Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday to Me-EEEE, Happy birthday to me!
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, I have something else I need to get off my chest. I never thought this would be the forum to express these feelings, and part of me thinks I should just keep them inside forever, but these two worlds have collided now, thanks to a pair of sheer black pantyhose.
The whole black pantyhose business has really been bothering me. More than pantyhose should ever bother someone, and that includes squeezing yourself into a pair of control top when you’re in your second trimester – which trust me – can bother you a lot (no I’m not currently in my second trimester, but I speak from past experience). The point is that on several occasions this season, these ladies have chosen to pair sheer black pantyhose with every conceivable dress. Short, long, bright and colourful, sexy and black, you name it, there they are. At first I just thought I was trapped in a Robert Palmer concert from the 80s, or maybe the lighting was off and they’re actually opaque tights, but, I’ve come to realize this ‘trend’ has actually made its way back into current fashion.
I was deep in discussion about this travesty with a colleague who was also perplexed. So perplexed was she, or maybe was I and she just felt bad for me and this obsession I’ve developed, that she emailed a friend of hers in fashion in New York, who confirmed that yes, it’s true, women everywhere, herself included, are channeling their inner Angela Bower and rocking the sheer black hose with pride. Then she dropped the bomb which just explains it all. Kate Middleton.
So here I am, because I just can’t keep it in any longer. I’m terribly sorry Duchess of Cambridge (picture me curtseying), but your style SUCKS. I pretty much think every outfit you wear is boring, frumpy, matchy-matchy and generally speaking, royally (no pun intended) brutal. You know what I have to say about your wedding gown? Meh. That’s what I have to say. For all I know just writing this is considered an act against the Queen or something and as I post this blog my doorbell will ring and I’ll be carted off and forced to spend the rest of my days drinking tea in a British prison wearing double breasted power suits with shoulder pads. There must be more of you out there like me. Grow a pair, people! Fashion icon my ass.
Okay. I feel a lot better getting that off my chest. Now, onto the task at hand.
I am liking Ben less and less with each episode. His mild voice is at times whiney, at times condescending, and most times, speaking as if he’s surprised by the very words that escape his mouth. But any chance to bask in the glow of beautiful Switzerland, I will take. Looking back fondly on my own backpacking adventures a lifetime ago, Switzerland was at the top of my list. Of course when I went to Interlaken I stayed at a youth hostel called the Funny Farm, which, let’s just say didn’t exactly have the look and feel of any fantasy suites, but was a ridiculously, insanely good time nonetheless. Ben hops on the plane to Switzerland with a tiny suitcase and no jacket and the adventure begins.
We are reintroduced to the final three with a brief montage where we bask in the glow of Nicki and Ben’s date in the rain, Lindzi and Ben chilling with her family and Ben telling us that he can totally picture their kids hanging out there (is it wrong that all I can picture when he’s saying this is that his kids will be sitting on Harry Cox’s lap and it makes me squeamish?). And of course, we review Courtney’s classiest moments, like when she pretends she wants kids though we all know she’s missing that gene, incessantly quotes Charlie Sheen (about as cool as black pantyhose – sorry I really can’t stop) and her diatribe about taking it up the tailpipe.
Ben starts his fantasy week with Nicki (unfortunately, I’ll have to take back what I said last week about her not gaining weight in the face) and surprise surprise, they go on a helicopter ride. The actual ride seems particularly awkward – they aren’t really saying much and he isn’t really looking at her. In fact, the whole episode seemed pretty devoid of eye contact. Only when they start actually plummeting to their death together does the laughter and conversation start to flow. As magical and unbelievable as it was to have a picnic perched in the middle of the Alps, it just made me realize how truly ridiculous this show is. If I were stuck up on one of those mountain tops with one of my besties, I would probably be a full blown lesbian by the time I got back to normal ground. How could you not fall in love? And the fact that the helicopter literally had to pick them up from that spot and drop them at another one just so they could shoot them alone together on the peak without the visual distraction of the helicopter there, just forces you to acknowledge how contrived everything really is. Not that I’ll ever stop watching, but still…Despite the magnificent surroundings, they still have your basic, run of the mill date chatter and cap it off with a ‘yell’ that sounded more like a baby chick hatching, than the resounding echo they were hoping for. Way to exude that manhood, Ben.
Between their hilltop lunch and their intimate dinner, Ben takes a moment to share his feelings with us privately and I am forced to wonder, during all this time of looking deep into his soul, has our boy forgotten to look into a mirror? His hair is getting worse and worse by the episode and for someone who’s been gallivanting all over sun-soaked paradise, how can his skin be that shade of grey???
There is nothing more annoying every season than watching the fantasy suite cards arrive and the women pretending not to know what is in that little white envelope. They haven’t changed the wording once in ten seasons or however many there have been. I personally know it off by heart and I’m sure most of you do too. And I find it odd that no matter where they are in the world, the fantasy suite key is always the same antique looking one. Interesting how the rest of the world’s hospitality industry has progressed to the digital credit card-type hotel room keys yet for some reason, the bachelor and bachelorettes always magically find these vintage versions.
Ben and Nicki (surprise, she said ok to the suite!) make their way up, and Ben tells us how happy he is with her and how much he is starting to love her, yet he says it with a complete lack of emotion. Nicki uses the opportunity as she should, telling Ben every single thing he would ever want to hear from a woman, from her feelings about his comments about her dad, to how she will nurture him and take care of him forevermore. I assume the key worked on her chastity belt and with that, their date is done.
The next morning, Lindzi comes frolicking up the pathway, seemingly surprised that it’s cold in the Swiss Alps. Did she not get the memo about the snow and the mountains? Nice of Ben to acknowledge she has no jacket yet makes no effort to find a solution for her as he wears his jacket, sweater, scarf and gloves.
And of course, what a surprise, Ben forces her to face a traumatizing fear (after all, that’s the only way to show someone you like them, right?). Their ‘repelling’ is pretty anticlimactic. It isn’t even really repelling at all since they are not even close to touching any sort of mountainside or in any way active participants in the activity – really they are just being lowered. They just sort of float along talking about how they can’t believe they’re doing this and they basically land in a hot tub when they hit the bottom. For some reason, Ben is being a bit loose-lipped with us about Lindzi and admits he loves her about three times throughout their date.
Of course, dinner rolls around (not that any eating is involved) and the conversation jumps from them taking turns patting themselves on the back for being vulnerable to Lindzi repeatedly stealing Ben’s line to tell him that she ‘likes where this is going’. They choose to save dessert for the (surprise) fantasy suite where Lindzi informs us that she’s up for anything. The next thing you know, Lindzi is going commando in a men’s button down (weirdly not the one he wore to dinner) and basically flashing her ovaries at the awkward cameraman sitting a metre from her and Ben as they round the bases. It sort of makes me wonder, when is Ben allowed to tell the cameras it’s time for them to go? Clearly they have to get some footage of them making out to show the progression of the relationship, but does he get to call the shots? Is it like, okay guys, I’m going to fondle her nipple now, it’s time for you to go. Food for thought. Either way, I can’t think of anything more awkward than having the job of practically sitting on the bed with these people watching them get hot n’ heavy.
Next on the list…sigh…Courtney. That girl puts the whore in horrible. I don’t even know where to start. I simply can’t believe how stupid Ben is. It’s actually mind boggling. I’m so not surprised that this week Courtney decided maybe she should turn it around a bit and apologize for her treatment of the other girls. After all, the Women Tell All is next week and I’m sure she’s realizing that pretty soon she’ll have to face the public backlash when the season is over.
The minute Courtney started prancing up the hill to see Ben, I wanted to puke and it just didn’t go away. The only time I had a glimmer of hope was when Courtney was doing her one on one interviews with the mountains in the background and I thought to myself, ‘if only she leaned back just a tiny bit…little bit more…thaaaaat’s it….’ Maybe by the grace of God she would just fall off a cliff and we could all move on.
Their date begins with their total bewilderment of the spotting of a garden gnome, followed by watching them gleefully greet any three dimensional figure that crosses their path. Notice how Courtney never has to jump out of a plane or swim with sharks or anything? Apparently, speaking in a baby voice is enough to prove your love if you’re Courtney.
Ben and Courtney enjoy their picnic despite some awkward moments and a glimpse into Ben’s childhood as we learn how to play the riveting game of ‘Hey Cow.’ Even the cows can’t stand to be around them, though I’m sure their little cow ears did perk up when Ben decided to grow some balls and call Courtney out on her behavior towards the girls and how he observed her twisting the knife every now and then. Just when I was developing an ounce of pride for Ben for finally addressing the issues and acknowledging that his mother, sister and female friends are probably going to hate her, he of course goes right back into denial and stops the conversation to tell her he’s having fun and doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. Great job, Ben. You almost thought with your brain there for a sec.
They abandon their blanket and move onto the rest of their date. At dinner Courtney tries desperately to address the issues once again with Ben and apologize for being a bitch since Day 1. She confesses that Ben is attractive to her because he’s normal (what a compliment) and tries to explain that ‘she has trust issues’ which doesn’t even make sense in this context but of course, that, and a horrible case of verbal diarrhea spoken in her native up-speak seems to be enough for Ben to go on. All is forgiven and Ben presents the fantasy suite card to her. I think it’s pretty safe to say Courtney’s a sure thing, since she has already gone skinny dipping with Ben and done everything in her power to arrange a bootie call with him since Day One. Ben tries to entice Courtney to the suite by telling her that he wants a moment with her and I don’t know about you gals, but I’m thinking, this better be longer than a ‘moment.’
One minute we’re watching Courtney eye the bearskin rug and the next, good ol’ Emily is in the middle of a tickle fest with her daughter. It’s great to see drop dead gorgeous Emily again and despite the fact that I think she’s pretty vanilla, I am of course super-excited to watch her ‘find love’ and hopefully meet a nice looking group of guys. That doesn’t change the fact that I actually cringed when I saw Ali and Ashley ready to greet her. Ashley in her teeny tiny outfit and giant personality and Ali, well, looking the same as ever with her stringy pony tail and signature yellow. I’m not really sure what Ali is doing there, since both of her Bachelor experiences so far have been complete and utter failures. I thought they were going to delve deep into some basic Bachelorette training and instead they used it as an excuse to get their makeup done, accessorize and teach her the fundamentals, such as the fact that the roses for the guys’ lapels are magnets.
After they get dressed to the nines for no apparent reason, they head over to a private 3D screening of Titanic, which I do think is one of the best love story movies EVER. The girls look absolutely ridiculous sitting there in their prom dresses with the 3D glasses and I can pretty much guarantee they are freezing. My normal movie theatre attire is sweats and layers, since it’s always cold. Pretty sure they aren’t able to lift their legs onto the seats in front of them in those ensembles. Thank goodness it was a movie so we didn’t have to listen to Ashley talk too much – other than to tell us that the way Jack looks at Rose is the way JP looks at her. Puke. Once the movie ends, it’s pretty clear no one knows what the hell to do, dressed like that at two in the afternoon, so off they go back to ‘reality’.
Back to Ben…you could tell by the voice on the scenes leading up to Kasie’s return that it was her so I wasn’t surprised to see her arrive. Clearly she knocked the wind out of Ben when he opened that door though. It took them both a full ten minutes to regain their normal breathing and Kasie couldn’t even speak right away, you could just hear her throat gurgling and weird sounds escaping. My heart was truly breaking for Kasie. You could see how painful every word she was saying was and how hard she was trying to keep her composure. The fact that he basically admitted it was her parents that ruined her chances at love just sucks, and I bet Daddy’s going to pray on his daughter not hating him forever once he sees this episode.
Finally, Kasie does the right thing and calls out Courtney to Ben who becomes immediately defensive and angry. You can tell he’s listening, but he’s so pissed off at her that he can’t even stand to have her near him once the words are out. He rolls his eyes because he’s heard it all before, but DUDE – START LISTENING!!! Finally he can’t take it anymore, and basically pushes her out the door and leaves her in the hall. Since no railing is available to do a dramatic ugly-cry, she is forced to improvise and just lies right down on the floor to get the job done. No!!!! Kasie, don’t ruin your blow dry!!!
Later that evening, Ben is of course, deeply conflicted and Chris tries to help him out. I believe the conversation consisted of ‘Hey man’. ‘Hey Man’. ‘The women will be here in a little bit, so decompress a little bit and I’ll see you in a little bit.’ Um, is it possible for me to slit my writs at this point, a little bit?
The three girls arrive, all in horrible dresses (of course, Courtney is in black pantyhose) and await their fate. Do they talk to each other there? I mean, I wouldn’t expect anyone to talk to Courtney, but Lindzi and Nicki seem like friends, no? Is it even possible to be friends with a girl who is sharing your boyfriend?
Despite the fact that I had a terrible feeling that Courtney would make it through, I still literally held my breath between waiting for him to make it official. I just can’t believe that he is that big of an idiot and I can’t wait for his family to meet Courtney and for the panic to really set in.
Then to pour salt in his wounds, as he is walking Nicki out – poor, sweet Nicki – she gives him yet another warning about Courtney. I mean she never said her name but I assume she wasn’t warning him about Lindzi. He knocks it right back by feeding her all the same pseudo-comforting lines about how interesting and wonderful she is and how she will find the right person. Pretty much everything Ashley said to him when she rejected his proposal that pissed him off. Way to go.
I can’t believe it’s almost over. Though we have completed episode nine, it’s hard to believe that almost two months ago, we were listening to Ben tell us how much he wants to stick it in Sonoma. Pretty soon, all we’ll hear will be the rustle of Us Weeklies, as we scramble to read about Ben and Courtney’s break-up and the season that once was.
What will the covers say? “Courtney: The Other C Word”? or “Bachelor Ben Tells All: I Do Not Like Where This Is Going” or how about a feature on Kasie; “Ben Is In My Prayers. Now Can Someone Pray For My Hair?
As usual, only time will tell