The title is slightly misleading. Technically France did not ruin the Bachelor franchise. France only ruined my ability to recap the current(ly ending tonight) season of Bachelor. Unclear? My suggestion: grab a nice bottle of bordeaux (St. Emilion, perhaps?) and attempt to follow me.
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have been more impactful in my life than I’d like to admit. While I think it’s safe to say that no-one believes true love can be definitively found on these shows (although it can occasionally happen by chance), and that the original premise of whether love is possible has been replaced by an overly manipulated attempt to create “good” and “dramatic” television, I must duly credit the show for things that it has brought to my life.
The first season of The Bachelor aired while I lived in Chicago. I was fresh out of college, in my first real job and finally living on my own. At the time, Bachelor was sort-of like the first season of Real World – a social experiment. COULD two people find love in this methodical, albeit unconventional, manner? Now, perhaps it’s rose-colored glasses, but I do believe those first few seasons were slightly more honest, or at least the individuals who applied for the show were slightly more genuine – given that it wasn’t quite the ratings phenomenon that it is today (although, side note, I’m still wanting to see a graph showing ratings over the entirety of the franchise).
My friends and I had less interest in the person that was the official Bachelor (or Bachelorette) and more interest in the persons vying for love. We fell hard for goofy Bob Guiney and were devastated, then disgusted, by the way he changed once he became “The Bachelor.” We liked the hometown hotties who seemed a little shy, a little less polished. And, living in Chicago, we were always moderately likely to run into one or two of them. (And we did. And we have pictures to prove it. They were all VERY nice.)
Then I jumped ship and moved down to Florida. (Winters are COLD in Chicago!) I moved down knowing one person and I moved into her spare room. As I adjusted she began watching the show with me while I texted my friends in Chicago. Then I moved out. I bought my very own home. It was monumental and exciting and… a little empty. So I invited my previous roomie to come watch Bachelor with me. She came. And she brought friends. Those friends, who had been acquaintances, became my friends.
Our core group, four single ladies, made Mondays “Girls Night”. We’d gather and drink copious amounts of wine (or margaritas or martinis, on occasion) and an inappropriately large amount of food – hors d’oeuvres for days and desserts, generally. In the beginning we watched the show, caught up on each others lives during commercial breaks and made regular witty comments.
Over the years the food and wine got better (but rarely more balanced), the talking bled into the watching and the comments went to snarky and downright hysterical. Also, during this time, I started a silly blog (this one) and began drafting a Bachelor/ette Bracket. The mere existence of the Bracket brought more people to visit my blog – and the ensuing recaps and fashion links became a regular source of traffic.
But life has that habit of getting in the way.
Four single ladies became, over time, four married women. Children were born, individuals moved further away, and jobs changed and demanded more time. Girls Night was no longer a given and no longer happens every single Monday night, I am sad to say. And while I sort-of live for the creation of the Bracket, my ability to keep up with recaps and fashion links tends to fall slightly lower on the priority list than it used to.
And speaking of life – bear with me, this is straying off topic a little bit – I have this *significant* birthday coming up in just over a week. So instead of focusing on work, which I’ve found to be all-consuming for the past few months, or putting in the hours for the recaps and fashion links (seriously, those fashion links take WAY more effort than I want to admit – down the rabbit hole for a pair of earrings? Yes. Three hours of Instagram later and nothing to show? Been there), I ran away. To France.
So here I sit in France. Unable to watch Bachelor finale(s) live, struggling to get hold of episodes after the fact, and knowing that – once again – I haven’t been able to keep up with my intended commentary of the season. Regrets? I have a few. Not being able to complete something that I started. Disappointing anyone who may have been following my thoughts. And I regret the Mondays that were not spent with any of the friends who joined me along the way.
Luckily, France has wine. And being three quarters of the way into my own bottle of Bordeaux is helping to ease those regrets.
So as Colton makes his final moves tonight – will Cassie come back? Will they reunite and get together? – I’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning to read someone else’s recap and find out what happened. But, as ever, I have good intentions for the next season. And, until that time, let’s just blame France for the rest.