I have very few things to be proud of in this life. Take my family out of the running and I can really only think of three: I started mismatching my clothes before it was cool and kept at it even after it wasn't (sorry, Mom), I make a mean goulash, and I have never watched The Bachelor or its evil sister, The Bachelorette. Last week, amongst a group of good friends and Chicago Mix popcorn, I lost my third reason to be proud. I, Megan Elaine Conley Snodgrass Bingham, started watching the eighth season of The Bachelorette.
And I like it.
I came home last Monday still smiling about some of the things my friends shouted at the TV. I also came home feeling a little...sticky. And I don't think it was from all that Chicago Mix goodness. (But seriously...caramel corn and cheddar corn together? Dastardly and delicious.) I had just spent TWO HOURS laughing at some of God's children, I made some uncharitable, albeit hilarious, jokes and I totally planned to do it all again in seven days. Time for some rationalization. Thankfully, I am really, really good at talking myself into things. Just ask every not on sale dress I have ever purchased.
How To Make Yourself Feel Good About Anything (Even SchadenFreude Voyeurism On America's Broadcasting Company) 101
What if I watched The Bachelorette for the greater good of mankind? What if I made all of the drunken, naked insecurity and crime against humanity haircuts mean something? I mean this is really a documentary about the human condition! Desire, hope, grief, hot tubs, it has it all! What if there is something to be learned here? WHAT IF I COULD FIND ONE OF LIFE'S LESSONS IN EVERY EPISODE? Am I above learning about life's great truths? AM I?
I am not.
And so, absent my last shred of dignity and with a stomach full of popcorn, I give to you the first lesson gained from Bachelorette: Season 8. The field was rich with possibilities. Just a few of the things I learned that, while beneficial, were perhaps not "Life Lesson" worthy:
- Sheer blue V Necks are never a good idea. No matter how many muscles you have or how daring your haircut is. I am looking at you, Ryan.
- Hat wearing men named Stevie that display excessive enthusiasm over time spent with Muppets should be avoided. At.All.Costs.
- Taking your shirt off and oiling up before sitting out around the pool with a bunch of other guys does not make your Chinese symbol tattoo any less regrettable.
I thought the grand truth I discovered was that there is no wealthy adolescence like that of the rich southern girl. Miss Southern Belle Emily took Mr. Hair to The Greenbrier - America's Resort. And let me tell you, America's Resort, it is. Horse back riding, golfing, a place called The Windsor Club. It was even the location of Emily's first makeover. Yeah, I know. The walls were papered in gardens and the pool looked like a postcard from 1950's Monte Carlo. I am telling you, if Scarlett O'Hara was written into life 75 years later and was a lot less discerning, The Greenbrier would be her favorite getaway. She would sweep down the red carpeted stairs, laugh on the oh-so-wrap around porch and throw her clubs across the the world renowned golf course. And the food! I guarantee it is of the 1980's southern classic variety. Equal parts snobbery and butter. Yes, please. I know I should have been worried about Mr. Hair (what was his name? Joe?), as he was floundering, but all I could think about was the meal sitting in front of him. And during the fifteen minutes it took Emily to say "Please, leave.", I wanted to shout at the TV, Mr. Hair! Why are you listening to her? She doesn't want you! You know what does want you? What needs you? Those mashed potatoes. The house made country pate is patiently waiting. And that biscuit needs some jam.
And there it was. My lesson. I can watch a woman break a man's heart (well, tell a man that she doesn't know, that she wants to keep not knowing him) and think of nothing but his meal. And my next meal. And do we have any more food in the house because I could really go for a club sandwich right now.
Life lesson #1: Appetite is powerful. Especially when it wants a bacon, turkey (add some more bacon...more, more...you got it) sandwich. Lucius Annaeus Seneca (got to love those BC Roman names) famously said that, "A well governed appetite is the greater part of liberty." Obviously he was referring to appetites more numerous than just the gastric. But I think a middle class white girl watching The Bachelorette, while wishing she could eat the food right of the most awkward moment of the show is the perfect example of some of those appetites run amuck. Amuck, I tell you. If well governed appetites are the greater part of liberty, then I am quickly becoming an indentured servant to gluttony, well lit reality, and Chris Harrison's immovable hair.
Now if you will excuse, I wasn't kidding about that sandwich and the bacon isn't going to cook itself.