Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Keeping Time with Roses
Bachelor season 13: Jason Mesnick-Ahhh, my introduction to this world of wine glass tapping with Chris Harrison. I got hooked on this show my senior year of college. I was living with 5 awesome gals in our college house. My days were a blur of rushing to class, spending way too much time and money at Starbucks, Friday nights at the bar, my part time job at a preschool, and tons of laughter. Those were beautiful days of being young and wild and full of excitement about the future. We would watch in our living room, on an old saggy futon, usually with plenty of popcorn and treats. This season really was "the most dramatic After the Rose ever" and Mesnick turned the tables and changed. his. mind. after the fact. Women everywhere would watch season after season in hopes for a giant twist, but none can compare to "the Mesnick."
Bachelor season Season 14: Jake Pavelka: Yuck This season was a drag. Jake chose Vienna, the season's villain as viewers everywhere cringed with each date. This season had the cheesy "On the wings of love" theme as Jake was a pilot. I watched this season in a common room of my dorm at Valparaiso University in Indiana taking summer classes for my Masters degree. I missed watching with my college girls, but found that even across the country, Bachelor Nation fans remain dedicated. I would watch with class notes on my lap, attempting to "study" or finish class projects while I tuned into this plane crash (not a trainwreck, I too wanted to keep with the "wings of love" theme). Sidenote: This was a girl power season....Ali Fedotowsky left Jake to return to her job at Facebook so she wouldn't get fired. She dodged the Jake bullet and got to become the Bachelorette herself!
Bachelor Season 15: Brad Womack: I was excited for this season since Womack didn't find love on the show first time around. ABC got clued in that "recycling" contestants scored instant recognition with audiences...we already had a buy in. Who doesn't want to see someone bounce back and take that "journey" to true love again? America fell in love with the final winner, Emily Maynard and her sad story of being a single mom after her fiancee tragically died. I watched this season in the living room of the old convent I lived in on the south side of Chicago during my first year teaching. Yes, you read that right: convent. No, I was not a nun in training. Far from it, but my grad program set up a group of us teachers in the convent for affordable, convenient housing while we taught. The place was creepy and old but in a delightful Irish neighborhood that I adored. I always had loads of lesson planning and grading to do as a brand new teacher, but somehow, I made time to watch beautiful people fall in love.
Bachelor Season 16: Ben Flajnik: This season straight up sucked. Ask any member of Bachelor Nation, they'll testify. Ben, who bore a striking resemblance to Francine from Arthur, fell right into the trap of the season's major villain Courtney. Much like Jake's season, we saw the writing on the wall and tuned in to watch bad choices and the creation of a relationship we all knew would fail. I watched this season on my red Ikea couch in my tiny apartment in the avenues of Salt Lake City. I was teaching 1st grade and had recently moved back to Utah from the Midwest. I was dating a bit and feeling ready to find my own "final rose."
Bachelor Season 17: Sean Lowe: I loved this season! Sean was a class act and besides the nasty Tierra, the season was relatively drama free. Catherine was a surprise to me as his final pick but I ended up really liking her. I watched this season much like Ben's season on my red couch in my teeny apartment. But while watching, I texted with my new beau, AJ. I loved going to work and discussing the previous night's antics at Tuesday lunch with my teacher pals. There's a legit community among fans of this show. We're slightly embarrassed but are more than willing to analyze rose selection order and fights in the house.
Bachelor Season 18: Juan Pablo: "Dis season was not ok." Yuck. AJ and I were engaged and I subjected him to watch this season with me. And he still married me. I know, I was surprised too. I had high hopes for ol' JP but he turned out to the the worst Bachelor in history. This was further reinforced when I read Andi Dorfman's tell all book. This season provided some great laughs as we wedding planned and looked forward to our own fairy tale "journey."
Bachelor Season 19: Chris Soules: I loved "farmer Chris" and how ABC attempted to "rustic-ify" (a word?) this season. I thought Chris was charming and cute but the downside? Who, in their right mind, would be willing to be trapped in his teeny Iowa town forever? I really thought he and winner Whitney would make it. But apparently all the cows got to her after a while. AJ and I watched this season from our cute little townhouse. We were newlyweds and enjoyed fun date nights often and I was happily working at a school much closer to where we lived. This was one of my favorite seasons (of the show and of my life).
Bachelor Season 20: Ben Higgins: Ben was such a lovable Bachelor. He had boyish good looks and seemed to be a genuinely good guy. He is (at time of this post, ha) still engaged to winner Lauren. This season premiered when AJ and I were living in our new house and I was just barely pregnant. We watched on our new gray sectional, which was a major upgrade because we could both stretch out and have our own section (it's the little, err, big things I guess). We'd eat dinner, go for a walk, then cuddle up and watch this season. Then I'd promptly go to bed because first trimester tiredness is no joke.
The seasons of The Bachelorette mirror these times in my life just like The Bachelor. I watched some as an undergrad at Gonzaga, a few seasons in summer grad school, some I watched with new roommates and teacher pals at our Chicago house while navigating beginning teaching. I watched some seasons as I ventured out on my own in my little city apartment. I watched while single, dating, engaged, and married. I watched wishing for a baby, being pregnant, and mourning the loss of our sweet baby girl. I've watched at my parent's house, in hotel rooms, on the treadmill, on couches and in bed. I've tuned in at times of enormous stress and hardship, and times of joyful celebration. Life is truly a "journey" and just like the contestants on the show I've experienced many highs and lows. I can't wait for my "most exciting season yet!"
And just for kicks, my favorite Bachelorettes: Ali Fedotowsky, Ashley Hebert, Desiree Hartstock
So...who are your fave contestants? Feel free to comment and share!
Until next time...."Say your goodbyes" (ha, had to!)