Love and The Bachelor – Have Women Learned Nothing?

Last night I saw a reality TV show The Bachelor.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  It’s about a bachelor and a group of single women who are desperate to get married.   They stay together in a gorgeous house for a week, and He Visits.  He can go on single dates or group dates, and if he likes a woman he gives her a rose which protects her from being eliminated.  At the end of an episode, the women he hasn’t dated get a chance to prove that they’re perfect for him, at a soiree.  But he already has decided he doesn’t like them, so they just humiliate themselves.

After that there’s the mandatory ceremony where somebody Goes Home.  The women get all dressed up and stand together, hopeful, vulnerable, terrified.  Mr. Gallant and Charming stands  next to a podium with a bunch of roses on it.  He gives roses to the women he likes.  His best choice is first.   Of course this ceremony was full of nightmarish dramatic pause.  Eventually he got to his last choice, and the woman was so relieved and grateful she groveled.  Then there were a couple left, and with a sad, sad, face, he said sorry, gals, it breaks my heart but you don’t make the cut.

The mind boggles.  There were 12 or 13 women, of varying ages; all of them of course pretty attractive.  Some had wonderful personalities, some had children or careers.  Some were pretty ditsy, but not all of them were.  That’s what puzzled me.  As for Mr. Bachelor, he was a nice-enough looking man, in great shape, with a small child he loved more than anything, except that he told his son “who loves you more than anybody?” and his son actually didn’t know the answer!

Then Daddy said, with a sad, tragic look on his face that kiddo had to go away for a week because Daddy had  this important thing to do.   He was going to choose a new Mommy!  Right, this wasn’t about a big ego trip harem fantasy at all, it was for the kid.  Kiddo didn’t really understand that either.  Poor little sod.

It was amazing – and sad – to watch these women, a lot of whom really had something going for them, be so desperate for attention from a man who had less personality than most of them, who they didn’t know, and who made no effort to please them.

The ones who weren’t chosen went through hell, it was hard to watch, to see their real pain, and how they believe their fulfillment is dependent on the whether a man chooses them or not.  Worse – that if he doesn’t, it’s because there’s something wrong with them.  Even if he’s a jerk!

We all want love.  We’re all vulnerable and hate rejection.   But being a willing participant in a meat market?  Every one of these beautiful women were desperate to please him.  Only one of them said “I don’t like this”.  His response?  She was too needy.

It was like something out of Jane Austen.   The reason I’ll keep on watching is to see if any of these women get to realize they don’t have to put themselves through this to find happiness.  I think winners will be the ones who are sent home.  They get to keep their lives and build on them authentically and have the chance to find love that’s real and is a two-way street.

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2010 World Cup Soccer in South Africa

I really like my Bridget Jones take-off idea.  If I do it well enough maybe I’ll get a Colin Firth type man in my life.  And a job with a screwball producer.  Hmm.  Not so sure about that part, but for certain I’d get a film deal and become important woman of substance.

Last night I scrabbled about for a justification.  Why can’t I copy her?  Apart from all the obvious reasons which are too many to list.   Then I saw it.

Aha!  Helen Fielding slyly and patently obviously took her inspiration to satirize – let alone a character’s name – from Jane Austen.  Cleverly, unabashedly, unashamedly.  Got applauded for it, and I’m included in the applauders, I’m one of her biggest fans.  But what if Jane Austen had been alive, though?  Would her book have been labeled a rip-off?

So why can’t I do the same, only I’ll take my inspiration from Helen Fielding?  I know what, I can call my heroine Bridget Jones.

If Fielding’s publishers ever came after me I could plead a pretty good case in court, don’t you think?  Then she and I could jointly write a book about the war between us – and get another film deal.  Bridget Jones vs. Bridget Jones.

I want Mark Darcy!”  “No, he’s mine!  I want him!  Give him back!

It’s a brilliant idea,  Yes!!!  At Last!  My troubles are over, am woman of substance.  Am confident, world famous and important script and novel writer.  Ooooh.  Phone.   Probably it’s Oprah, or Robert de Niro.  Unless it’s Colin Firth of course.

What’s all this got to do with the title of this blog?  Nothing.  I got sidetracked.  I’ll tell you about 2010 World Cup Soccer in South Africa tomorrow.  If I’m still around.  If I haven’t already been hauled away to Hollywood.