"She likes men that have quiet confidence," my mom declared as she and my pajama-clad sisters discussed what seems to be the biggest even in life next to the birth of my niece and the Oscars. "I think she's gonna pick Jeff. But I love Arie."
Most people know that they're talking about The Bachelorette. Some people, like me, need a little explanation when their loved ones gossip about these random people's love lives with such passionate interest. First, I second-guess myself. "Wait, is Arie some distant cousin I forgot about?" No. He's just a dude on a reality show. When I'm in Los Angeles, I stay blissfully ignorant of Bachelor and Bachelorette finales. My only contact with rose ceremonies and "Men Tell All" episodes are cursory glances at my Facebook feed on Sundays, which is clogged with shrewd updates like: "OMG Kalen is such a douche!" or "I can't wait to see who Emily picks she's so pretty." Of course these updates get a trillion likes and comments and I'm left wondering what in the world everyone is talking about. My synapses compute that it belongs to the Real Housewives or Jersey Shore realm. The power of the mind is beautiful. Through osmosis we just know things, like when someone is speaking in code about the Kardashians.
In the safety of my Los Angeles apartment I can just ignore this frenzy. Visiting my family in Texas during Bachelorette season (kind of like Hurricane season) I have no choice but to become alert, aware, and go with the flow. Tonight, I'll be watching the three-hour season finale of The Bachelorette with my mom and sisters while my dad hibernates in his man cave watching reruns of Swamp People. I'll keep my mouth shut when these plastic looking people declare their undying, soul scorching love for each other while their microphone pokes out the back of their sexy outfit. I won't blurt out how gross it is that they kiss so many people in a single day, since my "I feel like they're getting hepatitis" observation didn't go over so well last time. Not because my family doesn't agree that it's gross, but because they need to hear every word that comes out of Emily's mouth as if she's Richard Burton performing Hamlet.
So tonight, without judgment -- well, maybe with a teeny bit of judgment -- I'll sit in reverent solidarity with my family, gathered around the television watching one hundred eighty minutes of The Bachelorette. I have no doubt I'll get sucked into the drama -- I have a hunch most reality show producers were probably trained by the Dharma Initiative. Who will Emily pick tonight? Will it matter? Will their love be everlasting? Will I care? We'll see...