internet

Why the Internet Can Be Good (RE: Alex Rayfiel)

The other day as I was scrolling through Facebook, I saw a link a friend posted that caught my eye. It had a picture of a boy named Alex, who I’d gone to high school with, attached to an article whose title didn’t quite register until after I clicked it.

When the page loaded, my face went white. Alex was sick. Recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. His family had created a donation page in the hope of raising money for a radical new treatment in Israel. I read through the story his wife posted, aching for the two of them and their newly born daughter. It all sounded so completely unfair.

Now, I’d never known this guy. We’d gone to high school together for four years, and I’d seen him around from time to time, but never got to know him. In fact, I only met him once in a brief introduction from a mutual friend at our shared college. But as I read the story about the turn his life has suddenly taken, I realized I remembered him, and how, even in our lack of interaction, he’d left a mark on me.

High school is tough for everyone, often in different ways, and while I wouldn’t say I had a terrible experience, I also wouldn’t volunteer to do it all over again. I was a quiet, reserved student who stuck to what she knew and rarely felt comfortable in her own skin. That being said, Alex made me laugh.

He and his friends had participated in the talent show as the “Finger Flippers” which became legendary amongst our senior class. And during our senior luncheon, they created a video that discussed which of our classmates had celebrity lookalikes. I remember sitting at the back table, nervous as always, counting down the days until I graduated. I hadn’t been sat next to any of my friends, and I was internally apologizing to the people around me for not being more interesting. But then the lights went down and the video started, and I laughed through the whole thing. It was a genuine laugh, the kind that makes you feel lighter, and as I looked around the room at my classmates who felt the same, I felt included. Afterwards, when Alex and his friends mentioned they had plans to post the video to YouTube I took note, excited to have something positive to look back on in the future. I’d forgotten about the video over all these years, and only found it when I searched his name. When I watched it again however, it still gave me that good feeling.

So as I read through his story and then through some of the comments, I couldn’t help but feel drawn to donate, not only because it was the right thing to do, but because it felt like a way I could say thank you for giving me those moments of freedom all those years ago. And even more, allow me the opportunity to be a part of offering him the chance to experience a moment of freedom in the future. Be it through minor progress, or radical recovery.

This is the good part about the Internet. For amongst all the drama and fake personas, there also lie small bursts of goodness. There are chances to read stories of hope and resilience, chances to reconnect with old friends and family, and sometimes, chances to lend a hand to a near stranger. And so, Alex Rayfiel, while we may remain essentially strangers, I hope you know I’m praying for you, and that I’m grateful for what you gave me all those years ago, even if you had no idea. I wish you and your family all the best, and I hope the next time I find you in my Facebook feed, it will be to inform me that you’re on the road to recovery.

If you want to help Alex, you can find his donation page here.

Calling All Humans, I Want Your Garbage

Calling all humans, I want your garbage.

No, not your actual garbage. Not your literal, tangible, probably rank garbage. I’m talking about your figurative garbage. More specifically: your morning garbage.

(How many times do I have to say garbage before it becomes a drinking game?) 

We’ve all had bad mornings. The nuclear, should have stayed in bed, can this seriously be happening type mornings. The garbage mornings, if you will. And since we’ve all had these, I thought there should be a place to talk about them. To laugh at them. To prove they are actually a thing that happened, even if it may seem impossible.

So, I’ve started This Terrible Morning. A blog dedicated to the horrible, awful and hilarious mornings that tend to haunt us every once in a while.

This is where your garbage comes in.

I want your stories, your pictures, your sarcastic turn of phrases. All of it. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a writer or a comedian or a photographer. The only credentials you need are an honest voice, a great story, and the willingness to share it.

So if you’ve ever had one of those mornings that started with a (maybe literal) bang and ended in a (hopefully figurative) fire, please do me and the Internet the honor of sharing it! And if you’re someone who secretly enjoys reading about those fires, please do me and the people brave enough to share theirs the honor of subscribing!

You can find the blog at www.thisterriblemorning.com

You can submit your stories/pictures/etc. to thisterriblemorning@gmail.com

31 Good Things That Happened in March

I have good news and good news. I have only good news!

As mentioned in this blog post, at the end of every month I’m going to highlight all the good things that happened, to give ourselves a break from the well known bad.

You can find last month’s here.

Happy March to you!

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1) Chrissy Teigen opened up about her postpartum Depression

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“I [just] didn’t think it could happen to me. I have a great life. I have all the help I could need: John, my mother (who lives with us), a nanny. But postpartum does not discriminate. I couldn’t control it.”

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2) International Women’s Day

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3) The cast of Hamilton donated their night’s salaries to an amazing women’s charity.

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4) This girl sent a crying classmate flowers

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5) This dog filled in as a zoo mommy

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6) This cat was overtaken by the piano

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7) Delish released a recipe for Pizza Grilled Cheese

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8) This little boy found out he was getting a new heart

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9) This runner made a great statement about body confidence. (via mileposts Instagram)

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“…Both of these race photos were taken on the same day at the same race. In one I looked happy and strong and in the other I was left questioning if there was a part of my body that didn’t have cellulite. This race at some points sucked for me – I got sick – threw up before crossing the finish line and had possibly my slowest 13.1 time ever – but post race the sucky feelings faded and I remember the day being fun – drinking wine with friends after, joking how wine cures all. If you had asked me after if I had a good time I would have said YES!! I still felt that way in the days following the race UNTIL I saw the photo on the left and then insecurity set in and I thought about how that day was not fun. But that’s silly, because it was fun…A race photo is ONE SINGLE moment in time and I let one of them steal joy from me. Most times we don’t look great while we run, but that’s not why we run anyways, we run to FEEL like I look in the photo on the right – HAPPY. Don’t let a photo steal joy – you are worth so much more than one split second – moment in time.”

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10) A pregnant woman gave this man a “Decent Dude” trophy for being the first man–throughout two pregnancies–to offer her his seat on the subway.

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11) Beauty and the Beast was released in theaters!

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12) Internet personality Jerome Jarre started a petition online to get help to Somalia…

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13)…and it worked!

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14) And with the help of people around the world, Somalia is receiving the help it needs!

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15) These boys tried to fool their teacher

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16) These police officers helped a woman get out of her driveway

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17) This service dog did his job

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18) This woman stopped to help

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19) This boy melted hearts with his cheesy prom-posal

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20) And this guy pulled off an adorable Up-themed prom-posal

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21) This mom knew just what to say to her daughter

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22) This IHOP waiter took the time to hand feed one of his customers

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(image via Keshia Dotson Facebook)

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23) This chicken was reunited with its favorite human

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24) National Puppy Day

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25) An 8 year old girl realized she could do whatever she wants

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26) This little girl got a doll worthy of a superhero

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27) This little guy got to hug his hero

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28) Lego & Nasa announced they will team up to release a collection to celebrate the women of Nasa

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29) This mermaid spent her night babysitting…another mermaid

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30) This flower company gave out 10,000 flowers for International Day of Happiness

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31) This little girl made a new friend out of a broken water heater.

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what April brings!

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The Dog & the Fire Hydrant

While doing some research on clichés for my Valentine’s Day post a while back, I came across one that didn’t quite sit right with me:

Sometimes you’re the dog; sometimes you’re the fire hydrant.

It’s not that I didn’t get it, I just thought it left so little to the imagination. When I Googled it to see where it came from, I found this article that tried to offer some context by comparing it to Mark Knopfler’s song, “The Bug”:

Sometimes you’re the windshield
Sometimes you’re the bug
Sometimes it all comes together
Sometimes you’re just a fool in love
Sometimes you’re the Louisville Slugger
Sometimes you’re the ball
Sometimes it all comes together
Sometimes your gonna lose it all

Listen, I get it, they’re just clichés. And trust me, I love clichés. I love that they offer a creative way to say something ordinary. Plus, in knowing my grandpa, my dad, and now my brother, I hear them all the time. But this one…it just doesn’t do it for me. It makes us all sound so two-dimensional. As if we’re only ever going to be the dog or the fire hydrant; the bug or the windshield; the bat or the ball, when the truth is, we have the potential to be an infinite number of things in between. In fact, it’s that healthy blend of the in-between that makes life so colorful.

So I say strive to be more than the obvious. Don’t box yourself into the possibilities that seem most plausible. Check “maybe” instead of “yes” or “no.” Be grey instead of black or white. Be the fire truck instead of the dog or the hydrant. Be the windshield wiper instead of the bug or the window. Be the pitcher instead of the bat or the ball. Have it all together, lose some of it, and then find more than you thought you ever could. Don’t be this or that, be you.

28 Good Things That Happened in February

I have good news and good news. I have only good news!

As mentioned in this blog post, at the end of every month I’m going to highlight all the good things that happened, to give ourselves a break from the well known bad.

You can find last month’s here.

Happy February to you!

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1) This woman wrote a great piece on self-confidence and stepping out of your comfort zone. (via Buzzfeed)

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2) This man found a woman’s purse and returned it to her with everything in it, then wouldn’t take a single thing in return. (via Love What Matters)

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3) This grandma made a snow angel. (via ABC News)

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4) The popular YouTube channel, Bad Lip Reading, released a new NFL episode in honor of the Super Bowl:

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5) Speaking of the Super Bowl, can we talk about Lady Gaga’s Halftime show!

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6) The kids from Stranger Things saw their Season 2 commercial on TV for the first time.

Fun video of us seeing the S2 teaser!!! Link in bio! Go check it out! #season2 #spoileralert? #strangerthings

A post shared by 🌍Noah Schnapp🎥 (@noahschnapp) on

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7) The Bloggess hosted her second annual Booksgiving, which is essentially a giant love fest for book lovers.

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8) This man jumped:

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9) This newly adopted dog cuddled with its owner. (via LoveWhatMatters)

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10) This man made a video to give people a better idea of what it’s like living with Cerebral Palsy.

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11) This boy brought his mom to dad day.

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12) These two tangoed:

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13) This boy took his sister to the Father Daughter Dance:

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14) The ridiculously talent packed Grammy’s…

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15) …where Twenty One Pilots accepted the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance in their underwear and gave this inspirational speech:

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“This story starts in Columbus, Ohio. It was a few years ago. And it was before Josh and I were able to make money playing music. As we were watching we noticed that every single one of us was in our underwear. And seriously—and we were no one at that time—he turned to me and said, ‘You know, if we ever go to the Grammys — if we ever win a Grammy — we should receive it just like this.’ Not only is this amazing, but I want everyone who’s watching at home to know that you could be next. Because anyone, from anywhere, can do anything.”

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16) Lainy checked into the game:

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17) Ashton Kutcher spoke up against human trafficking:

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18) This little girl got adopted. (via LoveWhatMatters)

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19) This photographer dad gave his daughter the Beauty & the Beast photoshoot of her dreams:

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20) This Australian artist used illustration to come clean about her eating disorder. (via Buzzfeed)

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21) This brother was the best valentine ever:

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22) This police officer helped a 10 year old girl with her homework. (via Buzzfeed)

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23) This once incredibly malnourished little boy danced:

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24) This little guy gave up winning a race because he wanted to hug his dad. (via Buzzfeed)

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25) The Oscar’s recognized some incredibly talented artists (including Viola Davis, who never fails to give an amazing, tear inducing speech.)

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26) Backstage at the Oscar’s, previous Best Actress winner Brie Larson & newly recognized winner Emma Stone shared this moment:

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27) This woman gave her husband an Oscar of his own:

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28) The Animal Adventure Park in New York set up a “Giraffe Cam” where you can track the park’s pregnant giraffe, April, as she draws closer to giving birth.

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what March brings!

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The Kimberlee K. Dictionary

If you’ve ever read through any of my blog, you might notice that I tend to make up words…a lot.

I’m also big on phabbreviwords.

You know, abbreviations of phrases that are turned into words?

Phabbreviwords.

No?

Right, well, now you see what I’m talking about.

One time I used one of the phrabbreviwords in a real conversation, assuming the person in question would know it, only to be met with a furrowed brow and the need for extensive clarification. I mean, I get it. It’s the same way I feel when I hear teens use modern slang. I’m constantly on edge that I’m being insulted without my knowledge.

So, at the risk of getting sued by Urban Dictionary (even though none of these words are in there…yet) I’m going to provide you with a guide for what on earth I’m talking about. Because chances are, I’ve already adopted most of these words into my vocabulary and will probably use them more often than I should, and I don’t want anyone having to Google translate my blog posts or Google search “signs of insanity” in response to my gibberish.

Also, seeing as I have no plans to stop making up words, this dictionary will be an ongoing thing, the record of which you can find here. Enjoy!

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BIFC (biff-see) Door n.– Because I F*cking Can Door, a figurative barrier to success which, when motivated properly, we can kick down Kool-Aid Man style (used here)

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BoBaMeg (bo-bah-meg) n. – a Boob & Back Megaphone, or someone who advertises a company or point of view with a graphic t-shirt (used here)

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Carbrrrhater (car-brrr-hater) n. – an owner of a car who grows angry when it takes too long to warm up in the winter months (used here)

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Cinnamon Stick with the Windows Down Content adj. – a simple, yet unmatched genre of happiness (used here)

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DICHILY (ditch-illy) Smile n. – A Damnit I Can’t Help It I Love You Smile (used here)

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Exslursize (ex-slur-size) v. – to exercise while drunk (used here)

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Good Day to be a Duck n. – a theory of positivity that suggests your bad day could be someone else’s great day. (used here)

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HBINM (hib-i-nim) n. – Human Being I’ve Never Met (used here, referring to Anna Kendrick, one of my all time favorite HBINM’s)

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Hug-shaking v.– the result of indecisiveness regarding whether two people should share a handshake or a hug upon meeting. (used here)

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List-Cember (list-sem-brr) n. – an annual event in which every blog post published in the month of December contains a list (used here)

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Metaphorical Mozzarella n. – the type of cheese you can’t eat, only feel (used here)

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Palm treeson (palm tree-son) n., v. – 1) committing a crime against nature, 2) the act of slapping someone who deserves it. (used here)

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Phabbreviword (fa-brev-ee-words) n. – abbreviations of phrases that are turned into words. (but you knew that already…)

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#ShoutYourStrong n. – a social media movement I started to encourage both myself and those around me to celebrate our accomplishments, no matter how big or small, in both the physical and mental fields. (used here)

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Shoxigen (shawks-i-jen) n. – the type of air you inhale when surprised (used here)

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Smilacry (sm-eye-la-cry) v. – the act of smiling, laughing and crying at the same time (used here)

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TUFBW (tuff-boo) n. – The Ultimate Fit Bit Week (used here)

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WRLA (wool-rah) n. – World’s Largest Roadside Attraction (used here)

If I Were On the Bachelor

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.”