I mean, what would work? "The Bachelor: I Give Everyone a Rose." Or "The Bachelor: I Have My Therapist on Speed-Dial." More likely, "The Bachelor: I Made Kim Cry Like a School-Girl."
I don't want to admit it (although my husband has already threatened to comment on this entry if I don't come clean), but I turned into a weepy, bawling mess about 45 minutes into tonight's episode.
I'll say, I was 100% ready to write off this whole series before tonight. It keeps me up until 10pm, for starters. And Brad Womack is edging dangerously close to the d-word. And aside from those two, I'd much rather write about how I (accidentally) punched a kid in the face during music lessons than I would about Brad and his relationship with Ashley 1 and Ashley 2.
And then tonight, it all changed.
I really started to care.
I'm not sure where the major change of heart came from. Maybe because the episode was set in Vegas, my city? (Yes Chicago, I am officially trading you in for Vegas. After nine long years.) Maybe because tomorrow is Brian's and my 9 year anniversary of our first date (and that yes, I force him to observe, regardless of how dumb a "dating" anniversary is, the historical significance that is February 1?) Or maybe it's because I kept imagining a car seat in the back of that race car and wondered what my life would be like if I were Emily, the widow, brokenhearted yet strong?
Or maybe it's because I bought these amazing Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels (henceforth known as "the DCSSCs") from Whole Foods and I realize that this whole episode was essentially about menstruation and what happens when you leave women living in the same house together for too long. They will start cycling together and eventually start crying on Brad's shoulder at the same time. Damn you, estrogen, ovaries, and uterus.
Chris Harrison announced to the women that they would be traveling to Las Vegas. Michelle acted like they were going to the other side of the world, when in reality Vegas is about a 50 minute flight from LA. Calm down, Michelle. You are allegedly from Utah. You should know this.
The whole team checked into Aria Hotel and Casino at City Center--
(fun fact! City Center opened in December 2009)--
and all of the women swooned over their gorgeous view from their suite. I'm not one to plug my recession-devastated city, but have you checked it out yet? That would be arialasvegas.com -- feel free to click on it when you have a moment, perhaps to book a weekend away, a bachelorette party, or a just a fun weekend with your significant other...
...because what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...
...and then Shawntel the Embalmer landed the first one-on-one date. She is cute, I will admit, and seemed really psyched to buy a crapload of stuff from these amazing stores at Crystals, the mall at City Center --
and ended up dragging a ton of bags home, just to piss off all of the other girls. Again, I go back to this strange, vaguely uncomfortable feeling that I have when a man "buys" whatever his date wants (i.e. the Pretty Woman effect), since personally, I'd rather buy it for myself (the "I Don't Need You" defense mechanism), but I reassured myself that it's not necessarily Brad buying these gifts, but ABC productions. And for whatever non-feminist reason, it feels a lot better when it's coming from a major corporation and not some dude.
(this is also coming from the same person who had a panic attack about two weeks into her engagement, yelling at her (very dear) fiance by saying, "Why is the diamond so big? Did you feel like you had to mark your territory? What am I, your cow?" My dear, sweet husband responded by saying, "I thought you wanted a really beautiful ring."
So...yeah, yeah, yeah. Shawntel got a rose amid the cityscape that is City Center --
and all was good in the hood. Aria is a GORGEOUS property. Check it out. Seriously.
Then came the group date. Oh, heavens.
Yes, we all know that Emily's fiance was a race car driver. We all know he died tragically five years ago and left her with a precious baby girl. I like to think of him as Ricky Bobby (even though his real name is just Ricky). And yet, despite what we all know, the producers still found it within themselves to stage a date at the Las Vegas MotorSpeedway, with Emily and her truckload of unresolved grief, in tow.
I'll admit, I was fine until she started crying. And then I kind of teared up. (and reached for another glass of red, along with a DCSSC.) And then she was all like, "The first few laps are for Ricky, but the last lap is for me." And then I just lost it. Tears, tears, and more tears.
See, Scotty goes to this music class where the last song we sing is called, "Goodbye, So Long, Farewell", and the last line says "And a hug or a handshake for your friends, and then how 'bout one just for yourself, too?"
And for whatever damn reason (menstruation, I curse you!), I became a puddle of Kim.
I mean, reality TV aside, Emily's situation really sucks. We all get mad at our spouses. We all feel frustrated at them. We all wish they would hang the garage shelving in a more timing, less wet, manner. But then it hits home that they could be lost in an instant, and that really sucks.
So Emily, amid her tears (and mine), took a brave lap around the course, for Ricky, and then for (sniff, sniff), her. And Brad gave her the rose, amid the tears of the other girls. ::sigh:: Michelle, at least, provided some level of comic relief by latching on to Brad's face while blathering on about girls v. women. And we all know what side she's on.
And that leads me to...
Ashley v. Ashley.
Shawntel delivered both Ashleys the news about their date with Brad in such a solemn manner you would have thought a loved one had died. Oh no, wait, that would just be Emily's fiance and Ashley the Nanny's dad. Again, more tears. Why is bereavement such a critical issue in this edition of the Bachelor? What are you doing to me, ABC producers?? Leave me alone! I want to escape, not have to feel.
And without getting too much into it (again, I will say this: our first song at our wedding was an Elvis song), Brad sent Ashley the Nanny home, probably because she couldn't keep up with the bend-a-bility of the Cirque performers. We all know Ashley the Dentist dances in her underwear (and is therefore very limber), so it really was no contest. Ashley the Nanny lamented about her dead father, her desire for someone to love her, and her want for a steady male presence in her life as she mopped away tears in the back of the limo, all while they played "Are You Lonesome, Tonight?" in the background.
Please kill me now. Because I sobbed on the couch.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ME??
Brad made a quick phone call to Jamie Greene, PhD, and learned that strength and vulnerability can co-exist (::yawn::) while I poured myself another glass of wine and had another DCSSC. I am irritated that I wasn't rolling my eyes, but instead, I was wiping away my own tears (much to Brian's delight) since this episode had hit all kinds of heart strings. Argh. I hate being sentimental! Boo. Let's talk more about garage shelving...
But in the end, it was Marissa the Sports Gal and Lisa of the Frizzy Hair that were sent home. No big dill. We knew Michelle would hang around. Ditto for Chantel. Alli got some kind of sympathy-chocolate dessert that I would have refused on principle, but she snarfed it up.
Coming attractions showed Emily "sabotaging" her chance at an at-home date, Michelle eating Brad alive, and Britt jumping off the side of a boat in Anguilles. Since I'm a fan of the Carribbean (and not the cathartic release of emotion through the production of tears)...I guess I'll tune in next week.
Just please pass the tissue.