I’m going to ‘out’ myself just a bit in the way of ‘guilty pleasure’ of television viewing. As I prepared to pen this piece I realize I may lose a few readers as a result of this admission. I’m taking that risk.
Truthfully I’m not a big television viewer, aside from Giants baseball and DIY shows I don’t typically watch a lot of TV.
I used to watch all the ‘reality’ buzz shows ... the housewives, Survivor, Amazing Race, Biggest Loser … all of it. But life changed and oddly when it did so too did my viewing habits.
When I became a single mom, I had less time to sit and watch TV. Well, in truth I still had time, I just feel asleep faster, hence missing the shows.
The Bachelor/Bachelorette was always a favorite when I was a ‘Mrs.’ I’ll admit, I’m a true romantic and like to believe in love at first sight. Those serendipity moments of kismet and pre-destined moments, but the Bachelor concept, really!?!
As I transitioned from a Mrs. to a Ms. the show and I also had a break up. Suddenly, as a single girl, I viewed these ‘contestants’ differently. The excessive drinking, abandonment of morals, lack of concern for image, people who know them do see this, after all. In short it’s crazy in a bottle and as a mother with a daughter slash single woman, the show disgusted me.
Yes, I know it’s television and yes, I know there are ‘nice’, seemingly ‘smart’ girls on this show, but come on. Why must this be done on TV?
But times, they are a changing and in doing so, I’ve lightened up a little.
Early last year, I began dating my guy, who happened to find these two shows ridiculously entertaining. As time progressed I became reacquainted with the train wrecks putting their lives on hold for a made to order TV proposal. Eventually it became ‘our show.’ The one thing on TV (aside from sports) that we could sit and watch together and find complete entertainment value in.
Of course, it helped that we had both been single for a set amount of time. Me often asking, ‘do guys really like that??’ or ‘is she nuts or is it just me?’ Conversation not unlike that I used to share with girlfriends, but it was now interesting to have lived both lives and view with someone in the same ‘place’ so to speak.
Last week the latest installment of the Bachelor debuted. Gone are the days of being the girl who shakes the gentlemen’s hand, offers their name and perhaps flirts a bit with a smile and witty comment.
Now, it seems the first impression seems to count more on what level of circus the ladies can bring to the show as they leave the limo. Ladies greeting him in their pajamas, riding a hover board, or walking up with a pony, this seems to be what some women think will ‘work’ in landing their future husband.
This could also be why I spent the past four years of my life happily single. I have no schtick. According to my guy, I don’t even have a ‘game’ to speak of. I’m terrible in the way of body language for others to read, sending mixed signals all throughout our first and even second date. As I told him then and continue to now, I’m just me, which does not suit everyone and that’s completely fine.
So what now? Do I still believe in love at first sight? Yes. Do I believe it can be properly fostered and developed in a fish bowl, a la a television show to create happily ever after? No.
For the faithful viewer, I know there are success stories which counter my view/belief and that’s a good thing. The network needs each of us, the viewer who finds it as a human behavior sitcom as well as the hopeless romantic who loves the elaborate getaways, fancy dinners and made to order wardrobes.
As a kid, I always enjoyed the circus and then I felt bad for the animals. In this case, the ‘participants’ enlisted freely for this circus. So yes, that makes the entertainment all the more better.
And for the five who made it this far into this piece (insert wink here), I hope he picks Olivia. One of the few who exited the limo, looked him in the eye, shook his hand and offered a witty comment.
No. I won’t Google and spoil the romantic ‘surprise,’ I’m along for the ride on this modern day love story ... until the After the Rose and the next season. Cheers to love and blind faith, literally.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.