Bachelor Ben: “If Only My Boyfriend Didn’t Have Five Other Girlfriends”

By the time you read this account of the last night’s episode of The Bachelor, it’ll be Will you be my Valentine?Valentine’s Day, the biggest cock-up created for and devoted to deriving profit from human emotions since, for the purposes of this particular blog entry, ever. So while I know this show was recorded sometime last year and can’t possibly have anything to do with this Valentine’s Day, today, in 2012, the two simply have too much in common* to let their most obvious similarities go by without exploiting them. We’ve gotta link Valentine’s Day and last night’s episode of The Bachelor up. We haven’t any other choice.

So for the sake of maximum Valentine’s Day blog reading effect, let’s lay some groundwork. Primarily, we’ll pretend that this all has happened in real time, meaning that the act of not giving somebody a rose can be easily construed as an unequivocal statement of the desire to not be someone’s Valentine. Yes? Good. Let’s go.

Dateline Belize. Ben Flajnik is there with his six best girls. Next week it’s hometown dates, where everybody returns to the United States and Ben flits around from town to town, meeting the ladies’ families, checking out what their moms look like and taking lots of mental notes. And if that’s not a big enough deal, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, so that rose ceremony at the end looms especially large. No one wants to mention it for fear of bringing down some sort of a hex on themselves, but who wants to be sent packing the day before Valentine’s Day?

For those of us watching**, the entertainment stakes could potentially run pretty high because there’s still a number of free riders in this group***, but it’s late enough in the game that, try as they might not to succumb to such thoughts, folks start believing they’ve got a real shot here. There are going to be some bitter, bitter tears at the end of this one.

The problem with those bitter, bitter tears is precisely with their location in the episode – at the very end of it. We’ve got to last through several shockingly boring dates with some appallingly uninteresting people if we’re to bear witness to them firsthand, and I tell ya, just prior to the arrival of the first date card, Nicki’s on about how she deserves this solo date****, and when Lindzi gets it instead, she gets all teary and just for a second, kind of opens her mouth quite wide and shows us a lot of mucilage. This is the most interesting thing about Nicki that anyone’s seen so far, and it’s only so because it’s so completely disgusting.

So here’s the thing. Ben goes on solo dates with Lindzi, Emily and Courtney. He and they, at various times: swim, ride bikes, walk around, make out, dance, dive for lobster, smile at one another while engaging in stilted conversation about what their futures together might be like, advance narratives***** about how women are weak and cowardly and of little consequence until The Right Man comes along to make them stronger and braver and more complete. The women make sure to assign credit to Ben for personality characteristics he may not actually have, based on things they do on the dates that have clearly been arranged by people other than Ben. On two separate occasions, two separate people are heard to say, “If only my boyfriend didn’t have five other girlfriends.”

Ben also goes on a group date with Kacie B, Rachel and Nicki. Two out of the three women tell Ben they are falling in love with him, they all swim with sharks, which leads to a quasi-intervention with him about Courtney. They only want him to be happy, and so he needs to tread lightly around Courtney because they see things that he doesn’t.

Ah, Courtney. For all her faults, I’ll giver her this – it’s infinitely more fun to actively root against her than it is to cheer for any/everybody else still in the running. Tonight, we see her around the hotel, getting all weepy and mopey about maybe “the spark” not being there anymore between her and Ben. She spends some time being mad at him for not hating Emily as much as she does. She says stupid, obnoxious things******, both to others and about others, even going to far as to put it on the line to Ben – she’s not sure she wants him to meet her family.

I'm the talent.I used to think that Courtney said these stupid things as part of her game, but I don’t think so anymore. She says them because she’s almost entirely clueless about other people’s feelings. It pretty much comes down to pure luck that she says anything close to the right things while she’s around the guy she’s interested in, but you know, if you just try and imagine her as your girlfriend who is in no way permanent because she’s so hilariously oblivious to what a freakin’ jerk she is, Courtney would probably be sort of enjoyable. Which is why Ben keeps her, after the big, big Bach’ build-up that’s made out to look like, as of you reading this right now, she wouldn’t be Ben’s valentine.

But no, this week’s bitter, bitter tears are for Emily and Rachel today. Happy Valentine’s Day, ladies, but don’t count Ben in your plans, because he’s not interested.

*and was otherwise just too damn boring

**really not recommended. We’ve mentioned that before, but it’s always worth repeating.

***people the guy really couldn’t possibly be interested in, but who just haven’t had the opportunity to be eliminated yet.

****Rule number one of the world, Bacheloriented or not: no one deserves or does not deserve anything.

*****one of which gets stuffed in a bottle and tossed into the sea

****** “Oh snap. Thats exciting. ‘Bout time. He hasn’t forgot about me. He’s a smart boy, he listened. He needs to step his game up with me. I need more, and he knows that,” and, after administering a killshot to no one in particular with her finger guns – “I don’t wanna get cocky, though.” Also, “I’m the talent,” and “There’s more guys in the world than just Ben.”

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