Elise is My Spirit Animal
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!