I confess. I watched The Bachelor this season. C’mon. Don’t judge.
Before I try to humor you with why, allow me to defend myself.
Monday Night Football wasn’t on.
I didn’t watch every episode.
I didn’t DVR it.
Didn’t change plans for it.
Didn’t take it seriously.
And didn’t wish I was in my 20’s again.
Oh, and I’m not a silly, girly girl, hopeless romantic.
Okay, that’s not true.
Truth is, The Bachelor is a ridiculously, laughingly, mindlessly entertaining three month TV ratings love story complete with a cast of characters, thickening plot, setting, conflict and Final Rose resolution. It’s the show you love to hate. And the show you’d never admit watching. Guys, you get a pass on this. If you took one for the team, you’re heroic in my book. Payback should be during football season. Watching The Bachelor is like waiting for new tires, a delayed plane, or Atlanta traffic on a Friday night. It’s two hours off your life you’ll never get back.
The things we do for love.
It’s ridiculously because, only on television, would you find 25 competent successful women living in the same house, competing for the same guy, who’s openly dating all 24 ‘other’ women, while the ‘other’ women fall more deeply in love with him, while he falls deeply in love with each of them, until he realizes six weeks later – seduced by an exotic foreign land – he’s ‘in love’ with the real one, but continues to act like he loves them all, until the Final Rose ceremony where one of two remaining ‘fiance’s-to-be’ face off to an emotionally spent Bachelor who’s about to break one heart, so he can propose to the one heart he never knew he always wanted. While millions watch. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
Laughingly, because there’s always a Bachelor villainess causing conflict that resonates of days gone by. Guys won’t understand this part. But most women do. She’s that girl from high school who always got on everyone’s nerves though no one really knew why, or how she and her drama always got the guy, but he never realized who she really was until he married her and then found out everything you tried to tell him but he wouldn’t listen because he always put you, in what the Urban Dictionary now defines today as – the Friend Zone. Yep, we’ve all been there. The villainess this season was Tierra. She claims the girls didn’t like her because she was too…sparkly. Sparkly? Her words. Not mine. What is that? Sparkles was sent home about three weeks ago.
It’s mindlessly, because over the dull winter months, it’s Monday night filler. Think about it. Coming off a fun weekend with family and friends, with still another 96 hours of meetings, deadlines, airports and events standing between you and Friday, why not be entertained by a chiseled guy, conniving beautiful and funny women and actress wanna-bees, exotic locations, funny bloopers, and pretty roses. Yep, Monday nights were the perfect night to throw on the comfy clothes, throw in a messy pony, drink a glass of wine and listen, like white noise, to drama unfold. Tired of the drama? Mute.
If only you could mute real life, eh?
Truth be told, I won’t miss The Bachelor, which has now been replaced by hot yoga (future blog), which ironically, will undo the stress the guilt of watching the show inflicted. Having worked in TV, I do appreciate the ‘making’ of The Bachelor. It takes a boatload of talented Hollywood producers, photographers, writers, and casting directors to pull off 20 weeks of hard core planning, into 6 weeks of vigorous and strategic shooting in exotic locations, four months of editing thousands of hours of raw tape, which is then turned into 3 continuous months of 2-hour ratings-induced episodes. It’s a winning formula that has intrigued more than 100 million Americans since 2002, despite its meek 12.5% two-marriage success rate. Will Sean make it three? The numbers were up 3% this season, so something kept viewers tuned in.
Everyone wants love. Don’t care who you are. We want it. We crave it. We need it. We all deserve it. Whether 8 or 80, we want to mean something to someone. It’s called having heart. Or maybe more importantly, giving heart.
And we sure are looking for it.
Online dating is a booming billion dollar industry. Personally, never tried it, but statistics show I’m in the minority. One in five relationships start online these days. Of the 40 million people who’ve winked or hit ‘send,’ 20% end up in committed relationships, and 17% get married. That’s five percentage points higher than The Bachelor. No doubt, some actuarian, actually probably all, would probably argue with my simple Math. I’m okay with that.
Oh, and the stats also show men still prefer blondes.
Blondes still prefer bad boys.
Bad boys are included in the 54 million Americans currently single.
And most are still looking for personality and good looks.
Of which 71% still believe in love at first sight.
Which is the most refreshing news I’ve heard all day. Studies show it’s true. In 2010, I wrote of a study conducted by then-visiting Syracuse University professor, Stephanie Ortigue, who in conjunction with Swiss researchers discovered, 12 areas of our mind, not heart, take a fifth of a second to fall in love. My boss at the time asked me if I wanted to write some ‘cheesy’ story about love. I told her I’d give it a whirl. The whirl made my head spin for a month as the press release/article made its way to hundreds of television stations in the U.S., and more than 50 countries, most recently being cited just last week. http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/344793 The Digital Journal will take you to my article which is a little more reader friendly. Love is pretty scientific, which let’s be honest, science doesn’t exactly fit on a Hallmark card, now does it?
“You have my heart,” sounds much more romantic than, “you have my mind.”
Speaking of love at first sight, I’ll confidently add most women know in the first five minutes of meeting a guy for the first time… if he’ll ever get a chance with her.
It’s a simple test.
Which I cannot share.
Because blogs are PG.
And because it’s Lent.
And I’m Catholic.
And confessionals are confining.
And Hell is hot.
And because my mother reads this blog.
Because she lets me know reading my blog is the only way she knows I’m alive. Because I don’t call nearly enough. And because she already prays for me. A lot. A bit of a stretch, but you get the point.
I could go on and on with safe and secure statistics, but I’m going to hang on a limb here – for just a minute – to share a few thoughts about love. After all, it’s the most personal thing we do. The most transcending. And the most heartbreaking.
Artist Marina Abramovic and Ulay had an intense relationship in the 70’s before deciding to go separate ways. They celebrated the end of their love affair with each walking the Wall of China from separate ends, meeting at the middle before embracing. They would see each for the first time during Marina’s art performance at the MoMA in 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS0Tg0IjCp4
Love is a connection.
A soulful complement.
It picks you if you’re open.
And is purposeful.
Oh, sorry! THIS JUST IN FROM ABC! Apparently, 28-year-old Texas businessman, Sean Lowe, hit it out of the park in the game of love, giving his Final Rose, and a hefty Neil Lane diamond clustery ring, to 26-year-old ‘apparently amazing’ Amazon graphic designer, Catherine Guidici.
Good for them! My prediction, an ABC ratings wedding this May! Gosh, I hope Sean finds his shirts by then, cuz he lost them all season long.
Which I won’t be watching because I’ll be tending to a diamond of my own…with three bases, a pitching mound, and a home plate, cheering on the Padres, Reds and Braves.
Maybe even sitting next to…’him.’