My daughter turned nine recently. It’s a fascinating age! Sometimes she comes up with incredible insights and I am amazed at the complexity of her thoughts and understanding.
Other times, I realize just how young and innocent she still is. At school drop-off a few weeks ago I pointed out a pregnant staff member and said how exciting it was that she was going to have a baby boy soon.
My daughter asked, “How do you know it’s a boy?” “Well, because she had a picture taken in the doctor’s office that can show the baby inside the mommy’s uterus.” She thought about it a second then said, “But you can’t always tell for sure that way can you?” “No, sometimes they get it wrong.” “Yeah, because some baby girls are born without any hair, so they just look like boys.” “Um, yeah. That’s right.”
And the other day after watching a commercial for Playtex Sport she asked, “What exactly are they advertising? They never say. Is it the shoes? The clothes? Is it a sports bra?”
It’s probably time we had some of “those talks.” I, myself, missed out on every one of them — I have three sisters so my mom assumed they told me everything I needed to know. I learned a few things from my sisters (that I later had to unlearn), but more often than not I learned from my friends at school. Or Judy Blume.
So, on a recent Saturday, while my husband was off on his motorcycle, Elizabeth and I cracked open “The Care & Keeping of You” American Girl Book. The AG book is well written and hits a variety of topics. We went through it slowly. I let her ask questions and skipped through the stuff she already knew.
Now at least she’ll have a base of understanding when she hears crazy things at school, like this little gem, “If your mom puts your picture on Facebook you’re going to get kidnapped,” or “My mom says it’s inappropriate to wear tank tops to school.” Al-righty then.
Our recent talk got me thinking about some of the things I’d like for her to hear from me (in case a falling meteorite kills me later today).
I started my list with ten items that quickly grew to fifteen, then twenty, then twenty-five. I looked over my list which included manners, being yourself, etc. and thought, golly, she could get this crap advice anywhere (I didn’t really say that, I never use the word golly).
What is it I really want her to know that she isn’t already learning from her Montessori school, her father, her friends or SpongeBob?
So I started a new list. The other stuff she’s going to chalk up to Hallmark or her friend with the “good mom” anyway, but these little nuggets she’ll know came straight from my heart.
1. Less is more, but none is dumb. God gave us L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara and Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss. Do not defy God.
2. If a teacher asks you when you will celebrate your eighteenth birthday, RUUUUUUN!
3. Before deciding whether you’re becoming serious with someone, make sure he owns a Kindle and not an X-Box. If he’s still playing video games, he’s not ready for marriage. On that note, you’re going to need two husbands, the regular one you see at night and on the weekends, and a gay one to assure you that you are fabulous.
4. Crocs are not shoes. And don’t get me started on those things with toes (yes, I know they have a name, I don’t want to know.) Once you lock in your day-gay don’t worry, he’ll never let you buy any of those things.
5. Choose your own religion and politics, but pledge Kappa. Lifelong girlfriends are crucial and you won’t find better ones than at the Kappa house.
6 Never put lemon juice or Sun-In in your hair unless you plan to join the circus or your aspirations include owning a double wide.
7. Buy the good champagne even if it’s just to make mimosas.
8. Keep all your diaries and resist the urge to tear out pages. Those are the entries you’ll especially treasure one day.
9. Travel. See as much of the world as you can. Talk to people, practice their language, and eat their food. Well at least try their food. Well at least try some of it.
10. When the girl scouts knock on your door, the answer is always yes. Buy as many boxes as you can afford. They’ll be gone by March and you’ll spend the next ten months wishing you’d bought more. When the boy scouts come by peddling popcorn, turn off the lights and hide.
By now you’ve probably heard…
Ben has made his choice and no shock at all — it’s Courtney.
I’ll quickly condense three hours worth of programming for you and then we’ll get into the good stuff.
Ben introduced each of the women to his mom and sis (his dad passed away a few years ago). They liked Lindzie right away which is no shock. She’s warm and friendly and easy to like. They were skeptical of Courtney, but after throwing her a few soft balls they decided she was A-Okay too.
Each of the girls had a one-on-one date with Ben and each had the opportunity to declare her love. Ben’s response to Lindzie — a lot of grunting and “uh-huhs” — not so different from his vocabulary all season. To Courtney — apparently producers don’t let the Bachelors declare their love until the big proposal — but it was clear from his body language what he was thinking: Woo Hoo! I’ve got me a hot model! Me! The dorky fat kid who still hasn’t learned how to comb his hair! In. Your. Face!
Lindzie was first to arrive which is almost always a bad sign. Once or twice the producers have pulled a fast one on us by swapping out who learns her fate first, but generally speaking, the first one to arrive is the one who is dumped.
I’m embarrassed to say I watched every painful car-crashing, rubber-necking second of the break up speech.
Ben: “I’ve fallen in love with you… BUT I need those moments to last a lifetime. I’m sorry. I’ve found that with someone else. I’m in love with someone else.”
Lindzie takes it all in and you can just tell she’s doing her best not to cry. I’m sure she’s in shock. She genuinely thought she was moments away from a proposal. Ben mumbles a bit more but I doubt she hears any of his actual words. Finally, he asks if he can walk her out.
Just as they approach the helicopter, Lindzie apologizes to him and says she’s sorry she couldn’t give him what he wants. Why is she apologizing to him? Why? Why?
Then… BRACE YOURSELF…
THEN! SHE SAID, “IF THINGS DON’T WORK OUT. WILL YOU CALL ME?”
I GASPED. I HAD TO PAUSE AND REWIND JUST IN CASE I WAS HEARING THINGS.
But no, sadly, no. That truly is what she said.
ABC — please tell me you have crisis counselors on stand by.
Courtney was next to arrive of course. When she removed her cloak (seriously, someone dressed both of these women in cloaks) she was wearing a skin tight black dress and long black leather gloves. Welcome to my parlour, said the spider to the fly…
Ben tried to dance around the whole am-I-going-to-propose-am-I-not-speech and even inserted a “But” to throw her off, but when he finally did get around to saying she was the one… her reaction?
SHE LAUGHED IN HIS FACE!
Honest, she burst out laughing.
At some point he pulled out a Neil Lane ring, she removed her black leather stripper glove and plunked that thing right onto her ring finger before each declared to the other, “I’ll love you forever.”
The cameras pulled back allowing us to enjoy the mountains and scenery of Zermatt all while listening to an instrumental version of David Gray’s “This Year’s Love.” Best part of the show. By far…
But then, the final episode led right into a live taping of “After the Final Rose” and that’s when the gettin’ got good. Well, pretty good. This was supposed to be the “most controversial season ever.” That’s stretching it I think.
Chris welcomed Ben to the set first. Good news! Someone combed Ben’s hair!!
Ben defended his choice by saying he really didn’t see a lot of what we saw until the show aired. The last few months for them have been rough though and … he did break off their engagement.
Courtney’s side of the story: Ben was initially supportive of her but then abandoned her. Trust is an issue for her and she was left disappointed.
Chris asked if they are still a couple and Sybil said, yes, then no, then I don’t know, then I’m hopeful.
Well, that was clear.
Ben came back on and when Chris asked where they stood, he answered: “We’re engaged.” Um, does Courtney know this? You might want to clue her in.
Sort of seems like they’re not communicating all that well, but I must be wrong because then each of them said that the best thing they have going is their ability to communicate with one another.
Okay, if you say so.
Final assessment? Still don’t think it was all that “controversial.” By FAR the most shocking, controversial, dramatic season was the one when Jason tossed Melissa aside for Molly. Nothing compares to that moment in my mind.
The other problem is I watched the final episode with Jeff (yes! he did watch!) and he had me so worked up with different scenarios on what the big controversy could be — our favorite, that he chose Lindzie but Courtney shows up to the live show six months pregnant from their skinny dipping tryst — that everything paled in comparison to our imaginations.
Even still, thank goodness for Courtney. As hard as I was on her — she’s the only thing that kept this show even fairly interesting to watch week after week.
Ben did return Courtney’s ring to her at the end of the live show. Not sure why, but Chris was holding it in his pocket. Courtney was relieved and happy to get it back (worth a lot on Ebay?). I doubt they’ll ever actually get married, and yet a part of me hopes it does work out.
So that’s it for Ben’s season. As I said before, there will be no recaps of Bachelor Pad or any other reality shows. Aside from Spurs games, that’s pretty much it for me and t.v. for a while.
I am likely to watch Emily’s season of The Bachelorette however.
Side note: Chris Harrison’s hair has gotten worse and worse over the course of the season. Please someone fix it before The Bachelorette airs.
Episode Ten, “The Women Tell All”
We’re nearing the final episode! Soon it will be revealed whom Ben has chosen to be his fiance. I love how the writers don’t even say “wife” anymore — cause we all know it ain’t gonna last!
Before we got down to the nitty gritty, ABC did a short “Where Are They Now” clip. Really it was just a way for them to promote the upcoming “Bachelor Pad” which will serve as a filler until Emily’s season of “The Bachelorette” airs. Just so you know, there will be no recaps of “Bachelor Pad” on my blog — I draw the line on that nonsense. It’s bad enough I still watch “The Bachelor” — there’s not a chance I’m going to watch or report on “Bachelor Pad.”
Back in the studio, Chris Harrison introduced each of the women from Ben’s season and announced that “for the first time in Bachelor history, one of the final two contestants will be present to answer their questions — Courtney. The reaction from the audience was priceless. Utter shock and delight! Yikes. These people don’t get out much! Of course, I’m the idiot who’s still watching so who am I to say?
The first focus was on Blakeley, the “VIP cocktail waitress.” The other girls, including me, were pretty hard on her throughout the season. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize. Blakeley, I’m sorry. It’s just that I was a little confused by your title. You are NOT a stripper. I get it now! You’re an exotic dancer. Big difference! (About $200 actually.) I did sort of like hearing that Blakeley refers to her breasts as “blessings.” Semantics aside, (those babies were not provided by God in His infinite wisdom), it’s nice that she takes a little pride in herself. Lesson #1: Women — take a page from the Blakeley Book of Positive Body Image. Focus on your attributes and stop bemoaning every flab and wrinkle.
Next up, Brittney. I didn’t care for Brittney at first — she brought her grandmother with her on Episode One. Really stupid ploy to stand out that didn’t endear her to any of the other women (who were pissed they hadn’t thought of it first). Brittney grew on me later, when she decided to bow out of the “competition.” During the live show last night she said she left because she wasn’t attracted to Ben.
THANK YOU!! See, it isn’t just me.
Audience reaction? Not good! Word of advice girl — sneak out the back during the next commercial break. I see audience members collecting pitch forks and stakes and they’re plotting against you.
Remember Shawntel? The funeral director dumped by Brad who wanted to meet Ben. The girls were vicious! She only had about two minutes with Ben and was stuck with the women, who’d been drinking most of the night, for over two hours. They were awful awful awful. Most of them apologized, but a few of them stuck by their guns and tried to put the blame back on her to explain why they called her a b**** and fat and ugly and skanky, etc.
Lesson #2: Bullying. Yet another topical exercise embedded deep within an episode of reality show television. You have to take the time to appreciate the subtle nuances.
On to PhD Student Emily who provided us with Lesson #3. Emily about closed the show when she pointed out that once Ben “skinny dipped” with Courtney, he clouded any relationship he could have with any of the other girls. According to her, it was at that point he was only thinking about sex and could no longer focus on developing relationships with any of the girls.
The entire audience, the panel of women, and the host all experienced one simultaneous “ah ha” moment! Brilliant! Congratulations Emily, for all the lessons you learned and shared by being on this show, you have just earned your PhD!
(Caveman Ben: Sex Good. Relationship? Hu-uh?)
If only we could find a way to harness the energy from that one unified moment, we could end our reliance on foreign oil and solve all the problems of the world!
After the commercial break, Chris pulled Nicki (the brown eyed girl from Texas) into the hot seat. Nicki’s feelings for Ben are still pretty raw so this was difficult to watch. A few months have passed since the show was taped. She’s had some time to get over him, but clearly she’s not quite there.
The same for Kasie B. although she didn’t seem quite as fragile. Could she already be in talks with ABC to be the next Bachelorette?? I know whenever my heart has been broken, being introduced to twenty-five new bachelors looking for love helped me overcome my heart ache.
I noticed that Chris asked Kasie B. a question he didn’t ask any of the other girls (in law school we called this a leading question): “Moving forward, are you capable or open to finding love again?” Her answer: “It feels good to be in love…I’m anxious and ready for that to happen again. I’m ready for it to be with the right person this time.”
Uh huh. She’s the next Bachelorette.
The moment we all were waiting for (not really)– the return of Courtney. The girls were given a chance to call her out for having a split personality. Truthfully, I skipped through most of this because it’s a beautiful day and I want to go outside and I have a lot to do today. The bottom line is, Courtney may need to look elsewhere for bridesmaids. For her part, she’s had a few months to develop a new persona and she decided to go with meek and sorrowful. No one bought it — but it was nice to see she has some range.
Finally, Ben came on to “face the women.” I was disappointed to see Nicki give him the lovey-dovey eyes. Later she said, “You are the best man I’ve ever met in my entire life.” Please Nicki, that is the saddest statement I’ve ever heard!
I guess it’s important that the women have a chance at some closure — but really, what do you think he’s going to say?
Most disappointing of all, the women who continued to flirt with him. One actually said, “If it doesn’t work out with whomever you chose, I’m still interested!!!!”
Holy cow!!! Lesson #4 — and this is a big one ladies. Quit doing this to yourselves!! Are you kidding me?? It’s not embarrassing enough you went on a television show with twenty-four others to vie for the attention of one dippy guy — but after he’s dumped you you continue to throw yourself at him on national television?
Please someone feed these women a whopping plateful of self-esteem.
Never never never never never do this.
Men are hunters. Hunters! Got it?
From there, Chris wisely moved on to a blooper reel which helped in lowering my blood pressure. I especially liked that Courtney was scared off by a cow. Courtney, cows are gentle and sweet. (And delicious.)
I could have done without the shot of Ben in a loin cloth. Ew.
Next week: Ben’s final choice if finally revealed. 8pm Eastern/7 Central. I’ll be there!
So yesterday I thought it would be nice to move a few things around in our house. Really, I was just thinking of the comfort of my husband and child. Very unselfish of me you could say.
My husband has finally figured out how to access his computer at work from home. He doesn’t have to go in on the weekends if he has a quiet place to work in our house. My daughter, who’s already taken over the entire second floor of our house and part of the first, has decided the pool room would make a great clubhouse. The pool room currently is being used as a storage area for everything I haven’t found a place for yet. I like having my husband home on the weekends if possible and I don’t like rooms that have no function so I was happy to take on both the office and the pool room yesterday.
I should note that I have absolutely no sense of spatial relationship. The first major purchase I ever made on my own after Jeff and I married was a sleigh bed for one of our guest bedrooms. I’d always wanted a sleigh bed and fell in love with the one I saw in the store. The bedroom could easily accommodate a double, maybe a queen bed, but you tack on the extra space a sleigh bed needs for the head and foot boards — a guest would need a shoehorn and a tub of Vaseline to gain access.
The bed was delivered, the movers assembled it, then gave each other knowing looks before departing and probably laughing their asses off on their way back to the warehouse.
Jeff, bless his heart, came home, took one look and said, why don’t you live with it for a few days, make sure you like it, if you don’t, we’ll send it back and order something else.
(We sent it back and ordered something else.)
I’d like to say I learned from that mistake and that I’ve improved in the eleven years since, but if anything I’ve gotten worse.
I’m constantly moving furniture. I just have no sense of how anything’s going to look unless I move it into place. By myself.
Oh yes, I have learned one thing. Do not under any circumstances ask Jeff to help you move or assemble anything. Do it yourself if you can or hire someone to help.
Yesterday’s moves fit into the I-can-do-this-by-myself category. At least I thought they did.
I started with the desk. I didn’t care for where it was positioned in the office so I moved it away from the wall to the center of the room to the opposite wall to angled in the room back to the wall then in front of the window before I was satisfied. The desk is close to a thousand pounds. Has to be. I took everything off the top of the desk before moving it, but left the files in the drawers because I didn’t want to fuss with having to line the drawers back up again and getting them to re-close properly. I probably should have removed the drawers in hindsight.
Jeff wanted a comfortable place to sit, relax, and read. So, because I’m a thoughtful and caring wife I moved a chair and ottoman into the room and remembered we had a wrought iron floor lamp that would be lovely next to the chair. So I dragged that in too.
The room was starting to look pretty good! Aside from a sore back I was getting things done. Why stop now?
Taking up a good part of the space in the pool room is our workout equipment. We had workout rooms in our last two houses but weren’t really sure where to put the equipment in this house. I decided to put everything in one of the upstairs rooms. The workout equipment consists of floor mats, an adjustable weight bench, free weights ranging from 10-45 lbs, and a giant rack. (We left the treadmill and elliptical in Houston.) How hard could this be?
I started with the heavier weights because I’m smart. I managed to get the two 45s, two 40s, two 35s, etc. into the house, up the stairs, and into the back bedroom. I continued on until all the weights were inside. Then I dragged the weight bench in. It’s heavy and awkward but I got it up the stairs without banging into any walls, scratching any floors, or breaking any fingernails.
The last item I needed was the rack. It doesn’t look that heavy once all the weights are removed, but it is. And it’s long and difficult to grab when you’re just one person. One 5 foot 2 inch person.
I got it half way up the stairs when I completely ran out of steam. You can’t exactly leave it in the middle of the stairwell though. Someone might notice. So my choice was to take it back down or get it the rest of the way up. Taking it back down wasn’t going to help because I needed it upstairs or I would have to bring all the weights back down again. So up it would have to go.
In an effort to to hoist it up step by step without damaging any walls I must have accidentally nudged one of the framed family photos hanging on the wall behind me. I closed my eyes as it thumped down the steps end over end before landing on the hard tile.
Had Jeff been with me, he would have thought to remove the picture before taking anything this large up or down the stairs. But my brain doesn’t work this way.
A frame I could replace. As long as the photo itself wasn’t damaged I should be good. I turned the picture over and couldn’t believe my eyes. Not a scratch! Picture, frame and glass all intact.
Inspired by this minor miracle, I returned to the rack ready to thrust it the rest of the way up the stairs.
Somehow it slipped my mind that there was a second family photo hanging on the stairwell wall and that maybe just maybe I should remove it. I bumped into the second frame and watched in horror as it not only thumped down the stairs, but shattered as it landed.
But before coming to a final stop, one of the corners caught the wall of the column and broke clear through the drywall.
A few scratches I can hide. A gaping hole? Not so much.
Maybe he won’t notice.
Maybe I could get this fixed while he’s away on one of his trips. How many days till he travels again? How to hide the hole until then?
I took some paper and wrote a note:
I wondered how long till he would notice.
Elizabeth and I arrived home before Jeff last night and within two seconds I heard, “Hey, what’s that note doing there?”
“It’s just a note for Daddy, honey. Isn’t it sweet?”
“But why is it so far down? You should put it up higher where he can see it.”
“It’s okay where it is. It looks good like that. Just leave it.”
“No. I want to put it –,” she rips the note right off the column. “What happened?!?”
“It’s just a teeny tiny hole. I’ll get it fixed.”
“How are you going to fix this? It’s huge!”
“I’m not going to fix it. I’m going to hire somebody. Someone else will know how to do something like this.”
“Can I show Daddy when —“
“NO! Just leave it. Put the note back. Let’s play a game. Let’s see how long it takes for him to notice. How long do you think until –“
“I want to tell him when he gets home.”
“Not yet. Don’t tell him. Let’s see if he notices tonight.”
When Jeff came home last night immediately Elizabeth came to me and asked, “Can I show him now?”
“No, honey. Remember we’re playing a game.”
Jeff didn’t notice it yesterday or this morning. How he missed it I have no idea.
Tonight we were at the rink for three hours and Jeff got home before us.
“I saw the note. Very cute. Why did you hang it there?”
Was he toying with me? Did he seriously see the note without pulling it off and looking behind?
I decided to play along. “I just thought it was funny there. I wanted to see if you’d notice.”
“Well I like it.”
Okay, is he lying to me? Is he waiting to see whether I’ll fess up?
Jeff has a tell-tale sign when he lies — his voice raises about three octaves. His voice was normal. He’s not lying!
He really didn’t remove the note. He doesn’t know!
Who does this? Who sees a note hanging at an odd angle low to the ground in the most ridiculous part of the house and not think, hmm what’s that doing there and why?
I kind of should have guessed this. I’ve managed to throw three surprise parties for Jeff in our eleven years together with very little effort. He is the least curious person I’ve ever met. He picks up on no subtleties, asks few questions, and does no spying whatsoever.
I could get away with this.
“Mommy, I’m going to take off the note and –“
“It’s okay honey. Just leave it where it is.” I”m shaking my head furiously with my eyes opened wide like a cartoon character.
“I want to show Daddy.”
“Show Daddy what?” Jeff asks, finally cluing in that something is up.
She shows him.
I immediately go into mitigation mode. I tell him how much I love him. How handsome he looks. How he’s my favorite husband. “I’m your only husband.” “True, but if I’d had other husbands you’d still be my favorite.”
“You know your child threw you under the bus.”
“Bus? I’ve been run over by a train. And it’s going back and forth over my head again and again.”
Elizabeth content to sit on the floor reading her American Girl magazine now that she’s no longer burdened with a secret, says, “Ooh, Mommy. Look at this sleeping bag. Can I get this?”
“The answer to all your questions for the next 60 days is no.”
“Why? Cause you’re a tattletale. You’re supposed to have my back. Remember — it’s me and you. We’re supposed to be a team.”
“Are you really going to say no for the next 60 days?”
“I’m thinking about it.”
“I can ask Daddy.”
“That’s right Punkin. You can ask me.”
“Great. Now the two of you are a team. You know, I was thinking.”
“I’m not entirely sure we even need that column. Who puts a column smack dab in the middle of the house anyway? I doubt it’s load bearing. We should just knock it out altogether.”
“Oh, that’s a good idea. You should do that tomorrow.”
I’m pretty sure he’s kidding. His voice went up when he said it. But really, it’s a stupid place for a column.
Interlaken, Switzerland, Episode Nine.
We’re down to just three girls:
- Nicki the Dental Hygienist from Texas (finally figured out who she reminds me of — Janet from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show!”);
- Lindzi Still-Not-Sure-What-She-Does from Seattle (dead ringer for Marcia Brady –the one married to Ben Stiller, not the original); and
Courtney the psycho from Scottsdale.
Jeff and I watched this episode together for a couple of reasons — the Spurs weren’t playing last night and neither of us had enough energy to reach for the remote let alone get off the couch and go to bed. I like having someone else rolling his eyes right along with me — it’s part of the reason I started blogging about “The Bachelor” in the first place — so thank you Jeff for humoring me.
Interlaken is stunningly beautiful and has just been bumped up to Number One on our Places to Visit list. This episode would have been far better enjoyed, and just as easily followed, with the volume off.
The girls spent a good deal of the time babbling away in an effort to “open up” in the hopes that their words would convince Ben to keep them around for another week. Ben could care less what they have to say. He nodded and grunted until the director gave him the thumbs up indicating it was time to whip out the Sleep-With-Me-If-You-Want-To-Stick-Around cards. After each girl said yes, I’ll screw you if it means I get a rose, Ben accompanied them to a giant barrel filled with hot water for a little foreplay.
I considered rewinding to capture more of the dialogue for you, but there wasn’t a whole lot that was worthwhile and besides, that would have entailed reaching for the remote.
I did catch a few lines for you though like this gem from Courtney:
“This is what we would do, this is what it would be like — traveling together. This would be our life together.”
Umm, no. No, it wouldn’t. It wouldn’t be anything like that Courtney. This is why “The Bachelor” hookups all fail. These dates do not in any way, shape or form resemble what your life would be like. In a few weeks, one of you lucky lucky ladies will give up your job, move half way across the country, and rent a one bedroom apartment in a three story walk up with a man you barely know. The phone will stop ringing. There will be no red carpet events or invitations to premieres or offers to host Entertainment Tonight. You’ll discover that the man who flew you around in helicopters and took you to private concerts is a total bore who can barely operate a microwave, has no idea how to plan a real date, sleeps on a mattress on the floor with only a top sheet, and invites his home boys over three nights a week to play XBox.
The producers have clearly run out of ideas which, aside from Ben’s hair, is probably the biggest issue I’ve had with this season. Despite its claim that it’s the “most controversial season yet,” nothing new has happened.
The big surprise was supposed to be a visit from one of the rejected girls to warn Ben about Courtney. Remember Creepy Jake flying in to warn Jillian about Cowboy Wes a few seasons back? Well this time around it was Kasie B. who flew all the way to Switzerland to proclaim her love to Ben, ask him to consider giving her another chance, and warn him about Courtney.
Now, after being dumped by Ben just last week, why would Kasie B. subject herself to more humiliation? A free trip to Switzerland is pretty neat and frankly even I would probably say yes, but it’s more likely that producers have targeted her as the future Bachelorette and dangled that tantalizing carrot in front of her to get her to knock on Ben’s door.
Kasie B. did a decent enough job of convincing Ben she still had feelings for him. Of course, Ben’s ego is inflated enough at this point that it wouldn’t take all that much sweet talk for him to believe someone he just rejected would fly ten hours to beg for one more chance.
Chris Harrison asked Ben if he wanted to add Kasie B. back into the rose ceremony later that night. Ben looked like he might say yes at first, but ultimately declined. He was confused enough as it was and adding one more girl back into the mix would have made his head explode.
I pictured Kasie B. in the background waving her hands frantically as if to say “No!! Enough already!”
In the next scene we see Ben staring at the head shots of the three remaining girls. I sort of get it the first week or two when he’s trying to narrow twenty-five women down to fifteen. Who can keep all those Ashlee’s straight? But by week nine does he really need to stare at their pictures to decide who it is he “loves?” Maybe if he drew up T-charts on each of the girls that would help him come to the “right” decision. Quick, someone get him a pen and some paper.
In the meantime, lucky us — we were treated to a little preview of next season’s “Bachelorette” starring Emily, Brad’s fiance from his second go-round as the Bachelor. Emily palled around with Trista and Ali — two of the franchise’s success stories — and they talked about finding love and wanting the same for sweet Emily. Guess the producers got a little ahead of themselves since Ali and Roberto have since broken up. Oops. Oh well, Emily is quite beautiful and has one of those southern accents that doesn’t grate on your nerves and I hope she does actually find love.
See!! Even as this abysmal season nears a close, I’m already looking ahead to the next season with the hope that two people will indeed find love. Why why why? Will I ever learn?
Betting that other viewers are similarly sappy and pathetic, ABC showed a long clip of “The Titanic,” which apparently will soon be re-released in theaters. I may be in the minority here, but I didn’t find “The Titanic” to be the love story of all time. First, I thought Kate Winslet should have chosen Billy Zane over Leonardo DiCaprio. Leonardo still looked a little like he did from his “Growing Pains” days — too much of a boy for me. And even if I could kind of understand why she dumped her fiance for him, what was up with the scene on the raft when she held his hand and said, “I’ll never let you go…” Next thing we know, she wakes up, he’s gone, and she’s calling out, “Hey, where’d ya go?”
(I don’t mean to diss Kate Winslet. She’s actually my favorite actress and I was rooting for her and for a grown-up Leonardo when they reunited in “Revolutionary Road.”)
Anyway, back to “The Bachelor.” Roses went to Courtney (no surprise) and Lindzi. Ben’s been warned and warned again but you just know he’s going to end up with Courtney and we’ll witness another Jake/Vienna-like melt down during the After the Final Rose episode. Could another Jason/Melissa/Molly switcheroo be in the works? Let’s hope not!
Let’s also hope I have enough brain cells remaining in my head to get through two more episodes.
Next up, The Women Tell All.
Fans of “The Bachelor” — are you ready?? Last night’s episode featured the hometown dates. By now we’ve gotten to know the Final Four pretty well and there’s usually at least one kook in the mix. This year the kook is Courtney and I couldn’t wait to meet her parents. But I’d have to wait, her hometown visit was saved for last.
First up was Lindzi. Originally from Seattle, Washington, her family later moved to Ocala, Florida. The director captured a shot of a “Beware of Alligators” sign at the lake as they panned over the countryside. You have to be a regular viewer of the show like me to pick up on the subtleties. Don’t feel bad if this one slipped you by.
Once again, Lindzi rode in on horseback — that’s one way for us — and for Ben — to keep these girls straight. The horse farm was gorgeous and they enjoyed a beautiful day outside. Unfortunately, watching the scenery was far more interesting than listening to her scratchy voice prattle on about nothing.
She seems likable, although aside from her love of horses, I really have no sense of who she is still. She admitted to having lived with someone for a while which surprised and woke up Ben who may have thought he was in virgin territory, but aside from that, she revealed nothing new.
Her parents seemed pleasant and normal. They revealed that they were married in San Francisco’s City Hall — can you believe it — the same exact location of L & B’s first date! Lindzi was shocked and so was I. In twenty-seven years they never once mentioned where they were married? Oh well, it’s either a sign that Ben and Lindzi are meant to be together forever just like her parents or a sign that you can see signs anywhere when you want to badly enough.
Mom and Dad then challenged their daughter and their future son-in-law to a carriage race. Ben and Lindzi got smoked by Mom and Dad. Guess that was all the bonding they needed because by the end of the night Dad was toasting Ben and saying, “We’d be honored to have you as a son-in-law.” Ahhh… Could this really be it?
At the end of the night, as Ben and Lindzi parted, I noticed that he kissed her over and over again — with a closed mouth. I am not a fan of a whole lot of tongue action on t.v., but at this stage of the game I’m looking for signs of true love. Ben mostly grunts and mumbles and says “Really?” a lot — so he can be tough to read. Body language is key. I’m a little worried about Lindzi if this is the best he can do with a wedding just around the corner.
On to hometown date number two.
Kacie B. from Tennessee. (It rhymes!)
Poor Kacie B. How much time did the producers spend with this girl to pull out a back story? The best they could come up with was a field named after her grandfather. A field. In the sticks of Tennessee. Named after her grandfather. Oh dear.
The good news is, now that’s she a big big star maybe they’ll name the whole town after her!
Remember her cutesy date early on when she darted into a store to buy a baton and show off her twirling skills? This time she brought out the whole marching band. Literally! She brought out the town’s whole marching band with her pulling up the rear tossing and twirling her baton.
The first time Jeff saw me twirl a baton — well that was it for him. He just knew he wanted me to be the mother of his children. How can any man resist such a site!
After seeing Kacie B. strut her stuff Ben was hooked! Things were looking good for Kacie B. What could go wrong?
Oh — Mom and Dad. Dad’s a parole officer and doesn’t drink (deal breaker alert!) and golly, it appears Mom has seen episodes of “The Bachelor” before and does not want her little girl shacking up with anyone before marriage. This didn’t sit well with Ben who clearly has no intention of marrying any one of these girls. I fear for sweet Kacie B.
Next up, Nicki from Texas. I have now lived in Texas longer than I’ve lived in any other state and I, like everyone else here, have Texas pride. I was happy to see that Ben feels the same way. What’s not to love??
Nicki showed up in jeans and stillettos (and a cute top!) and took Ben shopping for boots.
Ahhh…. now that is my idea of a dream date. Jeff, please take note!
They each purchased boots and hats and off they went to explore the town some more with Nicki saying, “Finding the right boot is like finding the right partner in life. I believe I’m the right fit for him.” (Isn’t that beautiful?)
I cringed when one or both of them yelled “Yee Haw” in the street. We only do that at the rodeo. And on Saturdays. And Tuesdays.
Embarrassed and worried her Texas citizenship card would be revoked, she grabbed Ben’s arm and ducked into a bar so they both could get liquored up before meeting Mom and Dad.
Nicki, you remember, was married before. She poured her heart out to Ben about not wanting to jump into something again not knowing if it is “true.” Nicki seems very sweet and genuine and whoever curled her hair and did her makeup did a wonderful job. She looked cute as a button.
Ben — what can I say? I just can’t get past that hair. I’m sorry. I’m trying, but he doesn’t have a whole lot of other redeeming qualities so his hair is tough to forgive.
At her parent’s home, Nicki took Mom into the back bedroom and confessed her love for Ben. Then Mom and daughter jumped up and down like six-year olds. Mom, this could be why Nicki already has one marriage under her belt at the tender age of twenty-six. You just met him five minutes ago. Are you seriously ready to give your approval? Please be a mom and not a friend to this naive girl!
Later, Nicki squeezed onto a love seat with Dad and admitted to him she’s falling in love with Ben. Dad got a little teary saying, “I may have too readily given your hand in marriage the first time because I have such complete faith in your judgment. … But now I think maybe I could have asked a few more questions and I’m sorry if I did let you down.” Good job Dad.
I thought this meant Dad would try to put the breaks on this relationship a bit, but by the time dinner was served, Dad gave his blessing for marriage. You could tell Dad was sincere and genuinely trying his best, but you have to wonder whether anyone told him that his future son-in-law is actually dating three others besides his daughter.
Oh well, he’ll catch on after this episode airs.
The final date was reserved for Courtney. Now if you’re anything like me, you’re just dying to meet Courtney’s mom and dad.
Usually at least one set of parents is pretty batty (remember the taxidermist? how about the one who showed off his shotgun collection?) and so far everyone we’ve met has been pretty wonderful so I held out hope the best (as in the worst) was yet to come.
Ben met Courtney in front of her childhood home. The home … was… shockingly… normal. So normal that it got me thinking, is this indeed where Courtney was raised? I scratched my head and continued to watch.
You know I’m not a big fan of Courtney. Beauty is as beauty does as my grandmother used to say had I had a grandmother that used to say things like that (mostly she just yelled in Greek). So given Courtney’s less than attractive attitude toward the other girls — I find her outward appearance to be less and less attractive each week. Honestly, with those wide set eyes, she’s starting to look like a bug! Much like… ready for this? Kafka’s Metamorphosis. This show tends to bring out the literary snob in me. Consider your standards raised if you’ve read this far!
At Courtney’s home in Scottsdale, we meet sister Rachel, Mom Sherry and Dad Rick. Rick, with silver hair and sweater vest says to Ben, “Marriage is life’s biggest gamble. Are you ready to make that bet Ben?”
Poetic, no? Kind of rehearsed I say. Rehearsed as in… this is no way her dad, her mom or her real sister! And that home? A three-sided stage prop!
Sherry, she of perfectly coiffed hair, played the part of skeptical mom. Courtney resorted to the only trick up her sleeve, coy manipulation. “You look so pretty mom” then acted all meek and shy and so-in love. “I’m falling for him Mom.”
“Falling like on your way down?”
I think Mom had had a few drinks today.
“He makes me feel appreciated. Ben tells me how he feels about me…makes me feel special…I’ll be ready to say yes if he proposes. “
Rick? You ready? In 3, 2,…
“This house, my family, my daughters,” continues “Dad.” “This is who we are. I’d love to have a son-in-law and I’d love to have grand kids.”
Uh huh, I’m buying it. Just like I’m buying the phony baloney wedding Courtney set up for their one-on-one later in the day.
Courtney took Ben to an outdoor wedding venue and told him she could see herself marrying there one day. She then pulled out some paper and pens and had them write their vows.
The fact that Ben didn’t scream “Beam me up Scotty. Beam. Me. UP!” at this point is evidence that Courtney will be in the final two if not the winner of this whole charade. This boy is whipped.
It matters not at all to Courtney because she has taken a peek behind the curtain and knows this is all make-believe anyway.
Ben and Courtney exchanged vows and rings before a preacher and before one another but weren’t really declared man and wife. Hey, just like Kim and Chris Kardashian. (What? He didn’t take her name?)
At the end of the episode it was time to say goodbye to one of the girls. Spoiler alert — bye bye Kacie B. Can’t wait to get to know you better on your season of “The Bachelorette.” She tried her best to pretty cry and I felt bad for her. “Why does it have to hurt so bad? I had no clue this was coming. I’m so upset. Why am I not goed enough? I don’t get it. I loved him. How did this happen? What the f*** happened? …”
As cynical as I am about this show and why any girl would ever put herself through such nonsense, this is the part I hate. Clearly the girls who are dumped are hurt and you can’t help but feel for them.
Ben toasted the three remaining girls and announced they were all headed for an Alpine adventure in Switzerland!
OMG — take everything back I’ve ever said about this show and about these girls and why they would ever sign on for something so demoralizing and stupid — they’re going to SWITZERLAND!!
Do you think they’ll let a 40-something married mother from Texas be on the next season of “The Bachelor?”
Sorry. I’ve collected myself.
More next week. Have a good Tuesday.
Tough week for me this week, but a few things did make me laugh. I can’t seem to put a sentence together today, so I’ll just share with you a few of the things that made me smile.
Today… It’s nearing 4pm. We’re still in pj’s. It rained most of last night and intermittently today, but the sun just came out. The three of us stood in the kitchen, stared at the backyard, and admired the beautiful day. I wondered aloud how warm it is outside. Instead of walking three steps and opening the door, Jeff looked up Weather on his iPhone. What has become of us?
Earlier today… For some reason Elizabeth is fascinated by my closet and is always wanting to build a fort inside. This doesn’t sit well with my OCD so I suggested she turn the suitcase room (the windowless space beneath the stairs) into a fort. By the time we helped her pull out all the suitcases, tote bags, umbrellas, and so forth from the room she was on to something else. Now I have 30+ suitcases and bags strewn all over my bedroom. I should have let her play in my closet. On the plus side I found my wedding dress. I’m thinking of breaking the seal and taking E’s picture in it. (Idea gleaned from Pinterest. A source of so many good fun things to try!)
Yesterday… I deactivated my Facebook account and found I actually managed to get a few things done. (Odd…)
Thursday… Nothing funny happened. Actually it was a terrible day and no matter how hard I try I have no one to blame but myself. (And I’m pretty stellar at finding others to blame.)
Wednesday… Elizabeth’s actual birthday. Great day!! How could it not be? I tucked a few surprises and notes inside her lunchbox and wrote Happy Birthday all over her Cutie. In case you’re wondering, this is a Cutie…
Her party isn’t till Monday (President’s Day) but I wanted to give her her gifts on her actual birthday. I hid them inside the trunk because she never goes in the trunk. When we arrive at the Ice Center each afternoon, she somehow manages to carry her water bottle in all by herself. She darts inside to greet her friends and I’m left behind to gather my purse, her Zuca bag, any extra clothes she may need, her snack, and usually my laptop.
On Wednesday, clever girl hopped out of the car and popped open the trunk — voila! all of her gifts! Guess nine is the age they suddenly turn helpful. Little sneak.
Tuesday… Valentine’s Day. My kind, thoughtful husband (who likely feared what Wednesday’s blog might read) bought me a beautiful gift. :-) (If you’re confused, read this post — it refers to past Valentine’s Days in our household.)
Monday… I sorted through the clothes in my closet. I laughed and laughed — when I wasn’t crying. The clothes that do fit are awful and the clothes that aren’t awful don’t fit. (Maybe next week I’ll go swim suit shopping — imagine what fun that will be!)
I just Googled Girl Scout Cookie Diet as a joke and in 0.26 seconds 994,000 results were returned. Fascinating.
Okay, time to get out of pj’s. Rodeo tickets tonight. Yee Haw!!
I think about my beautiful friend every day, but especially today — a day we should be celebrating her birthday.
No one could love a child more — her son was her entire world. Even a few hours away from him was hard on her. Deep inside she must have known her time here was limited and she wanted to save every second for him.
I trust that she is happy. I trust that she knows that she touched so many of us and that she is missed and remembered.
Now and then when I’m missing her the most, I see signs of her around me. I’ll look for her a little more today.
A thousand words.
Belize, Coco Beach Resort
Please tell me you read a book, painted a picture or organized your spice drawer last night – anything other than waste two hours of your life watching Episode 7. I suffered through on your behalf. It’s because I care.
This season is as boring and bland as Bachelor Ken himself. I usually tape the show and watch it in the morning, but I knew I had a busy day scheduled so I watched last night instead.
And fell asleep.
Seriously. I had to go back and rewind. More than once.
Since there are only six girls left, it’s probably time to take a moment and learn their names.
Nicki (26) is a dental hygienist from Hurst, Texas. It took me a long time to figure out who she is. She sort of got lost in Group Date Land for most of the season and is only just now coming into her own. Too little too late? Probably. Or at least the producers think so since they’ve hardly focused on her. I think she’s the only one left who has been married before and the divorce was recent, like within the last year. The odds of her making the final two are slim to none.
Kasie (24) is an Administrative Assistant from Clarksville, Tennessee. (Is no one a secretary anymore?) I can finally drop the B. from Kasie B. since the other Kasie left the show last week in shame. This Kasie is, and has been my pick since the beginning. Not for Bachelor Glen! But to be the next “Bachelorette.”
Courtney (28) is the model originally from Scottsdale, Arizona (quick shout out to my parents) who now lives in Santa Monica, California. Courtney is easy to hate. Wonder all you want why Bachelor Ted is so enamored (I’ll save you time — it’s because he’s an idiot), but thank goodness she’s still there — at least she keeps it somewhat interesting. Odds are in her favor to make it to the final two if not win the whole enchilada. The producers need her and the Bachelor can’t see through her.
Emily (27) is a budding epidemiologist from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She may be book smart, but in all other respects poor thing is dumb as a doorknob. All the girls talk about wanting to warn their boyfriend about Courtney, but Emily’s the only one stupid enough to do it. Her days are numbered. Highly unlikely she’ll make it much longer.
Lindzi (27), the Business Development Manager from Seattle, Washington has sort of fallen off the radar since her dramatic horseback entry in Episode One. She seems to still have chemistry with Bachelor Whats-His-Name and I give her pretty good odds to at least make it to the Final Three.
Rachel (27) of New York, New York gives herself the lofty title Fashion Sales Rep. She quit her career to be on the show. Oh, Rachel, how will you ever find another job in retail? Odds are not in her favor either and since I don’t understand betting and odds and all that let’s go with 7-2.
With hometown dates on the line, Chris Harrison announced there would be one group date with three women attending and three intimate dates. (I love how he’s using leading words now, it isn’t enough to say one-on-one anymore… Girls, you want to stick around another week? Pay attention! We’re looking for intimacy.).
The first date card, Two Halves Make a Hole (not a misspelling, give me a minute), went to Lindzi. (Underline all you want spell check. I think this is actually how she spells her name. Oh except I think she dots the final “i” with a heart. Isn’t that cute?!?)
Lindzi spent a long time choosing just the right outfit for her date. Ben arrived in swim trunks and a wife beater.
He whisked her off in a helicopter for a scenic tour of the ocean before mentioning they’d be leaping out of said helicopter into a huge underwater sinkhole known as The Blue Hole. (Hole/Whole Get it? The writers are insane!)
You’re going to find this to be a coincidence too strange to believe – but it appears Lindzi is afraid of heights! Gosh, I wish she’d mentioned that on her application. Who knew?
Lindzi was petrified and looked ready to barf. But Bachelor Bret, being the romantic that he is, couldn’t resist an opportunity to force his tongue down her throat, greenish gray skin tone notwithstanding.
Fortunately for them, and more importantly, for us – no one puked. (But I wanted to.)
“I fell for Ben out of a helicopter but I’m always falling for Ben,” Lindzi said.
Okay now I want to puke again.
Later that night, Bart pulled out a little scroll and a bottle so he and Lindzi could pollute the pristine waters with their drivel.
“Once upon a time there was a man named Ben (wait, his name’s Ben?) and a woman named Lindzi, who was very pretty. They met in a far off land full of mystery. Their future was uncertain until one day they jumped out of a helicopter. At that point she was falling not just from a helicopter, but more importantly for Ben…”
The story ended with the pair making an “eternal promise” to always be honest with each other.
I checked the credits at the end of the show but couldn’t find Nicholas Sparks’ name anywhere. Even he couldn’t write anything this pathe– Oh, wait. He did.
Date Card #2, “Do you Belize in Love?” went to Emily.
“I feel like I’m on vacation with my boyfriend, if only my boyfriend didn’t have five other girlfriends.”
I told you she wasn’t bright.
Bachelor Bland and Emily painted the town beige for a few hours as they rode bicycles, drank coconut water, and crashed a basketball game.
Ben later decided he wanted lobster for dinner but – oh no! Could it be that all the lobster at the local market is sold out? Only one thing to do – dive and stab your own.
I feel your pain lobsters.
Back at the house, Courtney warned that if the next date card was not for her, she wouldn’t accept a rose from Ben at the cocktail party. I kept my fingers and my toes crossed, but it wasn’t meant to be because Date Card #3 went to Courtney: Courtney, let’s take the next “steps” in our relationship.
Sybil went from pouty to bitch in two seconds flat. “Oh snap! That’s exciting! It’s about time… He’s a smart boy, he listens.”
This brought out the ugly in Kasie, “That f***ing bitch. It took every freaking fiber of my being to not spring across the room and punch her in the face.”
Courtney, on her way out, “Bye! Can’t stand y’all!”
For their date, Courtney and Ben climbed the steps of a Mayan temple and Courtney tested her theory that Ben wants what Ben can’t have.
“I had a tough day yesterday. It was hard for me knowing you were with Emily. She was the person that said nasty things to me… And then I started thinking, am I going to get a one-on-one date? Like, if I didn’t, honestly, I was not going to accept a rose from you… I’m not going to bring someone home if, you know, I don’t even know where we’re at. It felt so good in the beginning and I had such a spark… and the last group date it was just hard, it feels like I was with a friend… I lost the spark babe.”
Ben got down on his hands and knees and started to pant and beg. Truly it was pathetic.
Courtney held up red, burgundy, magenta, rose, raspberry and crimson flags. Flare guns went off — yet the Bachelor ignored them all.
Then Courtney said, “From day one I tried to be winning every girl over, and being nice to them and complimenting them.” When exactly was this?
Sybil then admitted she has a lot of guy friends. Ben said he’s concerned that the person he wants to be with doesn’t get along with other women. Her reply, “I wasn’t not getting along with them, at all.”
Then, then she says it’s her job to connect with others because she’s the talent and the talent must make everyone happy.
She referred to herself as THE TALENT!
“Snap girls! Show’s over! You can all go home, pack your bags.” Unfortunately, I think she’s got it right.
For the group date, the card read, “Let’s Sea Who’s Family I Will Meet.” So clever!! Pulitzer prize winning stuff!
Before taking the girls to the sea, he snuck into their suite at 4 am and woke them. No one screamed, no one called the police, and no one sleeps naked. Interestingly enough, the girls were sleeping two to a bed. How cheap are you ABC?
They girls ran into the bathroom giggling and we had to watch them shave to get ready for their big date with their boyfriend. (Why doesn’t my grammar check have a problem with boyfriend written in the singular?)
The three lucky girls were taken out to sea to go shark diving. Rachel flipped out about the sharks. Wait just one cotton-pickin minute. Do you mean to tell me Rachel is afraid of sharks? What are the odds two girls would have to face their biggest fears in one episode?
Rachel’s so fearful she said she even worries she’ll get bitten in lakes. There are sharks in lakes? Does anyone else know about this?
Rachel monopolized all of Ben’s time but it was Kasie who got the date rose and the first to lock in a spot for hometown dates.
Okay, truth be told, this is when I started falling asleep big time.
At some point while the girls waited around dressed to the nines waiting for the cocktail party to begin, Chris announced there would be no cocktail party. I think a few of the girls freaked out a little because they wanted those last few minutes to profess their love, but Courtney was feeling confident: “Well I’m feeling good… I’ve got a pina colada, I’m in Belize, I’ve had a relaxing day… Oh my gosh, it’s so good when it hits your lips!” Then she said something about Ben not being the only guy in the world (he’s not??) which offended the rest of the girls, especially Emily.
Before the rose ceremony, Ben pulled Courtney aside to make sure she’s really in this for the right reasons. He maybe should have defined right reasons cause I’m pretty certain she’s in it for the right reasons, they just have nothing to do with Ben.
The three remaining roses were handed out and … drum roll… we have our Final Four: Kasie, Courtney, Lindzi, and Nicki are in. Rachel and Emily are out.
There may have been tears but by then I shut the t.v. off.
Next week, we meet Mom and Dad!
Aren’t you just dying to know who spawned Courtney?