Thursday, May 10, 2007

Next Stop... Seriousville

It's all fun and games until the Hometown Dates.

This week Mayo has had it with group dating. He needs to get serious and meet these women’s families. I guess his resolve last week on the yacht to get serious didn’t quite cut it because it was followed by another silly group date of painting a playground. Well no more! We are headed straight to Seriousville to meet some families. On his way to the airport in the DeLorean, Mayo has a dreamy reverie about each of the girls and their respective journeys. He starts with Tessa. He knew from the beginning that she was dynamic. He also likes that she’s mature, experienced, and sophisticated (um, when did she showcase all that?). He finds it exciting that he’s had to chase her and woo her, but she hasn’t put her heart on her sleeve and he’s worried there’s a disconnect. Basically, we already knew all of that from him saying it 100 times before. Next is Gloomy Danielle. Gloomy Danielle is the most invested of all the women. We haven’t really seen that much of her, so I guess he’s basing this theory on the speeches she’s made at all of the Pre-Rose-Ceremony parties. Also she’s really tough because she’s known someone who died – just like Mayo, and just like 95% of the population. She has a lot of strength but Mayo doesn’t know if she’ll just be a friend or a lifelong partner. And I honestly think they just replayed the audio from last week’s Pre-Rose-Ceremony party when Mayo described Gloomy Danielle. Let’s see what they’ll repeat about Amber. She has a beautiful smile and he likes being around her, but he can’t get over the fact that she’s only 23 because he typically doesn’t like younger women. But seeing her interact with the kids on the playground proves that she’ll be a great mother, so Mayo is really torn. He obviously doesn’t know that she cooked dinner every night for years and is the most mature 23-year-old ever. Sulky Bevin is the one with the major physical attraction – although I’m not too sure why. He talks again about their electrical current and how he’s continually impressed with her. She keeps getting better and better. He clearly hasn’t seen the same footage we have, and is really excited about having a reliable booty call. Basically they are all glorious and he has no idea how he’ll ever choose, so he’s excited to meet the families and see what bad stuff he can uncover.

First stop on the road to Seriousville is Seattle, Washington, which makes perfect sense because Sulky Bevin is from Palo Alto, California. Okay, whatever, I guess this is where she grew up. Anyway, Mayo comes tearing out of the car and scoops up Bevin, who wraps her legs around his waist like any proper young lady. Mayo again launches into the electricity speech that we all know by heart. Then he recites a little poem he must have worked on the entire time he was en route to Seattle. “I’m in heaven when I’m with Bevin.” Okay, I think now would be a good time to bring up my theory about why Mayo is such a complete idiot around women. First of all, I’ve heard rumors from people who went to college with him that he “couldn’t get a date,” which is actually no surprise based on what I’ve seen. In fact, he was so socially inept that he felt the need to make himself a webpage advertising just what a stud he is and you can go ahead and view that by clicking here. Now, when someone with no social skills and no luck with women is suddenly thrust into a situation where a whole bunch of pretty girls are fighting over him, that’s going to give him some delusions of grandeur. Add in the fact that all of the production crew are pretty much paid to egg him on, so they’re always congratulating him on saying something really funny, or really romantic, or really clever. You know he’s always receiving little notes telling him what a good job he’s doing, and there are a gang of assistants just off-camera constantly giving him the thumbs-up sign. Put that all together, and the result is: “I’m in heaven when I’m with Bevin.” And Mayo is positive that this is sheer poetry of genius magnitude. He’s got a big shock coming when whoever he chooses breaks up with him (which should be happening in real time in the next month or two) and he has to re-enter the normal world. Can you imagine a date with him after the cameras stop rolling? He’ll be so confused as to why all of his classic lines aren’t working.

Back to Sulky Bevin. She has chosen some mountain falls as the perfect setting to tell Mayo that she has already been married – and divorced. She explains that she used to come here with her friends in high school and Mayo is tickled to discover that he’s the “first boy” she’s brought to the falls. Giggle, giggle.

"We'd better not touch the water with
our major electrical current."

Bevin says it is all really romantic, but she’s totally nervous because she knows what she has to divulge, and she’s afraid that Mayo may change his mind about her upon hearing it. They sit down to a little picnic of fruit and wine since Bevin needs some liquid courage, and she launches into the biggest runaround speech I’ve heard in a long time. She gives the classic disclaimer that people give when they’re about to tell you something they know you won’t like: It’s really important to be honest. Yes it is, but when someone tells me something awful, they don’t get points for being honest. I mean what, she’s going to hold it over his head that she could have kept it a secret and he should be grateful that she was honest? I don’t think so. She stalls more by saying that everyone has a past… At this point Mayo looks horrified. You know he’s wondering if Sulky Bevin is going to reveal that she is actually a man – which should make Mayo happy if you think about it.

"Please don't tell me you're not really athletic."

She finally spits it out: she got married, but it didn’t last long, and she doesn’t regret it because she has learned so much from it, of course. It’s made her who she is. Mayo, being the idealist that he is, wants to make sure that she’s not going to take marriage lightly (a second time) and wonders how she feels about the subject now. She swears up and down that she takes marriage more seriously than anyone and she would never make the same mistake twice. Mayo seems relieved, but you know he’s rethinking everything. He says he’s always known that Sulky Bevin is mature and knows what she wants and he appreciates her honesty. Now it’s Sulky Bevin’s turn to be relieved.

On the way over to Sulky Bevin’s parents’ house, Mayo confessionals that Bevin’s divorce “raised a red flag” but he wants to move on from that (for now) and meet the folks. The family is sitting on the back porch around a fire pit and when Bevin arrives her dad grabs her and they both start crying. Well this could mean that Bevin’s hissy fits are hereditary. We meet Bevin’s mom Ahna, her sister Ohna, her stepmom Vicky, and her dad Ken. I immediately decide that Bevin has Ken’s nose, but then I study Ahna, and I can’t decide. She may have just inherited the worst aspects of each. Mayo is so awkward right now. He presents the family with some “uh, flowers and uh coffee from uh Hawaii, where I uh live.” He’s clearly very uncomfortable in the role of the judged instead of the judger. He and Sulky Bevin recap their adventures in California, including the (misdiagnosed) sprained ankle and the day in the hospital. Bevin laughs and laughs while telling the story – if they only knew that she actually pouted and bawled about it for days when it really happened. Bevin confessionals that she could tell Mayo was relaxed around her family, so I wonder what she was snorting because he was so clearly uncomfortable. Over dinner Sulky Bevin’s sister Ohna asks one of the “approved” questions: where does it go from here? And Mayo skirts around it, saying Bevin is really special. You know they aren’t allowed to ask what they really want to, like who is the front runner, or why are you so desperate? Next mother Ahna pulls out a painting that she did for Mayo of the northwestern coast as a memento of the evening. Sulky Bevin starts bawling again and steps aside with her dad for a chat – and probably more bawling for both of them. Dad Ken asks if Bevin loves Mayo. She says she has feelings for him and wonders aloud where she would ever meet someone like that in her normal life. Then she bawls some more. She’s tired of getting her heart broken, so obviously coming on The Bachelor was a brilliant decision. Her dad advises her not to hold anything back or she’ll regret it. Maybe he should have applied to be a bachelorette. Next the entire family gathers and Mayo tells them they have a “wonderful, wonderful, wonderful daughter.” Well, as long as he doesn’t exaggerate.

"I am such a great guy!"

He begins to say goodbye and stepmom Vicky says, “We’ll look forward to seeing you again…” to which Mayo very awkwardly responds, “That’d be uh great.” Bevin confessionals that she doesn’t use the word “love” lightly, but she definitely feels like she’s falling in love with Mayo. Mayo confessionals his summation of this hometown visit: “I want to trust that true love will prevail.” Oh brother. Get lost, Mayo.

Stop #2 on the way to Seriousville is Bethel, Connecticut where Gloomy Danielle lives with her gloomy parents. I honestly can’t believe she’s made it this far because to me Gloomy Danielle is very unremarkable. The only thing I even know about her is that her boyfriend died. She doesn’t have much of a personality, so maybe she got this far by flying under the radar. She’s waiting on some kind of bridge when Mayo comes gleefully skipping from the car to greet her.

"Let's share our heartache, Danielle."

Danielle thinks that she and Mayo have a good future together because they have a lot in common, like their views on family. Mayo says what they have in common is – you guessed it – they both had someone close to them die. He thinks that’s important because sometimes marriage is hard and Danielle has strength from her experience. That’s a really stupid theory. They arrive at Gloomy Danielle’s unremarkable house to meet her unremarkable family. Mayo has no gift to stammer about this time. We meet dad Jim, mom Nancy, and little sister Kaitlin. They make a toast then Danielle goes to help her mom and sister in the kitchen. She asks the important questions like, “Do you think we look good as a couple?” Yes, your wedding pictures will be gorgeous and that’s all that matters. Mom Nancy tells us it’s good to see Danielle happy because she’s had such a rough time, what with losing her boyfriend and all. Has anything else happened to Danielle – ever? She is defined by this late boyfriend of hers, and that really says nothing about her. I’m so bored with this story and wish we could talk about something else.

At dinner Mayo says, “You have an amazing, amazing daughter.” Hmm, Bevin got three wonderfuls, so I’m not sure how to take that. Dad Jim is very serious and tells Mayo that his daughter deserves nothing but the best. Mayo just squirms. He confessionals that they didn’t really talk about the death of Danielle’s boyfriend, and can I just say thank goodness? He really wanted to go there again? Mom Nancy worries that Mayo might take Danielle away if he chooses her. Mayo kind of sells it as an opportunity for Danielle to travel the world. Yes, but she could do that without marrying a loser. Danielle says that if you find what makes you happy, then that’s where you want to be. I just keep thinking of that song from Fiddler on the Roof, "Far From the Home I Love," and picturing Jim waving goodbye as Gloomy Danielle boards a train forever. Again we proceed with the usual dinner conversation, sister Kaitlin worrying that Mayo will break Danielle’s heart and Mayo saying he had no idea it would be this hard emotionally, but he’s a big believer in fate.

After dinner we all head downstairs where Jim demonstrates his drumming skills. Mayo then embarrasses himself by making an attempt of his own on the drums. Next mom Nancy and sister Kaitlin tie sparkly sashes around their waists and Mayo’s and teach him some belly dancing moves. Again he makes a fool of himself while Danielle warns him not to get to close to her sister.

Mayo relives a fond childhood memory.

Next are family photos, including a shot of Danielle’s parents finishing a race together. Everyone agrees that is what marriage is all about. No surprise that Mayo is totally excited by a picture of a couple running a race together – I never would have thought! Dad Jim confessionals that Mayo is genuine and Danielle is happy around him. Danielle tells us that when her boyfriend passed away (and we’re back) she didn’t know if she’d ever find love again, but it might just be here in front of her face! All in all, this was pretty unremarkable.

Stop #3 en route to Seriousville begins with Tessa waiting for Mayo between the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building in DC. Once again, Mayo comes bounding over at high speed and wildly embraces his woman. He tells us that his romance with Tessa has been a roller coaster so far. I agree – with all those fights, then making up, then fighting again… wait. How has it been a roller coaster? Oh that’s right, it hasn’t. Tessa explains that they are going to her mom’s house to meet her mom, dad, sister and best friend who has flown in from Denver. Mayo’s very thrown by this because it means he’ll be grilled. Oh, you mean unlike those other hometown visits? Now Mayo and Tessa have a snowball fight and tackle each other to the ground. What a roller coaster their relationship is.

Tessa successfully blocks Mayo's latest advance.

At Tessa’s mom’s house, Tessa tells us what a big deal this is because she hasn’t brought a boyfriend home in a while and it’s important that her family thinks well of Mayo. Mayo presents Tessa’s family with a bottle of wine but I don’t think it’s from uh, Hawaii. We meet mom Romana, dad Tom, sister Mercy, and best friend Samantha. So far all the families have had parents and one sister… interesting. Mom Romana tells us that Mayo is very handsome, but that’s not everything. Oh, just wait Romana, you have no idea. Tessa and Mayo entertain the family with date stories, but then Tessa goes to change her clothes and Mayo knows he’ll be in the hot seat and asks for another beer. Best friend Samantha asks Mayo what his faults are. Dumb question. His dumb answer is that he can’t sing or cook – thanks for that window into your soul, Mayo. Samantha continues her inquisition and tells us that Mayo is good at avoiding answering hard questions. Yes, I’m sure the production assistants trained him well. Samantha asks if the other three finalists have qualities that Tessa doesn’t, and Mayo launches into his speech about how Tessa hasn’t shown him her feelings and he’s felt like he’s had to court her. Poor Mayo. Um, no.

Over dinner we learn that Mayo is a primary care physician – meaning he didn’t specialize, but that he wants to become an orthopedic surgeon. I hope he can fit that in with flying the space shuttle as well. We also learn that he doesn’t know if he’ll propose at the end of this (but we know!). Also, he doesn’t cook but he does dishes and uses that as a segue way to get the heck out of there. He picks up all the plates and flees. He tells us that he’s very proud of himself for getting through all of that tough questioning. Oh please. He didn’t get asked anything extraordinary and for the most part he wiggled out of answering.

"You'll never crack me! I'm very mysterious."

Doing dishes with dad Tom, Mayo asks if Tessa has brought home many boyfriends and Tom’s answer is not really. Then Tom makes the tragic mistake of telling Mayo that Tessa’s attitude going on the show was that it was going to be fun. What!? Fun? What nerve this girl has. Here Mayo has dragged himself halfway across the Pacific Ocean to find a wife for himself and a mother for his children and all Tessa thought was that it would be fun? How dare she not have been deeply, madly, passionately in love with Mayo sight unseen? Well! He will not stand for this! Mayo will not be jerked around! He sits the family down and demands to know just what Tessa thinks she’s doing toying with his emotions like this. He would never do this to a girl – er, uh, never mind. But what does she think she’s doing? Best friend Samantha says that Tessa initially thought it would be a fun experience. How dare she? Enough of this nonsense. Tessa, sit down! Mayo is getting this straight from the horse’s mouth. He is not leaving DC until he knows what this girl is thinking! Tessa is really hesitant, as usual. Again she gives her speech that needs no repeating. Mayo says that the more Tessa opens up, the more he can open up to her. That’s so not true. She’s in the dark until she either goes home or gets a ring, no matter what he says right now. He finally demands to know what she wants out of this. She says she wants to fall in love. He demands to know with who, and she finally caves and says, “I want to fall in love with you.” Mayo says, “All right. ‘Cause I want to fall in love with you.” Mayo pats himself on the back for being so clever, and I have to point out that they were both wearing dog tags in this scene, and I don’t mean the fashion kind. Mayo bids everyone farewell and tells us he can’t wait to see Tessa again. Poor Tessa.

Our final stop on the road to Seriousville is Sugar Land, Texas, the only hometown date not covered in snow. Amber is playing with her hair while waiting for Mayo in a little sundress and giant earrings in front of the school where she teaches. This time Mayo doesn’t get a chance to come running up to his hostess because Amber is right in his face before he can get the car door open. On the way inside Mayo confessionals that Amber makes his heart beat fast, just like running does. Mayo is blown away by Amber’s elementary school classroom and Amber can’t keep her hands out of her hair while she shows him around. He sits down at a desk, raises his hand, and asks for a kiss. After Amber gives him a peck, she explains that in real life she wouldn’t be allowed to do that. Oh really? She doesn’t want to be one of those teachers who goes to jail and then ends up marrying her teenage student? Next the little kids come marching in and Amber starts to bawl. This is a very teary episode and I can’t really understand why – it’s so lame. It turns out that Amber’s classroom comes equipped with a sign language interpreter so the next logical question is whether Mayo knows any sign language. He brilliantly teaches all of the kids the “hang loose” hand gesture and tells them it means “aloha.” Um, not quite. One of the kids asks Mayo if he likes their teacher and how they met. He tells them that he met her on a special mission called Operation Soul Mate and even the kids think that’s the stupidest thing they’ve ever heard.

The next thing Amber does is lead Mayo out onto the playground for a sit-down. She explains to us that Mayo won’t be meeting her parents, but that her aunt and uncle will be making an appearance instead. Then she tells Mayo that she’s not even sure if they can make it and she has to call to find out. It turns out that Amber’s parents don’t approve of this whole Bachelor situation. Good for them! Finally, some parents who can recognize the ridiculous without throwing themselves right in the middle of it. Although it isn’t very nice of them to further Amber’s humiliation by refusing to show up and just say hi. Anyway, when Amber calls her aunt it looks like she’s not going to be able to come either, so Amber has nothing to do but sit and cry and Mayo starts wiping off her tears with his thumb. Ew.

"Please shut up."

Mayo says he understands and that meeting her family is only a piece of the puzzle. Then he points to her heart and says that’s the whole puzzle. Good one Mayo.

Over at Amber’s apartment, we meet Amber’s blonde-haired, droopy-eyed nameless roommate and her tiny poof dog, Pasha. Amber says it’s highly important that Pasha approves of Mayo since she’s the only family member willing to meet him. Amber’s roommate asks what Mayo does and it takes him about 15 minutes to explain in a way she can understand that he is a doctor and a scuba diver and all of this is done for the Navy. He even goes so far as to describe large diving helmets to try to create a visual.

"So the army lets you go snorkeling?"

Amber dismisses the whole explanation, telling her roommate that Mayo is basically just really cool and that seems to satisfy the roommate. Now Mayo begins to notice that every time “Amby” or her roommate says anything they both giggle hysterically. He confessionals that he felt like he was back in college and he’s reminded of the severe seven-year age gap between him and Amber.

"This reminds me of all those frat parties
where I never got any chicks."

Over dinner Pasha pees on the carpet which leads to more hysterical giggling and then there is a knock on the door which sends Pasha twirling in berserk circles in front of the dinner table. Amber opens the door to reveal… her aunt! She made it after all! Aw, now who on earth saw that coming? Amber immediately starts bawling. When Mayo sees Aunt Lynne he starts yelling at an unnecessary volume about how glad he is to see her. I guess he is already over sorority life. Mayo and Aunt Lynne sit down on the couch for a chat. Mayo tells her that Amber has a lot of the same qualities that he admires in his mother. How romantic. Aunt Lynne says that Amber is very mature for her age. She is? I haven’t heard that before…

Amby and her roommate are sitting on a bed giggling over Mayo. The roommate says that he looks like he really likes Amby. Amber confessionals that she finds it nearly mystic that her roommate was able to see that she and Mayo have a lot in common without Amber even telling her so. It must mean something supernatural! Amber tells roomie that she can 100% see herself married to Mayo and that he will be a fantastic father because her school kids loved him. He’s basically the perfect guy. More tears. Back on the couch, Mayo tells Aunt Lynne that he is ready to settle down and he’s excited to have little Mayos running around. Where does Aunt Lynne see Amber in the next couple of years? Aunt Lynne says that Amber would love to settle down. She’s 23, but she’s a mature 23. My only question is: does anyone have an opinion as to whether or not Amber is mature?

Aunt Lynne comes to the bedroom for some alone time with Amber. Ugh, isn’t this hometown date over yet? I’m bored to distraction. Okay, let’s have one last round of How Mature is Amber? Amber thanks Aunt Lynne for coming and then they both gush over how wonderful Mayo is. Amber is still worried that her parents refused to show, and she thinks it may result in her being sent home. She cries some more. Then she tells us one more time how mature she is for her age. Mayo confessionals that Amber is really sexy and good with kids, but he’s not sure she’s ready to make a marriage commitment. Is he kidding? That’s all she’s living for.

Mercifully it’s time for the Rose Ceremony. It feels like years since we met Sulky Bevin’s family in Seattle. How many roses are there, Chris? Three you say? And four girls? That means someone is going home brokenhearted, having lost her officer and gentleman forever. Mayo comes out and tells the girls that they are the four most incredible women he’s ever met. Enough already, this episode is a marathon. Let’s give out the roses. First rose goes to Tessa, surprise, surprise. Second rose goes to Sulky Bevin for being so honest. This is the final rose tonight, everyone. And it goes to… Gloomy Danielle for having an entire gloomy family! Amber has been Dropped on Request.

"So what's the story, Jerk-face?"

Uh oh. How will Mature Amber take this news? Very maturely I’m sure. She doesn’t understand at all! Yesterday was the most amazing day of her life and she just wants to know why he didn’t choose her, WHY? Mayo stammers around, saying he knows she is really mature for her age, but she’s quite a bit younger and they’re at different stages in their lives and it breaks his heart. Amber sobs that she’s only younger in age, but not in maturity, and it’s her heart that should matter to Mayo, not her age! She reminds him that in the hot tub he said that age doesn’t matter, so to please not say it now. Good for you, Amber. Don’t let him weasel out of this. It sucks for her though, because the only real answer is that he feels stronger about the other girls and he has to narrow it down. What else can he say? He adamantly declares that it isn’t because he didn’t get to meet her family. He wipes off her tears again with his thumb and walks her over to the limo. She climbs in sobbing in agony and tells us she has no idea why she is going home. She has no freaking clue. Mayo lost a girl that would have bent over backwards for him, made him breakfast every morning, worked out with him after work, cooked dinner for him and watched TV with him every night. And now here she is going home, are you kidding? She says that guys always tell her what she wants to hear and then break her heart. Yeah, never believe what a guy tells you while you’re in a hot tub together.

Mayo comes back in and tells us he made the right choice. Now he’s taking the final three to Hawaii to see his home.

Next week it is Island Adventures in Hawaii and tours of Pearl Harbor. I’m sure it will be staggering – fantasy suite cards and all.

So what do you think? Is Amber the most mature 23-year-old ever or what? Who’s going to blow it next week?

Thanks for reading!

-Honey Gangsta

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