By Lori Acken
Because I seem to like to admit things at the start of these buggers …
I’ll admit it. When I first read the not-so-good news about victorious Bachelorette-slayer Ed and his purported cheating (and total cheesebag) ways, I was crestfallen. I love my little dark-haired duo. I love that Big E ‘n Li’l Jill seem happily on their way to a Windy City version of Trista and Ryan’s patented (and, thus far, unduplicated) happily ever after.
Instead he, well, he f**kin’ disappointed her, to quote our little sailor-mouthed singleton whilst on the cusp of her betrothal.
Or did he?
I don’t care what the circumstances, finding out the gentleman who’s ring you are wearing — ring finger, left hand — has been sending electronic mash notes to a couple other ladies while you were sorta courting is not pleasant.
Finding out he may have also joined them in the naked people dance — really, really not pleasant.
But while the tabloids are out there sorting out the facts of Ed’s fidelity, I’ll submit the following as irrefutable: Jillian was dating other guys — dozens of them — at the same time, too. Even spending the night with a few. Even using the L-word about a couple, three, four. Come to think of it, she seemed to be on the brink of accepting at least one other guy’s ring mere moments before Ed showed up with his, if I recall.
You know it, too. We saw it on TV every Monday night for months.
And I am not so sure I can be mad at the man for going off in search of a little good-smelling feminine company after living for weeks in what every single one of them guys labeled a stinky, man-fouled mess. Especially if he really thought he was never coming back.
So then. Tit for tat, even-stevens, clean slate and don’t call off the preacher? Or does the situation shine an entirely new wattage of light on how really whack-a-doodle the whole principle of the Bachelor/ette enterprise is?
Hear me now — I love the shows. I love the idea that all it takes to find true love is dating 25 members of the opposite sex in two months and increasingly fabulous locations while steadily morphing into the Glamor Shots version of yourself and going through a breakup every single week until you are down to handful whom you’re tasked with hauling off to meet your mother and then to a hotel room. Er, fantasy suite.
Or the short version: that you can find your soul mate among the few dozen dudes or dudettes a roomful of producers chose for you. Arranged marriage, American-style.
But every season I still find myself squirming as the “contestants” pretend (or maybe not) that they are A-OK with the person they are ostensibly hoping to wed romancing the sam-hell out of many other others while their own bond is forming. That the bachelor or bachelorette is A-OK with wrapping him- or herself lasciviously around another mere days before betrothal to someone else. And all of them knowing full well that cameras are capturing the whole funky fairy tale for posterity. And their Grandma’s bridge club.
On the other hand, it’s probably not much different than what passes today for the dance clubs of yore — the online dating web site, where today’s select produce shows up handily in your inbox and it’s up to you with whom you’re cooking or not.
Do I think it’s all going to work out fine and that the cameras will eventually capture that Canadian wedding, 12 or 18 months from now? Sadly, I don’t.
Do I want it to? ABSOLUTELY! To quote our little sailor-mouthed singleton in the midst of her betrothal.
But I can’t help but wonder if, once the “Well at least I got a ring from him, while you had to bring your !@#$! beer and condoms” wears off, that Neil Lane sparkler may come off, too.
Sit tight, Reid. Your day may be coming after all.