Well, well, well…
It seems like years since my last post. Maybe that’s because between my Episode 5 recap and now, I’ve worked a million-hour work-week only to wrap it up with a three-day 103˚ fever marathon from my youngest (still goin!), or maybe because so much has happened since then. I’m talking about the ultimate demise of Olivia in the middle of a hurricane on a deserted island and the Bachelor nuptials of Jade and Tanner of Bachelor in Paradise, which included a full-blown serenade from Carly (remember? Left at the palm tree by Kurt on BIP) and the pathetic attempts at Michelle Money and Claire whats-er-name to finally relinquish their titles of Bachelor cougars by snagging any single man at the wedding reception. And I mean any.
Phew! It’s a good thing I officially declared that I would not be blogging last week or I’d have to actually delve into what went down. Truly, I don’t remember much because I watched it in bed, without a laptop in sight, but I do remember cringing as Olivia put the final nail in her coffin, trying desperately to convince Ben that she’s not the evil biatch everyone makes her out to be, it’s just that she likes to, you know, think, and read, and like, converse. I also remember being all ‘Aca-scuze me!?!’ when Leah out of nowhere starts making up lies about Lauren being different in front of Ben than she really is in real life, and then immediately lying about it without batting an eyelash. First of all, who’s Leah and Second of all, who lies that easily at this age?!? It’s one thing to tell your mom you’re sleeping at a bestie’s house but really cramming yourself into an Eagle Talon with nine other chicks to head down to Club 108 – the coolest underage club in like, the world (Mom, if you’re reading this, TOTALLY hypothetical), but it’s an entirely different story to lie about a girl who will be backed up by every other person in the house, knowing that you will be humiliated and called out for your lie on TV.
I also remember thinking who the hell is planning these group dates this season, because really? Swimming with pigs? Or should I say, being viciously attacked by pigs without even having the distraction of good weather to convince yourself that you’re having fun? The group dates this season are awkward enough, with virtually every girl having left her small talk skills at the mansion, and sulking openly when it isn’t her two minutes in the closet with Ben, without having to pretend gale force winds on a boat + long hair + lip gloss + aggressive swine make for good times.
But I digress. Cuz we’re not here to talk about the fact that Emily somehow made it through the cracks and got a rose on the two-on-one, and we’re not even here to recap the 20 Seasons of The Bachelor special that aired Sunday night, where we strolled down memory lane with the terrifying Kelsey Poe, irritating (and let’s be honest borderline abusive) Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi, and embarrassing still-single 40-somethings wearing their desperation as alarmingly obviously as a bejeweled clutch.
We’re certainly not here to talk about Jade and Tanner’s vows, which pretty much covered every cliché in the book, from Jade’s awkwardly forced giggles during the ceremony to Tanner’s promise to always know Jade is right (totally accurate, but still as annoying to hear in wedding vows as any Father-in-law’s speech at a reception telling his newly acquired son that the key to a good marriage are the two words ‘yes, dear’). Just try and tell me you didn’t hear that at your wedding.
Nope, we’re here to talk about this week’s episode – lucky #7, where I took less than two pages of notes, because what’s to say? All of these girls are so nice. And pretty. And genuine. They ask each other how their one-on-ones went and genuinely want to know. They cry for each other’s heartache, and celebrate each other’s progress! ‘Omg you went to second base?!? I’m soooo happy for you!!! High five, Sister!’
So we jump into Ben’s hometown, Warsaw Indiana, with him pulling up in an older model pick-up, you know, to signify just how down home this boy really is, and meet up with Mom and Dad at the town’s most questionable establishment from a food safety perspective. Totally fine for Diners, Drive-ins and Dives but something about that much grease and charred egg remnants puddling on a grill just didn’t scream Bachelor to me.
As Ben smartly sticks to the coffee with his parents, the girls frolic in the woods together and have a leaf fight. Cuz that’s something girls without kids do.
Lauren gets the first one-on-one and Ben takes her to the community centre where he basically became the man he is today by helping kids of various ages shoot free throws. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to diminish the impact this place had on Ben, nor the man Ben is, because honestly, he’s pretty awesome, and he’s certainly no slouch with the eye contact or first kiss story thing. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that action?
Lauren jumps rope and I am brought back in time to not just the moments of waiting my turn on the sidelines to jump in on beat in an epic battle of Double Dutch at recess, you know, right before we stripped down in the dead of winter for Cat’s got the Measles (anyone?), but also, more recently, where the mere thought of jumping rope causes me to pee just a little. It’s like trying to bring your milk in by staring at a picture of your baby while pumping. Yup. Hot.
Right down to the miserable kid planted just so Ben could turn his frown upside down and offer a glimpse of the future ‘Ben the Dad’, their date was exactly as you expected it to be. I barely paid attention to their talk during the night time portion, but clearly they resolved everything and clearly Ben hearts Lauren a lot. He did introduce her to his friends, after all.
The next day, my girl JoJo finally gets her one-on-one. Ben nearly wets himself with the chance to get onto Wrigley Field and JoJo nearly wets herself by getting a jersey with Mrs. Higgins on the back.
Needless to say they are adorable, they clearly have a great time together and if they’re able to focus on each other with the distraction of a giant Jumbotron capturing their every move in the background, then clearly they’re into each other. I can barely take a selfie without having an anxiety attack.
Meanwhile, the date card arrives and I’m utterly confused by why Ben would give Emily the one-on-one. He has already admitted he has strong feelings for every girl there, and he’s deciding this late in the game to throw another one into the mix? If you’ve already got steak, burgers and chicken, do you really need lamb on the grill? I must say, I do like Emily better as one than as a twin, but surely he must realize that if he were to pick Emily, Hailey would be right back where we left her, no?
Before we even get to that though, there’s the farm group date, another one for the books in terms of awkwardness. This time, Becca and Amanda are forced to row themselves around in circles while Caila and Ben basically have a one-on-one just out of earshot. Good times.
Following a major kite-flying sesh, they hang out in a barn for a few minutes, which affords Ben the time he needs to determine that Amanda is the one who he wants to spend the rest of the day with on what I can only assume is a McDonald’s sponsorship. What’s-a-matter? The Olympics didn’t want you anymore? Amanda probably hasn’t eaten McDonalds in at least a decade, and I don’t remember ever being in one and having the choice of breakfast or dinner items, but whatevs. I guess they really roll out the red carpet over in Warsaw, Indiana. At the end of the day, they’re basically adorable and Ben is able to bring Amanda out of her teeny tiny little shell like no other.
The next day, Emily heads out on her one-on-one to meet Ben’s parents (and her Bachelor Maker). Quicker than Emily can list the foods she’s willing to eat on one hand, Ben’s mom picks up on the fact that Emily has just a wee bit of growing up to do, once she tires of Emily trying to sell herself as ‘average’ and hearing her recite her aspirations which include watching movies all day long.
Not surprisingly, Ben caps off the date by sending her packing, which gives us the viewers yet another opportunity to watch the whole Sister Wives, best-friends-forever-except-we’re-all-fighting-over-the-same-guy twilight zone dynamic this season. She’s so distraught that she leaves without even a cross-body purse, let alone a suitcase.
Finally, we’re somewhere meaningful (Ben’s church? City Hall?) And Ben is struggling with the likelihood that he may in fact, marry all of the remaining women. Despite Becca’s stern warning on their group date not to blind-side her by sending her home, we realize that A) this isn’t Survivor and B) his intent was never to blind-side anyone. Personally, I’m not ready for Caila to go home until I find out what the hell she puts in that hair to get that shine. After that, she’s free to go.
Next week looks like all kinds of awesome, with JoJo’s brothers trying to steal the title of ‘most volatile home town date sabotager’ (saboteur?) from Desiree Hartsock’s brother, while Amanda’s daughters prove not to be as sweet and quiet as their mommy. Or in other words, they are real children. Will Ben choose Caila’s shiny locks over Amanda’s screaming kids? Only time will tell. I’m assuming that JoJo and Lauren are the final two at this point so something’s gotta give, right?
And speaking of something having to give, I just realized I’ll be 38 in two weeks (which is like light years away from 40 in case you’re wondering) and really, it’s time my mom knew the truth about Club 108. Four words. Rhythm is a dancer. Yes, she is.
Till next week!