Like most contestants, I’d go into the process optimistic, naïve and dangerously in debt from all of the evening gowns I purchased to drink wine and cry in.
On the first night, I’d get out of the limo without any shenanigans. I’d decide it was silly for me to wear a Ghostbusters costume or fly in on a California Condor because that’s just not me, and I’d forego heels for flats to prevent me from falling face first out of the limo onto the brick driveway and starting the season looking like Sylvester Stallone at the end Rocky IV.
My first conversation with The Bachelor would be light and casual and completely lacking a cheesy pickup line or a one-woman performance of “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease, and my conversations with the women would probably be a healthy mix of “girl, you’re too good for this guy what are you doing here?” and “girl, you should be at home working on you and figuring out that you’re too good for this guy, what are you doing here?” At the end of the night, I’d get a “you seemed relatively normal and didn’t scare me” rose, before cheers-ing with the rest of the women and immediately retreating to my room before I overdosed on estrogen.
Over the next few weeks, I’d be what is considered by Bachelor standards as a “boring contestant”. I wouldn’t start any fights, I wouldn’t talk about celery too much and I wouldn’t accuse The Bachelor’s eyebrow of twitching every time he said my name, causing me to think he secretly hated me.
No, I’d probably end up having an epiphany in Week 3 where I’d realize the reason nothing was progressing between us was because I wasn’t even attracted to The Bachelor and that, now that I looked at him, he kind of reminded me of my brother. Ironically, he’d be in the same boat, and so, against all of the producers’ wishes, we’d become friends. I’d be someone he could vent to and slouch beside and tell a joke that didn’t have to end with an on-camera tongue in the mouth. And although there were girls that had the makings of a being a Bachelor Meltdown Legend, he’d eliminate them in favor of me for a few weeks, just to have a reminder that platonic relationships exist outside the walls of an anonymous mansion in Agoura Hills, California.
When the time came for him to choose between me and the soon-to-be-viral villain all the other girls hated however, he’d be forced to go the way of the ratings and smile as she jumped into his arms and accepted the rose with her teeth. I’d give him a hug and wish him luck and he’d give me the number of his brother who he thought I’d be great for, and ask if we could grab a beer in a couple weeks to fully analyze his decision to do this show.
By the time the finale aired on television and Chris Harrison invited everyone back for the after show, I’d arrive on the arm of The Bachelor and take a seat next to him on the couch to talk about our unlikely friendship, and his engagement that America is convinced will end prematurely. Chris Harrison would ask juicy questions about my relationship with The Bachelor’s brother and if there were wedding bells in the future, and I’d smile politely and clam up like it was my dad asking me about boys in high school.
“How could you know?” I’d say with overly enthusiastic hand motions and a nervous stomach threatening to revisit our pre-show Chick-Fil-A. “How could anyone know who they want to marry in that little time?”
The room would then go quiet as its entire audience, staff, and former contestants had built their lives around the belief that you could know. I’d close my eyes and wish I was back at home in sweatpants, and The Bachelor would laugh under his breath, letting me flounder for a moment, like any best friend would. To spite him, I’d dig deep for some wit. I’d stand up and point at The Bachelor, then lock eyes with the camera and say, “we’ll find out how he knew…right after the break.”