The lights are low. I have a glass of white wine in my left hand and a pen in my right. My high definition TV is flickering in front of me like a fire in a faux log cabin on a one-on-one date in Park City, Utah. It's Monday night, my kids are asleep, my husband is at the gym, and I'm alone at last. Alone with the grammatically incorrect Bachelor, Ben Flajnik, and his 16 beautiful, grammatically incorrect sister-wives.
Tonight, I plan on getting serious with them. Tonight, I am writing down all of their infractions and giving a metaphorical rose to the worst offender.
It's hard to rock a bikini and lounge all evening in a hot tub while simultaneously keeping hair and make-up in place. Everyone knows that. So imagine how nearly impossible it must be to do so while also confusing subject and object pronouns.
This is certainly not the first time that The Bachelor (or -ette) has featured hotties that lack critical pronoun usage skills. Just to set the record straight: "I" is not automatically proper, no matter what your grandmother told you or how white your teeth are. In recent years, Bachelors Jake Pavelka and Brad Womack unrelentingly and unapologetically pummeled the English language week after week in their search for true love.
So, when Ben declared in the second episode of this season that it was "Time for Emily and I to explore our relationship," I knew he was ready to find his perfect match, too.
Many fans of the show already recognize and accept the grammatical limitations of the participants, but we suffer through the rape of Strunk and White anyway, just for another glimpse of Fiji from a helicopter. But, what fans fail to realize is that they key to who (whom?) is chosen lies within sentence structures, not between the sheets.
Consider this. After just a few weeks in, I can predict who the finalists from season 16 should be. By cross-referencing the women's speech patters with Ben's, I have narrowed the search down considerably. My bachelor matchmaking skills aren't 100%, but I can probably garner healthier results than the participants, who are wrong 15 1/2 out of every 16 times. I don't usually brag, but it's like my very own JDate for Dummies.
The front-runners include:
We viewers don't really like her, but Ben does. And ABC loves her for being the bitch that brings in the ratings. In sizing up the competition, Courtney said, "I think her and I are complete opposites."
She doesn't say much, that one. But she did say, "I have to stay focused on Ben and I."
"Clay Walker is a superstar. And he's having a concert for Ben and I."
Alas, even the pretty Ph.D. candidate makes mistakes. "I'm worried that, because Ben has such a strong connection with her, any animosity between Courtney and I could result in Ben thinking negatively towards me." Oh, Emily, your speech is so wrong, but what you say is so right. Stay out of it, and keep your eyes on the prize.
Here's what I'd like to see in an upcoming episode. Forget skiing down a hill in San Francisco or repelling illegally into a crater. Take all of the remaining women -- wearing cute jean shorts and sundresses, of course -- on a group date with Ben to the UCLA campus. There they will bypass the skateboarders and Frisbee throwers and enter the humanities building, where they will have to strip down to their string bikinis and sharpen their Number 2 pencils. At the start of a bell, they will take the verbal portion of the SATs in a classroom with full-on central air conditioning. The last one to start crying gets a rose from Ben, who, shirtless, hugs her tight while uttering that well-worn Bachelor adage, "If we can make it through this, then there's nothing we can't do together."
Now that's some sexy television right there.