Hello, Happening Blog Babes!
Thanks for sticking with me through The Bachelor Does Fantasy Suites: Date #1! (If you missed it, well hop on over to my USA Today Bachelor Dish column and catch up! Then hop back!) We’re down to the last two dates. And I’m down to my last umbrella for my fruity umbrella drink. It’s an unfortunate reality I’ll have to suffer through. And I wish I had more umbrella’s too.
Fantasy Suite Date #2: it’s AshLee’s turn. And honestly? The whole thing is just Lather, Rinse, Repeat. First off, of course we’re having another “testing” date. Sean’s going to make AshLee swim through a dark and scary cave to get to their private luncheon beach. Sean says he likes to push her out of her comfort zone (and says this in a way that you know he expects her to thank him for it. Every time he does it. All day long. And she would.) Sean says he loves being her protector. Which explains everything. And secondly, we’re not even off the dang boat and into the water and AshLee has told us a gazillionty-eleven times about how she loves Sean more than anything ever in the whole wide universe, and, oh, right, everything terrifies her because her parents didn’t want her and abandoned her and she’s convinced she will always be abandoned and rejected by everyone she meets. (Self-fulfillng prophecy? Meet AshLee.) Mind you, she was abandoned at birth. She was adopted at age 4. By two people who chose to love her, who gave her a good home, who still love her, and who have never abandoned or rejected her. We haven’t heard about any other big loves of her life rejecting her either. So this is all from a time in her life she can hardly even remember. Except she knows it happened. And it damaged her for life and you better not forget it! When I say cuckoo for cocoa puffs here, I’m not kidding. She needs real help. And swimming through a scary dark cave? Yeah, that isn’t going to fix what ails her. Many (many) years in therapy? 50/50 shot.
The truly sad thing is, as much as she should have never signed herself up for a show that rejects every single person on it except one, the fact is, she did. And she somehow made it to the final three, where the risk potential for complete and utter devastation (from her perspective) is now so high, it’s hard to even watch. I can’t imagine Sean chooses her in the end. (Of course, I’m stunned she’s made it this far, so what do I know?) Which means we’re going to have to watch her worst fears be confirmed. On national television. Some will say she deserves it. I’m not passing that judgment. But I am saying I really don’t deserve to have to watch it.
We get to the night time date and they talk about why they haven’t married yet and he says “too busy career building, haven’t found the right one” and she’s all “well, you shouldn’t get married to just anyone because you want to be married” then adds “I’m so glad I waited.” Apparently conveniently forgetting she didn’t wait and has already been married once. Granted, at age 18, but, been there, done that. Anyway, now it’s fantasy suite time and do you really think she’s going to say no? She says she’s not morally up for putting herself out there while he’s seeing other women. And brava! I’m glad to hear that. (For so many reasons.) But can we just permanently retire that whole tired thing of having to justify wanting the alone time? I’m beyond tired of the double standard. Yes, we know you don’t want to have sex (well, you do, but you won’t.) Sean says he’s not having sex (again) until marriage anyway. It’s time away from the camera’s. You’re going to take it. WE GET IT. We’ll still respect you in the morning. At least as much as we respect you right now. So…you know, there is also that truth. But still…
End of Date 2 Analysis: See end of date 1 analysis. We’ve learned nothing new here, because there’s nothing else to learn. Okay, so that’s not true. We learned that AshLee wants a cushion cut diamond, with stones all the way around the band (not that she’s given this any thought y’all) and also? This info wasn’t revealed in Private Camera Time, no sir, but to Sean directly. Who suddenly realized that “sitting up talking all night” to Ashlee meant “let’s plan our wedding down to the tiniest detail – and oh, by the way, i already have!” So, yeah, absolutely nothing has changed.
One interesting thing of note: on Lindsay’s Fantasy Suite date, Sean didn’t explain (that we saw) that he just wanted to “talk all night” and, when they got to the room, the little snack tray deal was placed on the bed. On this date, he makes sure AshLee knows he’s not going to jump her bones and she’s safe with him (except for when they’re on “dates”), and when they get into that suite, the snack tray is on the coffee table, in the comfy seating area. Hmmm….enquiring minds are no curious where Catherine’s will be?
Final Date (yay!): Catherine:
I think we’ve saved the best for last. Please show, don’t let me down. Okay, so Sean, what torture do you have planned in store for our girl? The one thing about her, is she’ll handle pretty much anything. They’re meeting is super cutesy. Sean has the most doubts coming into this date, of the three. Which isn’t surprising, given she was on the block last week, but still….dispiriting. However, his main concern doesn’t so much seem to be him seeing himself fitting in with her family (they did, otherwise, have a great time together and they did really like him) – his concern is the comments made by her sisters, saying she was more career oriented than relationship or family oriented, which was something she’d never alluded to at all with him. So that’s what he needs to find out. And…that I get.
Actually, the one positive from this is the things he’s wanting to find out here are the more realistic “who are you and what do you want” type things any couple has to figure out to get past the attraction stage. Unlike the “let me push your boundaries and heal all your damage so we can find a life together” crazy talk with AshLee. Or the gosh, we sure make a great couple…..crickets….hey, let’s kiss some more! “conversations” he and Lindsay share.
They appear to be going on a nice, leisurely cruise around the harbor and islands in a cool boat. (I keep waiting for him to say “and now we’re diving down and hand-feeding sharks!”) But instead it just seems to be a lovely, relaxing, dare I say NORMAL date where they’re spending time getting to know each other better. She talks about enjoying the goofiness they shared, but wanting more time to get to know him on a deeper level, and share that about herself as well. (Go, Catherine!) And Sean, well bless his heart…he actually seriously talks with her about the reality of her relocating to Dallas to be with him (he just started a business with two other guys about a year ago, btw, called Factory Girl. Go here to check it out) and goes so far as to say he wants to know if she’s really willing, past all the fantasy aspects that make anyone want to go “Yeah, sure, I’d totally do that” when they haven’t really thought it through. Whaddya know…depth! Actual conversation! Give and take! It’s like they’re having….a relationship or something.
I worry a little bit that Catherine keeps her gaze averted when she’s talking about herself, her feelings, but maybe it’s nerves. She’s not like that when he’s talking, or when she’s relaxed and just enjoying the moment and not talking the hard stuff. Then it’s all full eye contact and lots of sparkle. Still, she hasn’t come close to telling him she’s falling for him, even though she is. I’m not so sure she really is past that “panic button” Pavlovian response she has, that makes her pull back when things get serious.
They snorkel, they dive, they laugh, they sail through a pretty intense storm and kiss on the deck. A lot. And hey, if you want your bomp chicka wow wow? Now’s your chance. Because Sean’s not just surface mackin’ if you know what I mean. He’s trying to graduate first in his class from the Arie Luyendyk School of Kissing. (And he’s doing a pretty decent job from the looks of things.) With the storm in the background? Primal. Hubba hubba.
Sean feels like she “gets him” better than anyone, and that she feels the same. He thinks she’s both best friend, lover, and true partner and I say, about time you noticed that! I do wonder if Catherine is really ready, despite saying she is. I have no doubt she wants to be…but still. And I can’t help but think that it’s going to take a pretty sturdy level of self confidence in that area to have gotten through watching this season, if she’s The Chosen One. I’m not sure she has that, either. But, in regards to the three women he has to choose from, she’s really the only one he has a chance at something sustainable….so it would either work. Or not. It’s not like if he’d gone a different way, given the other remaining choices, he’d have found a better chance at fulfillment. (Maybe in a few years with Lindsay…but not now.)
We get the Fantasy Suite Justification Conversation which Catherine brings up before the card even shows up. She is, by far, the most nervous of the three and talks at length about it. She say’s she’s come to the decision to agree to go, but makes it clear where she’d be if it was a more traditional relationship and it wouldn’t be hopping into bed. Sean has already made his intentions clear, but whereas I’m not sure how he’d have felt of Lindsay didn’t say yes (frankly, we know this was never a concern for him) or AshLee (because he’d see it as her caving, once again, to her rejection issues, gah) with Catherine, her finds it uniquely attractive. He thinks it shows just how aligned their moral compasses truly are.
What I’m also beginning to see with Catherine, is that she really sees herself far more as this sort of misfit, kooky oddball girl who hot guys would never notice (or never have, apparently.) So I’m guessing she was pretty geeky awkward girl growing up, which she alludes to. Of course, she’s gorgeous now, and yet, she doesn’t really seem to get that. She certainly doesn’t own it, much less wield it. Which is very endearing. Because the idea that this good looking guy really is into her is a big part of what’s throwing her off and making her so nervous. She’s waiting for someone to yell “you’ve been punk’d!” And yet, she really loves that she has been able to be herself, even in full dork mode, and he’s sort of like that, too and all it’s done is get better. I do get that and how revelatory it is…and terrifying. So it’s very Big Risk Time for her. And yet, sink, swim, or be humiliated on national television, she’s going full throttle Option 1. Good on ya! I knew you had it in you. She’s allowed herself to be so incredibly vulnerable to him, you can watch him just teeter right over the edge…
Definitely best for last. If he doesn’t go this route, he’s even more of an idiot that I thought. Not saying it will last through the After The Rose Special, but of the three…it’s the only one what would make him truly happy. The thing is, Lindsay and AshLee would probably never end it. But with them….I’m thinking Sean would. In the case of him and Catherine, if it ends, it will be because they both have figured that out. And odd way to frame why it’s right, but that would be it.
To me, this is a no brainer. I’m guessing Sean will be far more tortured over it. Mostly because rejecting AshLee after letting her get this far, given all her issues…yeah. Not pretty. Bordering on full-on Armageddon Big Sloppy Cry w/ Possible Nervous Breakdown on the Side. Yikes. I don’t want to watch. No, really, I don’t. (Thank you for more gratuitous shirtless shots. A small balm….and yet, I’m grateful.)
We get Chat With Host Chris Time where he makes it clear he knows who has to go and though he makes all the right platitudes about how hard it’s going to be, it really seems to me he’s already shut that door and is in the “well, I have no choice and since I can’t keep her from feeling pain, what can I do?” Meaning..not all that tortured. Which bugs. But I’m so past expecting him to measure up at this point, let’s just get on with it, shall we?
He tells Chris he has fallen in love, he is getting down on one knee, and he’s pretty twinkly…. Then Chris is like “oh yeah, before you get twinkly, here are the “private message video bombs.” And you know, I’m good with him having to watch AshLee’s video because hopefully it will, at the very least, put him back in the moment, and not five steps past it before she’s even on step one.
We get clips saying how now he’s not so sure, yadda yadda, but seriously? We saw the twinkly eyes. You had someone very specific in mind. And it wasn’t AshLee. So…. Let’s see who’s right. Lindsay’s video is pretty much as expected and Sean is very twinkly. Then we get Catherine who does a pretty dry recitation/review of their relationship and Sean isn’t twinkly. In fact, he has no expression. Not good, not bad, blank. Also note – she says she’s falling in love, not fallen. Oooh, breaking the rules! But being honest! Kiss of death? Could be. Now…is his non-expression because he’s suddenly thinking Catherine is the one who should be going home? Or because he knows its her and is trying to keep a poker face? I don’t know…but it’s not promising, y’all. Not promising! Then we get AshLee’s…and the fact that they show it last, I think, is very telling. She’s the one he picked to go home going in to that day…but maybe he is rethinks that? Yeah…no. Watching her talk, and it’s all super emotional and super not fun and super serious, he’s fidgeting and very uncomfortable because he knows this is not going to end smoothly. And leading her to this place? Really bad idea. So, at the very least, I’m not unhappy that his “already past it” bell was unrung. No one gets out unscathed. Not her. Not you.
So…based on the videos? Yeah, Lindsay? Um…you may indeed get to wear that first night wedding dress again! Catherine, where’s your spark, girl? Now is not the time to lose your inner dork! AshLee? You are so going home. And I’m so sorry for what’s about to happen to you. But seriously…..get a good therapist before you even consider getting another boyfriend.
And…..? To the surprise of no one, Lindsay gets the first rose. Then he takes the longest green mile time ever, and not because he doesn’t want to say Catherine’s name, but because he doesn’t want AshLee to know he’s not going to say hers. So they both suffer. But he say’s Catherine’s and boy she pops right over there and snatches that rose. Then I’m surprised she and Lindsay didn’t run and duck for cover. Yep,AshLee now knows that Sean is not her soul mate, there will be no cushion cut ring, no wedding to plan, no nurseries to decorate for the children she’s already named and….yep. Hoo boy. Here we go.
Sean’s eyes are already rimmed with tears. (He always realizes too late what his actions cost other people.) And wow, if AshLee could shoot flaming daggers of death from her eyes–well, what am I saying, she is. Sean should be nothing more than a pile of cinders right now. (Lindsay, Catherine! Run now!! Save yourselves!!) Finally she stalks past Sean, who follows after her. She turns and says “Stay here” then keeps on stalking. He asks if he can explain himself and I wasn’t sure she was going to give him the chance, but she does. He apologizes and does a somewhat better job than he did with Des, but only because she is made of stone. Stone face, stone body, just…giving him nothing. (And I’m okay with that.) She stares him down for a good long time after he’s done, then whispers “Whatever” pushes past him and gets in the SUV without his help. It’s a little scary, given I thought she’d go full tilt hysterical, just how totally hard core, pissed off frozen she is. Maybe because she knows that if she says even one little thing, she’ll completely implode. (And I know the producers so want her to…so I can imagine her car ride is not going to be peachy.
Given how all she’s done is cry all season, I’d love it if they drive her around for hours–which they will to get what they want–and she never breaks. It’s pretty much the only power she has left.) The other result of this is that Sean trying to give her closure ends up with him not getting to give himself closure…and I am completely okay with that. He’ll have to worry and wonder what’s going on after she walked away. And he will. For once, he will. And that’s the least he can go through.
For AshLee’s part, yeah, she’s a little scary. No tears. Total control. And pissed off that he wanted fun and games and she was there to get down to the business of finding herself a husband. And that’ not fun and games, y’all. Well, Ashlee, at what point did he ever lead you to believe he wanted anything other than a fun and games kinda girl? I honestly don’t know why he kept you or why you thought it was a soul mate. Finally she breaks, but she turns her back to the camera, so no time is spent on that.
Ooh, and next week….Women Tell All. Tierra, Sarah, Selma, Des….all of them are back And AshLee? Yeah, this could get ugly. (Ya think??)
So, now that we’re down to the Final 2….let’s talk about another Final 2! First, to learn which Final 2 Happening Blog Babes won last week’s giveaway, check out Part 1 of the Bachelor Dish over at USA Today! This week? My Final 2 will win an advance copy of my April 30th release, HONEY PIE! I know! Even better than a rose. To enter: send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Pick me for your Final 2!” in the subject line. Address in the email. Then check next week’s recap to see if you’re the one! Well, the two!
But for right now??? DISH!! Did you agree? Who do you think he should pick? (Oh, and the final credits clip of Sean and Catherine geeking out playing the multiplication tables game? Who does that? Yeah, now there’s your soul mates. Just sayin.)