Last night was supposed to be a final rose, an engagement, some awkward back and forth between the girl Arie did not choose, and then a celebration of true love. Dammit! I watch The Bachelor because it’s a modern day love story based in our reality TV culture. It’s awkward, unnatural, and two (and three and four) people fall in love before our very eyes in the fishbowl we love. We find our pop stars on TV game shows, we give people millions of dollars for answering trivia, and we have our own version of royal weddings thanks to ABC and The Bachelor.
But what happened last night was the most painful thing I think I’ve ever watched on television.
Some will say it shouldn’t have been televised. Bullshit to that! Do you know how many hours we’ve invested into Arie and Becca (and Lauren). You bet your ass it should’ve been televised. I would’ve felt cheated if we had simply gotten a Cliff’s Notes version after the final rose ceremony.
I needed to see that. I loved seeing it. I hated seeing it.
Let’s be give him credit for realizing he was mixed up and was actually in love with Lauren. OK? Can we start there? We allll know people who’ve gotten engaged because they felt they should and that getting engaged is the right thing to do, but we know it’s not right. On paper, sometimes people look perfect as a couple. And sometimes a wandering-eye or cold-feet happen, but in the end don’t amount to much. I’m thinking of The Office and Pam and Jim. We could all see they were perfect for each other, but Pam was already engaged and got engaged for a reason, but she’d never met Jim, and Jim was her soul-mate, and she agonized over breaking off her engagement to try and make something happen with Jim, but Jim was just a guy more attractive and charming than anyone else at the office, and what if when they dated they weren’t a match and she threw away her other relationship. Hell, I sat at a friends wedding and knew, without a doubt, he was making a mistake, that the girl wasn’t right for him, and I let it happen. They divorced.
What I’m saying is, breaking off the engagement isn’t the horrible part. What was catastrophic was how he did it. He waited until she happily flew out to Phoenix for what she thought was going to be a super romantic weekend. He should’ve flown to Minneapolis. He told her he was actually more in love with Lauren, and then wanted credit for “not texting” that to her. Oh, you knight in shining armor. The modern day laying down of a coat over a puddle of water.
Pretty bad. But Chris Harrison kept saying, “it gets worse.” What? How?
Arie didn’t play this out in his head.
Here’s how it should’ve happened (even with her coming Phoenix).
- Arie should not have kissed and hugged her when she arrived.
- He should’ve acted sick to his stomach.
- Arie shoud’ve opened with an, “I’m sorry for what I’m about to say, and there is no easy way for me to tell you this, and I know what you will think of me for saying it.”
- Say it.
- Apologize. Say things like, “I do love you, and didn’t want to hurt you, and you deserve better, and I don’t blame you for hating me for the rest of your life.”
- Hand her a heartfelt note, sealed in an envelope, that says everything that’s in your heart. Trash ABC and the format of the show and how it’s so abnormal.
- Offer to stay if she wants to talk more, but otherwise, stand up, apologize again, and go.
Period. Done. It sucks. But it’s the end. Better to break it off than to try and re-fall-in-love, go through with the marriage, and by lieing the entire time knowing you’re still more in love with Lauren. What did Arie do? Hung around. Wanted to talk more.
Dude. You ripped off the band-aid. You can’t make it right.
The most criminal part was when he casually walked by the bathroom, knocked, and asked, “are you going to be OK” or “are you OK?”
This is how I might try and help my wife if she happens to have the flu. She respects that I won’t come in and hold her hair and clean things (because she doesn’t want me to get sick) and my knock is mostly in vain, because I can’t really cure her flu, but whan I knock and say, “are you OK,” I’m mainly asking to make sure she doesn’t want me to drive her to Urgent Care, or maybe she wants some crackers, or for me to zip to the store for popsicles or Pedialyte.
Imagine I decided I wanted a divorce? I wouldn’t knock and ask, “are you OK.”
No, dude. For weeks and weeks, Becca was practicing signing her name with Luyendyk. She was wondering if you and she would have two or three children and she was daydreaming of names. She was planning to move her life to Minneapolis.
No. She’s not “ok.”
Chris Harrison can spare me the disapproving looks, even though we were all shocked. But Chris wasn’t.
For the entire last hour, I could hardly look at my TV – it was that painful.
Arie. Simply. Wouldn’t. Leave. He kept looking for some sort of forgiveness, or approval, like she would talk enough to say, “I wish you the best.” He didn’t have to be the biggest a-hole that ever held the Bachelor title. He could’ve been in the top-5 with Ben, Juan Pablo, and some others, and he probably could’ve gotten all our sympathy (a little bit, anyway) if he’d have followed my 7-step plan above, but now, he’s made himself into villain #1. The worst of all time.
Three hours, last night. THREE! HOURS! And two more, tonight. I’m exhausted already.
It was bad, but I think tonight will be even worse when all the Bachelorettes shout mean things at him, and he’ll no doubt handle his face-to-face with Becca poorly, and then I just don’t see any way we’ll all be happy for he and Lauren at the end. That’s the only shot he has to safe himself is if he actually marries Lauren and they stay together forever. Otherwise, he should just change his name and move to another country.
It was the best of TV. It was the worst of TV.
See you tomorrow.