The Bachelor: Almost Awkward
Lotsa talk about falling. I think Jake said to each of the five women he’s currently dating that he was falling for each and every one of them, including telling Gia, a lady who probably will not wind up married to him, that, “It’s alright to fall.”
He even addressed the lot of them at the very start of the rose ceremony, asserting that he was falling for all five of them, which is sort of a little bit disingenuous, considering he’s about to send someone packing, but on the other had, it’s a titch nicer than, “I’m falling for you and you and you and you, but not you. Well, maybe a little I was falling for you, until I found out you were a virgin and in addition to saving yourself for marriage, you sort of expect the man to do everything, meaning that you spend an inordinate amount of your time standing there, making expecting-to-be-disappointed faces. When you could be smiling, like me! I mean, you’re nicely set up and all that, toots, but let’s be honest , it’s not like you’re really special in any regard, and if I wasn’t such a gentleman, I totally coulda DONE Vienna last night, sooo…”
The thing is, it IS alright to give yourself over. Not only is it alright to take an emotional risk every now and again, it’s actually kind of important to do so, especially if you’re participating in a man’s televised hunt for a wife. A fellow needs to know that his wife loves him; some will wait until they know this is the case before they pop the question. Jake is one of those, it’s just that he’s also on a bit of a timetable.
Ah yes, Jake. Isn’t it time we talked about Jake? We’ve spent so much time talking about the beautiful contestants over the weeks and hardly any talking about the Bachelor. Or, when we do talk about him, we mention him only in passing as an example of something that’s boring, bland, vanilla, a wrong choice on the parts of the show’s producers, and I think now that we’ve been selling the guy a little short. He is, after all, a pilot. What’s better than that?
Dude is chivalrous as the day is long, and he’s got a smile for every occasion: happy to see you and/or be with you; very interested in what you’re saying; very not interested, at the place he is in his life, in waiting until after some as-yet-undetermined wedding ceremony to have sex again; confused; relaxed; quite tormented by the constraints place upon him by network TV; bored; sorry for stuff; on the verge of sending you packing; a little bit pissed with you that you’re acting like such a freak, in every sense of the word; and so on.
Yep, Jake’s a smiler, and why wouldn’t he be? He’s a pilot who dates babes on TV*. And that smile has made him a great deal more interesting to me. I don’t doubt that in general, even without the cameras running, that Jake is a straight shooter. Though I personally disagree with the rationale underpinning his rule, he’s committed to cutting people loose just as soon as he wasn’t feeling it for them. He doesn’t want to waste anyone’s time or lead anybody on.
But of course, this happens anyway, by design, right? All that business about ‘falling’? Not everybody can win, but everybody is invited and encouraged to participate, to allow themselves to be led on, so that they can fall, so we can watch and see what happens.**
And again, as much as he’s basically a straight shooter, he hides behind that smile, obviously. I wonder how much anybody who is still currently in the chase has considered that they will be marrying a man who smiles no matter what his true feelings, even in order to obscure or disguise them. I wonder how attractive they’ll find that after a few years of it.
*They should make a real TV show (not a reality show) about exactly that, maybe get Pierce Brosnan back where he belongs.
**We excuse our voyeurism by asserting that because they choose to do this, knowing full-well that the entire enterprise’s reason for being is so that people can watch. It’s probably an unsatisfactory excuse. There are times that I’m glad I’m not an ethicist. This is one of them. Another time I’m glad about that is all the rest of the time.