When HuffPost Women put out a call for random friends, I received an email from my aunt, Barbara Brounes, telling me about a woman she met on an plane. She and her seatmate, Colleen McMillian, realized they shared a love of "The Bachelor," and when they arrived at their destination, they exchanged information, not really expecting to talk again. But as the first episode approached, Barbara decided to send an email. "The rest is history," she says. "If you've ever been sucked into this god-awful show, you know that the true satisfaction comes with being able to discuss each episode." The following are edited excerpts from their emails throughout the season.
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2011 3:57 PM
When I picked up People with Ali on the cover, I dug through my purse for the card you gave me on the plane. It was fun chatting with you on the plane.
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2011 05:12 PM
Hey Barbara – thanks for the note. I saw the story the other day and read it online ... I was disappointed as I thought they made such a cute couple.
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 12:56 PM
Based on the opener, the descriptions of these women that come to mind are trashy, petty, dippy, unstable, CRAZY. These are the 25 most eligible women in the country?
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 4:51 PM
A little concerned that it has all been about Ben and moving the girl to Sonoma. Any halfway decent girl will have stuff going on and it might make it hard to move, whereas all these bimbos have nothing to give up.
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 3:58 PM
That's exactly what made me hesitate about Kacie -- she soooo readily said she would pick up in a second. Who does that -- or admits it??
I love Monday nights! I can't get the kids to bed fast enough and get to the DVR.
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 10:00 AM
OK, these women are driving me crazy!! Kacie B.: “It takes years to find a love like this!” She is in LOVE already? It is also driving me crazy with how they are using incorrect English grammar. “Ben and me have such a strong connection” or “Things are going so well for Ben and I.”
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 4:08 PM
Not sure why Elyse has an undergrad and a graduate degree and is a personal trainer. (Does that make me snobby?!)
It is funny that I am so hooked on this show because in principle I really disagree with it. It’s disappointing to see women with self-esteem issues, and after they are not selected to win this "prize," they immediately say, "What did I do wrong?"
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 3:20 PM
You're not a snob! All of us who struggle through college and grad school wonder why someone wouldn't use their degrees.
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2012 5:01 PM
Was that kissing scene with Jamie the most awkward and painful thing to watch? Ever?
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 09:56 AM
I also thought it was terrible when Chris confronted the blonde about her boyfriend and she was just worried about finding someone to marry her! She said something like, "Well, if he doesn't want to marry me, then I want to be with someone like Ben.” And she cried so LOUD like someone had died or something.
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 9:46 PM
Ron fell asleep so I got to watch “Bachelor”! (Very romantic Valentine's Day, right?). My heart was beating so hard when it came to the last rose.
Sent: Wed Feb 15 12:37:52 2012
I will miss Emily. She was my favorite. A little kooky, but in a funny, smart, adorable way.
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 2:39 PM
Yes, I agree, I liked her cheesecake analogy.
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 2:45 PM
Emily wore her insecurities on her sleeve, poor thing. I find Lindzi a bit of a mystery. Also, I noticed several of these women have huge boobs.
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 3:38 PM
P.S. The men never go for the women I like best!!
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 06:39 PM
Yep, it's the old chocolate versus broccoli. The guys go for chocolate and not what is good for them like broccoli. Sexiness overrides everything.
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8:34 AM
I thought Ben's vows to Courtney were great, and hers were bad. Hers weren't even about him, only about what she wants.
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8:12 AM
P.S. I couldn't believe Kacie did exactly what we discussed: "Why am I not good enough?" How about, "I guess I’m just not the right person for him”?
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 09:16 AM
I thought Kacie's anger and hurt in the limo was interesting especially where they had to beep her out a few times. But, yes, I was disappointed that all women tend to think it is something wrong with them. We really need to do something about women's self-esteem issues!
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:17 AM
We have to remember these girls are still in their 20s. I am sure I've thought that way in the past after being dumped -- and then you learn a lot in your 30s and 40s!!
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:25 AM
I am in my 40s and still feel that way. I can be self-confident, but that is different than self-esteem. Believing that you truly deserve to be loved and treated a certain way can be challenging.
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:32 AM
Look at these gorgeous actresses like Demi Moore and Heather Locklear. They spiral down into a hole if their current relationship isn't working out.
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2012 02:41 PM
There is definitely something intoxicating about this show. I can be in a business meeting and someone says the name “Ben” and everyone starts in on the conversation. Does that mean we are all fascinated with train wrecks? Or living vicariously through these clueless people?
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2012 4:56 PM
It makes us feel that our lives are OK, better than OK! I think we also remember being that age and we relate to their mistakes and are so glad we know better now.
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:13 PM
This episode didn't do it for me. Ben seemed bored and it made me bored. Here are my thoughts:
- Nicki seemed too desperate. Guys want a challenge!
- Ben seemed pissed at Chris for letting Kacie come back. He was completely OVER her.
- Did Ben really say Courtney was nerdy? Skinny-dipping, breast-baring Courtney ... NERDY?
- Bow ties are not a good look for him!
- Does it drive you crazy how much Courtney plays with her hair?
- "I'm not going to make any decisions until the last minute." Yeah, right!
- "I'm falling in love with all three of these women." Yeah, right!
- And ... (drum roll) … "Don't miss the most controversial season finale of The Bachelor"
Sent: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 09:17 AM
- Completely agree, but it's interesting to see how all the girls work so hard to accommodate Ben and make themselves fit him.
- Poor Kacie -- you could tell it really took it out of her. So did she have to fly all the way over there just to do that? Or does she get a week vacation there?
- Yes, she is trying to pull off the nerdy / naïve sort of ingénue type girl persona.
- Horrible look! He needs to try to work the "cool, casual look," not the "smart, academic look"
- Courtney’s a mess. I really think deep down inside she just wants to be loved and cared for and has been hurt before. She does twist her hair -- probably sort of a nervous habit?
- It was soooo funny when I heard that at the end ... like always.
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:23 AM
It was interesting to see how Ben was reviewed so favorably by all the women even after he booted them off. I did like that they all still think he is a good person.
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2012 10:42 PM
"The Women Tell All" is one of my favorite parts of the season. No major surprises -- except who knew how obnoxious and grating that Samantha was? I kept thinking, "Oh my God, she's the Energizer Bunny with that mouth" and then Brittney piped up saying, "You were the Chihuahua in the house, you won't shut up." ZING!
One thing that struck me was how both Kacie and Nicki were so shocked when they were booted. Kacie even said she was about to kill Ben for making her wait to be the last rose.
I don't think Courtney's apology was one bit sincere. My theory is her agent told her she needed to restore her image to save her career. Why would someone in her shoes have even gone on "The Women Tell All" just to be blasted by 15 women who hate her?
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 03:52 PM
Did you see the photo of Courtney trying on wedding dresses? I think that is to throw us off. If I had to bet on it, I would say that he doesn’t pick anyone and is out playing the field. I would bet $100 dollars that he doesn’t pick Courtney.
I watched with one of my male coworkers and it was so funny listening to him!
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 4:28 PM
I would love to hear the male perspective because I can't get my husband to watch.
If he picked Courtney, I predict it's already over. I don't know how he can watch her behavior and still be in love with her. Not possible.
I will take you up on that $100 bet! :)
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 11:03 PM
He thought Ben was a dweeb and asked what was up with his hair and why girls thought he was so handsome.
I really don’t see how Ben could pick Courtney – but then Jake picked Vienna so who knows?
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 06:50 AM
You always hear the Bachelor or Bachelorette wonder if the contestants are "there for the right reasons." I actually don't think Ben was. From the way he made out with every girl in the house (and most likely slept with several), I don't think he's ready to settle down. I think he's out playing the field as we speak.
I hope he gets his personality back on Monday. He just made me yawn last week!