Well, happy new year friends and family! It’s been a long couple of weeks/months. After my last post, I realized I need to take some time and just chill out. I can’t tell you how many times I had something written and then trashed it. Here’s to a new year, one that will be less chaotic (praise Jesus) and leading to the goal line… I graduate in May, but this is not what that is about. Let’s get down to business… If I’ve learned anything from reality television, it’s that there are real people inside these characters being shoved in our faces. It makes me think who would I be primped as? Would I be the good girl from Oklahoma who is solid and confident (yeah, I feel like this sometimes) or would I be the dumb blonde who is clumsy and even though she’s smart, she can come off kinda dumb (yep. This happens too)?? If I’ve learned anything from any reality TV show, I’ve learned the most from … you guessed it… The Bachelor.
Now, I do not speak as an expert and these opinions are my own, so take them or leave them. Let’s begin… Here are a few thoughts and lessons from Monday, January 10th’s episode.
I don’t pretend to have my life together. I have a life that looks really put together for sure but in reality, I’m 29, I’m trying to finish grad school with a 4.0 and I’m a GA and that alone is enough to drive me bonkers and quit caring about how my house looks. I’ve tried to be the girl every guy would want and you know where that landed me? In my sweats, on my couch with a glass (ok, maybe a bottle) of wine watching NBA games ALONE. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because guys aren’t looking for the girl a girl may think they want, but maybe they’re looking for that girl. You know, that girl. She’s confident, her hair is always flowing and never gets stuck in her lipgloss, her makeup is on POINT, her outfits are cool and the shoes always look great AND she doesn’t look down at people. She looks them straight in the face, admits her faults and laughs at herself! ((God, this girl sounds awesome…it’s not me…yet)). When I watch The Bachelor, I get mixed feelings. I get the analytical feelings that judge how the guy looks at every girl when she gets out of the limo. I get the nervous feelings when I see the girls loosing their edge. And then I get the self-righteous feelings, the ones where I want to insert claps in between words to emphasize my point because these girls start playing the mind game because they’re not longer that girl.
The first week I watched The Bachelor in the company of my friends whom I call the Lunch Ladies. They gave themselves that moniker and I love it and secretly wish I was in the cool club. ((I’m second string and hoping to be initiated…)). We talked and laughed as we watched the night unfold. I was too busy thinking about someone else to really focus on the girls, but then I get to tonight. I feel like Bachelor Nation set this up perfectly for multiple lessons to be learned so here goes:
- Bachelor High. Wow. Kudos to you Bachelor Nation. You did it. Send the prettiest girls back to high school and make them compete. Do you know what high school was like for most of us? NOT FUN. There was no homecoming king waiting for me in high school. In fact, I had rumors swirling about me, saying I was “easy” (I was not… Actually, the guys were all my friends because they didn’t want to mess anything up for Sooner football games with my dad on the weekends), or that I was “a goody-goody who secretly wanted to be one of the popular kids”. I worked hard in high school. I actually transferred schools at the end of the freshman year to go to a very difficult, Christian, college-prep school. The thing was, all of the kids in my grade had been together since kindergarten. You try walking into that territory and try to fit in. I had to constantly compete for friendships. I had to get out of my comfort zone and talk to people and try to tell stories that were compelling and made me seem cool. I hated high school. When I graduated I didn’t look back. I moved forward. Watching the girls compete against each other tonight just brought back memories of pairing off with the cool girls and hoping they wouldn’t notice my Payless shoes with my consignment skirt and off brand Ralph Lauren oxford. If The Bachelor wanted to show how girls really were in high school, they did a good job, even till the end, where Mandy (the crazy dentist) had to race the girl who was on her team! That’s messed up…and so high school.
- Cheap dates. I loved this idea. Sometimes the most fun date can be cheap and just driving around talking. Sure, I love being shown that I’m appreciated by flowers and chocolates and a nice dinner, but what I enjoy more is simplicity. I love being in jeans and a hoodie, hair a mess, no makeup and just being with the person. You don’t even have to talk to me… just sit next to me and watch a movie, or basketball game or whatever and that’s it. Girls, maybe The Bachelor was showing us that we don’t have to be so concerned with the glitz to have a good time. I mean, Caila’s night did end listening to a personal concert with Amos Lee (the way to my heart would be Johnnyswim, but whatever), but after all the fun and cheap stuff, the memories you walk away with are the most important. Give me cheap dates any time!
- LoveLab and smell tests. First of all, if you’re taking me to a freaking love lab where I get hooked up to these machines that “show me how compatible we are” you’re outta your mind! You put it out there that there’s some formula to see if we’re going to end up together is asking for trouble! Which is what happened to my girl Sam. You freaking announce to the whole crew she got a 2 point whatever score and say “it’s the lowest compatibility rating…” and then have a stone cold fox like Olivia who is put together and seemingly perfect and SHE KNOWS IT hear that… it’s over. Love Labs sounds great, but this is not reality. This is a fallacy disguised as something special and powerful. And can we talk about the “power of smell”?? I do not want some dude smelling me after I’ve been walking around outside and trying to pretend I’m glistening when I’m really sweating because let’s face it, I step outside and it always looks like I just got out of a swimming pool. I’m not a pretty sweater. I do not glisten. I sweat like a boy! I would’ve died if a cute guy like Ben was sniffing my neck or hips… HIPS?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Dude, if you want to smell me, please smell me when I am freshly showered and my hair has been fixed and I have product in it. GIRLS… THIS IS NOT REALITY. The way you smell is going to tell a guy if you’re made for each other? No. What about communication? What about honesty? What about snorting when you laugh or almost spitting your food out because you want to answer a question he just asked? ((Those last 2 have happened to me… I know, I showed my cards way too early)). Smell tests and algorithms will only get you so far. Give me honesty and conversation any day.
- “I know I’m coming off like the crazy girl… The Crazy Lace came out…” Ladies, whenever you say the word crazy describing yourself, you are giving others the permission to use that word to describe you. Lace… Oh, Lace… Girlfriend. You have just made it ok for the entire Bachelor Nation to call you crazy. Crazy is a word that the connotations are usually attributed to someone who is not mentally stable. I want to believe that Lace is fully mentally aware. Every time she uses “crazy” describing herself, a part of me wants to find her and tell her “LACE. SNAP OUT OF IT. GET SOME WATER AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. CALM THE HELL DOWN!” Girls, if a guy isn’t making eye contact with you, or isn’t talking to you as much doesn’t mean he’s not interested. It could mean a million different things, but it doesn’t give you permission to use the “crazy” girl card and get his attention that way. Ladies we have to get past this “if I do this, he’ll answer me” or “if I look like this, he’ll definitely text me back”. That’s manipulation. If you want to win your man by manipulating him, great. It’s not going to last long. If you desire a long, lasting relationship built on truth and honesty, then put the damn work in. If a guy doesn’t like the honest version of yourself, the true you, then LET HIM GO. He’s not worth it. If a guy makes you feel less than the woman you are, WALK AWAY. DELETE HIS NUMBER AND MOVE ON. I would rather be single and confident and aware of what I am looking for in someone than to be manipulating a guy into going on dates with me. We have to stop manipulating people and start being real.
- “This…I thought this was going to be something, but this is really hard”. Sam. Like I said, Sam is my girl. She gets it. For once, The Bachelor showed a true and vulnerable response to rejection at a rose ceremony. Through tears, Sam looked at the camera and said “this just… this is just really hard”. I want to believe that she was meaning that for more than just that moment. I want to believe she was speaking to the entire experience of being single. Girls, I know about being single. I know what it feels like to go out with seemingly great guys who later call you intimidating and then blame you for not talking to them anymore, when they were the ones who never made an effort to reach out to you. I know what it feels like to be on a date and see another girl pop up on his phone and him completely stop talking to you to answer her. I know what it feels like to have a match.com profile and only hear from men who are OVER 50 and say horrible things I would never repeat out loud. I know what it feels like to have a guy you think means something to you and have him look you in the face and say “yeah, this was fun, but we should just go back to being friends. Oh, and there’s someone else. So thanks for being there for me while I figured this out”. Yeah, and that happened twice. TWICE. I’ve had my heart broken in a million pieces and have had to scrape the pieces into a pile and try to figure out how to move forward. I want to believe Sam was speaking to that part of a girl’s world where the guys are not always princes and the girls you’re surrounded by are actually wolves in sheep’s clothing. Being single sucks sometimes, but sometimes, being single is the absolute best thing you can experience. It’s a contradiction-it’s something you want so badly to change, but you don’t want it to change because you love your life with your girls. It’s wanting the kisses and connection but also knowing ‘ehhh, if I never talked to him again, I’d be ok’. It’s the wanting so badly to love someone and be loved back but loving having a career and life more. Sam is right! Life is hard… but it’s what we make it. Sure, you can cry and kick and scream, but in the end, girlfriend, you were on TV! You were cute and fun and so sweet and YOU WERE NORMAL… Sam didn’t try to do anything different than be herself and I salute her for that. But, she’s right. It’s so hard to not succumb to the world’s view of “if you’re not what he’s looking for, just change… morph into that woman he wants and you’re good!”. What we can takeaway from Sam’s words… Life isn’t always going to be rosy and fun, it’ll probably suck more than we want it to, but on the other side of those suckfest moments is something worth your time… Stick it out. Eventually, the hard part of being single will turn into the hard part of not being single because you like the guy so much ((and ps-he likes you too)).
The Bachelor is a seemingly useless show where 28 women get in one room and basically go hunger games on each other and one ends up the champ… Can I just say, I’m so glad I’m not on The Bachelor? I would be the girl who would be all “can I go change? Can I wear sweatpants to the cocktail party? Can I read a book instead of listen to these dummies talk about how he’s their husband?” Honestly, I’ll take the ridiculous dating scene over a TV show any day. 🙂