So, I realize my grand idea of writing about random non-Bachelor stuff during the break was a flop, but I didn’t have it in me. Lovely Better Half was gravely disappointed. Yeah, I was lazy, but didn’t the news over the past few months seem dominated by some pretty serious stuff? And I always said that I wouldn’t talk about politics or social issues; there are smarter people than me out there to get your information from. People want Bachelor commentary, so I would always keep it light and not alienate readers with my idiotic opinions. I make snarky comments about a reality TV show. What am I gonna do? Talk about Trump?
(I saw an interesting discussion on Donald Trump’s surprising success in the race so far, and one panelist noted how past presidential candidates have effectively used the predominant media of the day. FDR understood the power of radio, Kennedy understood the power of television, Obama understood the internet, and Trump understands reality TV. We live in an age of big personalities making outlandish statements, and the bigger the spectacle, the more eyeballs you’re going to get. so he throws out a bunch of insults, clowns around on stage, and acts belligerent, and people eat it up. However, there are some differences between running for president and actual reality TV. When you win the Bachelor, you get a shiny ring from Neil Lane, a cover on People magazine, and a once-in-a-lifetime love story that will last 6 months or until you get kicked off DWTS. Or if you’re really lucky, you get to frolic in the Hot Tub of Sin in Paradise. In contrast, when you win a presidential election, you get the keys to the most powerful military in human history and a briefcase full of nuclear launch codes. An even temperament is a desirable thing in this case. Is it 100% guaranteed that Trump will drop a bomb on someone if he gets in office? Of course not; it’s ridiculous to suggest that. Is it 100% guaranteed that we won’t? Ummmm… I will throw this out there: as his campaign goes on, is he getting less wacky or more wacky? He’s an extremely successful businessman and I don’t think he’s an idiot, so let’s hope he truly is the marketing genius he claims to be, and it’s all just a big act.)
Or the rest of the Republican field?
(Did you know that Marco Rubio married a Miami Dolphins cheerleader? Can we have a separate election for First Lady? Why are Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina so low in the polls? With the exception of Ben Carson – who is literally a brain surgeon – those two are the smartest candidates in the group. Christie was attorney general during 9/11, he’s a fiscal conservative, and Fiorina’s foreign policy knowledge blew everyone out of the water during the debates. They’re both really solid candidates and you’d think conservatives would love them. I could see myself getting behind a ticket like that. But, it’ll never happen, because Trump. Ted Cruz’s law school professor was on CNN, and he said Cruz was one of the brightest students he ever had, but that his perceived intelligence might hurt him with the electorate. Think about that statement. If a politician is unelectable because he seems too smart, the Republicans might as well throw in the towel and nominate Bozo the Clown. Which they might still do.)
Or even the Democrats?
(I think Hillary does a little dance every time Trump opens his mouth. Benghazi what? Email servers who? Clinton Foundation where? All of her potential pitfalls have been swept under the rug since The Donald started yapping. I don’t dislike Hillary Clinton, but she’s so deeply entrenched in the political machine, I have a hard time getting behind her, too. Bear with me a second. Assume she wins this year and then gets re-elected through 2024. Including Bush Sr’s time as Vice President, we will have had a Bush or a Clinton in the White House for 36 out of 44 years – a full third of a century. And they say there’s no monarchy in this country. I know she would be the first woman president, and I agree that’s a big deal, but isn’t it time to have a different family running things? I don’t know. And then there’s Bernie Sanders. I like Bernie. Every candidate says they fight for the little guy. Unlike other candidates, I don’t get the feeling Bernie’s bullshitting me. His ideas back it up, and they sound like true convictions, rather than just regurgitations of the party line. Plus, he looks like Larry David. I know this is random, but Western Illinois University has run a mock election for the past 40 years, and they’ve accurately predicted the presidency for every single election since 1975. It’s an unreal streak. This year, they say Sanders wins it, and I, for one, wouldn’t have a problem with that.)
Or gun violence?
(Why on earth does anyone need to own an assault rifle? We used to have a ban on assault rifles, you know; it expired n 2004. And President Bush wanted to extend it, but couldn’t get congress to back him because they were all in the NRA’s pocket. Bush also wanted instant background checks at gun shows and a ban on high capacity magazines. That’s right, conservatives: George W Bush supported the exact same gun control laws that Obama wants now, but you don’t talk about that because it “alienates the base.” You know – election year and all. And people say that if you take away guns, then only criminals will have them and people won’t be able to defend themselves. Fair point, except A) no one’s calling for a full-blown repeal of the 2nd Amendment. The majority of the talk is about banning assault weapons. B) in recent mass shootings, all the weapons were purchased legally, so there was no criminal underworld supplying the shooters. I’m not saying the events wouldn’t have happened with an assault rifle ban, but it might have reduced the brutal efficiency with which these psychopaths were able to kill. C) As of 2014, there were 112.6 guns per 100 people in the United States. More guns than people. Newsflash, America: you’re already the most heavily armed nation on the planet. And another common denominator in all of these shootings? Not a single one of the killers was stopped by a good samaritan with a handgun. People need to give up this image of an armed populace defending itself from gun violence, because it’s not playing out that way. For the record, I believe in the Constitution and I support the 2nd Amendment. I have friends and relatives that hunt, shoot skeet, whatever, and there are all manner of legitimate sporting purposes (and yes, home defense purposes) for guns. But when the 2nd Amendment was written, the most advanced firearm on the planet was a musket. Weapons technology has reached the point where we need to realistically address what should or should not be in public hands. Shit, we regulate our food more than guns in this country. And the only reasons to own an assault rifle are A) you want to kill a lot of people really fast, or B) you want to get your rocks off playing soldier on the weekends. And if it’s the latter reason, you should visit your local recruiter and enlist so you can experience the real thing. You get to shoot all the machine guns you want and it would be much more in keeping with that all-too-often ignored phrase in the 2nd Amendment: “A well regulated militia”.)
Seriously, no one wants to hear my opinions about this stuff, so I’ll keep it light and stick to what people come here for. Everyone’s favorite Reality Train Wreck!
A quick family update:
The Boy – Had his 2nd birthday a few weeks ago, and it’s like he received a memo that he had to immediately start acting like an asshole. At one year, 364 days, he was an angel. The next day, a complete dick. “No pants! I want Elmo! MY toy! MINE! NO! NO! NO!” Fucking-A; that kid needs to calm himself or I’m going to lose my mind.
Lovely Better Half – More lovely, more better, and more of a whole than a half. The only person maintaining our collective sanity now that The Boy has gone nuclear.
The Girl – Perfect.
The Dog – Completely indifferent to her surroundings, though I think she resents me for bringing the children into our lives.
And now (if I haven’t already lost everyone with my endless rambling), the main event. Going through the bio’s is one of my favorite things. As a reminder, for the Bachelorette I list the guys’ shoe sizes (‘cos, you know…) and for the Bachelor I list the ladies’ tattoo count (‘cos, you know…). Some stats from Ben’s crop of hopefuls: Average age: 25, Average number of tattoos: 0.5, sets of twins: 1, number of Laurens: 4, retreads from previous seasons: 2, number of women with chicken fetishes: 1. Just to confirm, Ben is 26 and the average age of the Bachelorettes is 25. Does anyone think this will produce a lasting marriage? Let’s meet the ladies:
Amanda, 25, Esthetician from Rancho Santa Margarita, no tattoos – two daughters, wants a house by the beach, loves babies and dogs….ANNNND she gets botox. At 25 years old. Vain much? I want Ashley I and her bitchy sister to throw this girl a 30th birthday party in 5 years, and I want it televised.
Amber, 30, Bartender from Chicago, no tattoos – Hey, isn’t this the Amber from Bachelor in Paradise? Once you’ve been to Paradise, can you go back to regular Bachelor? And would you even want to? Her biggest fear is loving someone and not having them feel the same way…which happened with Farmer Chris, and also on Bachelor in Paradise, with two different guys I think, so she’ll pretty much be terrified throughout the entire season. She flinches every time she hears the words “final” or “rose”, and she tried to watch the new Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, but she kept vomiting on her coffee table. But, hey, debilitating body tremors and uncontrollable puking are better than being a bartender in Chicago, so….
Becca, 26, Chiropractic Assistant from San Diego, 2 tattoos – WTF? They couldn’t find any new girls? Ben knows she’s a virgin, right? There’s no way he specifically requested her. Here’s my summary from January, 2015: “Her biggest date fear is clogging up the toilet. Wow. You might want to keep your irritable bowel syndrome a secret until the 4th or 5th date. Or forever.” Which ties in perfectly with her bio in January 2016. So, The Interns just copy-and-pasted her information from Chris’s season. Nice effort, guys. Shouldn’t she at least have to fill out a new questionnaire? At least they remembered to update her age. Oh – just to be thorough, I checked Amber’s bio, too. Exactly the same: “Amber can’t live without her teddy bear. What a coincidence; my
1 2 year old son can’t live without his teddy bear, either.” There – I updated my summary as well.
Breanne, 30, Nutritional Therapist from Seattle, no tattoos – she thinks carrots are sassy and she hashtagged #powercouple. Watch out, Kim and Kanye…
Caila, 24, Software Sales Rep from Hudson OH, 1 tattoo (on her right hip, of the Hawaiian Islands) – Caila’s favorite thing is to answer questions very specifically. U2 reminds her of her dad? Like I need to feel older. She doesn’t like guys that curse. So I guess I’m out, because I swear like a drunken sailor. That, and I’m old enough to be her father. Seriously, all of these girls are so young.
Emily, 22, Twin from Las Vegas, no tattoos – being a twin is an occupation? Well, maybe if you live in Vegas. Her bucket list items include traveling around the world, and doing crazy things like bungee jumping and zip lining and making unforgettable memories. And if it includes being sequestered in a hotel with 26 other backstabbing women and her sister, all the better! Her most embarrassing moment was peeing her pants in front of her cheer squad from laughing too hard. And if she could be anyone for a day, it would be her twin sister (a very weird variation on narcissism), just to see what she was really thinking. My guess? She thinks you should stop peeing yourself.
Haley, 22, The Other Twin from Las Vegas, no tattoos (dammit – how am I going to tell these girls apart?) – One of her favorite movies is We Bought a Zoo. Fucking really? All of the movies ever made in the history of mankind, and We Bought a Zoo makes your top 3? Have you only seen 4 movies in your life, and one of them was Transcendence? Because that’s the only scenario I see where that’s possible. (By the way, can Johnny Depp play anything other than Jack Sparrow anymore? Dark Shadows, Lone Ranger, Mortdecai – my god, and he gets $20mil per film. Even that Whitey Bulger gangster movie was in theaters for like 3 days. Must be nice to get an 8-figure paycheck for making crap. And for the record, I’m not hating on the guy because he’s rich and good-looking. I have no problem with Clooney or Pitt or Damon. I think DiCaprio is this generation’s De Niro. But take one look at Johnny Depp’s IMDB page, and then realize that he’s married to Amber Heard AND he owns a private island in the Bahamas, and ask yourself if any of that is deserved. Blow was pretty good, but come on.) Haley’s greatest achievement? “Peeing in front of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders! No, wait – that was my sister! I made it all the way to the semi-finals! And then Emily started laughing and peeing all over the place, and they cut us both because they couldn’t tell us apart! All they had to do was check her Spanx! It was so unfair!” The twins have been able to legally drink for exactly one year, by the way. I think that’s waaaay too young, then I remember that Ben is only 26, and I realize that I’m just waaaay too old.
Isabel “Izzy”, 24, Graphic Designer from Branford CT, no tattoos – she doesn’t read. Made it through 150 pages of 50 Shades of Grey, then gave up and watched the movie. Hey, I probably couldn’t make it through that book either, but not because of a lack of concentration. Beyond her hatred of the written word, however, I like this one. I like the cute, wry half-smile, she has a real job, spent 10 days sailing around the British Virgin Islands – she might be my Shawn Gosling.
Jackie, 23, Gerontologist from San Francisco, no tattoos – I’ll admit it, I had to look it up. Gerontology is the study of the social, psychological, cognitive, and biological aspects of aging. I don’t know; sounds smart to me. Unfortunately, the rest of her bio is as exciting as watching old people…well…you know….(get it? Gerontology joke? Am I reaching?)
Jami, 23, Bartender from Alberta Canada, 3 tattoos – Finally, a girl with a little ink. I’m intrigued. And then she describes herself as an “inexperienced” lover, and I’m on to the next profile…
Jennifer, 25, Small Business Owner from Fort Lauderdale, no tattoos – Looks pretty boring and then she says her favorite animal is the dolphin because they’re the only other mammals that have sex for pleasure, and I perk up. Quite a contrast to Jami the Bartender, no? Don’t leave Jennifer alone in the hot tub with Ben. By the way, dolphins are not the only other mammals to get it on for the lulz. When the Bonobo monkey gets that feeling, he needs sexual healing as well. And, in the course of confirming my thoughts on the randy Bonobo, I found out that squirrels are chronic masturbators. Don’t believe me? Jane M. Waterman wrote a research paper entitled The Adaptive Function of Masturbation in a Promiscuous African Ground Squirrel. Squirrels are straight-up freaks. I LOVE the internet.
Jessica, 23, Accountant from Boca Raton, 1 tattoo – she passed all 4 parts of the CPA exam in 6 months? That’s hardcore. The pass rate for each individual section is around 50%, so to pass all 4 on the trot is pretty impressive. Smart, this one is….plus, she has a tattoo. Wouldn’t it be funny if it was an abacus?
Joelle “JoJo”, 24, Real Estate Developer from Dallas, no tattoos – Three people to have dinner with? Wine and pizza with her grandpa, Ellen DeGeneres and Jesus. I assume Jesus is in charge of the wine. She wants to be a tomato so she can be a fruit AND a vegetable. Umm, no; a tomato just a fruit.
Jubilee, 24, War Veteran from Fort Lauderdale, tattoos unknown – I don’t talk smack about veterans. But I like the fact that she doesn’t list whether or not she has a tattoo, like it’s a state secret. I’d show you, but I’d have to kill you.
Lace, 25, Real Estate Agent from Denver, 2 tattoos – “A round of applause for Jubilee! And noooowwww, EVERY-one welcome LACE to the stage!” We’re squarely in the stripper-name section of the list. Most embarrassing moment is when she pooped before a guy came over and forgot to flush? What is it with the continual bathroom issues?
Laura, 24, Account Executive from Louisville, no tattoos – so far the only girl to pick cold weather over hot weather, because “the clothing options are so much cuter in fall and winter.” Yeah. That, and you look more Irish than my drunken grand-uncle Jimmy at his own wake. This girl could catch a sunburn from a reading lamp. If she ends up being the next Bachelorette, they will film the ENTIRE season in Dublin and Chris Harrison might quit.
Lauren “LB”, 23, Fashion Buyer from Stillwater OK, 1 tattoo – Any chance her most embarrassing moment has anything to do with the bathroom? “Seeing a doctor for constipation in Germany.” Bingo.
Lauren B, 25, Flight Attendant from Marina Del Rey, 1 tattoo – Where have I seen this name before?
Lauren H, 25, Kindergarten Teacher from Ann Arbor MI, no tattoos – Where do you see yourself in 5 years? “Ah, I’ll be 30!! FML.” FML, Really? Jesus. Did I mention my two kids? If there was a time machine that could take me back to when I was 30, I’d jump in head first. Though, if she could be anyone for a day, it would be Chris Harrison, so her judgment looks sound.
Lauren R, 26, Math Teacher from Houston, no tattoos – Another girl that wants to have pizza with Jesus. You ladies realize it was the Romans (aka Rome, as in Italy) that crucified him right? When He makes his return to the temporal realm, I’m guessing that grabbing Italian food isn’t high on his to-do list. How about sushi? And for godsake, I’ll have enough trouble keeping track of the twins and you give me four Laurens? The Producers need to limit similar names to two. We had two Ashleys, two Bens, that’s it; it’s an unwritten rule. Wait – is this the season that breaks all the rules?!
Leah, 25, Event Planner from Denver, 2 tattoos (“2 doves on the back of my calves that I’m having laser removal on”) – She lists her height at 5′ 5 3/4″ and I think she’s lying. If Leah is one sliver over 5′ 5 11/16″, I’ll swear off sports-betting forever. Why get the doves lasered off? Did Kaitlyn file a cease and desist order on all dove tattoos?
Maegan, 30, Cowgirl from Weatherford TX, no tattoos – 5′ 4 3/4″. Really? Why don’t we just start measuring in millimeters? We’re not rebuilding the Hadron Collider here; it’s OK to round up to 5’5″. Maegan likes chopping the heads off of snakes with a shovel, grabbing ass to say hello, and misspelling traditional Irish names. Gone week 1.
Mandi, 28, Dentist from Portland OR, no tattoos – Hi, boob job. Like she didn’t choose that top for a reason. However, Mandi loves Dazed and Confused and she has a tendency to drink too much, so we might have competition for my personal Shawn Gosling.
Olivia, 23, News Anchor from Austin, no tattoos – Most embarrassing moment was getting stuck in an elevator in college. And she’s most afraid of ending up alone. She’s spent so much time on her own (at 23, btw), just sitting in that elevator, wondering if the door will ever open and she’ll ever see another person again. And what floor will she be on if it does? Maybe Olivia should press one of the large, round, numbered buttons on the wall and see what happens. On the plus side, I like a news anchor who’s favorite movie is Anchorman.
Rachel, 23, Unemployed from Little Rock AR, no tattoos – And finally some honesty. “I have no job, and I’m not even going to try to make something up.” Love her for that alone. Her longest relationship was a year and a half, but “the guy was more interested in his friends and being popular than he was in me.” Like, no way! Like, totally! Like, Really? Like, waaay totally! I have a completely unfounded feeling she’s gone in week 1. She does like cookies, though, and I have a diabolical addiction to cookies. Cookies are my heroin.
Samantha, 26, Attorney from New Smyrna Beach FL, 1 tattoo – she likes the law and hair straightener and her family…I got nothing.
Shushanna, 27, Mathematician from Salt Lake, no tattoos – Ditto.
Tiara, 26, Chicken Enthusiast from Redmond WA, no tattoos – Wow. Tiara loves chickens. LOVES them. If she sees chickens, she has to stop and hold them. She can’t live without her chickens. Yeah, she likes her horse, her family and some food once in a while (as long as it’s beef), but man she’s got to have those chickens. I’ll bet anyone – ANYONE – a thousand dollars she steps out of the limo with a live chicken in her hands.
And there you have it, folks. The longest and most rambling post to date, and we haven’t even had an episode yet. Seriously, does anyone make it to the end of these things? Oh, hey! The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is on!
See ya in few weeks…