Phonophobia: Fear of loud sounds, including voices–including your own–especially Shelly Mazzanoble’s.
Does anyone like hearing their voice? I cannot stand it. (True confession: Even though I co-host the Dungeons & Dragons podcast, I can’t listen to a single one, which sucks because we’ve had some really great guests on there. And I tend to do a great imitation of Bert from Sesame Street that I’m pretty sure would blow my own mind.) I also don’t love seeing myself because in my mind I’m waaaaaaaaaaaay better looking than that goofy, wildly gesturing, large-eyed creature with the grating voice before me.
If you also can’t stand my voice or the sight of me perhaps you should stop reading now. If you think you can stomach it, below is the link to my performance as part of this year’s Listen to your Mother Seattle show. (And if I had any technical skills I’d be able to change the frozen image below so that it’s not one of me looking like I’m mid cat-call to some poor significant other in the front row who’s covertly watching a MMA fight on his phone throughout the show. Not covert enough, Bucko! LISTEN TO MY GRATING VOICE!)
Here’s what people are saying about my performance!
“Wow. You said pussy and nipple in like the first 7 seconds. Wow.”
“So, I’m still not sure. Do you like being a mom?”
“I love your necklace.”
So, you know. Those are pretty enticing reasons to watch this.
The show was tremendous fun and the cast– wow, oh wow. They were all truly stellar. I encourage you to listen to all of their stories. I think you’ll love their words as well as their voices. My necklace is pretty badass too.
Spoiler alert! She’s still in the running to be America’s Next– oops! Wrong show. But yeah, she’s still in the running to be Bachelor Ben Higgins’ ex-fiance. Which is great because she’s helping today’s children become better citizens of tomorrow. How, you ask? Clearly you have not been reading Mother Rose Best. You best giddy-on-up over to In the Powder Room and check out the latest, Jamaican of a Marriage, right now. Why? Because I’m the mother, that’s why! And clean your room while you’re at it.
Have I told you lately how much I love writing this Mother Rose Best column for In the Powder Room? Even more so, I love having a “reason” to watch The Bachelor. It’s not because I want to and would totally be watching it anyway. It’s because I have to. I’m writing a column about it. Ahem…
Come on. How can you not read something called, Sex Panther? You know you want to.
Head on over to In the Powder Room for my latest Mother Rose Best column. Have I told you how much fun I’m having with this? I am! To think I used to watch this purely for the drama, cat fights, and ego-inflating meltdowns. There’s pure parenting gold in them hills!
We are on Week 3 of Mother Rose Best at In the Powder Room. There’s plenty of time to catch up! How can you resist reading articles that get tagged with things like “Cankles,” “Feet,” “Halitosis,” and “Penis?” That is some fine journalism right there and I could not be more proud.
I’ll be posting up a more in-depth recap of ep. 3 as soon as I’m done papering my neighborhood with this billboard. It’s for the kids!
Now that you’ve had days to read all those other recaps of The Bachelor, time to read mine. But first, you did read the latest Mother Rose Best over at In the Powder Room, right? DO NOT READ ANOTHER WORD UNTIL YOU DO THAT! It’s cool. I can wait.
All good? Terrific. Let’s get started.
Episode 2 of The Bachelor leaves me with the question: How are these women passing the background check portion of the vetting process? Surely at least a couple of them have restraining orders against them. If not, they will in about three weeks after our timid puppy, Ben, refuses to come out of his kennel until that big mean bulldog, Lace, is exterminated.
But Lace isn’t the only delusional alpha female (shocker!), which became abundantly clear early in this episode. She’s got some serious competition in the Thunderdome– Olivia. I’m pretty sure if the girls had their choice of who to evict, they’d chose the HDTV-friendly, over-announciating, news caster with the enormous jaw span. It’s pretty obvious Lace isn’t in the running for Ben’s affection. She’s pure entertainment gifted to viewers from very giving, if not demented, producers. But Olivia has managed to snag about 82 roses so far– including the much coveted first impression rose. So yeah, everyone hates her.
The show opened with Ben’s crotch wrapped in some seriously questionable underwear. His awkwardness oozed like Juan Pablo’s genital warts. (Did I just write that? Oh jeez, I’m sorry.) Then we cut to the ladies lounging in leisure-wear, drinking, not eating, and talking about how great Ben is.
“He checks everything off the list!”
“I want him to be my husband!”
“He’s the best bachelor ever!”
Olivia proceeded to offer up some dating advice, because, you know, she’s super generous like that.
“Get him with the eyes,” she said, meaning “Open up your giant maw and swallow him.”
Lace makes the first of many teetering, on the brink of tears confessions about her potentially not great first impression.
You think, Lacey? Yelling at a guy who gave you a rose but didn’t make enough eye contact with you wasn’t a good game plan? Weird. She admitted to getting a bit “too drunk” and “too emotional” which is, you know, kind of what happens when you’re “too drunk” and “too emotional” mixed with “too unstable to be on a reality TV show with 27 other other girls fighting for the same dude.” But whatevs. She eagerly awaited her second chance to make a first impression and by make “a first impression” she meant “some dirty moves on young, ernest Ben.”
First date envelope arrived and the girls tore it into like the laxatives stashed under their mattresses. As names got called, the girls cheer.
Date card read: “Let’s Learn About Love.” Unlike me, none of those yahoos can figure out what this means because unlike me, they didn’t read the “About this Episode” blurb.
The girls drink champagne while the limo drives them to “Bachelor High.” Oooooh! Back to school with Ben, who clearly thinks he hit his peak somewhere between tenth grade biology and junior prom. As they waited to hear what was in store, seven out ten girls re-lost their virginity and threw up behind the bleachers.
Jojo claimed she never felt this turned on in high school. Okay, then.
Chris Harrison came out dressed like a professor and explained that the winner of this competition would become Ben’s Homecoming Queen. Much squealing ensued. The girls paired up and competed in challenges (and I use that term loosely) such as locating Indiana on a map, bobbing for apples, shooting a basket from the free throw line, and “Make Ben’s volcano erupt” by combining ingredients needed for a healthy relationship like “Trust,” “Communication,” and “Regular STD check-ups.”
The last two girls standing included the crazy dentist and Amber who were forced to literally jump hurdles in order to be queen. Hell hath no speed like a dentist determined to give a man a root canal with her tongue. Turns out she’s pretty quick when not wearing a giant rose on her head. Amber became super emotional about being the runner up.
Dentist dons a tiara and Ben’s actual letterman jacket and they drive around the track in a convertible. Jennifer thought the whole thing was super romantic. Lace wished it was her, but allowed her envy to propel her determination to “do something about it.” Bitch is gonna get a rose if it’s the last thing Ben does.
The group date reconvened on a rooftop where more drinking and probable meltdowns ensued. Again Lace imparted how very important it was to GET A ROSE. She really did not want Ben to think she was SOME CRAZY GIRL. Why would he, Lace? Certainly not because you are SOME CRAZY GIRL.
Ben stole Becca the Virgin away first. They shot hoops and talked about how excited they were to be together in the most boring way possible. Ben lamented about the difficulties throwing a basketball while wearing a tailored shirt and Becca encouraged him to take it off. WHAT? Holy cats, girl, rein it in! That’s like going to third base for her!
Next up was Jennifer who was reassured in her belief that her and Ben make a great couple. Ben sealed it with a kiss. That’s right– a kiss! WHAT again? I thought you weren’t all about making out, Ben, you little manslut!
Jennifer ran back to the group and immediately told them about her chaste kiss. The girls realized shit just got real. Lace? Well, she burst into flames. Kiss or no kiss, SHE IS GETTING THAT DATE ROSE TONIGHT!
Back at the mansion, the rest of the girls sat around not eating, holding cocktails, and talking about what a great catch Ben was, while waiting for the next date card that would reveal who gets the first one-on-one. Olivia was sure it would be her because she got the first impression rose but alas, it went to Caila. Olivia and her gaping maw were so confused.
Back to the rooftop group date. Lace continued to get super frustrated over her lack of one-on-one time with Ben. Who invited these other nine girls anyway? She pounded a drink and yanked him aside to explain the Lace he got on that first night is not the “real Lace.”
She slurred and apologized for coming across that way and made sure to not let Ben interject with forgiveness. She held his hand. Gripped it really, and I’m sure I saw Ben wince. Safely encased in her alcohol shrouded cocoon, Lace left this one-sided conversation believing they were on the same page. Before she could get that hotly anticipated and dogged kiss, there came Jubilee and her biceps to ruin everything.
“I WILL GET MORE TIME WITH BEN TONIGHT,” Lace promised. “THIS IS NOT FINISHED!”
Jubilee commended Ben’s altruistic nature and divulged her past, living in an orphanage in Haiti until she was adopted at age six.
“It’s so nice to have someone to fully trust and pour out their soul to, you know?” (I can’t remember which deluded soul said this but does it really matter?)
To show of his appreciation for for her ability to overcome, Ben planted a chaste kiss on her too. Who’s running this show, Ben? Your Faith?
When Jubilee returned with the stench of Ben’s lips all over her face, Lace was fuming. Was that a test of the Emergency Broadcast System or Lace letting Jubilee know what’s what? It’s the latter of course! Sadly we’ll never know what what was because all we heard was one long consecutive beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.
Lace continued complaining about not having any time with Ben until the girls finally snapped and told her to zip it. Not one to take orders, Lace went back to the Ben well.
“I JUST NEED ONE MORE MINUTE!”
If Lace were a sensible lady she would have taken a cue from Ben’s body language. Leaning way back, awkward hug, eyes darting to nearest usable exit. But if she were a sensible lady we wouldn’t be recapping her mad adventures on The Bachelor, now would we? When Ben gave her enough eye contact to appease, Lace returned to the gaggle of women and the icy silence.Awkward!
Jojo was just about to write the whole thing off when Ben swooped in and took her to his “special place.” I’d be worried about sticky floors and foul odors if we were talking about any other Bachelor’s “special place” but we all know Ben’s high school locker is about as special as things get. His second most special place is a helicopter pad on the roof. The two exchanged a chorus of “This is unbelievable” and “I really want to get to know you” while tentatively hugging. Ben told Jojo he loved her boobs bubbly personality and really wanted to see more of them it. Jojo was surprised by the feelings she already developed. I’m surprised by whatever the hell happened off camera to make these two so goo goo gaga over each other.
Then it was time to hand out the coveted Date Rose. Lace was sure she was a shoe-in. I mean, how could she not be after 16 painful conversations about her not craziness? But Lace didn’t see what we saw on the helicopter pad so she was completely aghast when the rose went to Jojo. Lace stares at Ben like, “By “Jojo” you mean “Lace,” right? RIGHT?”
Next it was time for Ben and Caila’s one-on-one date. I can’t spend too much time on this because it was so freakin’ boring. Is this The Bachelor or The Duggers go to Prom? Come on, you nerds! And why is table they are dining at is so darn small?
Here’s the basics:
Not even Ice Cube or Kevin Hart (who were there to schlep their new movie) could make this date somewhat entertaining.
Caila is just as hokey and wholesome as Ben. She refers to “hell” as “You know where.”
These two snoozers are perfect for each other.
Amanda used her baby voice to call her kids. She realized Ben had no idea she is a mom and really, really want to talk to him.
Another envelope, another group date! The card read, “Are we a perfect match?”
The girls are taken to Love Lab and greeted by a Segway with an iPad for a head. He led them to Ben and about 94 people in white coats and clipboards which of course means they’re very serious scientists or maybe Clinique make-up artists
The twins are scared of this date. They don’t know much about science and don’t test well. Wait, is it a pregnancy test? Because never mind!
Love Lab apparently uses science to determine if prospective mates are actually good matches. Umm, if this was a real thing why doesn’t The Bachelor just use this instead of an eHarmony knock off questionnaire? Oh right. Because then we wouldn’t have Lace!
By far the weirdest part of the episode was when a blindfolded Ben was asked to sniff fresh-from-the-treadmill girls to see if their odors were appealing. He buried his face down deep in the glands right above the “reproductive organs” and took a giant whiff. Someone smelled “beachy!” Someone smelled like a “giant raspberry.” But Sam? Well, she smelled “sour.” Olivia loved this. Thought it was the funniest thing she ever heard.
“Like Chinese food!” she chortled.
Olivia is incredibly confident in her “relationship” with Ben. So confident that she pretty much doubled down and purchased stock in the Love Lab technology. She tried to make out with Ben during the “wear your underwear, get close, but don’t kiss” portion of the test.
“Why are you making me wait?” she asked in her nasally newscaster drawl. Was she trying to be sexy?
“Because people are watching,” Ben answered which everyone knows meant, “Because, ew!”
Not surprising Sam got the lowest score– a 2.4 out of 10. She was devastated and clearly forgot she JUST PASSED THE BAR EXAM! Buck up, Sour Patch! You’re almost a lawyer!
Olivia was embarrassed for her. Naturally she got the highest score.
Ben and the girls returned home for a casual evening where Olivia immediately pulled Ben aside, said she wasn’t surprised by her high score because she “feels compatibility” and also science. They kissed with tongue and Olivia declared it to be magical. She felt a heat in her “stomach area.” Right around where Ben was sniffing around.
A twin got nervous because she thought Ben liked outgoing women and not heavily made-up Girls Next Door types.
The Russian girl ate something.
Olivia wouldn’t divulge details of her alone time with Ben and gave the other girls “bad vibes.”
Sam got a second chance at the smell test. This time she smelled like passion fruit.
Lots of Spanx were revealed.
Olivia once again declared her faith in science and said she’d be “a little nervous” if basically you weren’t her.
Amanda finally told Ben about her daughters. Ben thought it was “amazing.” She “made more sense” now. He tells her to say “hi” to the kids for him.
The GD Date Rose went to Olivia who, so full of smugness and slapability, marveled at the fact she has no idea what a rose ceremony is.
Insecurities, stalking, and passive aggressiveness abounded at the cocktail party! Olivia and her rose lurked behind potted plants waiting for the right moment to “borrow Ben.”
“You can’t rest on your laurels,” she advised. Especially when you want to take Ben to your “secret spot and kiss him until his lips fall off.”
And just to ensure her crazy cake was iced with some Fatal Attraction, she referred to herself as “Wifey.” So, Lace. How you doing?
There can only be one Alpha dog so Lace asks for a little QT with Mrs. Olivia Higgins intending to tell her what’s what.
I’m kind of paraphrasing here but it went down like this:
LACE: “You like totally have a rose and went and talked to him again and I hardly have had any time with him so that’s like…rude.”
OLIVIA: Is there more gin? I need more gin.
Unable to convince Olivia to quit this bitch and get back to the Florida news anchoring, Lace decide to get with Ben one more time and make sure he knew she wasn’t some crazy girl.
“I have a very bold personality,” she explained.
Ben took a swig of his drink. “That so?” he said. (Or something to that effect. I was reading body language.)
Someone in a yellow dress interrupted them and Lace immediately ran to the confessional to berate herself for letting THAT Lace out. The INSECURE Lace! The LACE SHE PROMISED HERSELF WOULDN’T COME OUT, CAME OUT!
Another pocket of girls whined about how little time they’ve had to spend with Ben but still somehow know what a great guy he is. Must have read Olivia’s diary.
Ben continued making the rounds. Lauren B got a commemorative photo of the first time they talked.
She responded by telling him she’d be okay if she left. “I learned a lot about myself and made some new friends.”
Cuz, you know, that’s what it’s all about.
Ben and Amanda made barrettes. Yes. Made barrettes. No, that is not a euphemism. They’re for her daughters because as Ben said, “They’re involved too now.”
So much truth, Ben. Their therapist is saying the same thing.
The girls lined up like a middle school choir and readied themselves for the doling of the roses.
Roses went to:
Amanda (More crafting!)
Jubilee (More biceps!)
Lauren B. (More friends and deep introspection!)
Leah (More tossing the ol’ pigskin around!)
Becca (More sexual frustration!)
Rachel (Who the hell is this girl and where did she come from?)
Lace (More strong-arming from the producers!)
LB (More.. wait, nope. She decided to leave. See ya!)
Jennifer (Seriously who are you?)
Emily (More boring twins!)
Jami (More not really doing much. Let’s step it up, Jami!)
Lauren H (More wondering who the hell this girl is?)
Shushanna (More English subtitles!)
Haley (Even more boring twins!)
Amber (More self-doubt!)
Not surprising the Crazy Dentist, Sour Patch Sam and Jackie were all sent packing.
Seriously excited about the match-up sure to take place next week! Don’t forget to check out Mother Rose Best for your weekly dose of parenting advice mined from the TV wreckage.
Those first few months with a newborn when we were both terrified of being left alone with him really scarred us. Sometimes one of us had to out. Like me to get my six-week postpartum check up or Bart to go to work. We felt awful leaving the other to have to care for this…baby. What if he cried? What if he needed something. We all saw Child’s Play. You. Never. Know.
Two years later, Bart and I are constantly policing our “away” time and figuring out ways to repay each other when we vacate the premises. This is not intentional. In fact, we didn’t even notice we were doing it until a friend pointed it out.
“You guys are so good at supporting each other,” she said. “You’re just so fair.”
Support? No. Scarred? Yes.
The thing is, we both really love spending time with Quinn now. He’s a little real, live person. He talks. He has a wicked sense of humor. He likes hanging out at cool places like bounce houses and Starbucks. I assure you he is not a burden. Which is probably why we feel guilty not being with him.
But yet, we still police our time away. And it’s not in a passive aggressive-I-spend-more-time-with-our-child tug of war deal. We honestly don’t want the other parent to feel like their taking on more.
ME: Okay, so I went grocery shopping alone for what? 39 minutes? Do you want to maybe go for a run after work or something?
BART: Maybe. But then again, you walked him home from daycare on Tuesday and that took you 25 minutes. Technically I only have fourteen minutes.
Saturday mornings are my time to sleep in (which I never do because Quinn always ends up in our bed yelling MASHA BEAR at me while I pretend to sleep) and Sundays are Bart’s mornings to sleep in (which he never does because Quinn always ends up in our bed beating him with the remote control and yelling, PERCY FALL DOWN!) But for at least two hours every weekend morning, one parent removes the child from the household so the other parent can experience that very rare phenomenon: Being alone in your own home. It’s amazing. Even emptying the dishwasher alone is amazing. Despite our best intentions to encourage one another to the contrary, our family unit doesn’t separate that often.
So when we do it’s a big deal. A parent’s night out is a good thing. It’s healthy. It’s normal. It’s needed. But alas, we feel guilty. Case in point: Bart met up with some friends at a bar to watch the Seahawks game. Quinn and I had dinner a friend’s house which was lovely. When we returned, we saw this:
That’s Elmo, on a Cars throne, holding a croissant from Bakery Nouveau, sitting high above a gaggle of Thomas and Friends trains.
“Oh cool!” Quinn said, bellying up to the shrine.
So yeah, it’s a slippery slope from “co-parenting” to “co-dependancy.” Whatever.
Uh oh! Got to go. The eight minutes I earned today taking care of Quinn while Bart was in the shower are up.