Welcome Back, Tigh & Sarah; For Tiger Woods, John Mayer & more, scroll down…
Sarah Kowalski and Tigh Rickman are respectively a graduate of, and a candidate at Stonecoast MFA. Both longtime fans of reality television, they are both relative newcomers to ABC’s The Bachelor. However, much like crack cocaine, it only took a small hit to hook them both, and now both watch religiously with their fiction writers’ eyes.
This week Jake and the three remaining Bachelorettes (Gia, Vienna and Tenley) traveled to St Lucia for the much-anticipated Fantasy Suite Dates. After a day long, individual date with each of the remaining lovely ladies, Jake had the option of offering them the key to the Fantasy Suite, where dreams can come true. But there was trouble in paradise as Ali, the former frontrunner who just last week chose her career over Jake and left the show, called our hero, begging to return.
Tigh: So another banner week for Jake is in the books. He got to parade around St. Lucia like he owned the place, got to rake a heartbroken Ali over the coals for her decision to choose her job over maybe, almost, possibly getting a chance to be with him and last but most certainly not least, he batted 1.000 in the Fantasy Suite department, gaining carnal knowledge of all three remaining bachelorettes. Not bad for a week’s work.
Sarah: To be fair, we didn’t see what went on behind closed doors. I’m pretty sure Vienna put out, what with that negligee she busted, but Tenley and Gia seemed a bit more guarded… I’m not certain full-on carnal knowledge was gained. Perhaps some base hits for our batter, not all homers? But maybe I’m just telling myself that because picturing Jake in the sack gives me the squicks, so I’d rather pretend it didn’t happen.
Tigh: Agreed. That image is nothing if not searing.
Tigh: We didn’t talk too much about Gia last week; she was kind of in the background. But I think this week her date was the most interesting as it gave us our first (and only) glance of Jake in a public setting, outside of the manicured world of The Bachelor. We got to see our hero doing the classic ‘White Guy from Texas Booty Dance’ in the street and interacting with many ‘common’ St. Lucians in a street market. It was uncomfortably awkward to watch Jake use his patented squinty, ‘I’m trying hard to look sincerely interested in what you’re saying’ look on someone other than a bachelorette. Talk about a guy not engaged with his surroundings. A total tourist.
Sarah: ‘White Guy from Texas Booty Dance’ indeed! I also found it odd how ‘impressed’ he was by Gia’s ability to be down to earth, what with her ‘$1000 dollar shoes’ (which Jake later downgraded to ‘$700 shoes’ when talking with Chris Harrison). I know Gia’s a model, and perhaps there’s a certain amount of fashionista that goes along with that, but I honestly never got the impression that she was stuck-up or high-maintenance. Is this more of that red-state/blue-state thing? Just because she’s from New York City he figured she wouldn’t be a ‘real American’? She was definitely more at ease and down to earth than he was. Also: maybe I’m just picky about jewelry, but when he grabbed the first cheesy tourist necklace he saw from that street vendor and put it on her without even asking her opinion (or paying for it first?), my ‘ew’ factor perked right up again. Ways not to impress Sarah #58, for those playing along.
Tigh: I imagine his thought process was along the lines of ‘heart on a bracelet = romantic’. Not quite, slugger. And leave it to Jake to spend their romantic dinner on the beach fishing for compliments. ‘All those boys you’ve been dating don’t (pull out your chair) for you?’ In other words, ‘Tell me again how much better I am than everyone else you’ve ever been with.’ Did you catch how he said he was ‘protective’ of the women he dated? It’s a fine line between protective and possessive, and given his constant need for attention, I’m pretty sure what side of it Jake comes down on.
Sarah: The dinner was also filled with more of Jake’s patented talking abstractly about what he’s looking for, without ever getting real or specific. He wants to ‘take care of someone’ and ‘put them first.’ Um, okay, Jake. We get it; you’re Mr. Nice Guy. Gia seemed impressed by how articulate he was about all this, but I just keep being struck by his almost superhuman ability to babble on and on without ever SAYING anything. Seriously, Gia, the reason most guys can’t say all this to you is that most people (I naively hope?) really don’t construct thorough, abstract fantasies of exactly what they’ll be like in a relationship — exactly how they’ll act, exactly how their spouse will act — before they even KNOW who they want to be in that relationship with.
Tigh: Totally! Talk about putting the cart before the horse. An extension of that was when he told Gia that they’d be coming back to St. Lucia for their honeymoon. Gotta have a proposal first. And a wedding. And figure out whether she’s even the one you’re going to be with. Jake seemed to be talking to his abstract ‘wife’ rather than Gia specifically, if that makes sense.
Sarah: Don’t get me wrong — I totally get fantasizing about the basics (wanting someone to love, someone to travel with, someone to build a family with) and even the specifics (wanting someone to make blueberry pancakes with on Saturday mornings) but… isn’t the whole point that you want to do that with the right person? How are you ever going to figure out who that person is if ALL YOU EVER TALK ABOUT is your abstract fantasy of what an abstract relationship would be like? Talk about movies, talk about music, talk about politics, talk about your families, talk about your friends; please, I beg you crazy people… talk about anything other than your #$%*-ing nonexistent fantasy relationship. You’re making me get straight-up ALL-CAPS yelly.
Finally: Do you agree that we may have to start using ‘open her heart’ as a new euphemism for ‘spread her legs’? How many times did he say that this episode?? I fear poor Gia ‘opened her heart’ all right…
Fantasy Date with Tenley –
Tigh: Did you notice how on Tenley’s date he kept mentioning travel, and how important it was for him to be with someone who could ‘just pick up and go to the Caymans’? According to him it’s one of the benefits of working for ‘the airline’, that he can go anywhere at the drop of a hat. Couple things about that – who wouldn’t want to go to the Caymans? Is it really that hard to find a partner who’d be into that? And just what airline does Jake work for exactly? My good friend Dan says he’s fairly convinced that Jake piloted a Southwest flight he was on, and if you Google it, some say he works for a regional carrier under contract with Delta. Either way, neither are going to get you to the Caymans. Spokane, maybe. (on a side note, Frontline did a piece this week on regional carriers under contract with major airlines and how underpaid and under-qualified most of their pilots are. If this is in fact the gig Jake has, I’m not sure how he’s going to satisfy his lust for travel on 22k a year).
But hat’s off to Tenley for having the wherewithal to ask him how he was going to act if they actually did end up together, and whether or not the romance would continue. Of course Jake said sure it would, but I have a hard time believing that he’ll be renting out castles in Wine Country any time soon. Also, according to him, he’ll still have that ‘little boy crush’ on his wife fifty years from now. How the hell do you know that?! You don’t even know who you’re going to be with! As we were saying, when it comes to being married, Jake’s chasing an abstraction, not a reality. Not to say that it isn’t a possibility, but don’t make it sound like it’s a slam-dunk to happen.
Sarah: Preach on. Yes, the Caymans is probably not the best example of ‘places it’s really hard to convince your girlfriend to go.’ And judging by the previously mentioned booty-dance, I doubt Jake wants to backpack through rural Cambodia or hike the Inca trail any time soon… As for Tenley, I agree that she did a comparatively good job, as bachelorettes go, at trying to actually talk with Jake about what their future would be like. I still see them as the most compatible on paper, but I have to say that, at this point, I still haven’t seen Jake ever go off script, with her or with anyone… so I can’t really believe him when he says he’s ‘falling’ for these women.
Dude’s got so many walls up… and I’m not sure why. I think you’re onto something with the abandonment issues, but according to his bio, his parents are happily married. So I’m guessing it’s some combination of a lack of parental approval, a whole lot of childhood trauma and some serious past relationship hurt. All the bachelorettes have had to own up to Jake about how they’ve been hurt before… but we have never seen him admit a single detail about a previous relationship (beyond supposedly being called ‘Mr. Dateless’ in high school, which… for some reason I’ve always been suspicious of. Just doesn’t sound like something kids actually call each other. He probably doesn’t want to admit to being called something worse).
Fantasy Date with Vienna-
Tigh: Did they really just have a date on a pirate ship prop from a Disney movie? If so, then it’s my nomination for metaphor of the week. The whole thing was like a play date, replete with pirate costumes and toys, and that old familiar uncomfortableness with watching these two in action washed back over me (shiver).
Sarah: You mean you don’t want me to force you to recall Jake whipping Vienna’s bikini-skirted butt with his sword? Thwap-thwap, Tigh. That image will never leave your brain. (And: what’s up with a grown woman wearing a bikini bottom designed for a toddler? Is this the fashion now? Do I have to get myself a little ruffle-skirt bikini bottom? It probably came in with last season’s romper craze. Note to trendsetters: women are not toddlers!)
Tigh: Did you catch how they apparently swam all the way to shore from the boat? Unless that water was as shallow as Jake, I’m thinking there was some slick, ABC editing going on there.
Sarah: Ha… I know. You can’t really trust anything on this show. NOT EVEN THE OCEAN.
Tigh: I knew that Vienna had locked in her rose the minute she said she’d give anything and everything to her husband, and put him ahead of everything, family included. That’s music to Jake’s ears, and that poop-eating grin he responded with was proof of it.
Sarah: Agreed. And then asking her what kind of diamond cut she prefers? He probably thinks he’s being cute, but unless he’s 100 percent certain she’s the one (which he claims not to be), this is not flirting… it’s emotional blackmail and it’s pretty evil. Especially since the teaser promos have started to make me think Jake’s going to end this baby not proposing to anyone.
For some reason, I have a hard time feeling all that bad for Vienna though… mostly because I think her expectations for love are so out of whack that she could probably use the reality check. No, honey, there is no ‘Prince Charming.’ The sooner you stop expecting one and start looking for an actual human being who you actually, you know, like talking with and have things in common with besides both wanting to fall in love on ABC reality shows, the better.
Ali’s Phone Call-
Tigh: Well c’mon Ali. It’s been like, what, four days? Of course Jake’s in a completely different emotional place now. The guy is an emotional shark; if he slows down, he dies. I mean seriously. If there was any doubt of Jake’s douche-ability in my mind, watching him bat Ali around like a cat with a mortally wounded mouse totally alleviated it. He even through in the phony voice cracking ‘how could you hurt me like this’, which is the brush-off equivalent to licking your palms so your mom thinks your sick – it’s tacky, transparent, and even if she buys it you can’t feel good about it after. Me and my Machi (grandmother) totally thought she was coming back and was the one to beat. But neither of us counted on Jake being that much of a sleaze. Our bad.
Sarah: Emotional shark? You’re coining new Jake-isms left and right, Rickman. I like it. And now I’m picturing Jake pulling a Bueller back in high school with that same faux-sincerity… convincing Mom he’s too sick to go in and face the bullies who are calling him far worse things than Mr. Dateless.
Tigh: ‘It’s a little childish and stupid,’ but then, so is The Bachelor.
Sarah: And I agree… if there had ever been a genuine connection for him, four days wouldn’t obliterate it. Unless, of course… he’s put up so many walls that he’s emotionally bulletproof and has such a fear of abandonment that as soon as a girl shows any sense of having a life beyond him, he freaks and hurts her before she can hurt him. Sound like anyone we know? I hope Ali bounces back and realizes she can do better.
The Rose Ceremony –
Tigh: Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), while Gia had no problem extolling Jake’s virtues to him on their date, she didn’t drop the ‘L’ bomb like the other two did (both of which went unrequited). You can stoke up Jake all you like, but you have to commit to being his and his alone if you want to be with him. Without that word, all you get is an ‘I’m so, so sorry’, a lack of eye contact and a free limo ride to the airport.
Sarah: Now, Gia’s the one I do feel genuinely sorry for. She clearly has some trust issues of her own, and I fear what she’s going to take away from this, at least in the short term, is that even ‘nice guys’ will break your heart, so you might as well date assholes… at least with them you know what to expect. When what she should take away is: don’t date emotionally unavailable guys with whom you have very little in common except, as stated previously, an interest in falling in love on a reality show. I hope Gia finds a nice guy. I’d totally watch her as the next Bachelorette, though I fear she may not be quite fluent enough in ‘here for the right reasons/looking for my best friend’ Bachelor-ese. She’s pretty good though. All that talk of ‘opening her heart.’ But if I had to bet on one of the Bachelorettes from this season, I’d probably bet on Ali ahead of Gia…
Tigh: Ali gets my vote as well. And she has all the traits – she’s proven that she’s got a strong family bond, she’s engaged in selfless acts off the show (in taking care of her disabled grandmother) and, last but not least, she got royally jilted. That one’s a must for any future Bachelor/Bachelorette.
Sarah: Can’t wait for ‘The Women Tell All’ next week. Fingers crossed someone has the ovaries to call Jake out on his complete psychodrama…
Tigh: Yeah, I’m looking forward seeing Jake try to maintain his nice guy status while being assailed from all sides by the girls he rejected. It’s going to be like watching someone playing two Whack-A-Mole games at the same time.