Monday, February 20, 2012

The Bachelor or Fear Factor?

I’ve alluded to the fact that ‘The Bachelor’ is a favorite show in my household. This season’s bachelor, Ben F., is a swell guy and if I weren’t a married lady, I could see myself dating him. Lucky for him I am married and not a contestant, because I don’t think this show has ever seen the level of panic attack that I would have certainly had on a number of this season’s ‘dates’.

For instance, there is not enough Xanax in the world that would make me get within 5 feet of a helicopter much less climb to the top of the Bay Bridge or free fall into an underwater cave. This week’s episode was the worst so far, requiring some poor girl to jump from a helicopter into Belize’s blue hole and then three girls on a group date to swim with sharks. They already got stuck with a group date and now you want them to swim with sharks? Over my dead body.

During Linzi’s romantic terrifying helicopter/Blue hole date, I started laughing hysterically. Jonathan shot me a quizzical look and I explained that I was just imagining Ben’s reaction to my reaction were he to ask me to jump out of a helicopter. Into 500 feet of ocean. With sharks. My reaction would have been ‘heck no’. End of story.

For instance, I wonder what Ben/ABC would do if a girl displayed my reaction when snorkeling recently in Hawaii. Would Ben have exhibited Jonathan’s patience while watching me stand on the edge of the catamaran for 30 minutes trying to muster the courage to jump in? What about when I finally did jump in, only to immediately start hyperventilating, sobbing, and puking to the point that I had to be tranquilized with my mom’s secret Xanax stash? And that was because I saw a fish about the size of my fist, which apparently is the whole point of snorkeling. Who knew there were fish down there? Terrifying. (Me, tranquiled after snorkeling. Thanks for the Xanax mom. Oh and also, thanks for taking this embarrassing photo.)
Maybe I’ve never really been in love, but there is no one who could make me feel compelled to do someone of these Bachelor stunts. I would simply refuse. I can just imagine it: “Laine, on today’s date we are going to hang-glide into an active volcano”. Not for a million roses, buddy, especially not for a relationship with a shelf life of 6 months max.

I’m starting to wonder if ABC makes these girls sign a contract agreeing to participate in these activities. I just want to know when ‘The Bachelor’ turned into ‘Fear Factor’. Gee, you know what would be a really romantic date? Why don’t we churn the water with some bloody fish and then have you and your romantic love interest jump into shark infested waters…on your second date. And would it really be a deal breaker if a girl flat out refused? ‘Why is so important to you that I swim with sharks? Is shark-swimming a trait that you’re looking for in a wife? And if so, I’m sorry but I don’t see this working out very well.’
Let me tell you, I married quite the adventurous man, and yes, sometimes it is frustrating to a scuba diver that his wife has a phobia of water; or to a black diamond skier that his wife won’t leave the bunny slopes. But being as though we don’t live on a ski lift or at a dive shop, these things aren’t part of our daily lives and therefore don’t really affect our marriage. Jonathan doesn’t share my affinity for European history or televised dog shows, but I’m still glad I married the guy.

I shouldn’t get so worked up about it. It’s just a reality TV show that feeds on drama. If these guys and gals could form a decent connection over endless breadsticks at Olive Garden, they wouldn’t be on the show in the first place. Maybe they need death defying stunts to forge a bond. Me and my man, we bond plenty just by watching ‘the Bachelor’.

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