Don’t mess with ‘The Bachelor’

TRAVERSE CITY — “The Bachelor” is on again, which is wonderful. No, I don’t “like” the show. I’m a guy. If I liked the show I’d have to turn in my man card. But I do really, really, really like messing with the lovely yet formidable Marcia, a lifelong feminist who, oddly enough, positively loves the show.

“I can’t believe you like this show,” I said the other night. “It’s so anti-feminist. How could you?”

“Shhh,” she hissed, flapping a hand in my direction.

Interpreting the flapping to mean ‘Continue, please, dear husband” I said “I mean, you’ve got all these beautiful young women who …”

“Quiet, I can’t hear!”

“… who are in the prime of their life, who could get any guy they want …”

“Zip it,” she growled, using that low, back of the teeth growl dogs use when you try to take food away from them.

“… and yet they fight over this one stupid — and may I say not very handsome — guy, who is apparently such a catch that he’s in his mid-30s and isn’t married and doesn’t have a girlfriend.”

“He’s been busy racing cars,” she said. “Now please shut up and let me watch in peace.”

“Not that I can blame him, of course. If someone paid me to have 25 women fight over me, I guess I’d be fine with that.”

Glare from her.

“But why do they do it?”

“Because they’re looking for love!” she blurted. “Don’t you understand anything?”

I pondered that for a moment. “But is a TV show the right place to find it? Seems to me that concentrating 25 women in one place all fighting for the attention of one guy makes the odds of finding love a lot harder than in the real world. In that sense, winning the show seems like winning the lottery, except the prize isn’t a million bucks, it’s some schmo they probably won’t like once the TV cameras are gone, am I right?”

“I’m ignoring you now,” she said.

“I mean, there are plenty of better places to find a guy.”

“Still ignoring.”

“I mean, there’s the gym, the office, the grocery store, the bar, the bowling alley, the golf course …”

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” she said. Which is clearly not true. I’ve said far stupider things. “Now go away and let me watch in peace.”

In retrospect, I should have taken her advice. But as a husband and a follower of Guy Code, I felt I had to say one more stupid thing: “I still don’t get why you like this show, but ah well.”

At that point she hit the pause on the remote and said, “At first I thought you were just yanking my chain. But I’m beginning to think you really don’t understand why women like ‘The Bachelor.'”

Ruh-roh, I thought, as the music from “Jaws” began thumping in my brain. Run!

“Get back here, buster. I’ll tell you why we like it. We like it because they go on romantic dates to romantic places, where he looks into her eyes and tells her she’s beautiful, in other words all the stuff that married men forget to do for that wives. Maybe YOU ought to do that, too, and maybe if YOU …”

Ten minutes later she was still going. I guess I had it coming. Next time the show’s on I’ll do the smart thing and keep my mouth shut.

Probably.

— — —

Andrew Heller, an award-winning newspaper columnist, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. Follow him at andrewheller.com and on Facebook and Twitter. Write to him via email at andrewhellercolumn@gmail.com.

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