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Bachelor Ben Goes Home(town), Part 1

Hey all – sorry I missed the Bach last night – I was in Nicaragua with my man but now I am back and bloggin’ it up. And this week is gonna be juicy, y’all: the remaining four women bring home their (shared) “boyfriend” to meet their families in a ritual that Ben obnoxiously refers to as “hometowns.”

First hometown is Lindzi’s. She claims she has only brought home one other man to meet her family, and he broke up with her, which was sad. Great story, Lindzi! She rides up on a horse (shock) to meet Ben, who says he can “very well see [him]self falling in love with her,” which is a stupid way of saying that he is not, in fact, falling in love with her.  I notice that he seems to shy away when she hugs him around the neck. Uncomf.

Ben and Linzi climb onto an awkward standing carriage led by an old, confused horse and slowly trot zig-zagging down a road. Meanwhile, Lindzi makes lots of tortured horse-related analogies about love (“if you fall off, you have to get back on… the relationship”). They sit down in a field and have the most predictable of all Bachelor conversations about how Lindzi has “walls” that are “coming down” and how she feels “vulnerable.” I’m fighting back the urge to fast-forward. Fighting really hard here.  The word “vulnerable” is tossed around with wild abandon: as Lindzi fills Ben in on her last relationship, Ben avoids eye contact and tells her he’s glad she’s being “vulnerable,” to which she says, “Vulnerable is a big word for me.” Well, it does have four syllables, so…

Lindzi’s parents, Harry and Margy Cox, meet Ben and Lindzi in the middle of a field and they drink wine as Lindzi enthusiastically details all of her dates with Ben.  Her parents reveal that they got married in SF City Hall (where Ben and Lindzi had their first date) and Lindzi says, “Really?” Wait, she didn’t know where her own parents got married?  Seriously, Lindzi?

My impression of Lindzi’s parents are that they are trying waaaaay too hard to make Ben like them. They have set up an elaborate carriage racing course on the field and Lindzi’s dad (Harry Cox) encourages Ben to “trash talk” him.  Lindzi laughs maniacally.

After the manic carriage race, they all go back to Lindzi’s parents’ house and Lindzi tells her mom in private that she is “falling for” Ben. Margy says that Ben seems nice but she doesn’t want to see Lindzi get hurt again.  This is, of course, the Bachelor trope in which the parent appears initially concerned but caves within approximately five minutes and welcomes the Bachelor(ette) with open arms.

Ben, meanwhile, tells Lindzi’s dad that he is “not ready to propose to anyone yet” but has good intentions towards Lindzi.  Her dad responds that he wants them to continue to work on their relationship. Uh. That might not happen, Lindzi’s dad. Why is Harry Cox not more concerned that Ben seems completely noncommittal towards his kid? Jeez, get with it, Harry Cox. At the end of the night, Harry tells Ben that he would be “honored” to have Ben as a son-in-law. Huh? My fiance, who is watching out of the corner of his eye, points out that there’s something supremely awkward about Ben preemptively asking Lindzi’s father if he can marry her, you know, just in case he does decide to propose to her instead of one of the three other women on the show, and Lindzi’s father being like, “Okay, cool.”

Ben says at the end of the night that Lindzi “would fit into [his] life very easily” which kinda sums up Ben, doesn’t it? Like it never occurs to this joker that marriage is not about slotting another person into your life. It actually requires — believe it or not — altering your own life! Gasp!

It’s Kacie B.’s turn for her hometown date! Poor thing says she can “definitely see [Ben] as [her] husband,” which is just… not good. Ben shows up to a playing field and is greeted by a marching band with Kacie twirling her baton in the back. That’s kinda her party trick, huh?  Seeing how excited Kacie is to see Ben and how lukewarm he is to see her gives me the sads. Is he capable of any emotion at all? What is he, a robot? A robot with bad hair?

Kacie explains to Ben that the playing field that they’re on was named for her grandfather. She then tells him a really sad, romantic story about how her grandmother died of a broken heart after her grandfather died and Ben responds, “That’s great” with all of the enthusiasm of a wet mop. I really hate this guy for being so cold to this poor 24-year-old girl. She’s so into it and he’s totally stringing her along while he bides his time, skinny-dipping with Courtney. What an a-hole.

Before they go to meet her parents, Kacie warns Ben that her dad is a probation officer and doesn’t drink, which is “strike one” for Ben since his “business is booze.” Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely a pre-requisite for any marriage that one’s parents-in-law support one’s business (not). Upon hearing this, Ben tells Kacie he doesn’t know what to expect and acts really negative.  Off to a good start.

At dinner, Kacie’s shockingly young-looking mom and age-appropriate dad seem polite but skeptical.  After dinner, Kacie sits down with her sister Allison to discuss Ben. Allison asks Kacie why she’s so sure about Ben and Kacie answers, rather obtusely, that “you have to take risks” and “you can’t just settle.” Which doesn’t really answer the question at all, does it?  It sounds like the whole thing boils down to Kacie wanting to rebel against her parents’ uptightness, which, you know, is probably not the best reason to marry someone.

Meanwhile, Denny, Kacie’s dad, grills Ben.  Denny seems like a normal, protective dad who isn’t drinking the Bachelor Kool-Aid, which is so refreshing.  Ben twists in the wind and tries to convince Denny that he is taking marriage seriously. Denny’s not buying it.  Ben tells Denny he has strong feelings for Kacie but also has feelings for “some of these other women as well.” Denny says, quite reasonably, “If Kacie is not the one, I’d hope that would be communicated to her soon.” Imagine that!

Kacie’s mom, meanwhile, who appears to be about 5 years older than Kacie, tells Ben that she has a real problem with the idea of Kacie and Ben shacking up before marriage. Ben says he’s “glad” she is sharing her concerns (he’s not) and that he has “traditional values” (he doesn’t).

Later, Kacie and her dad sit down and he tells her that he hopes that Ben and she would date more and get to know each other and urges her to make careful, “prayerful” decisions. I mean — this is weird because this all makes sense to me. This might be the first time on the Bachelor that the parents haven’t just capitulated and sucked up to the Bachelor(ette).  Amazing! Kacie tells her dad that she’s falling in love with Ben and he has the gall to ask if the other three women are also falling in love with Ben, also. She says “I don’t know” but that she would say yes if Ben asked her to marry him.  Kacie’s dad says that based on the current situation, he wouldn’t give his blessing. This makes Kacie B. sad and defensive.  I feel bad for Kacie because she’s reacting to her parents’ completely reasonable concerns in exactly the way that I would have reacted when I was her age.  That’s how dumb, 24-year-olds react to things.  I mean, this girl seems so sweet and naive, has no worldly experience and actually does need her parents to protect her from her judgment (or lack thereof). This won’t end well for poor Kacie, methinks.

Part 2 coming later!

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