I'm Watching The Bachelor For The First Time, And I Have Feelings

by Christine Burke
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If you are a fan of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, there’s a pretty strong chance I’ve judged your life decisions over the years.

For years, I’ve scrolled and eye rolled through post after post in my news feed from friends who are obsessed with this vapid, train wreck of a show. Friends with advanced degrees and vocabularies filled with words I have to Google seem to swoon over men who have to resort to a TV show to find a wife. And, my friends delighted in the cat fights, overuse of hairspray and so. much. cleavage.

And I judged.

A lot.

I couldn’t understand why women would support a show where 20 women are throwing themselves at a man with questionable social skills. For 21 seasons, my friends have thrown season premier parties resplendent with roses and signature cocktails. And I have watched their social media meltdowns after the finale breaks their heart when so-and-so (the blonde one) got picked over so-and-so (the brunette one) again.

I would listen to my friends as they recounted episodes at moms’ nights out and I’d wonder, “How did we get here? What is this fresh hell? Why do we care that some girl named Emily just broke some guy named Arie’s heart?”

And don’t even get me started on The Bachelorette. I am unable to even with that level of fresh hell nonsense.

Or, so I thought.

Because, against my better judgement, and under the haze of a Nyquil induced fog, I caught the first episode of Season 22 three weeks ago.

I blame the Nyquil and my inability to reach the remote to save me from myself.

You guys.

I watched my very first episode of The Bachelor and I have feelings.


And so does my husband because I made him sit through that train wreck with me. Because if I’m going to get sucked in, so is he. I’m not going through this alone, bitches.

As we sat on our couch and watched the episode unfold, my husband and I simply could not look away. It was like some magical force invaded our brains and prevented us from quickly finding an episode of Jeopardy or National Geographic that would wipe the stain of brain candy TV from our minds.

We watched as the contestants (is that what we call them? I’m a newbie, forgive me) pulled up to a palatial home in unique ways. Bekah M, an early favorite of my husband’s because she drove up in a vintage Mustang, practically skipped to Bachelor Arie with an E. We immediately knew Krystal with a K was going to be a handful and neither of us could understand why the fuck Annalise was running around with a mask on her face for the first half of the show.

So much to unpack here, people.

As we got deeper into the episode, we decided we would not be “that” couple. We were watching strictly to mock Arie with an E and his merry band of dry bar blown-out sidekicks. And to comment often on how much we wanted to live in a palatial house in California. We agreed that we would not get sucked in. “Just this one episode,” we said, “so we can see what the fuss is all about.”

Three episodes in, we are committed AF to this show and we don’t recognize our lives anymore.

“Did you record The Bachelor?” came out of my husband’s mouth last week and six months ago, that statement was grounds for divorce. But now? His commitment to our brain candy TV routine makes me horny.

My husband and I have stared at the TV screen in confusion as we’ve learned the ropes of how The Bachelor flows. Apparently, there are one-on-one dates, and group dates, and demolition derbies. And group dates where former GLOW wrestlers show up to teach the girls how to professionally wrestle. Seems totally legit, right?

Oh, and Arie with an E has a jet at his disposal and takes his one on one dates to exotic places, like his parents’ house.

When poor Lauren S. is shipped home after a disappointing date in a Napa winery, my husband and I felt genuinely bad for her. Lauren S. really wanted things to work out. You know, in the way that you want things to work out after you’ve known a man for five days and all. But, you guys, Lauren S. had her heart stomped and OMG I talk like this now.

Perhaps our favorite group date so far has been when Arie took his lady friends to a dog park. And then made them perform with their new furry friends like, well, trained dogs, in front of a group of crying preschoolers. This is quality TV and I’m sorry I’ve missed out on ten years of this kind of fuckery.

WTF, Arie with an E? Meeting the parents on the first date? Dog training? Wresting rings? Dude, I don’t think we are made for each other….

But I am pink puffy glitter heart here for you, Arie with an E. And you, too, Bekah M. Because we are all in this together. Don’t break my heart, okay?

Oh, and will you please accept my rose invitation to my Final Rose Ceremony party? I’m making a signature cocktail. Shaddup.

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