Stop what you’re doing. If you know anyone who has ever dated, ever wants to date, or ever might date, they need to watch this episode, (episode 2) of Bachelor in Paradise, because this is like the Rosetta Stone of dumb girls in relationships. I am not joking. Men, women, boys and girls, sit down and grab the popcorn. Take notes. This is important. No one else will give you the real scoop the way this show does.
Meet dear Elise, a 20-something young woman with an ever-changing array of skittles-colored bikinis and a bad case of vocal fry.
Elise and Dylan have been trapped in tropical paradise for a very short period of time (a couple days max) with a dozen other fabulously attractive people, Chris Harrison and about 100 sweaty, underpaid, overworked crew members. The mission, as always with these bachelor things, is to Find True Love.
Elise has Found True Love Right Away, the very best way to find it. She has decided a mostly baffled-looking guy by the name of Dylan is her Prince Charming. She just knows he will be the father of her young ‘uns, even though he has shown his manifest unsuitability by wearing a macrame man-necklace.
But wait, trouble is afoot. Even though Elise feels that she and Dylan have an “amazing connection.” During a deep conversation about her astrological sign (“I’m a Pisces, which is a fish, which is why I like water!”), Dylan drops this turd into her emotional punchbowl:
“I’m open to meet other people,” he says, his abs glistening under a layer of sunscreen. “If you were to go on a date with somebody else, I wouldn’t be upset. Just like the whole point of being here is to meet new people,” he says.
Elise’s brain short-circuits.
Is she wounded by what Dylan has said? Yes, for a whole 8 seconds or so. Then the dim settles back over her like a soft, furry blanket of love.
She shakes off his words Taylor Swift shakes everything off in her new video. She’s not hurt – she’s merely frustrated, because she knows better than to believe the words coming out of his mouth. She loves him. He obviously loves her, but he’s just afraid! So he wants her to go out with someone else so she can come back to him. He’s just testing her, because that makes perfect sense, right? No? Well, in Elise’s petite brain, it does!
So Elise goes on a date and tries to give Dylan what he wants by throwing herself at someone other than Dylan, the man of her dreams. She drags a dimwitted guy out into the surf and does the oceanic version of dry humping (wet humping?) in full view of all the other tropical bachelorites.
The next day, in the glaring light of morning, Elise says “I’m 100% in with Dylan.” Which, is, of course why she had her legs wrapped around another guy’s neck in a 2 to 4 foot westerly swell the night before. Mmm hmm.
She tells him. “But I was thinking about you the whole time.” Oh, Elise, honey, that trick never works.
Dylan is a little miffy – his kinda-girl did just do things in the ocean that would make her and the other guy legally married in 35 countries – but he’s mostly relieved.
Our girl Elise isn’t seeing it though. Raised on romantic comedies and positive thinking, she knows this is just a bump in their relationship. A roadblock. An obstacle to overcome, just like all the best rom-coms have. The obstacle is not an obstacle. It is PROOF they are moving toward their bright future, which will happen in Act 3, just like Sleepless in Seattle.
At every new roadblock Elise doubles down. He takes her best friend out on a date (aside – if your best friend goes out with the man of your dreams, she’s not your bestie), and Elise just doubles down again. The girl is so doubled that she’s like a relationship club sandwich.
Dylan tries to spell it out for her.
“You’re an awesome person. I love hanging out with you. But that’s really about all it is…it’s a friendship,” he says, after urging her to date other people.
What does she say? What? “He’s sending mixed signals,” she whines. MIXED FREAKING SIGNALS? No, sister girl. He is not sending mixed signals. He is sending pure and simple signals which equal YOU ARE NOT HIS GIRLFRIEND AND YOU NEVER WILL BE. NEXT!
Elise is the dim girl who will never get the message. She’s every BFF you have spent hours with on the phone, dissecting and parsing every word a guy says, every glance he gives her or another woman, every ignored text message he doesn’t answer. He can come right out and say “I don’t want to date you,” and she’ll STILL say “But he didn’t say ‘I never want to date you!'”
We have all met Elise. We have probably been Elise – I know I have. Even you guys, because sometimes guys are Elise, too. Elise is the composite of every stupid thing anyone has ever said about a relationship-that-is-not-a-relationship, trimmed down to fit into a 90-minute show. This is pro-level dating folly.
Forget sex ed movies. Every teen should have to watch this, and then wear a rubber wristband stamped with the words DON’T BE ELISE stamped on it. Because no one should be Elise.
This show is a Holy Public Service, and Chris Harrison is its saint. It could save people YEARS of stupidity. Watch and learn, people. Watch and learn.
PS Someone said that they were feeling sorry for Elise. Don’t worry, friends – by the end of episode 3, which is about 3 days after this, Elise has moved on and found her happy ending – she leaves the show with another guy to go back to his home city with him. Ah, true romance!
When I took self-defense classes, there were more important things I learned than the value of a good elbow strike (though delivering a nice solid elbow to the head is very satisfying). The very first lesson we learned was NO. We did role playing with a variety of people asking us for things, more and more insistently, and we had to answer no. Over and over until we got it.
It was surprising how hard it was to hold our ground. We were all women, most of us young, but even the older women had absorbed messages that made it difficult for us to refuse requests, no matter how coercive.
The messages we had gotten from society were the same as women get everywhere. Be nice. Don’t make waves. Go along with the program. People won’t like you if you aren’t nice to them.
Learning NO – first spoken, then yelled – was the first step on the road to valuing ourselves. As part of the class, we examined how we had denied our true worth, how we had given pieces of ourselves away, how we had said yes when we meant to say no in all kinds of situations.
To learn to defend ourselves, we had to learn our own value. To have the energy to dig as deep as we needed to fight hard, to not give up in the face of overwhelming odds, we had to feel it. We had to know, absolutely know, that we were worth defending. Only then could we trust that we would use our new-found physical skills with all the power we would need to fight assailants who were bigger and stronger than we were. We needed to know it so we could react appropriately at the first sign of danger, rather than waiting.
After that class, I started treating myself a lot better in many ways. It may seem ironic, but I didn’t take as many risks.You’d think having great fighting skills would make you bolder, but it actually made me more cautious. I quit getting tipsy in public, even in my safe little town. I kept a much better look out for danger. I had felt my worth down to my core and I began acting from that belief.
The other night I was at the gas station when three young black men came into the mini-mart. After I paid and was pumping my gas, I watched them, dark-skinned and wearing black short and t-shirts, dart out across a busy street that was three lanes across on each side. Traffic there travels 40 to 50 miles per hour. It was a dark night. It was bold, foolish, careless and quite possibly deadly. They made it across.
I had left my twitter feed earlier that night and it was full of Ferguson, and I knew I would return to an even worse situation than when I left the house.
Sometimes as we watch the events in Missouri, I feel like all of white America has the look that Mike Myers did when Kanye said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” on the Hurricane Katrina fundraising special.
We look sideways out of our eyes and think “What the hell is going on?” It takes something like this to make us ask that question. I don’t think black people even have to ask. They know what is going on. Nobody has to tell them.
I remember being with my sister Laura when I was a teenager. There were some cops frisking a couple young black guys against a fence.
“I wonder what that’s all about,” I said.
“In Santa Barbara, they used to call that ‘the n***er on a sunny day’ arrest,” she said.
“What does that mean?” I asked, even though I had a feeling I knew.
“You know. Any excuse to harass people so they know they’re not welcome here. Get out of town. Don’t let the sun go down on you here.”
At the time, it just seemed like an offhand remark, but then again, I had never had to get out of a town by sunset, so I had never had to think what that felt like.
I was never followed, stopped, harassed, hunted. I was never locked up on suspicion and then let go, never roughed up, never made to feel like I didn’t belong.
I got some bad messages about my worth as a woman, but there was never anything like that.
That conversation happened 40 years ago.
Now it’s 2014 and young black men are getting killed by police while sitting on the floor in public transit stations. Choked to death for selling cigarettes. And now shot to death and left in open in the sun for four hours in Ferguson.
My Facebook feed fills up with people trying to make sense of Michael Brown’s death by blaming Michael Brown. He was a criminal, they say, a thug, one of them, you know. Violent. Animals. Gangsters.
I don’t know who Michael Brown was, though people said he was supposed to start college that next day.
I see the young black men at the gas station wearing black clothing, out running foolishly in the dark, acting crazy like young men do, and I know they don’t know their true worth. Why would they, with what they see, with how they are treated? How could they know? Not here. Not now. Not yet.
At BlogHer, I went to a breakout session where they said we must vlog. Vlogging is chiefly notable for the fact that it is an even uglier word than “blogging.”
I decided to make a very serious, important vlog for my first topic. To show you how serious I am, I didn’t do anything frivolous like freshen up my makeup, comb my hair or look for good lighting. You are welcome.
I didn’t make this clear in the video BECAUSE I AM A PROFESSIONAL Y’ALL but I just wanted to point out how annoying these knobs are. If I could find the designer, I would slap him (yes, I’m pretty sure it it a him. A him who never had to clean bathroom knobs) with a rubber glove across his smug designer face.
Do you take me more seriously now that you know I can do video? Will this amazing video go viral? Should I be prepared for fame? I’mnna start practicing shouting “NO PAPARAZZI” now just in case.
Thanks to my post mentioning a well-known blogger as my BlogHer roommate, I suddenly got lots of blog traffic. Hundreds more hits than usual, which is saying something, because my stats usually show low double-digit daily visits. If I made money off this blog (which I don’t), I’d be rolling in nickels!
Apparently She Who Shall Not Be Named (SWSNBN) is the focus of much internet criticism, and, due to my brief proximity in her presence, I became, briefly, a target as well.
I found the gossip site weird and hilarious. No detail was too small or too insignificant to be teased apart and analyzed. The commenters were especially thrilled to think that SWSNBN and I spent our time together discussing THEM, the almighty Hive Mind of Bloggy Gossip (in answer to that – no, not really. Sorry to disappoint).
The wild speculation made me laugh all day, though, so thanks for that. The only thing that pissed me off was that they spelled my name SueBob. Damn it! I hate intercaps! I guess this proves I am a diva – that I am most concerned about my name being spelled correctly.
Here are some of the wild assertions,debunked just for fun:
Is SueBob feeble minded, unable to think critically, or demented?
Absolutely not. Yes. I mean no. I’m not sure. Let me think on that.
Is SueBob under the mind control of SWSNBN?
I don’t think so. I gave her all my banking information and the pink slip to my car just to be nice, though. Was that a mistake?
Who spends 4 days in a hotel room with a complete stranger?
Well, not a complete stranger since we had spent time together before, but apparently two people who want to save about $400 each. And we didn’t really spend all that much time in the room. We were mostly out kicking kittens and pushing old people off bus benches.
SueBob changed critical comments and deleted SWSNBN’s name. Is she under the control of Brand.com?
I don’t know what Brand.com is, but if they’ll pay me enough to support me in the style to which I’d like to become accustomed, I will not only modify comments, I’ll paint myself pink and post video of the process. Maybe. Let me ask my lawyer first.
Why does she carry that stupid stapler around?
Good question. If you find out, please tell me.
I mean, I saw The Jerk and I don’t carry a thermos around.
Thermos!! That’s a great idea. So much lighter than that stapler, which is a real hunk of metal. I’d pick up my purse and think “Why does this weigh 25 pounds? Oh, yeah, STAPLER.”
Now, thinking of a shiny new Thermos as a prop, I can’t wait for next year’s BlogHer. (Seriously, if I ever get married, and that chance is looking increasingly remote, being as how I am both Very Old and that I hate most people, I want “I’m Picking Out a Thermos for You” from The Jerk as my walk-on song. Wait, that’s baseball. Do weddings have walk-on songs? Maybe I should know that before I plan my wedding.)
Eeeew, people LICK that stapler, don’t they?
Here’s a little secret: those stapler photos are staged. It’s crazy how that works. It’s like ACTING. As far as I know, no one has actually salivaed the stapler, at least not on purpose. Gwen Bell did balance it on her skinny butt, but she was clothed, more or less.
I am so OVER SueBob.
You and me both, sister. You and me both. At least YOU can click away.
Things I Learned, Noticed, or Was Reminded of at BlogHer This Year:
1. We’re all freaks and geeks. All of us feeling like third-graders with a rip in the butt of our pants. We all feel like everyone is doing it better than we are, is more confident, prettier, more together. We’re all a little insecure, a little afraid, and sometimes lonely. Elan said she was feeling particularly alone when she overheard some women whispering to one another “There’s Schmutzie!” She was wishing they would talk to her, but they didn’t approach.
2. Letting others see our true selves can bring us closer together. In a small group, I admitted, even after 10 years, I still felt intimidated sometimes. A newbie thanked me profusely for admitting that, because she had been feeling the same way. Then Elan told the story from item 1 and I didn’t feel so bad about feeling like I was being too much of a loner so much of the time.
3. Hotel soap and shampoo is often stanky.
4. People who are true experts are often very generous with teaching what they know. It’s the bullshitters who act like they’re too good to share with others.
5. Giving someone very specific thanks is far more valuable than just saying “You’re awesome!” I told Awesomely Luvvie that she had made me laugh more than anyone else this past year. She just lit up. It would be easy to say she’s awesome (bcuz, obviously – Awesome is in her NAME) but calling out the thing she is best at was what made her happy.
6. Jenny Lawson can’t help but be funny. Dang.
7. The country song is pretty sappy, but I really do think you should dance.
8. Taking the Monday after BlogHer off is an excellent idea.
9. Swag is rarely worth taking time away from talking to your friends.
10. A granola bar in your purse is your best insurance policy in case of hummus wraps.
11. (Because this blog goes to 11): Taking red stapler pictures will never get old for me.