Lovely Better Half: When are you going to post your Bachelorette preview?
Me [watching cartoons with The Boy]: I don’t know. Sometime before the show starts, I guess.
LBH: The show starts Monday.
Me: What? Is it May already?
Actual conversation from yesterday. My apologies for being late with the preview, but whatever – my life has turned into one long treadmill of parenting, and time has ceased to have meaning. I literally forgot what the date was. But, before we get into it, a few updates:
The Boy: I figured him out a few weeks ago: he’s a college kid. He eats his body weight in food, has brief moments of shining genius combined with a lack of common sense that boggles the mind, he’s constantly pulling his pants down and is completely comfortable wearing a t-shirt and a hat and nothing else, he’s mostly potty trained, but still pees himself occasionally in his sleep, and he stumbles around like a drunken 5th-year junior in Cancun for spring break. And he NEVER goes to class. I’m staring at a 2.5 foot tall version of Me at the age of 20. Scary.
The Girl: Perfect. Seriously, I looked for something about her last week that wasn’t perfect, and I couldn’t find it. Perfect.
Lovely Better Half: So lovely, so better…and I’m so glad Shawn Gosling and Kaitlyn are still together, because I would be SO traded in…
A quick note on The Election (because it’s all too weird not to address, even if no one cares what I think) So…Trump vs Hillary. Did you know that Donald Trump has the lowest favorability rating of any Presidential nominee in the past 32 years? Maybe you did. But do you know who has the second lowest rating? Yep. Hillary Clinton. I guess a lot of that has to do with the overall dissatisfaction with government in general and that people are more divided these days, but come on – we can’t find one person to run for president that people like? Can we just have a 2012 rematch between Obama and Romney? Whether you’re on the right or the left, you have to like one of those two over your current choice, right?
I had a weird thought about Trump a few weeks ago. Does anybody remember when Joaquin Phoenix quit acting to become a rapper, and the whole thing turned out to be a hoax, and he was really filming a mockumentary with Casey Affleck called I’m Still Here? He does drugs, begs P Diddy to produce his record, gets booed off stage – the whole thing is a complete train wreck. What if that was The Donald’s plan the whole time? “Celebrity Apprentice has been cancelled, so I’ll run for President and we’ll film a reality show around it. I’ll say a bunch of crazy shit about everyone, make fun of handicapped people and talk about the size of my junk, I’ll say I want to build a gigantic wall and nominate Jon Snow for Secretary of Defense, then I’ll fight Megyn Kelly in an iron cage match and tell everyone that Ted Cruz’s dad killed Kennedy. No one will ever vote for me, but the footage will be amazing and the show will be incredible. Believe me, folks.” And then a crazy thing happened on the way to the Emmys: rather than boo him off stage like Joaquin Phoenix trying to spit half-wit hits when he needs to quit, people went crazy for Trump. They bought his act, hook line and sinker, and now he has no choice but to take it all the way. I still don’t think he can win in November. National polls show Clinton and Trump neck-and-neck, but that doesn’t matter, because you can win the popular vote and still lose the election. What matters is winning the electoral college, and every electoral college-based poll I’ve seen has Bernie or Hillary winning by a huge margin. Still, this campaign season is going to be vicious, and I don’t know if I’m excited for the spectacle or nauseous that this is what the political process has turned into.
But enough of that garbage – we all know why you’re here, and it’s not for my aimless ramblings about the world at large. Contestant previews! And, in a shocking twist, The Producers decided to not give us shoe sizes this year? WTF? Are they actually taking this show seriously, or did some of the guys with smaller – ahem – feet complain that it was making them look bad. Who knows. But, although the viewing public has been denied a crucial piece of information, we shall find a way to struggle on. Twenty-six guys, average age 28.3, average height 6’1″, 9 with tattoos, 13 in various stages of unshaven, 3 military veterans, 1 fake hipster, 1 real hipster, and 1 potential psychopath. I’ll admit that I’m a better judge of women’s attractiveness than men’s, but the field seems a little weak this season, no? Whatever – always hard to tell from the pictures. Anyways, without further ado…
Occupation: US Marine
The first of the 3 military guys. Wants to get his masters and run a business with his twin. Where’s the twin? I thought we set a precedent last season. “Henceforth, all twins shall compete in pairs for not less than 5 television weeks, at which point the Bachelor or Bachelorette shall flippeth a coin, and sendeth one twin home.” He’s only 5’7″, but the dude did rip the door off a burning car to save an unconscious driver, and he’s a Marine, so basically he’s the man.
Occupation: Douchebag – sorry, Hipster. There goes that darn autocorrect, acting up again….
So, considering that the whole hipster thing started as a deliberately ironic, counter-culture movement intent on avoiding any kind of societal labels, the existential question of the day is: if you call yourself a “professional hipster”, can you technically still be a “hipster”? Methinks Brandon is missing the point. Of course, I’m probably over-thinking yet again, and he just thought that “hipster” sounded cooler than “unemployed Environmental Sociology major from Wesleyan, currently living in my mom’s den”. Brandon was wrong. At least Hoverboard Girl from Ben’s season was honest enough to admit she didn’t have a job.
One thing in his favor: Brandon does have a Gosling thing going. You have to take away the faux-artsy haircut, the wispy pre-pubescent mustache, and the condescending liberal-arts-school smirk, but it’s there. Is a Ryan Gosling look-a-like a requirement for every season now? Coincidentally (or not) Brandon tells us he wants “The Notebook type of experience.” Give me a break. JoJo wants The Notebook; Brandon just says shit like that when he’s in Mom’s tv room trying to get laid, and the poor girl’s looking around, thinking “Does this guy really sleep on a pullout couch? That’s it – I’m getting off Tinder and going back to eHarmony.” This guy better a) put on one helluva show from day one, or b) go home early, otherwise I’m gonna light him up all season long. (BTW, if I had to choose a movie and you’re putting me on record, I’d pick True Romance. Clarence and Alabama – now, that’s a couple that was pure rock ‘n’ roll.)
Occupation: Luxury Real Estate Agent
The second Marine. Conveniently, “The Person Chad Admires Most”, “The Person Chad Wishes He Could Be For One Day”, and “The One Person Chad Would Like To Have Lunch With”, are all Chad, 10 years from now, plus “alright, alright, alright” just for effect. It’s nice not to have to remember a lot of names for these interviews. Pick one role model and stick to it. It’s also nice being born good-looking, which apparently is Chad’s greatest achievement to date. Sounds cocky, until you think about what he’s saying and realize that, basically, he was born, and then his entire life has gone downhill ever since.
Occupation: Medical Sales Rep
Has a tattoo of a lion, loves Chronicles of Narnia, and his truck is non-negotiable. Wait – is the tattoo actually Aslan from the Narnia books? Fuckin’ Super Fan #1! I read Lord of the Rings like 12 times when I was a kid, but I didn’t get Bilbo or Gandalf tattooed on my back. This guy’s hardcore.
Occupation: Telecom Consultant
Seems normal. Has two cats, his ex took his chihuahua – though, technically, the chihuahua is just a third cat, so it’s not like she took a real dog. Oh yeah, and he stripped in college? Did I read that right?
Occupation: Real Estate Consultant
So I guess “Coley” is a name now. Unlike Chad, Coley is just into “regular” real estate, so you know, it’s all tenements and foreclosures in his world. Grew up reading Harry Potter. Coley doesn’t have a tattoo, but he’s interested in getting one – of Ron Weasley’s head on Hermione Granger’s body. Freaky…
Occupation: Commercial Banker
I got zilch. Good-looking guy, though. He’ll be around for a while. It’s always hard to tell from the pictures, but I’ll go out in a limb and predict he’s LBH’s favorite.
Occupation: Male Model
“Here we go”, I think. “Male model. This guy should be about as deep as a puddle.” Not to disappoint, he refers to himself as a “Lambo”, not once, but twice. He also hates it when a girl doesn’t look like her pictures or embarrasses him in public. Like how? By calling herself a “Honda”? And for what it’s worth, Daniel “The Model” has the least flattering picture on the page. Except for Evan. Holy shit. Evan looks like he has bodies in the basement. Speaking of which…
Occupation: Erectile Dysfunction Expert
Yeah you are. His favorite movies are Silence of the Lambs, Seven, and Saw. His deal-breakers are girls with chipped nail polish, girls who talk too much, narcissists and clingers. Sounds like he’s ready for a long-term relationship. And then there’s this: “I’m in touch with my sexual energy and it’s very powerful and beautiful.” Holy wow. I can seriously picture this guy dangling a basket over a girl in a pit, repeating “it puts the polish on the nails.” I haven’t been this creeped out since Nick Viall went full John Lithgow.
He saves lives, he’s been slapped by an ex in a bar, and he escaped from Mexican police on an ATV. Rock on. I like this guy. And the tattoo on his arm looks like a cable car. Local boy, maybe?
Occupation: Landscape Architect
One of his favorite movies is Ninja Turtles III, because everyone knows the first two sucked. And he’s not afraid of any animals because he’s at the top of food chain. I like that attitude.
James F, 34
Occupation: Boxing Club Owner
I got nothing. Except why is he lasering off all his tattoos? He got a Harry Potter tattoo, didn’t he…like, full-on riding a broom and playing Quidditch and shit…
James S, 27
Occupation: Bachelor Superfan
Wow, and I thought “Hipster” was bad. Homeboy needs a J-O-B. Seriously, dude. What are you going to do if JoJO actually picks you in the end? Keep watching The Bachelor every week? Write a blog? [umm…I’m staring uncomfortably at my keyboard right now…] James hates intimacy and sushi (should be good in bed…), and the closest he ever came to being married was to his girlfriend of 7 years, but “she couldn’t bring herself to move.” Wait – so you “dated” a girl for SEVEN years who didn’t even live in the same city? That’s not a girlfriend, that’s a Facebook friend. And she was talking to you to be nice.
James Taylor, 29
Jesus, we have 3 James? (Jameses? James’? Whatever…) I thought we settled this last season with the 18 Laurens; no more than two people with the same name. Wants to be Michael Jordan for a day so he can know what greatness feels like. Newsflash, James #3: right now, Michael Jordan kinda wishes he could be Steph Curry for a day. (And while we’re on Steph Curry, if you have courtside seats at a playoff game, and your franchise player dives into the stands after a loose ball, YOU NEED TO CATCH HIM! Fucking new-money, tech-bubble morons need to get their eyes off their cell phones and into the game). Also, James really needs to shave.
Occupation: Technical Sales Rep
One of his favorite movies is Toy Story III, because everyone knows that the first two…yeah, yeah, yeah. Jonathon doesn’t think that gluten allergies are real. God bless, my friend. It’s about time someone called bullshit on this stuff. Before I get flamed, I have no doubt there are some people who have an intolerance to the stuff, but it’s actually become trendy to say you’re allergic to gluten. I live in Marin, and about 8 out of 10 people I meet tell me they have a gluten allergy. If that was the actual percentage, the human race would have died centuries ago. Spare me. People didn’t even know what gluten was until like 5 years ago.
Occupation: Former Pro Quarterback
Aaron Rodgers’s little brother. That should make for some fun, competitive banter around the dinner table. Jordan: “So, I did really well on a couple group dates, and I haven’t gotten any group date roses yet, but JojO pulled me aside and said I was really nice and I have an outside shot to make hometowns. So….” Aaron: “Yeah, that’s great. I won a Superbowl for the most storied franchise in NFL history, and I’m dating Olivia Munn. AND, I’m the only one dating her, unlike you and your [air quotes] girlfriend. So….”
Occupation: War Veteran
Third military veteran. Answers seem pretty normal. I’m not sure if the three ex-military guys are going to get uber-competitive and fight with each other, or if they’re going to bond out of the gate and go Rambo on everyone else. I’m kinda hoping for the latter. And you just know there’s going to be a paintball fight at some point in the season, right?
Nick B, 33
Occupation: Electrical Engineer
Two Quotes from Nick B:
“I would be the woman I want to marry so I could find out what’s in her head. Plus, I’m pretty sure I could only last a day being inside a woman’s head.” [A real ladies’ man, then…]
“I don’t think I’ve ever received a romantic present – and I’m not sure why.”
I’m not an expert, Nick, but maybe your second statement has a lot to do with your first. Just saying.
Nick S, 26
Occupation: Software Salesman
A guy named Nick who’s a software salesman – stop me when you’ve heard this one before. Most outrageous thing he’s ever done? “Gone on The Bachelorette, of course! Then, after I got dumped by Andi, I went on The Bachelorette again! Showed up right in the middle of Kaitlyn’s season. I had a target on my back – understandable – but I made it all the way to the final episode…where I got dumped a second time. But, the real craziest thing I’ve ever done was have facial reconstruction surgery and go on the show for a third time! I kept my name and my job the same so I wouldn’t get tripped up, but it’s a whole new face! No one will know! Except for when I rock my half-shirt… What? No…I’m not crazy…not at all! Why do you ask?” Oh, and just to clarify: yes, that is a bandana tied jauntily around his neck. Jesus.
Occupation: Staffing Agency Manager
Pretty boring. Wants to visit the Mesozoic era so he can see dinosaurs. So does my son.
Occupation: Former Competitive Swimmer
Robby loves honeysuckles, wearing a speedo, and dressing up! Yay! And then The Producers snap an absolutely FABulous picture of Robby in a pink shirt, and it’s a wrap. He knows this shit’s going on the website, right?
Occupation: Operations Manager
I got nothing. He doesn’t like snakes. Neither do I. Snakes are not our friends. Whatever.
How can a barber have a haircut like that? Comin’ straight outta Modesto, bro. He hates turkey meat, and I can’t argue with him there. Though, I did have a turkey burger one time that was out of control. Holy crap, I’m turning Marin…
Occupation: Radio DJ
Perfect first date? “Really good tacos, a great live band, a walk around the city, and wine and cheese on my front porch as Otis Redding plays on my turntable.” Are you taking notes, Brandon? Because this is what an actual hipster sounds like. See how Wells mentions live music and a specific type of food, while casually throwing in Otis Redding on vinyl to add that little bit of pretentiousness without being over-the-top? And see how, at no point, does he mention the words “Notebook”, “My Mom’s Couch”, or even “Hipster”? THAT’S how it’s done. The only thing Wells needed to mention was his favorite craft cocktail, and he would have scored a perfect 10 on the hipster scale. (“First, I muddle Malaysian mint with raw cane sugar in an artisan wooden bowl from the Yucatan peninsula. Next, I transfer it to a hand-blown mason jar from a locally sourced glass blower, and add 2 parts 12 year-old Japanese whiskey, 1 part vermouth rosso, and 1 part Campari. I gently stir – never shake! – with a silver spoon so as not to disturb the chemical makeup of the ingredients. Finally, I strain the mixture through homespun wool into an early 20th century Edwardian highball glass, add 1 large cube of flash-frozen spring water, and garnish with basil from my urban garden. I call it ‘The Fixie’.”)
Occupation: Civil Engineer
Height: 6’2 1/2″
Come on, man – you’re 6’2″. Don’t reach for that extra half inch. Will readily admits that he’s competitive, argumentative, and stubborn, but that he’s “working on it.” Please don’t “work on it”, Will. You’re perfect for this show just the way you are…
And that’s the rundown. There’s a couple gems in there, hope they stick around long enough to keep things interesting. The new season premiers Monday night! Gird your loins – we have 11 long weeks of booze-fueled and semi-scripted drama ahead of us.
See ya then, my friends…