Wow. Brutal. Hello, Readers. It's South by Southwest time here in Austin. For those of you unfamiliar with that little festival, it's an event where hundreds of thousands of hipsters who have managed to save $500 from their barista tip jars and by cutting down from two to one and half packs of cigarettes a day travel to Austin, listen to some Ukrainian speed metal band with a good agent, smoke in the streets, don't tip the waitstaff, and generally wander around drunk and stoned while the rest of us try to go about our lives.
The up side is that every industry in Austin reaps the benefits of their spending. Well, every industry except the razor and the deodorant industries, but that's neither here nor there. Welcome to Austin, hipsters. Spend your money, enjoy the festival, and don't forget to leave.
And welcome back to all of you for the final installment of my semi-timely recap of Bachelor Ben’s Love Fest. I think we’d all agree that we should all feel at least a little bit sorry for poor JoJo. Granted, her alpha-male, testosterone-filled, step brothers didn’t exactly help the situation, but she put up a good fight. However, I think it’s fair to say that when compared to Lauren B., JoJo clearly earned the Booby Prize.
|Ben loves you both.|
Get it? Booby prize. You’re welcome. I’ll be here all week.
This week’s episode—clearly the most (insert provocative adjective here) conclusion of The Bachelor ever—featured a lot of wandering around in sharkskin suits and a lot of Neil Lane’s noticeably more svelte appearance. Perhaps he and Harrison took advantage of the complimentary pre-dawn Zumba classes over there at the Jamaica Sandals Resort. Neil Lane certainly took advantage of the beach. If he were any more tan, he’d be a belt.
As much as I’d love to recap the episode we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing in the tenth slot during every single season of The Bachelor, I think this post will be more reflective than narrative. After all, there are only so many helicopter rides, catamarans, and teal blue water shots you can see before it all runs together. Throw a sweat mustache on Ben and a yellow dress on Lauren and you’d have the Roberto and Ali final episode.
Poor brooding Ben must have walked every inch of the island whining about being in love with two women and equivocating about his choice right up until the moment he chose the ring for the soon-to-be almost Mrs. Ben Higgins. By the way, d*ck move telling both women you loved them, Ben. Good luck not getting that thrown in your face and shoved down your throat come the first big argument with Lauren.
As I write this many of you are watching After the Final Rose. As is my custom, I refuse to watch it. I am, however, curious as to who will be the next Bachelorette and I’ll probably fast forward to see if Ben’s Bible-searching preacher was forced to perform a sham wedding or if ABC mercilessly let him off the hook by inventing some excuse for not immediately joining the two lovebirds in holy matrimony mere days after the groom slept with two other women after meeting their families and telling the loser that he loved her 20 minutes before the bride-to-be arrived via helicopter to collect her free giant engagement ring.
You could literally see that guy sweating as he paged nervously through the Bible looking for a passage that applied to that situation and praying that lightening from above didn’t race through the secret filming location into his skull. God knows where you are preacher guy. God knows where you are.
How about this passage?
“Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.” Leviticus 19:29.
Or this one?
“Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.” Proverbs 7:10
Or this one?
“Two women of loose moral character shall appear shabbily dressed in denim garments yet only one will bear the false ring of diamonds generously, albeit self-servingly, donated by Neil Lane.” Harrison 3:16
Oh, and what about JoJo’s poor family? I prayed that the walls of the Green Room were padded because we all know that Mr. JoJo went berserk after watching his little girl get rolled off the truck like bale of hay at cattle feeding time before being shoved into a limo in her pretty pink dress to cry mercilessly into the camera.
I suppose Mrs. JoJo probably freaked out too but in light of the fact that she can no longer move her botox-riddled face, her reaction would have been difficult to measure. She was problaby too busy chugging the free champale on the Green Room buffet out of the bottle to care.
I suppose that since JoJo is the next Bachelorette (I peeked), it will ease the pain a bit. Well, until they have to watch their little angel take three more guys to the Fantasy Suite on national television, but we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.
She has a shot at beating Kaitlyn’s promiscuity record if she mixes in a surreptitous mid-season bang with one of the dudes. Maybe Nick Viall is available. If not, we can guarantee Chris Bukowski is free (#chach). You think her step-brothers will sign up to date her? Just a thought.
Let’s talk about what I’ll refer to as “Ben’s Dilemma”. First, telling two women he loved them—regardless if he felt that way—was an incredibly stupid move. It was selfish too. First, it cheapens it for both girls. Second, I think we’d all agree that it gave JoJo a false sense of security and caused her to let her guard down on the eve of the big decision.
Recall the “don’t blindside me” chat he had with Becca before he blindsided her? History repeated itself with JoJo and I suspect Ben has a penchant for causing that kind of pain because he’s afraid to hurt people’s feelings. Character flaw or not, he should have kept his mouth shut to both women.
He’s lucky both of them didn’t hit the road when they found out. Granted, it’s harder to hit the road with a giant Neil Lane creation weighing down your left ring finger and an impending stint on Dancing with the Stars staring you in the face, but still.
And what’s more is that he told each woman he loved her at least 100 times on each date. Also selfish. “I love you” was definitely this season’s “amazing.” Saying it once in a moment of alcohol-induced poor judgment is one thing but doubling down on it again and again was not a good idea.
The look on his mother’s face when he told her he was in love with two women was priceless. His dad looked as if he was teetering between laughter, jealously, and tears. Then again, that’s how most middle aged married guys go through life, but I think it was especially pronounced upon hearing the big news from Ben. Also, I need help. What do you think about the parents’ feedback? I thought they favored JoJo but friends of mine swear they wanted Lauren.
So what do I think about the big engagement? I’m actually cautiously optimistic about this one. Both of them have a clear path to the requisite number of delegates going into the convention and it doesn’t appear that either one of them is going to go Pavelka and forsake their current lives for a temporary run in a Vegas revue or a shot at a guest appearance on The Bold and the Beautiful.
Boring translates to Normal here and I think Ben is all in on this one. She appeared happy too. We’ll see if they can survive the media maelstrom and transition back into real life when it’s over. Props to Ben for shutting down his preacher. Not only did he save himself a lot of embarrassment, he probably saved that guy from eternal damnation. Can you imagine explaining that one to St. Peter at the Pearly Gates?
As always, thank you all for reading this season. My life is hectic and often stressful and simply knowing you’re all out there getting a breather by reading during your own hectic and stressful lives is a real source of joy for me. Your comments and tweets always bring a smile to my face. I’ll post in the off season and try and tweet as well. Send me suggestions, questions, or just drop me a note say hello. Take care of yourselves and if you get a chance come to Austin for a visit. It’s wildflower season, the lakes are full, and spring is in the air. Drop me a line and I’ll try and meet you for a Lone Star.
In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be contemplating life’s mysteries while wandering around the lakeshore in my shark skin suit. DP