Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I Know That I Meant It When I Said It, But....

Ok. We have so much to discuss. But I need to get something off my chest, first. Can we talk about the picture of Sasha Obama meeting Ryan Reynolds? The internet is losing their mind about it, declaring that it is #SiblingGoals and how Malia is a #WingWoman, but YOU GUYS. Malia isn't cheering her sister on, SHE'S TELLING HER SISTER WHAT A LOSER SHE IS! This picture is so incredible because we are seeing the Obama girls as humans and it's exceptional: Sasha is freaking out about meeting Ryan Reynolds, and Malia is doing what all sisters do best: reminding her that she's freaking out.

"Congrats, sis. You are a national embarrassment." 

Great opening montage, Bachelor editors. The tension! The drama! WHOM WILL HE CHOOSE?! (We fast-forwarded through the whole thing)

Fact: Mom and Dad Higgins have LOW expectations for the ladies after meeting TwEmily. (Or was it Hailey?) Lauren is as much of a snoozefest as we thought she'd be. (Let me be clear, here: I think Lauren is GOR. JUSS. I think she is so insanely beautiful. But that's about it. She's as basic and vanilla as they come, and as we all know: a basic girl is more criminal to me than a convicted felon.) In a stirring bout of nothingness, she tells his parents: "There was just something about Ben..."
Please develop a decent vocabulary. Please. 

Only nice thing she said: "I feel like I look at the world differently because of Ben..."

Still vague. Still hate it.

Ma Higgins holds Lauren's hand as she tells her, "sometimes you'll have to talk him off a ledge." Lauren thinks about it for roughly four seconds, then decided that she's ready to marry him.

This isn't a joke. This is actually what happened.

Quick sidenote: Ma Higgins seems pretty insistent that one of Ben's worst flaws is that he's "hard on himself." Um, have you ever met anyone who ISN'T hard on themselves? Because I'd like to point out that 'being hard on yourself' isn't so much the character defect as having the inability to move on from a screw-up, and not selfishly suck all the energy out of everyone while you're agonizing over your mistake. THAT is the problem with people who are hard on themselves. They can be selfish about it.

But that's just my opinion.

Question: Why don't these women have nice things to wear, to meet the parents? They're just wearing bathing suit cover ups and I NEED some Lilly Pulitzer... (But JoJo is getting there with the Stargazers in the shell, right now...)

The lilies in a shell seem to be pretty indicative of how the rest of JoJo's day with Ma and Pa Higgins goes: she knocks it out of the park. She is catnip for Ma Higgins. Amy Higgins is looking at JoJo... with the love and adoration that Ben has been looking at her with, all season.

JoJo's pure and unabashed success on the date right now is making up for the time that Kelly Jo totally mucked it up when she met Bob Guiney's family. I feel so vindicated right now. (Yes, that was in 2003. I was thirteen. This show is my life.)

On this boat date with Lauren, Ben is speaking no words. He just wants to be held like a baby. And that is what Lauren is doing. So I guess it's all good? I wish Olivia had made it to the final two. As they're sitting on the beach right now, my only thought is: "I want to see Ben and Olivia do Face Swap on Snapchat..." Is that a patch of grey hair I see on the back of Mr. Higgins' head?"

I find so much comfort and solidarity in Ben's questioning of how SMOOTH things are with Lauren. Give them SOME kind of challenge, Chris Harrison. How about that time that Ben's Mom asked Lauren if she'd experienced that part of Ben where he's super hard on himself, and Lauren basically said no... AND THEN THAT SIDE OF BEN WAS PRETTY MUCH THE FIRST THING THAT JOJO TALKED ABOUT?! Ugh.

Lauren tells Ben she's "super emotional tonight," she sheds 1.5 tears, and then Ben leaves. Cool.

On this Blue Bowl date with JoJo, Ben is up to about fifteen words an hour. Very little else. Love the "Coexist" bumper sticker on the back of that Jeep...

JOJO: Ben is my best friend.
GRACE: He is very much your ONLY friend on this journey....

Why does she keep calling him "Babe?" I'm not into it.

This conversation with Ben and JoJo on the bathroom floor right now... OY.

JOJO: I'm just so tired of having to compete with someone...
CAROLYN: Oh no... No, the Girl Babble... Someone shut her up.

"The way that I love Ben is that he's the only one for me.... and he can't say that about me..." Ben tries to tell her that he knows what she's going through. She says he doesn't. YOU DON'T, BENJAMIN.

Let's just address something real intense right now: what a sign of the times that WORDS are now officially speaking louder than ACTIONS. (Buckle up, cause I'm about to GO THERE) JoJo feels like a "naive idiot" because Ben told her he loves her, but he also he said it to another girl. Let's get real for a second: he has been inside of both of these women (three women, on this season alone) and there is NO talk of that. None. GRANTED: I throw "I love you" around kind of a lot. I'm pretty sure I say it to the mailman regularly - this is pretty much my life:

I'm ok with it. I'm ok with freely doling out my words over my actions. Cause you know what I DON'T dole out? Well... You know. But come on. How crazy is that? He sleeps with three women and America doesn't bat an eye. He says "I love you" to two and they FREAK OUT. Don't get me wrong: go sleep with whomever you need to sleep. But let's not pretend for ONE SECOND that those three words hold a FRACTION of the weight of penetration. I'm sorry, call me a grandma, but I think that's insane and Im'ma call BachelorNation out about it. Humans of America: STAND FOR MORE. And WHILE I'm on my Grandma Soapbox, let me address another glaring problem: what did Lauren do, to articulate her love to Ben? She used a quote... From Grey's Anatomy. Don't get me wrong: Carolyn and I have 100% said this to each other when we're in a near-coma on the couch, licking ponzu from the plate and watching a 90th episode of Nathan For You, half-laughing, half-crying because we're worried we'll both be doing the same thing when we're forty and still single (and yes: our resemblance to Grey and Yang is FAR closer than Blauren's)
You're welcome

But to the alleged man of her dreams, all that Lauren can say is "You're my PERSON?" How about a solid Captain Wentworth "Ben, you pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope." (Don't worry about it: I have that on a t-shirt) Or how about a sufficient declaration from the Bard: "Ben, I AM UNDONE." (Seriously, that would be a go-to, for me) Or how about she rolls out a keyboard and sings Ben Folds' "The Luckiest" to him? STOP LETTING SHONDA RHIMES TELL YOUR LOVE STORY. (Let her tell your murder story. Please.)

Um, also: where's the cheesy gift from each woman, on the final date? The dried rose petals? The blurry pictures of them at places? Clearly the production assistant was too emotionally overwrought to remember to bring his stickers to Jamaica to throw something together...

This is how we feel about Chris Harrison's CONTINUED announcement of the presence of Ben's pastor, on the live show...

JoJo's summary of the evening is pretty spot on and pretty sufficient: "I was getting my heart broken, and I still didn't want to see him cry..." (Don't get me started on that light pink dress choice)

Fact: Ben is a terrible actor. He is reading from a script at his feet, to BOTH women and it's pretty lame. Almost as bad as the time that Josh Murray was sweaty and reading from cue cards behind Andi, right before he proposed to her - THAT one was pretty canned, too...

As Carolyn and I sighed and looked at the ring, I turned to her and said, "If you ever have to take a man ring shopping for me... Like, when I'm getting engaged around age 55... I don't want a huge ring."
CAROLYN: Fair. I gotchu, girl.
GRACE: I have kind of small hands. A big ring would be too much. (showed her my fingers)
CAROLYN: So you have some little Trump hands...

Finally... How I feel about the new Bachelorette:
But like... Poor Caila? Anybody know Caila's status? Cause I'm feeling like she probably just got a mega shaft? Was she in on it? But the justification of this choice makes up for the time I wanted Lesley from Sean's season to be The Bachelorette and it was friggen DEZ.

Also feeling MEGA stoked that we will be graced with the presence of JoJo's EXCEEDINGLY charming and good-looking step-brother, Ben Patton.

And who knows? Maybe there will be more of this:

Yaaaaasss kweeeeeen, go GET what you WANT. 

Till May 23rd: If you're a bird, I'm a bird...

Closing thought: how many men do you think are going to get out of the limo in a unicorn mask at the premiere? Yuk Yuk Yuk....

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Like My Tattoo Says....

Guys. I still stand by the fact that “Like my tattoo says, ‘You can’t love someone unless you love yourself,’" is one of the GREATEST things that’s ever been said on this show.

Miscellaneous observation: during the previews of the show tonight, it looks like they’re gearing up to tell us that Ben came out of the closet…

Lezzbe real about it: This post is dedicated to Grace C. Douglas. Is a self-dedication as gratuitous as a nude selfie, circa Kim Kardashian's Instagram? Sure. BUT BETTE MIDLER CAN THROW SHADE AT ME ALL DAY CAUSE MY BIRTHDAY IS ON THURSDAY AND I DO WHAT I WANT. (But please, Bette, feel free to throw shade. I'd love any and all attention from you.) If anyone needs me, I'll be in the corner eating ALL the cookies.
Current mood: ready to find love (and cookies)

Bachelor Nation field trip: The baby with “#HOMETOWNS” onesie is EVERYTHING. The producers are patting themselves on the back for coming up with the line about “bachelor across the generations…” that Ben was able to throw in there, about the baby...

As the show started, Tina (honorary member of the Living Room Peanut Gallery and girlfriend to  esteemed LRPG member Bryan) was going to go home and do laundry. I turned the volume up and sat back on the couch, “Just stay and watch him introduce the ladies, Tina. You know you want to see who's had their roots touched up...” Bryan rolled his eyes, “Grace, you are the WORST influence. You are terrible.” I replied, “Oh come on, Bry. You know this is my only vice. I’m not the one to say 'Come on, Tina, do one more shot. Stay out for one more song…' No, I just influence people to stay for the show. I ONLY CARE ABOUT THE SHOW."

....Tina and Bryan stayed for a while.

So tonight we have: Lace, Tiara, Amber, Jami, Izzy, Rachel, Jubilee, Jennifer, Shushanna, Lauren H, Olivia, Leah, Becca, Haley, Emily, Amanda, and Caila. What we DON'T have is Mandi, that girl that wore the giant rose headband on the first night. What's that about? And what about that girl, LB? I think I liked her. But she was on Johnny's fantasy team, Maybe it's better that she isn't there...

Random thoughts:

- I’M SO EXCITED TO SEE LEAH FACE THE WOMEN FOR WHAT SHE SAID ABOUT LAUREN B. Update: it wasn't nearly what I dreamed that it would be. Even Ben didn't give her too much flack about it. What a let down.

- Olivia’s eye lashes need some WORK. Is it that they need heavier eyeliner over the adhesive? More mascara? Allison Norris, please weigh in, here. Thank you.

- Shout out to Dad Lyfe Himself, Chris Harrison, casually manning the fort with that chicken running around: “Lace, you got Sheila?”

I think part of the reason that I love this episode so much is because the women are perhaps more desperate in this studio than they are in the premiere. It's like they've all told themselves "I have to look so good that he'll lament what he can't have now..." Which basically equated to... CLEAVAGE. You guys. There was SO much cleavage last night! Good GRIEF, Charlie Brown, put the girls AWAY! Im'ma be real candid, here: I wouldn't know anything about it. I realized pretty early on that my chest wasn't going to get me attention, so I better learn to be the funniest girl in the room if I wanted attention. But you know who never had to learn that? EVERY GIRL ON THAT STAGE LAST NIGHT. Special shout outs to Jami and Hailey and Jami. And Jami. Hey, it's only fair: Jami CLEARLY never learned to be the funniest girl in the room, soooooo....

Loving the race conversation that’s happening right now. It’s so tense yet so very meaningless. We haven’t seen anything this tense and meaningless since Marquel and JJ on Dorfman’s season. You know the producers love it cause it means drama, but they're all super WASPy themselves, so they don't even really know how to incite a racially charged conversation, which means there's just random accusations flying. The producers have so much more control over other tense moments because they can set them up and draw them out of people how they want to, but the race discussion is always more of a crapshoot and it makes very little sense and I LOVE it.

Harrison brings Jubilee down to the hot seat for her audition as The Bachelorette. She tries to differentiate herself by saying that Ben’s brand is “unlovable.” Hers is “hard to love.” Right now the only thing about her that is hard to love is those eyelashes that she's struggling with, but who's to say? She'd be a whopping mess of a Bachelorette and would prove much more entertaining than Baby Caila, but my only problem with her is that she seems to spend so much time whining about how "complicated" and "layered" she is. You guys know my beef with people who over-peddle their own "flaws"....

Harrison tells Jubes: “One thing I hope you realize is that a guy as terrific as Ben saw you and got you. I hope you realize that you are that person.” THANK YOU FOR THE DAD WISDOM, HARE.

Ok this guy that has Lace’s face as his tattoo… I don’t even know what to say. BUT I'M SO UNBELIEVABLY STOKED THAT LACE WILL BE ON BACHELOR IN PARADISE.

What I have to say about Olivia is that... her jumpsuit was a nice choice. The women on this show seem to choose dresses for the Women Tell All that are great for standing, but not for sitting. Big Liv chose something that is great for sitting and I COMMEND her for that.

This girl Izzy, who is talking about bullying to Olivia… WHO IS SHE. Lack of question mark intentional.

CAROLYN: I hate how the “Teen Mom” comment was an insult. Do you know how much those women have overcome? I’ve been with these women for seven years. They had babies that are actual humans now. And MAN, are they going to be messed up...

Caila’s jumpsuit and earrings. Also a good choice. OH GEEZ NOW HARE IS ASKING HER HOW SHE THOUGHT THAT REJECTION DAY WAS GOING TO GO. He is pulling out the DAGGERS tonight! Strictly in terms of auditions, I couldn't make a call between Jubilee and Caila for the next Bachelorette. Although... can we just acknowledge that Caila's face looked fuller? MORE POWER TO HER, I'M NOT JUDGING, I'M JUST REMARKING. (I know, I know: Lena Dunham isn't letting anyone photoshop her anymore and I'm over here calling ladies 'fat,' Happy Women's Day.) 

Ok true life: I have heard NOTHING of Ben and Jubilee's squabbling, because I was too busy looking for this clip: start watching at 3:30, when Kaitlyn says hi to Ben at the Men Tell All: (just watch his salutation. It's all you need to see.) 


One final note: who are we kidding: Ben could tell Emily and Hailey apart because the women were seated in ascending order! DON'T TRY AND PULL A FAST ONE ON AMERICA, HARRISON!

Whew, I'm exhausted. So much ranting. I love it all.

Ugh, I'm in a glass case of emotion about next week. I think he's going to pick Lauren B, but I'm still standing by JoJo being a better choice (once more: WE CANNOT IGNORE how he says "I'm most myself with JoJo."  WE CANNOT IGNORE'T!!)

If you're a bird, I'm a bird. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Fireworks in His Eyes, in My Heart, And in the Sky...

Thoughts on the opening:

BEN: I think Jamaica could be a great place to fall in love.
JOHNNY: And it smells like weed. I am so stoned right now.
BEN: We will be doing really romantic things.
CAROLYN: Like having sex. That’s romantic. We will be doing that. 
JOHNNY: Are those floating pillows in that mini pool in this shot?
GRACE: I was thinking floating tea bags…

This post is dedicated to Mary Grace Toler. Mary Grace and I go way back, all the way to out here in California on a week long retreat with our Dads... There was hiking, ropes courses, and obviously... Friendship. Mary Grace has been a fan for quite a long time and we all know that there are fewer ways to my heart than, well, being a fan. (And yes: "fan of Grace" amd "fan of the show" are interchangable here, and pretty much always in my life...) THIS ONE'S FOR YOU, MG.

First Overnight: Caila

Something has GOT Caila’s goat. She is speaking ZERO words on this date. Ben remarks upon her mood at dinner. She acts like he is Indiana Jones and his observation of her mood is a discovery of the lost arc "It's soooo crazy that you picked up on my mood..." Yada yada, she tells him she’s in love with him, and her telling of it is like it’s a book report for which she wasn’t prepared, and then they suck face. There is no other phrase for what they did. I saw so much tongue. Whew, we're only two paragraphs in and I've said "sex" and "tongue" already. Oy.

JOHNNY: She is gonna BANG him tonight.
CAROLYN: I bet she’s a freak in the sheets.
JOHNNY: Totally. But are we fetishizing Asian women by saying that? *whispers* YES.

Let’s talk some logistics: we know that he professes his love to TWO women… in the preview where we saw that, it was definitely night time when he said it… NIGHT TIME HAS PASSED AND HE HASN’T SAID IT TO CAILA.
Down in flames... 

Overnight Date: Lauren B

It is very, VERY obvious that Lauren B can NOT walk in those shorts. Not to mention the fact that she planned that shirt with the thought that she’d be standing for the date, not sitting on a boat. I'm JUST saying...

Two thoughts about this date:
Take what ye can. Give nothin' back. 

2) The only important thing about sea turtles is a WONDERFUL Nicholas Sparks film, written for Miley Cyrus, also featuring a wonderful performance from Greg Kinnear, “The Last Song.” What a classic. “You read Tolstoy and take up arms to defend innocent sea turtles. This ice cube act's not working..." (no but Liam Hemsworth is a DREAMBOAT in that movie and I'm super ok with it)

Come on. You're not mad at this, K. Bocksel
After (maybe) saving some baby sea turtles, the two sit on the beach and Ben whines that Lauren is out of his league. I don’t know how I feel about that. I think you should always feel like you got the deal in a relationship, but there’s something self-deprecating about Ben’s tone that doesn’t seem to bode well… 

Quick note: I've always been of the school of thought that the Bachelor isn't actually prohibited from saying "I love you," it's just heavily discouraged. Because it's never really been addressed in a way that makes me convinced that it's formally disallowed. Right?

Also... There's no WAY I could make it all the way through the day and wait 'til night time without saying it, like Lauren B did. Granted, I would probably be so overwhelmed that I'd shout "I love you!" then do something spastic like chucking a baby sea turtle in the ocean, but still. I couldn't wait till the end of the day. Absolutely not. When I was in elementary school, we had this babysitter named Ann who was (and let's be real: still is) my idol. She told us that when her Dad proposed to her mom, he was going to take her to some beautiful park and do it there, but he was too excited and he did it at a rest stop on the way. You'd think that 9 year old Grace would be horrified that Mr. Jennings couldn't wait till the park overlook, but I've always been super ok with that story. If you have good news, get it OUT there. (I suppose this is the equivalent of people swooning over the When Harry Met Sally quote about wanting the rest of your life to start as soon as possible, blah blah... Basically: propose to me at a rest stop, Future Mr. Grace Douglas. I don't want no viral video proposal...)

Let’s talk about this… Lauren prefaces her love confession with “I guess there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you…”

What the actual-
Welp... Then Ben did himself ZERO favors by saying it back to her. We are officially in unchartered waters, people. Ben closed the door, they probs played Scrabble and went to bedsies. Totes adorbs.

Ohhhhh I did NOT need to see Lauren’s clothes on the floor, post fantasy suite night. I 100% did not need to SEE that.

Overnight Date: Jojo

Well... we know that JoJo has read 'The Five Love Languages," as she tells the camera that her love language is words of affirmation. In an UN-shocking turn of events, she tells Ben she loves him. HE TELLS HER THE SAME THING. 

JOHNNY: He should just pick JoJo, and if it doesn't work out, he can blame it on the brothers. 

Y'all. Is he going to pick JoJo? I've been thinking Lauren B this whole time but like... what is going on right now? 

CAROLYN: I really hope this is a Sandals resort.
GRACE: They're all at a Sandals Resort. 
JOHNNY: Really?
GRACE: Yeah. Haven't you seen all the signs?
JOHNNY: Sandals is where Michael and Jan went on The Office. He took a topless picture of her. This is so great. There were billboards for Sandals all over the Jersey turnpike. 

This part with Caila is so painful I can't even stand it. She knows. As soon as they sit down, she knows. (She later confirmed that even as early as him hugging her, she knew.) 

I was threatening to pull my hair out during that entire exchange. Shout out to when Sean Lowe said goodbye to Lindsay Yenter on the finale and she said. "Well I'm gonna go... Cause this is my nightmare..." I FEEL YA, YENTER. 

I'm glad she jumped out of the car and asked him  (in so many words) if he'd known when he took her to the fantasy suite... 

CAILA: I feel like my purpose in life is to love other people, and I don't know why I haven't found that yet."

Oh man, Women Tell All next week. One of my most favorite weeks. 

If you're a bird, I'm a bird...

Closing thought: it's been almost twenty four hours. I can't stop thinking about Caila crying in the car and saying, "And I could tell. I wanted to jump into his arms but I knew something was up..."

My birthday is coming up on the 10th. That's next Thursday. You're welcome.