Season 4,297 of The Bachelor recently ended, and I think we can all say it was about as big of a champagne-fueled dumpster fire as we’ve ever witnessed. Blame the too-young cast or the allure of shilling teeth whitener and subscription boxes on Instagram instead of being there for the right reasons, or just the downright silly premise of the show. All contributing factors, sure, but the blame belongs squarely on the lead himself: Pete the Pilot is not a Dungeon Master.
Okay, so I’m not a Dungeon Master either, but I want to be and have spent considerable time studying them. Dungeon Masters possess many excellent traits—they’re creative, charismatic, adaptable, collaborative, and have the ability to make every bare-midriff, barrel-curled blonde with a spray tan feel like the only girl in the mansion. These are the very same traits that would benefit the star of a popular reality mating show in order to keep it all from skidding off the runway. Better luck next time, Pete.
Look, no one is watching this show for witty reflections on current events or keen commentary on global economics. I expect drama and cat fights and bronze, glittery cleavage, and sequin weggies. I am willing to suspend my disbelief over a 28 year-old, virile commercial pilot who believes it’s easier to find a wife on a televised game show than say, the Delta Sky Club at LAX. But the wheels flew off the 737 upon take-off and even Sully couldn’t successfully land this season. It’s too late for Pete, but future leads take note. Before you get on my TV screen, get behind your own. Grab your dice and take note.
Pick the Right Party: Should you find yourself searching for a wife among a gaggle of back-biting, pantsuit-wearing, gossip rag, fame whores then polymorphthem into a pile of otyugh turds and teleport them to a TLC show. Look, not everyone’s a match and there aren’t enough roses for players (literally and figuratively) who don’t share your sensibilities and long-term goals. Would you be willing to shield these people from harm at the detriment of your own health? If not, take off and find a better party.
Be a Leader:You want me to follow you down a dark, dank path littered with the sounds of hungry harpies? Well, Dungeon Master, you better make a damn good case for it! One major complaint from Bachelor viewers this season was the Bachelor himself. As a contestant on Hannah Brown’s season he was funny, charming, and passionate (yeah, yeah, he’s ‘four times in the windmill’ guy.) As the lead, however, he was childish, inarticulate, contradictory, and just plain lost. I wouldn’t let this guy lead me into the Yawning Portal on free mead day. A Dungeon Master exudes confidence (even if they’re feeling insecure), reads and reacts to a room, and doesn’t just roll with the punches– they turn them into epic roleplaying moments.
Take Your Roles Seriously: It’s not all Us Weeklysidebars and Stagecoach VIP passes. The contestants may not be there for the right reasons,but they couldn’t be there at all without you. That’s right, Pete—you’re literally the reason for the season.
Dungeon Masters allow us to gather around the table and tell our stories. They’ve agreed to take on this key role knowing it involves a tremendous amount of preparation, dedication, and responsibility for your good time. But they also recognize D&D is a collaborative experience and don’t steamroll or make decisions that benefit only them. I mean, do you ever hear Chris Harrison tell the lead who deserves a rose? And believe me, he’s got opinions.
Not only did Pete make some bad decisions, he seemed rather unapologetic and apathetic about how they affected his future brides. If you don’t treat your role with respect, no one else will either.
Roll with Change: When Pete’s piloting a plane, he follows a flight plan. He doesn’t have the option to take a left to avoid traffic or pull over at that place Yelpers say have the best waffles. Perhaps Pete needs a flight plan for life. Perhaps something like a campaign?
The most common advice I hear from experienced Dungeon Masters is to be prepared, but not overly prepared. Your players might go left when everything you prepped for is to the right. Don’t panic. Just change your perspective. They decided to talk to the innkeeper instead of investigating the noises coming from the basement? Have the innkeeper tell themabout the weird noises in the basement and ask if the party would mind checking it out. Mistakes aren’t always mistakes. Sometimes they turn into super cool storytelling moments. (And sometimes a producer set you up to make the most dramatic season ever. Not much you can do about that.)
Be Decisive: So, you drop your players in the middle of an eerie, mysterious forest and WAM! Out pop a band of goblins! Great idea, Dungeon Master! The players shriek in fear.
“Can they see us?
“Do we have cover?”
“Do I have line of sight?”
“Can we sneak away?”
And you say, “Uhhh… yeah, you have cover. No, wait, you don’t. In fact, you didn’t see them at all, but they heard you coming and sneak up behind you and hit the cleric over the head. She takes 33 points of damage.”
“Okay, nine? Six? Okay, fine, they didn’t see you. In fact, there are no goblins. You’re actually in a wand shop in the commerce district. What would you like to buy?”
One of Pete’s biggest flaws was his inability to make and stick to a decision. He drank Kelsey’s champagne with Hannah Ann, sent Alayah packing because Victoria P. said she was mean, then brought her back because Alayah said Victoria P. was actually the mean one, only to send her home again when all the other girls said both girls were mean, but Alayah was the meanest. He ignored warning signals (weird for a pilot), gets in the middle of petty drama, believed everything he heard, and sent home the most decent woman because she was trying to have fun and CHOOSING YOUR WIFE ON A TELEVISED GAME SHOW IS NOT FUN. Come on,Kelley!
Look, even the most experienced Dungeon Masters make mistakes. Chances are your players won’t notice and if they do call something out, either accept the feedback graciously or raise an eyebrow, give them an evil sneer and say, “Oh someyuan-ti are immune to poison. These ones don’t appear to be. Hmm… I wonder why.” Everything is fodder.
Focus the Game, Not the Rules: Oh, I know, we’re all very serious when it comes to finding love on a televised game show. (I’m writing this while wearing elf ears, so I know serious.) But if you are truly there for the right reasonsand believe that your wife is standing in that airplane hangar full of Moroccan-inspired hurricane candles right now, then you get to make the rules and break them and create new ones. It’s odd to say don’t worry about the rules when it comes to a game, (especially when the people who get paid to write those rules say it.) But the same refrain is constantly repeated. The only important rule is to have fun.
Remember Colton’s famous fence jump or when Brad Womack dumped both of his final two’s at the make-shift altar? You can end up with a mate or you can be the Most Hated Bachelor of All Time, but at least you did things your way and damn that was good television.
Know when to fold them: Bad relationships benefit no one and Pete definitely had his share of them. He fell in love with a teetotaling, devout Christian who was saving herself for marriage. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her life choices, but Pete’s highly social, “spiritual not religious,” four-times-in-a-windmill lifestyle, may not make them ideal bedpartners (pun intended.) Toxic relationships exist around the D&D table as well. Good people can make bad parties. If what the party wants out of their campaign isn’t in the DM’s wheelhouse it’s not just okay to part ways, it’s a necessary. Good Dungeon Masters are seldom at a loss for players. Know your worth and get out there.
Multiple studies show playing D&D can help you be a better person. If ABC knew a thing or two about RPGs, we’d have better Bachelors. Until then let’s roll for initiative– or should I say rose for initiative?
Despite ABC’s best efforts, The Bachelor isn’t on forever. Like a hungry panther I’m always on the hunt for my next meal. In this case meal=delightfully trashy unscripted television gold. Unlike a hungry panther, I’m all about sharing these tasty nuggets with you.
We’re in the Golden Age of reality television. From inmates looking for love, to housewives looking for inmates, there’s something to please even the most discerning, voyeuristic palate. With this embarrassment of riches, your DVR might be missing a few gems. Here are 4 great reality shows you should be watching.
Welcome to Plathville (TLC): Plathville, population: eleven very blonde family members who choose to live like they’re inside of a Fear Factor challenge. Limited technology, no soda pop, no freakin’ idea who Spider-Man is, the Plaths are a strange, smiling family who could have been born from the collective imaginations of Louise May Alcott and Stephen King. Ma and Pa Plath prefer to live off the grid, and their nine kids, who didn’t have a choice, seem to dig walking barefoot on their fifty-five acre property and hoping the cows escape so they’ll have fun stories to share at suppertime. When they turn nineteen, they get to marry other smiling, blonde people and make them give up footwear in exchange for farm life. I guess without a television they’ll never know how oddly endearing and utterly fascinating they are.
Cheerleader Generation (Lifetime): The only cheers I typically enjoy involve Prosecco, but that was before I discovered the world of competitive cheerleading. Professional pom-poming is serious business in the South and it’s more entertaining than a pop-up tuck dismount! This show follows two cheerleading squads—one from a Kentucky high school and one from Ole Miss—on their take-no-prisoners quest for national glory. The generational part comes from the respective head coaches. One’s a mother and coaching legend. The other is her daughter and former National’s winner. Come for the teen angst and aerial somersaults, stay for the I’m not mad, I’m really *#%@ing pissed pep talks. This show’s got spirit, yes it does!
Brides, Grooms, Emergency Rooms (TLC): Sometimes I feel guilty because our wedding photographer forgot to take pictures of my husband’s family and then I remember the couple who had to evacuate their idyllic outdoor wedding venue mid-vow because a wildfire was about to engulf them. No one’s BIG DAY goes off without a hitch, but the newlyweds on this show take the cake and shove it into the face of seventeen months of prenuptial planning. We’re talking absolute horrors like honeymooners getting carjacked at gunpoint, brides going into anaphylactic shock from their bouquets, and 130 guests succumbing to a raging stomach bug and fighting Hunger Games-style over the only three restrooms within twenty miles. Needless to say, the hotel had a lot of laundry the next day.
Psychic Kids (A&E): You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll have to buy all new Christmas decorations because you’ll never go near your crawlspaces again. Psychic Kids is sometimes terrifying, often heartbreaking, and always creepy as it follows real-life, intuitive adults who mentor children just discovering they are conduits for angry, dead people. Remember how scared you were to tell your parents you accidentally left your coat on the bus? Imagine what it’s like to admit you inadvertently opened a portal to the Other Side and let a grumpy spirit take residence in the bathroom mirror? With spiritual and emotional guidance, the kids learn to stop being afraid of ghosts and use their power for good. Guess who’s never failing a math test again?
My mom loved a good family photo. If one popped up on social media or via text, you bet your ass you were getting a coffee mug, mousepad, blanket, phone case, wall plaque, coasters, and a set of pint glasses with that picture on it for the next 7 Christmases.
Occasionally she would go old school and print it out and frame it. Like this one I came across when I was home for the holidays.
Hmm, I thought. I don’t remember us going to downtown Seattle to see Christmas lights. The only time we did that it was not such a good time. Clearly these people were having fun! They were making memories! Starting traditions! You could practically smell the peppermint infused cocoa on their breath. Wait, that’s definitely Bailey’s wafting off the mom.
But that was definitely us. And that was the downtown Macy’s Christmas star so the time of year and place could be identified. And then it hit me. It was a shitty night! And to round out the shittiness of the evening, Bart and I forced the child to take one goddamn selfie in front of that goddamn Christmas star and goddamn it if I wasn’t going to post that shit on social media for the whole goddamn world to see. Look at that happy, festive family making some goddamn Christmas memories! LOOK AT US.
The picture lied. The reality of that day went something like this:
Bart and I thought it would be fun to take the child downtown to look at lights, have dinner, eat junk food, ride the carousel, visit the Teddy Bear Suite at the Fairmont Park Hotel, see the gingerbread creations at the Sheraton, crowd into Pacific Place mall at 6PM sharp to be covered in fake sudsy, snow while the tinny sounds of carols played through a subpar sound system with stranger’s elbows jammed into your kidneys as we all raised our smart phones to take festive selfies TO CAPTURE THE GODDAMN MEMORIES. If someone’s internal organ gets bruised in the process, so be it!
The child had other plans. He didn’t want to go. He wanted to watch YouTube. It was cold outside. Why couldn’t he look at lights on YouTube? He doesn’t like teddy bears. Maybe another time? Like tomorrow? He’s tired. He’s already seen Christmas lights. And teddy bears. Can’t we just order a Zeke’s pizza and be done with it?
But Bart and I can’t read a room so we said, INTO THE CAR WITH YOU! We let him bring his stupid iPad, but only for the 7 minute drive downtown.
I was excited. They don’t call me Mama Christmas for nothing. And for the record, only 3 people have called me that. The 3 people who joined us on a trip to Leavenworth, WA four years ago. Mama Christmas couldn’t wait for her child to BE AMAZED as the whole town of Leavenworth lit up at night! Leavenworth is the inside of a snow globe. It’s a Hallmark holiday movie come to life. It was even snowing, for christ sake! But alas, the child was not impressed. In fact, he cried. He begged to go home. Mama Christmas was devastated and cranky. How could the offspring of Mama Christmas not love Christmas? Two days later the child was diagnosed with Hand-food-and-mouth disease. Oops. Mama Christmas CANNOT READ A ROOM.
So maybe this downtown excursion was a do-over? What kid doesn’t want to experience all the commercialized magic Christmas has to offer? Well, my kid. It just wasn’t his night. He thought the teddy bears were creepy, gingerbread was gross, cocoa was too hot and peppermint too minty. Seen one giant 160 foot Christmas stars and you’ve seen them all. No one was having fun that night. I think we even skipped dinner. But we did get that one photo and my mom and 87 of my Facebook friends who didn’t know the backstory freakin’ loved it.
Every photo on social media tells a story. Some are fictional stories and some are very creative nonfiction. WE KNOW THIS! And yet, I always fall prey to these perfectly curated snippets this time of year. I love the holidays! It’s really important that my kid has great memories like I did as a child. Scrolling through feeds, looking at the holiday gatherings of friends (and the 549 interior designers and architects I follow on Instagram), I find myself thinking, Damn, look at them getting a head start on that whole making memories thing. We should bake more or entertain more or AirBnB the entirety of the Faroe Islands for all our friends and family to spend the month of December.
Don’t get me wrong. We do our thing. We have our traditions. We are having fun. But social media always makes your things feel subpar. No one is posting the videos of the screaming match they got into with their partner over how many inches to cut from the Christmas tree trunk. No one feels sentimental about detangling 193 strands of non-LED Christmas lights. No one talks about how they didn’t have baking soda or vanilla but were determined to bake cookies anyway that no one ate because apparently a teaspoon of vanilla is more important to a cookie than calcium is to a bone so all 93 were slammed into the trash and everyone went to bed in tears. But that picture of all you in your matching aprons with dollops of flour on the tips of your nose? Priceless! GET AFTER THOSE MEMORIES, GIRL!
Oh, there’s definitely a story there. Just maybe not the one you are lead to believe. But that’s okay. Post that shit because you might even trick yourself with like I almost did. And one day, 40 years from now, the child might come across this picture and think, Wow, what great parents I have, taking young, grateful me downtown to see the Christmas lights and bedbug ridden teddy bears. I must have loved that!
Ten months before preschool graduation, Quinn informed us he was never going to kindergarten.
“Why the hell not,” I asked. Oh shit, I was thinking. He’s starting to believe all that, “Kid’s a goddamn genius” nonsense the grandparents spew. Sorry, kid. You don’t get to pass Go if your drawings of people still have arms coming out of their chins and you refuse to acknowledge 12 is a number.
“I don’t want to go,” he whined. “I never want to go!”
“But why? I pressed. “Kindergarten is fun! It’s just like preschool except you will learn even more stuff. And you’ll make more friends. And you get to take classes like art and music and…” Actually I don’t really know what happens in Seattle public schools. Do they still fund art?
“I don’t want to learn!”
“Great. In 14 years you can go to the liberal arts college of your dreams, but until then, you will go to kindergarten. One day.”
That did not appease him. One day could be in 6 years or 8 minutes. Kindergarten was coming for him. Kindergarten had his number. And that number was not 12.
The anxiousness wasn’t surprising. He’s an emotional and occasionally fearful kid. Sometimes I use that to my advantage.
Never go near the monkey bars! You will break your arm!
Never eat a grape unless it’s cut up into 1,592 small pieces!
Never walk across a parking lot unless you are holding Mommy’s hand!
Sometimes he wakes up from a sound sleep to ask if there are any clowns in the house.
“The hell? Of course not!”
“What about werewolves?”
Then there was the great weather obsession of 2016 and with it a fear of floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
“We live on a hill. Flood free! Don’t worry!”
“What about volcanoes?”
Hmm… too soon to tell him about the Ring of Fire?
But the world’s most active volcanoes had nothing on kindergarten. For the next 10 months, the child reminded us he was not going. He would never go. He wanted to stay with his preschool friends forever.
“But all your friends are going to kindergarten too,” I said.
“Well, no. There are lots of kindergartens. But you’ll have a whole bunch of new friends to hang out with.”
Then said friends were starting to talk about it. They were excited.
He graduated from preschool with great fanfare and promises of big boy adventures ahead.
His best friend in the whole wide world was going to his very same school!
SORT OF APPEASED.
We tried a variety of tactics to get this kid excited for school. Bribes, emotional warfare, pep talks from cool, older kids. Finally, I just accepted the nerves and let him own it. I told him it was totally normal and that every kid going to kindergarten was nervous too.
“Of course! None of them have been there before. It’s new to all of you!”
I reminded him he’s been in daycare since he was three months old. He’s done the whole new class, new friends, new teacher deal multiple times.
“Some of these kids have never been in a school!” I said with wide-eyed disbelief. “They don’t know what a cubby is. They’ve never pooped in front of eighteen other kids. They never almost had lice!”
“Nope. So you might actually have to help the teacher and be a leader for those kids. When you see someone upset or crying, maybe you could help make them feel better?”
“I could say, ‘Hi, I’m Quinn. Want to have lunch me and my friend Maddex?’”
Damn, if that wasn’t some A+ Pinterest parenting shit right there. Nailed it! Not only was my kid going to kindergarten, he was going to be the prince of elementary school.
But alas, the kinder ambivalence continued. It occured to me that perhaps he didn’t actually know what kindergarten was. Sure, he hears people talking about it, but in what context?
Maybe he thought kindergarten was where the bad kids go?
Did you hear Aiden went to kindergarten? That’s why we don’t see him around anymore.
Damn…Never should have pushed Molly off that slide, man.
Maybe he thought kindergarten was a potato farm or a Himalayan mine where he’d be forced to get up early and pluck grains of salt from the Earth and shape them into mass market whale tail lamps and earrings. But nope. He got it.
“It’s like preschool, but not fun and LAME!”
We pulled out even more tactics. Books, talking to friends who were couldn’t wait to start kindergarten, playdates with the incoming class, open house to meet the teacher and see his class, A PRIVATE TOUR of the school set up by the outgoing PTA president and her two kids (a THIRD GRADER and a FIFTH GRADER!) who created a scavenger hunt taking him all around the school and granting him Pokemon stickers for when he found such amazing treasures as the library and music room and his classroom!
We tried excitement. Yay, Kindergarten!
And apathy. Whatever, Kindergarten.
I took him back-to-school shopping and replaced his perfectly good backpack, lunchbag, and water bottle with even better ones. I even let him pick out his own clothes and shoes.
He choose these:
He was drawn to those shoes for inexplicable reasons, but if a pair of Spanx and some Air Wick scented oil intrigued him, I’d have packed his new Justice League backpack full of it.
The grandparents sent him cases (not hyperbole) of lunchbox sized Goldfish crackers, Fig Newtons, Animal Crackers, and Ritz Bitz crackers. Then days later more cases arrived filled with Nutter Butters, Oreos, Sour Patch Kids, and Chips A’hoys.
Still no dice and we all gained 7 pounds in 3 days. The night before school started, bedtime took an hour and a half. The kid did not want to go to sleep knowing when he woke up, that black-hooded academic ninja would be waiting for him. Soon his anxiety rubbed off on Bart and I. We threw Lunchables at each other and argued over Teddy Grahams or rainbow Goldfish for his lunch snack. I thought he should wear short sleeves and a sweatshirt. Bart thought long sleeves and camo shorts would be more appropriate. Bart thought his water bottle was too heavy. I thought his backpack was too big. Maybe Quinn was right and this whole kindergarten thing was just plain stupid. Could he go to summer camp all year long?
We got up at the crack of dawn the next morning– a full hour earlier than any of us were used to because we had a schedule now. Kindergarten, that bitch, was messing with us all. It was still dark outside. Bart cried on his way to the shower. I stood in the hallway confused. Where did we keep the damn waffles in this place!?
“Good morning!” I sing-songed, upon waking up that sweet, peaceful child. Even I could tell I was faking it.
“Do I have to go to kindergarten today?”
“You get to go to kindergarten today!”
He rolled over and shut his eyes. “NO!”
“Let’s get up and watch Peppa Pig! And eat waffles and cereal bars! TODAY IS JUST LIKE ANY OTHER DAY!”
But it was no use. Today was different. We both agreed if Peppa didn’t want to go to kindergarten no one would make that damn, bossy pig go. We were jealous of Peppa.
I felt bad. Guilty, like I was doing him a disservice sending him to kindergarten. I had to keep reminding myself I wasn’t actually doing anything wrong. I’m pretty sure his preschool teachers would eventually notice the kid three times bigger than his classmates who always showed up in sunglasses and a fedora. I couldn’t homeschool this kid. He’d learn vocabulary from the Real Housewives (“Jackie told Gizelle to brang it. Teresa called Danielle a prostitution hoo-wah. Vicky and Tamra will whoope it up majorly!) and math from The Price is Right (“No, honey, stackable washer and dryers do not cost one dollar. That man was being a douchebag.”)
His best friend arrived to walk with us and was full of spunk and enthusiasm and apparently whatever Kool-Aid kindergarten was shilling.
“I’m excited to learn lots of things and meet new friends,” he told me when I asked him what he was looking forward to.
“Maybe you could share some of that with Quinn?”
He looked at his best friend hiding behind a dining room chair. “Umm, no.”
We live only 9 houses from the school and I never knew there were so many kids who either lived on our street or walked past our house to get to school because I was still asleep when the bell rang. But it was a regular old-timey parade of waving neighbors on front porches, oohing and ahhing over smartly dressed kids holding chalkboard signs commemorating first days and little Emily’s desire to be a panda when she grew up.
We joined the flow, caught between every other kid’s joyful oblivion and Quinn’s desire to lay down in traffic. As we made our approach, the school loomed before us. We’ve played on this playground for years. How have we never noticed this giant, menacing stone edifice? Quinn’s grip tightened on my arm.
“I don’t want to go,” he said. “Please, Mommy.”
“It’s going to be great,” I said.
We were told to look for his teacher who would be holding a sign with her name on it. She was lovely. Kind, warm, and thankfully blonde because my boy born of 100% brunette ancestors has a thing for the fair haired. We recognized several kids from the aforementioned playdates including the twin girls who lived 2 houses up the street and the little boy from across the street– all of whom were in his class. I pointed them out to Quinn like I was a guide on a whale watching tour.
“LOOK QUINN! IT’S TYLER! OMG HE’S BREECHING!”
And then the tears came.
Okay, I fully expected my kid to cry. Honestly I was surprised it took that long. I expected lots of kids to cry. Like maybe all of them. But god dammit all to hell if my kid wasn’t the only one crying. Like literally the only one. Not even a crying mom in the bunch!
Bart swooped in, gathered Quinn into his arms and lifted him up. I’m not talking in a spiritual or Joe Cocker/Jennifer Warner sort of way. I mean he picked his crying child up off the blacktop and nestled him into the ripped seams of that goddamn 19 year-old Kenneth Cole bomber jacket he refused to part with. But I digress. It’s not about the jacket. This time.
They say you turn into your mother one day and that day was the first day of kinder-f’ing-garten. Right there in the shadow of my child’s brick and mortar nemesis I became the mother practiced in the art of Hideo Ochi, tough love, and the ability to wipe that goddamn smile off your face with the slightest lowering of an eyelid. The ol’ pinch to the tricep worked too.
“Put him down,” I sneered through clenched teeth. Damn! I didn’t even know I could do that!
“What?” Bart said, marveling at my ventriloquism.
“PUT. HIM. DOWN,” I repeated through a fake smile.
“I know that. Which is why you need to put him down.”
“He’s upset!” Bart answered, clearly startled by my transformation.
“This is kindergarten, motherf*cker. There’s no coddling in kindergarten! Drop him!”
“LET GO OF MY CHILD!”
Okay, so maybe we should have talked strategy before Bart and I went all Kramer vs. Kramer in front of the PTA. For at least 13 seconds every adult on the playground thought Bart was a predator and was ready to pounce. But I stood by my convictions and left Bart reeling on a four square court.
Bart checked on Quinn’s best friend while Quinn’s teacher checked on us.
“I need help holding my sign,” she said, bending over so her luscious blonde locks fell inches from Quinn’s sad, wet face. “Can you hold this for me?”
The kid hated kindergarten, but damn if he didn’t love a job. My baby was like a border collie and for a few blissful seconds, he forgot how much kindergarten sucked and double-fisted that yard stick handle.
Then the bell rang and a surge of Ooooooooohs erupted from the parents like they had just witnessed a last second overtime goal. To Quinn it sounded like the kick off to the Hunger Games. He really lost it. Still clutching the sign, his little body was shaking with sobs. Big tears careened down his face. I planted my feet firmly on the blacktop to stop either Quinn from making a break for it or Bart who would surely impale himself on a yard stick in his attempt to protect our child from the evils of public school.
“WE GOT THIS!” I yelled to Bart, who knew we very much did not have anything. “Everything is GREAT!” I saw his leg twitch and immediately shot my hand up like a crossing guard to oncoming traffic. “Take one step and I will divorce you!”
“You’re so brave!” I yelled to Quinn. “Everything is so great!”
All eyes were on my child whom I now realized was standing in front of his whole goddamn class waving a 6 foot sign and crying instead of tucked discreetly in line.
The teacher took Quinn’s hand and led him away. The other 19 kids eagerly followed, their giant backpacks smashing into the faces of the person behind them like superhero branded air bags. Quinn looked like a juvenile prisoner headed off to maximum security. He was resigned, head down, tears making puddles on top of his new loafers. Goodby my brave, bear. You’re gonna crush snack time and free choice.
And just as he was about to disappear into the double doors of the abyss, he turned around, giving me one last chance to fix this dreadful, horrific mistake. Maybe he saw a crack in my foundation. Maybe he had beaten me down. Maybe he saw his father being comforted by a group of fifth graders. Whatever it was, he saw his last chance and made a break for it, still holding the sign, and headed right for me– his mother, protector, sanctuary, source of all that’s comforting– who was yelling, “Get away from me, child!” as she braced for impact.
He charged with the strength of 19 tiny gladiators in Old Navy sweatshirts backing him up.
“NO!” I shouted, taking him by the elbow and leading him and the pack back to school. “This way!”
But my child was determined. He managed to get a hold of me and still keep a grip on that sign. (I told you– border collie.)
“NO!” he yelled, grabbing my sleeve.
“YES!” I yelled, swatting his hand away after taking a yard stick to the forehead.
He’d find another hold, I’d parry left. He grabbed the strap of my purse, I abandoned it. It was all cling, slap, grab, swat, sobs, promises that things would be fine. His face was so wet. There were so many tears, so many calls for MOMMY. You got the wrong guy!
We were still tangled in that bizarre dance as I propelled him closer to the entrance. The swell of 19 eager children pushed me forward.
Distracted by a classmate’s flip sequin shirt, he loosened his grip. In a beautifully choreographed maneuver, I managed to spin him around and give him a little shove through the doors.
“GET. IN. THERE!”
“MOMMY, NO! PLEASE!”
The momentum of 19 children who were promised graham crackers and Pete the Cat was getting stronger. We were out of time. The second bell rang. Oh no, was that shadowy figure the principal? We will be making a huge donation to the PTA after this.
“Why, Mommy, why???”
“IT’S THE LAW!” I hissed, giving him one last shove.
And then he and the sign were gone, disappeared in the crush of bobbing headbands and hoodies. It was over. I was Han Solo knocking Boba Fett into the Sarlacc Pit. I was victorious.
I turned around to find a few straggler parents and a mortified Bart, horrified by his son’s trauma and his wife’s grotesque lack of empathy.
“It isthe law,” I repeated. “Isn’t it?”
Seven tense hours later the head of his after-school program texted to say the kids arrived safely via school bus and they all had a fantastic day.
“Even Quinn?” I asked.
“Even Quinn,” she said.
Sure enough when we picked him up he regaled us with stories of his triumphant day. He was line leader, had music class, got to pick out a book from the teacher’s extensive library. Even made two new friends. Kindergarten was awesome! I looked at Bart, a bit smugly. Not today, kindergarten. This too shall pass quickly.
I couldn’t wait to wake him up the next morning. His camo shorts and long-sleeve shirt were already laid out.
He rolled over and with sleepy eyes asked, “Do I have to go to kindergarten today?”
“Yes, of course!”
“NO! I’m never going back! I hate kindergarten!”
Okay what the actual Groundhog’s Day was happening here? Did I have to write “Recess Rules” and “Line Leader for Life” in sharpie on his forearms?
“No,” I said. “You like kindergarten. Remember how much fun you had yesterday?”
“NO! I did NOT have fun! I AM NEVER GOING BACK!”
I returned to our room, turned on the TV, watched an episode of Peppa Pig by myself, and waited for Bart to get out of the shower.
There appears to be a huge developmental leap between the age of 5 and 6. I swear sometimes I’m talking to an adult– an adult with a really high-pitched voice that still can’t pour milk directly into a cereal bowl without saturating 87% of our house.
In the last few days, I’ve said the following things to my child:
*Please put your penis away. *I saw where you touched the dog so please wash your hands. *That’s mommy’s bra and I didn’t say you could wear it. *Who told you six was the new sexy? Do you even know what sexy means? *No, anus-hole isn’t technically swearing, but it’s still a mean thing to say. *Would you want Puppy to do that to you? *How many Slurpies have you had this week? *I don’t sound like that! (Editor’s note: Bart said that’s EXACTLY what I sound like.) *For the last time, your penis goes in your pants! *Sure, you can change your name to John Cena. *Yes, I know lots of words that rhyme with tuck. *No, YOU tell your butthole to go to sleep. You’re the one it’s bothering. *STOP ASKING ALEXA TO PLAY OLD TOWN ROAD! *The one who smelt it, dealt it, sucka! *GO TO BED, JOHN CENA!
Yeah, yeah, my recaps are spotty if even, but this season is really hard to watch and not for the reasons you have come to expect. It’s hard to watch this bachelorette because she is clearly too young to know what she wants, too immature to stand up for herself, and too insecure to not constantly be gaslit, manipulated, and borderline emotionally abused by a man who’s clearly a psychopath.
Oh, Luke P. is good TV. But he’s also really f’ing scary because he’s not an actor. He’s a real guy who somehow passed the show’s psych exam and who will return to his webby lair of misogyny and toxic masculinity and keep existing in our world. He will gaslight and manipulate and abuse other women. Know how I know this? Because he’s also incredibly stupid. Stupid people just are. They can’t turn it off and on. And they seldom change.
But still I watch and groan and rewind and rewatch in attempt to capture all the dialogue– the real dialogue because it’s funnier than anything I could write– and scour Twitter to find solidarity with the rest of the world who are also watching agog at the shitshow playing out before us. Yes, of course it’s always a shitshow! But this is next level shitshowing.
After several weeks of meltdowns, Hannah was fresh-faced and full of vigor ready to start anew in Latvia. (Latvia???) The boys had been really pissing her off with all that finger-pointing and yelling at Luke P. Why are they asking HIM questions and not her! Not one person ever asked WHAT MAKES HANNAH HANNAH. She almost forgot why her photo was cropping up in the lower left corner of Us Weekly covers. It’s to find a controlling man child that makes her feel like a woman, y’all!
And Luke Goddamn Mothereffing Shitstain P. immediately started in on how frustrating that last rose ceremony was. The other guys were like, “Dude! You’re frustrated!? She canceled the cocktail party because you made her cry again! Also we hate your goddamn face! That’s how we always feel when we’re around you!”
Date card arrived and it’s Garret who gets the one-on-one.
Can I trust our love?
In case you wondered about Luke P.’s triggers, here’s one: one-on-one dates that don’t involve him. He is LEGITIMATELY JEALOUS. For the first time. He knows for a fact no guy feels about Hannah the way he does. FOR A FACT, bitches!
Hannah met Garret in the woods. They were freezing. It looked unpleasant. Then they saw a cable car dangling over a lake which was pretty damn scary all on its own, but then two naked humans bound to each other gummy worms left in a hot car fell out of it.
What in the actual f*%k?
Oh! It’s naked bungee jumping! The Latvian tradition that combines my two biggest fears literally strapped into one.
The naked duo introduced themselves to Garret and Hannah.
“Hey ! I’m Gunt! (YES, GUNT!) This is (forgot her name, sorry). Try naked bungee jumping! You’ll have fun!
Garret and Hannah stripped down to everything but Hannah’s bra which she kept on until the last possible second. For whatever reason she left her very heavy, very dangling earrings on.
I’m not going to lie. This looked scary as f*ck. But they did it. And Hannah now thought Garret was very strong and that’s what she wanted in a man. They made out in front of a small dumpster fire to celebrate.
At dinner, Garret confessed his fear of heights and what a giant hurdle that was for him. He asked Hannah her very first question: What hurdles have you had to overcome?
Hannah: Umm…just living my life.
The near death, fully naked escapades of today’s activities really got Garret’s truth fountain overflowing. He told a sad tale about how everyone in his family loved football but he really liked golf. Talk about a hurdle!
Back at hotel, the guys discovered who would go on the next group date:
Mike, Jed, Tyler, Dustin, Luke, Connor, Dylan
Let’s discover Riga.
The follwoing morning, Garret told the group about naked bungee jumping. Mike wanted to know what bungee jumping was like. Luke wanted to know why in all that’s holy would this turd-nugget think it was okay to take his goddamn wife naked bungee jumping????? HE DID NOT GIVE HER PERMISSION TO DO THIS! In fact, he didn’t believe it.
Naked bungee jumping? With Garret? No way. Luke knew Hannah better than Hannah knew herself. It’s only a truth if Luke P. believes it.
Let’s watch Luke P. process this.
Hannah was super excited to explore Latvia and have a normal date with her seven suitors. They explored a market, walked down a cobblestone street yelling things like, “Latvia!” and “Riga!”, watched Hannah consume a giant pickle, and took turns making out with her in front of each other. Pretty normal date stuff.
Luke P., as we know, is a gracious dude. He was just excited to see Hannah let loose and be herself. The real her– not the fake her that would ALLEGEDLY naked bungee jump while mashed up against the sullied loins of another man. Did God speak to Garret in a shower? HA! I think not!
Hannah knows how to read a room. While crammed together on public transportation, with lips and noses and hands and butts mere centimeters apart, she knew that was the perfect time to talk about naked bungee jumping.
Luke P. was truly and absolutely shocked. He was like “OMG F*CK! That really happened??!!!! My wife is no different than those tainted trollops I was banging in high school!!!!”
Hannah explained how the naked part was a tradition for couples.
Luke P.: Like official couples?
Luke P.: But like when you’re officially a couple, you mean?”
You guys, give him a break. He had a reason to be upset. Hannah’s body “was her temple and to expose it to anyone who is NOT HER HUSBAND (READ: LUKE P.) was a slap in his face!” Luke needs answers! Luke will get them!
The night portion of the date kicked off with a below the knee shot of the guys walking so we could appreciate their super tight Capri pants and sock-less footwear. Tyler sported a particularly small, bright white pair but that’s okay because Tyler is everyone’s favorite now.
Luke P. finally got his chance to tell Hannah how he felt about her naked date.
Luke P.: Have you ever been cheated on?
Hannah: Of course!
Luke: Well, I HAD THAT FEELING THIS MORNING!
Luke: This information is hard to receive! How could you hold your temple against Garett???
Hannah: I wanted the experience. Just because our baby making parts were skin on skin doesn’t mean it was sexual.
Luke P.: Yeah, well it was still really offensive and pissed me off and now I’m not sure I can introduce you to my family, but okay I’ll support you even if you do some boneheaded mistakes. Don’t worry. We’ll get through anything. That’s me being REAL! Hope you like it!
Date rose went to Tyler because he risked a yeast infection so America could see him in those pants.
Luke again was incredulous. Why bother being real if you can’t get a rose out of it?
Then we had Hannah’s date with Peter. They went to a traditional Latvian spa to perform a bonding spiritual ritual which translates to, “have sex in a sauna.”
Hannah likes her men dirty and sweaty, which she kindly reminded us of. A lot. She also really likes straddling her men which she also visually reminded us of. Peter made her feel like a woman. Apparently the only women Hannah knows are horny,
Peter told everyone about his hot, sweaty date and that made Jed sad. Jed missed Hannah so he grabbed his guitar and his shearling jean jacket and busked in the streets until she woke up.
Hannah woke up. Like really woke up. She invited him upstairs where he played more dumb music and told her he was really falling for her. She straddled him, ripped off her robe, and got down.
And then the conversations just went sideways with the other guys and Luke P. I can’t make this shit up nor could I type fast enough to keep up with it. Here’s the highlights:
“Listen, she’s your girlfriend but she’s also mine.”
“Stay in your lane!”
“You stay in your lane!”
“Don’t ruin another rose ceremony or I’ll be seriously pissed!”
“STAY IN YOUR LANE!”
“Lower your voices. Hannah could be outside the door. Also STAY IN YOUR LANE!”
“I was in my lane but then I looked out the window and saw you and Hannah in your lane and didn’t like what I saw so now I’m in her lane!”
“Oooh, shouldn’t look away while driving. That’s how you crash.”
“Hannah needs us to stay in our lanes so that’s what I’m going to do.”
“Yeah, don’t text and drive!”
“I need sleep so please excuse yourself!”
The real highlight though was Tyler who apparently read a few feminist manifestos before coming on the show and expertly and calmly called Luke out on a myriad of bullshit.
The next day Hannah ambushed the guys and squirreled Luke P. away. Luke was all, “Yes! I must be getting a rose.” The other guys were like “Oh that doesn’t look good.”
She respected Luke for having a REAL conversation with her, but unfortunately it didn’t sit well with her. She summoned every female empowering t-shirt she every saw on Pinterest and started rattling off slogans.
“You don’t own me.”
“My body, my choice!”
“STAY IN YOUR LANE!”
Luke P.: I won’t control you, but let me tell you what I will do.
Hannah: Why do I have to always scream in your face to make you understand?
Luke P.: I never said any of that. I’m sorry you misunderstood and twisted my words.
Hannah: I’m just so confused.
Luke P.: I’m just so excited that the train is finally back on track!
Hannah: Oh my god, no it’s not!
Luke P.: It’s close to the tracks! Still exciting!
Hannah: No it’s not!
Luke P.: If you feel that way, I’m sorry I was misunderstood. It’s confusing. From now on I’m going to speak clear! And if you can’t handle it, I’ll keep fighting harder. YOU WILL NEVER BE RID OF ME, HANNAH!
Hannah: Why is it so hard with us?
Upon rejoining the group, Luke proclaimed he knew they were going to ask so he would just tell them– he ain’t telling them nothing except to stay in their lanes!
Luke P.: Stay in your lane! You! And you! And you too! Mike, you keep being you, but the rest of you– STAY IN YOUR LANES!
Then Chris walked in and we knew it was bad news. Hannah was emotional again and canceled another cocktail party. What is ABC going to do with all that leftover booze?
Luke immediately got defensive and shouted this was not his fault!
The men donned a fresh pair of capris and took their places for the rose ceremony.
Roses went to :
Wait for it!!!
Who could it be???
You will never guess!!!!!
Oh, for f*ck’s sake, Hannah.
As she pinned the world’s saddest rose to his collar, Hannah whispered to Luke, “There is goodness inside of you. And I see that.”
With what do you see, Hannah???? You got a Hubble telescope under all those fake eyelashes?
Guys are shocked. We are all shocked. The villain never sticks around this long. Even Chris Harrison is confused.
Chris: What the actual f*ck, Hannah?
Hannah: I’m either falling in love with Luke or he’s making me crazy.
Is this the spatula scraped bottom of the casting barrel or are these bros actually Hannah’s type? I watch enough reality TV to be inclined to think it’s the latter. That barrel runs real deep. But know what isn’t deep? These constentants.
First, they all look alike. They have massive amounts of hair. They all mousse said hair into giant poop emoji shaped coifs atop their tiny heads. They have arrogantly deep voices. They are all named Luke or Connor or Tyler. With the exception of maybe Mike, I wouldn’t let my friend date any of these guys. Hook up at a wedding with? Yes. But bring to my annual neighborhood Christmas tree lighting party? Back the hell up, Broseph.
The episode opened with Chris lighting a date card on fire, chucking it into the living room, and bolting, not to be seen again until the rose ceremony.
A bunch of guys get called (Luke, Tyler, Tyler, Luke, Connor, Tyler, Luke, Connor, Connor, Tyler, Luke, Luke, Tyler, Luke, Connor, Tyler, Luke) upon for an outing at a theater where they are greeted by none other than Miss Jay!
OMG, Miss Jay! I had no idea how much I missed you!
Miss Jay is joined by two fabulous drag queens, Alyssa Edwards and Alaska Thuderfuck (the name of my next D&D character), who, along with Hannah were judges for the Mr. Right Pageant, because OF COURSE.
The boys met with the queens for some coaching and talent tips before walking the runway in banana hammocks and auditioning for America’s Got Socks in their Speedos. Jed wore his nut hugger with cowboy boots- a touching homage to toddlers of parents who just don’t give a shit anymore. Luke P. was super excited to strip down to his itsy, bitsy, teeny-weenie, 1980’s little bikini, and his fellow contestants experienced an extreme case of the vapors while Hannah and the judges had to be hosed down and airlifted to nearby ice baths.
For his talent, Luke P. pried upon the insecurities of a woman who has struggled with the need to be perfect her whole life and desperately wants to walk off this show with her first husband by telling her he was definitely, for truly, 100%, abso-freakin’-lutely falling in love with her. People. We’re on episode 2. It’s been like 5 days. Also, Luke P. THAT IS NOT A TALENT!
But the guys were impressed. Not with his love lies, but with his body. They were all like, “Man, that Luke P.! Hubba hubba, amirite? The guy’s an asshole, but he’s got the body of a Greek god!”
Guess who won the title of Mr. Right? Of course it’s Mr. Divine Intervention himself! Hannah totally falls for his “I can’t believe I’m saying this already, but I love you so much” BS. SHE ASKED FOR BOLD, PEOPLE! And aggressively falling in love is BOLD! I guess?
At the post-date cocktail party, Luke P. squired Hannah away immediately much to the irritation of the other guys. She used the opportunity to grill him on how he could possibly feel love already.
Hannah: But it’s been like…12 minutes.
Luke P.: Because I am falling in love with you.
Hannah: Well, I mean, it has been like 12 minutes. Wow, y’all bold!
Next day Hannah takes one of the Tylers out for a one-on-one. She must have been touched by an angel in the styling department because she was dressed head to toe in white. Uh oh. What could this mean? Time to bust out the ATVs and get muddy! You see, Hannah is so chill and cool, she’s not afraid to get her whites dirty.
Afterwards they cleaned up and had a nice, fake dinner and some nice fake conversation about Hannah’s dreams to be a wife and have an “incredible career” and maybe “help people.” Tyler thought that sounded really cool, minus the helping people. Be real man, be genuine, but humanitarianism is for losers. They made out. Tyler got a rose, the end.
Kidding! Not the end! There’s still another group date! This one forced the guys to try roller derby and question what was on that waiver they signed before coming on the show. With every smashed assbone, Hannah got more turned on. One of them (Dustin?) might have broken something and had to leave. The other guys were so jealous.
Afterwards they sat around a coffee table full of fake food and drinks inside a deserted antiques warehouse. Pretty sure the location scout owns this joint because it’s definitely showed up on previous seasons. As Hannah began to settle in with her bruised and bandaged suitors, a mysterious van pulled up. Nope, not Scooby Doo. MUCH WORSE. No, not Scrappy Doo. Even worse than him! It’s freakin’ Cam! Always Be Carpooling! Well, sure beats sitting by the pool, playing whiny out of tune melodies on your harmonica. But you see, Cam, you were not invited on this group date so you don’t get to show up. Go home and ask the other guys how this show works.
But too bad. He’s there to interrupt her time with the other guys and tell Hannah how much he missed her. We are assured by Cam that this was “a very Cam thing to do” which should have sparked a “Thank you, next” response from Hannah, but nope. She let him have his time. Bold gesture, y’all! The other guys were NOT PLEASED. They ran out to the parking lot to take turns telling Cam what a jerk he was.
Guy: Uh, dude, not cool.
Cam: Sorry, man. I get it.
Guy: So, uh, like go home now, ‘k?
Cam: Yeah, mean, totally leaving. Just needed to tell her something.
Other Guy: You’re taking time away from us by being here.
Cam: You’re taking time away from being here by being here.
Other Guy: Where?
Cam: Here. In this parking lot!
Guy with Deep Voice: You’re like a stalker, man. Not cool.
Cam: I assure you, stalking is a very Cam thing to do.
Blah blah blah, on to the rose ceremony.
Hannah entered the room, looked at her guys, and immediately burst into tears. Want to play a drinking game? Every time Hannah says, “bold” or “real”, or “on this journey” knock one back. You’re shitfaced, right? Like before we even see a rose. Keep drinking. It will help you get through her speech. Something about being real and not feeling worthy and needing realness and boldness and feeling worthy and wow, isn’t she lucky??? Oh wait, those were happy tears, Hannah? Here I was thinking you were looking around the room at Cam the Interrupting Rapper, and that guy who looks like Nick Viall, and Jed who is cute and totally not using this platform to get a record deal, and the roided out dude who gets messages from Jesus while exfoliating his butt cheeks, and 36 other guys named Tyler with hair so big it’s full of secrets and feeling sad but you are feeling #blessed. Girl, wipe your nose and go find that husband. HE IS TOTALLY IN THAT ROOM RIGHT NOW. I can feel it.
But let’s hope it’s not Cam who interrupted some more one-on-one time claiming he had something planned for all three of them. Uh, all of them? You talking about that dude she was just making out with? He brought Hannah and the other guy over to a heart-shaped crop circle on the cobblestone driveway and fed them chicken nuggets and sheep’s blood.
Guy Interrupted was not pleased with Cam’s crafty craft services shenanigans. When Cam returned to Bachelor Mansion, the other guy chucked a handful of chicken nuggets in his face. I shit you not. He threw nuggets at the guy. And Cam was all like, “Really dude? You think this is the first time someone’s thrown fast food in my face? HA!”
And if THAT wasn’t gross enough– you have no idea what was going down in the next room. Well, for starters, there was a massage table. (Go ahead and spit out that bile that’s pooling in your mouth hole.) Luke P. and Hannah were getting ready to make a baby right there on that table. Then Poor Jed walked in and was like, “MY EYES! MY GODDAMN EYES! HOW AM I GOING TO READ THAT RECORDING CONTRACT I’M SURE TO SCORE AFTER THIS ORDEAL IS OVER???” Luke P. tried to make him feel better by saying it wasn’t what it looked like. It wasn’t all the way out for god’s sake. They weren’t having actual sex, Jed. Just some flirty dry humping on a massage table. No bigs. Jed walked away and Hannah dropped 11 F-bombs in a row and claimed she didn’t know what to do. WHAT THE F*%K DO YOU DO WHEN ONE BOYFRIEND SEES YOU EATING THE PECS RIGHT OFF YOUR OTHER BOYFRIEND??? This was so confusing. She ran off to find Jed who would rather have watched his parents have sex than that shit show, but still managed to laugh it off. Hannah was so relieved. He was totally the perfect guy to walk in on her and Luke P. doing the divine twine. I’m starting to like this guy. Let THAT shows you what kind of caliber of men we’re dealing with this season.
Some more conversations and kissing happened before Chris Harrison returned from a long hiatus to say it was time for the doling of the roses. A handful of guys leave, but not Cam or Luke P. Shit, even JOHN PAUL JONES is still there. But we are down at least one Connor.
You would think the drama ended there but as long as Cam and Luke P. are present, this dumpster fire will burn eternal. Cam decided to toast to Hannah Ayala (sp?) which of course is his last name. EWWWWWWWWWWWWW. The other guys refused and threw figurative chicken nuggets at him. And then Luke P. interrupted Hannah’s interview with the producers to tell her how real and trust-worthy he is. Obviously when a guy tells you that, it’s true.
Super excited to see Cam do Cam things and Luke P. be creepy. That reminds of one of my favorite jokes! How does Luke P. get through the forest? He takes the psychopath!
Oh man, so far behind so let’s finish up that first episode with a quick recap.
After she meets all her suitors, Hannah makes a quick stop in the bushes to pray. She asks the good lord to give her “words” and make her sound smart. Watching her in an honest vulnerable moment like that was bit heartbreaking and scummy even for these producers. It’s also an exercise in futility as everyone knows God hangs out in showers, not bushes.
She finds enough words to give a speech telling the guys she ain’t perfect and she doesn’t want perfect and if they’re after perfect they best make like a woman in Alabama who values her human rights and leave.
Luke P. doesn’t give a shit what nonsense Hannah is spewing and is totally here for the right reasons– TO WIN. He immediately whisked the bachelorette away much to the shock and dismay of those other dudes. Wait. Did he seriously just leave with her? Like to go be alone? Has he no consideration for the 28 guys she’s dating? Rude, man! You call yourself a Christian?
Luke wasted no time letting Hannah know he’s hot on her tail– I mean trail. He told her she was the most beautiful girl he ever saw. Hannah was impressed!
Hannah: Tell me more about yourself. Like exactly how many girls have you seen in your life?
Luke: I’m an uncle. It’s so amazing! But I’m like totally behind. I’m 24 and don’t have a girlfriend or a wife or nothing!
Hannah: Did you know people have babies in their thirties???
Luke: They are gross and desperate. I’m ready now.
Luke: And I thought this is the LAST place I’d find a girlfriend!
Luke: And I know I don’t know you all that well, but I’m already falling for you so you best make like a smushed tomato and catch-up, girl!
HANNAH! Luke is a shister! I mean, look at that beady-eyed little born-again! No f’ing way does he love you! He just met you! And if he honestly thinks he does then that’s a bigger problem. Like he’s mental! Also I know you are being sequestered in that weird little love world right now and probably don’t have access to NPR, but you need to know your beloved, home state of which you represented in the Miss America pageant just criminalized abortion and I’m having a really hard time watching this season because you’re probably going to end up with a guy who voted for Trump and not really care as long as he has a smattering of facial hair and tattooed pecs. Hannah, in case you are wondering, none of this is good.
But I digress.
She spend the rest of her evening hanging out with some of the other guys, talked about her struggle to be perfect, had a fake bachelorette party thrown by a guy who’s never seen a bachelorette party, not even in a movie, and gratuitously made out with a handful of men. Mike is a standout guy so far. He seems genuine, has a nice, smile and totally the guy you want to sit next to at a dinner party when you don’t know anyone there. But he doesn’t have a chance.
Because she met Cam on the After the Final Rose episode, he claimed it was techinically their second date and therefore totally okay to make out. Hannah agreed, excited for the world to see close ups of her sucking face. Sorry, Cam but you look like a terrible kisser. Stick to rapping. Nope, not that either. Go find Luke P. and ask for a pamphlet.
Hannah gave the first impression rose to Luke P. because she is a needy pageant queen who desperately needs affirmations. Also she’s 24. I already hate this season.
Oh right, these two bitches.
I didn’t bring up Katie and Demi from Colton’s season because:
I don’t want to
I don’t like them.
I thought their appearance at the beginning of this episode was a dumb little schtick that would never rear its heavily pancake make-uped face again.
I want them to go away.
They did not. Instead they rolled up in a white surveillance van and parked it on the Bachelor Mansion driveway, which is totally normal, necessary, and not a dumb way to build fake suspense and contrived drama AT ALL. Apparently Demi got some intel claiming one of Hannah’s potential husbands isn’t HERE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS. This guy ALLEGEDLY has a girlfriend back home. He was ALLEGEDLY planning a vacation with her sometime between inevitably getting dumped by Hannah and securing 50,000 IG followers. Hannah’s besties lie in wait in the back of their pedophile van, watching closed circuit televisions to figure out which guy is the bad actor.
Jed and his awkward facial hair sang to Hannah so clearly it couldn’t be him.
Pilot-in-uniform-guy seems nice, so nope. Can’t be that guy.
Scott says Hannah took his breath away when he first saw her.
What’s that you say, Lassie? That’s the big, two-timing meanie? Nailed it!
Here is Demi concentrating really hard on solving this mystery:
Here is Demi at the exact moment she figured it out!
Girls asked Chris to fetch Hannah STAT and bring her to the van.
Hannah was ON FIRE! She stomps back to the mansion and dragged Scott off for a “probably not so good chat.”
The other guys are baffled and turned on by Hannah’s assertiveness. God granted her words alright!
Out of earshot but in full view of the house, Hannah rips into Scott.
Hannah: Ha! I know why you were all nervous about being here! YOU HAVE A GIRLFRIEND!
Scott: No, I don’t.
Hannah: Yeah, you do. Demi read your texts. She’s outside in a van right now!
Scott: Nope, not admitting that.
Hannah: Did you talk to this girlfriend on Monday?
Scott: (Clears throat.) Well, yeah, but I’ve been like super honest up until right now.
Hannah: So you kept a girlfriend back home just to be safe?
Scott: Okay, I can see why you would think that.
Hannah: This is not okay. The other guys went through the effort to break up with their girlfriends before they got here.
Scott: Okay fine, you want me to be honest? I was dating a girl up until Monday, maybe Tuesday. Maybe we’re still dating. I really don’t know.
Hannah: That is not fair. I have no idea why anyone would come on a reality TV show to find love without the purest of intentions.
Scott: Fine, if you want me to leave, I will, but you were just dating Colton so it’s the same thing.
Hannah: No it isn’t.
Scott: Yeah, it kind of is.
Hannah: Man, I wish I could just send your ass home.
Scott: Well, you can, dummy. It’s your show.
Hannah: Oh, yeah! Please go home.
Scott: Sorry you feel that way. I’d probably be sad if I didn’t have a girlfriend to go home to.
Uh, Scott, you’re not good looking enough to be that sleazy.
Reeling from confrontation, Hannah told the other guys Scott had a girlfriend and that’s kind of frowned upon on this show so he’s gone now. Hannah left to pray in the bushes again. The guys have hard time seeing her so upset. Especially Luke goddamn P. Before the other guys can say, “Jesus hand me some detangler,” he’s off making sure Hannah was okay. She wasn’t. She was freezing. Luke was sorry to hear that, but found it hard to be empathetic to her plight because he was nice and snuggled into an ill-fitted, shitty blue sport coat. What’s that ol’ proverb? Teach a woman to ask a producer to find her a shawl, and she’ll be warm for a night. But make her shiver in her sequins and she’ll totally give you the first impression rose? What the hell, Hannah? Where were your dumb Mystery Incorporated van hoe’s now?
Much mashing of the faces ensues.
Afterwards Luke was sweating balls. Maybe it was the hot makeout sesh or maybe it was his nice warm jacket. Either way it’s gonna be an awkward shower with God tomorrow. He’s even more convinced that Hannah WILL BE WON.
Oh! It’s Chris Harrison ting-tinging a spoon against a champagne glass signifying the party was over. Time for the rose ceremony.
As she doles out the flowers, the producers cut to JOHN PAUL JONES who got increasingly more frantic. Look, bitches, he didn’t forgo a promotion to spend just a few hours here. And goddammit, he was running out of coke! Oh JPJ, have you never seen this show? She hates your guts, but you’re creepy and bat shit crazy so producers love you. You’re golden until at least week 5.
Of course JPJ got the final rose and accepted it WITH GRATITUDE! Can’t say the same thing for that promotion HE GAVE UP TO BE HERE, HANNAH! Now hand him so nose candy!
Old Matt Donald, the Box King, and a bunch of guys I don’t remember seeing were all sent packing.
Old Matt Donald is going to need time to recover from this.
And that guy? Well, he’s super happy for Hannah and hopes she finds love, but he’s really sad for himself. He cries.
Now on to a much shorter episode 2 recap which involves DRAG QUEENS! YESSSSSS!
You guys, its Bachelorette season. Nope, not talking about drunk packs of girls wearing sashes and wobbly heels (although they’re in season too), it’s The Bacheloretteseason, as in my second guiltiest pleasure.
Hanna Brown, a cast-off from Colton McBoringvirginpants’ season, is our new bachelorette. She’s a former Miss Alabama who occasionally enters into Beast Mode and can’t string a single sentence together unless the words Roll goddamn Tide are in it. We get it, Hannah. You’re a fan. Now stop.
Honestly, I can take or leave Hannah. I find it odd that a woman who has trained her whole life to be a pageant queen basically imploded when Colten asked her to make a toast. I mean, my job media trained me so I could coherently talk about demons rising from the abyss. You’d think she must have bankrolled someone to teach her how to articulate her feelings on why bullies and climate change are bad, right?
I haven’t finished the episode yet, but I will offer a hypothesis on how this season goes:
Hannah will meet 25-30 super bros. They’ll be mostly young (24 -ish), most will be named Connor or Luke (Connor = Lauren, Luke = Heather), there will be athletes with baby fever, shy nerds with thick wallets, down-home, good ol’ southern boys who like red Solo cups and wearing Greek letters on their hoodies. And Hannah will love them all. Man, I hope they have a good editor.
So who are the newest crop of brewhams angling for a chance to be the next Bachelor. Let’s take a look.
First, we have extended intros for a smattering of Hannah’s suitors. There’s Tyler NOT YOUR AVERAGE CONTRACTOR from Jupiter, Fl. Incidentally that’s where my parents have a condo and I recognized every location featured in his montage. Well, all but the dusty workspace where he’s gotta cut loose and kick off his Sunday shoes. Oh yes, he’s not average because he’s a dancer! A dancing contractor! SPOILER: my dad sent me a clip from the Jupiter newspaper saying Tyler was spotted at our favorite tiki bar with Miss Hannah herself which can only mean they were there on a hometown date which can only mean he makes it to the top 4. I’m like 113 degrees away from The Bachelor franchise! And Kevin Bacon!
Then there was guy who tries to prove how charming and laid back and nice to animals he is by letting his dog make-out with him and pretending to like it. Also he’s in love with his great grandmother (but in a really charming, laid back, nice to animals sort of way. She was truly adorable.)
We saw a couple guys borrowing, and subsequently awkwardly holding, newborns while the new moms were in the background like, “HOLD THE HEAD UP, YOU DUMB ASS BONG!” Because, baby fever.
And then there’s Luke P. He’s one to watch! He used to be a high school slut until God visited him in the SHOWER and was all like, “Duuuuude! That’s not the guy you want to be!” and Luke P. was all like, “God! I’m in the shower, man! Can this wait? Also, yah it is!” But Luke P. believed God and now spends all his time reading the Bible and studying up on how to be a good husband.
And OMG, John Paul Jones. What in the actual brokaki is happening here? I’m shocked it has taken producers this long to unearth this crotch turd. Is he an actor? Because HE IS NOT A REAL PERSON. He’s an animated caricature of romcom high school villain. He’s someone the Teen Titans would fight. You look at him and immediately stuff yourself in a locker. Also, he goes by JOHN PAUL JONES. Not John Paul, or JP, or John. You must say ALL THREE NAMES. SAY IT!
We also saw some wimpy dude who’s voice kept cracking.
And God in a Shower Stall help us all: We got Joe the Grocer, Part II. It’s Joe the BOX KING from Chicago. I ask you, Bachelor producers–is this a trope we really need? Joe the BOX KING is fronting the family box empire. He’s got a box for all your needs! Moving? Got it! Box for your junk? Got that too! Junk? Yep, he’s got junk and damn proud of it. On my nerves. Make like a budget international package and ship off , Joe.
Okay, let’s get to the limo exits! One of my favorite parts of the first episode is sizing up how Chris Harrison treats the star. You can pretty much tell if he likes them, tolerates them, or is plain old dreading this season. I think he’s already tired of Miss Alabama, her fear of words, and love of sequins. There will be sequins. So many sequins.
Chris is decent. Not overly excited, but she’s no Juan Pablo either. He never told her she looked good even though she stepped out of the limo looking like the solar system and was clearly waiting for the compliment. That’s some serious shade, right there. Let the journey begin!
Garrett: Pro golfer, from Alabama. Wants to be her hole in one. Probably a top contender.
Mike: Lives by the 5 C’s. Charisma, confidence? Cheesiness? Cleft chin? No idea. Who freakin’ cares. This guy makes out with dogs.
Jed: From Nashville. Let me guess, Jed, YOU’RE A MUSICIAN?
Tyler C.: NOT YOUR AVERAGE CONTRACTOR. “Hey Hannah, you look hot, come find me later, I have a surprise in store for you.” Gross. I feel dirty! I want a shower but God is in there and taking forever!
Dylan: Cute smile, seems nice. Won’t last long.
Connor S.: Jumped a fence for her. Jesus, how tall is this guy?
Devin: Belongs on a dance floor. Made some dumb joke pretending to be a virgin. M’kay, Devin.
JOHNPAULJONES: “My name is John Paul Jones, my friends call me John Paul Jones, so you can call me John Paul Jones, see ya inside.” Douchebag.
(I will say that Hannah’s reaction to him instantly endeared her to me. After he walked away she said to herself, “Say JOHNPAULJONES three times fast! Okay, got it!” Good one, Hannah! Too bad saying it doesn’t make Bloody Mary appear and eat his head.)
Brian: Too nervous. Seems like he should be hosting supermarket-themed game shows.
Scott: Also totally nervous. Looking for a life partner. Look for a stiff drink and a half tablet of Benadryl instead, Scott. You’ll be fine.
Matteo: “Uhh, know that feeling when someone is so hot and you just want to make-out with them so bad that you loose your breath? Yeah, I’m like totally experiencing that right now.”
Daron: Tried to go in the wrong door and that is the most interesting thing about this guy.
Tyler G.: Since he found out she was the Bachelorette, she’s been in ALL HIS DREAMS. Hey Tyler? Murder much?
Thomas: Meeting Hannah is almost as good as traveling. Or something like that.
Matthew: Occupation is car bid spotter? What the…?
Box King Joe: Arrived in a giant package. Because of course. All I could think about was who is going to clean up all those damn styrofoam peanuts? YOU CHECK ALL OF MY BOXES!
Joey: Shows up with a carseat and shushes the contents. Surprise! Not a baby! It’s champagne. Let’s get this party started!
Connor J.: Speaks French to a girl who can’t quite grasp English.
Ryan: Rolls in on skates. ROLL TIDE. Ohhh, I get it! Get the f*$k gone, Ryan.
Hunter: Gives her a tie so together they can “tie the knot.” How about…NOT?!
Grant: Okay, first his occupation is listed as Unemployed. Second, he’s eating a hotdog as part of his schtick. Third, he’s talking with his mouth full. Fourth, he’s maybe the worst contestant in Bachelor history. Like ever. If I were Hannah I’d be pissed they gave him a spot instead of say, Steve Bannon or a Tide Pod.
Jonathan: Gave her pizza. Pizza his heart! Heeyyyyyyyy!
Kevin: Dropped a bunch of footballs. “Guess I fumbled that intro!”
Luke P.: Got on limo, roared, called himself Kind of the Jungle. Wants her to be queen. God is not here for that, Luke. Hannah’s the one handing out titles.
Luke S.: Thinks Hannah has a calming presence. In fact, he’s so calm he’s boring.
Dustin: Sneakers and nose ring.
Cam: Got the first rose during the After the Final Rose show because of his white boy rapping skillz. He raps again. Okay, Cam, here’s the deal, the rapping needs to stop. Like now. Also saying things like, “ABC, always be Cam” and “spitting bars like Willy Wonka” should also stop now.
Matt: His name is Matt Donald. Showed up on a tractor. Get it? Ol’ Matt Donald.
Chasen: What the hell is that name, Chasen? He’s a pilot. But he’s not the only pilot. Which displeases him.
Peter: He’s also a pilot but was smart enough to show up in uniform. Damn, Chasen! He was gonna wear his uniform! Hannah loves a guy in uniform. *My pick for first impression rose.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is your 2019 Bachelorette Cast of millennials with just the right amount of facial hair and bony ankle bits poking out of their cropped skinny jeans. And that is also as much as I could stand to watch tonight.
What happens next? How long will it take Hannah to hand out a rose? How many times does someone threaten to throw JOHNPAULJONES in the pool? Who does God visit in the shower next? Stay tuned, we’re getting there!
We have “free tables” at the office. Every floor has one. It’s where people dump stuff they think their co-workers will really love. Kind of like Goodwill if Goodwill had to flee in the middle of the night and could only take 99% of their best stuff. It’s a crapshoot. Usually erring more on the side of crap. Occasionally you might find some Magic cards or a stack of Entertainment Weekly’s from 2013 and sometimes you get a half eaten bag of microwave popcorn and a litter box.
Today Bart found this little gem on the free table and brought it straight to me. I’m sure he thought I’d be all, “Gross! Get rid of this nonsense!” but HA HA! Joke’s on him. I KEPT IT! Why? Because it’s gold! Also, I think it’s my bizarro family.
Just take a look at the photo, will you? The similarities are uncanny!
*There’s (presumably) a mom, a dad, and a frightened looking child who is wondering what he did in a past life to end up the spawn of these two yahoos. (And that kid looks eerily like my own child.)
*The dad is wearing super flowy, high waisted beach pants. Just like Bart!
*The child is sticking an elbow right up his dad’s very bulbous butthole. Also an occurrence that happens a lot in our house.
*The mom is working! She is not relaxed!
Other things to note, the back cover copy suggests the following:
*The principals highlighted in this video are on “the crest of a healing wave of the future!” You heard it here first! Massage is going to be really popular one day! Book your sessions now!
*By massaging your friends and family in your own home, you can heal them “through the gift of touch!” Add massage to your next dinner party or poker night. NOT CREEPY AT ALL. You’re doing them a favor!
*Bring a new level of family closeness by sticking your bony bits into the deepest crevices of your most familial.
*This DVD costs $39.95. And Bart got it for FREE! That alone deserves a massage!
Friends, don’t wait! Get in on this healing magic today! We were going to watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse tomorrow night, but no way. Bust out the flowy beach pants. It’s family bonding time.