but my dirty secret reality-show-that-makes-my-life-so-much-better is the Real Houswives of Beverly Hills - they may have more money than they know what to do with, but at least I'm able move my face!

  2. this is why I DVR The Soup and drool while swimming in the slurp-worthy sarcasm of Joel McHale.

  3. How can David think that Futurama is "really dumb, like stupid dumb"?!? That is a fantastic show!!!