There are many journeys one takes as a parent. Some you’re prepared for like dealing with a cranky toddler or a moody teenager. But then there are other things that happen where you feel like your parenting cosmos has been redirected to another dimension. My husband recently experienced this when he was sucked into an alternate universe rife with peril, intrigue, and heartbreak and our daughter is solely to blame.
It started at the beginning of summer when she cajoled her dad to watch the latest season of the “The Bachelorette” with her. At first, I think he thought it was cute. I assumed that he would get comfy in our basement and humor our daughter by watching an episode and then be done with it.
This could be the only logical scenario because it’s not like my husband is exactly the target audience for a show about a woman attempting to find true love by “dating” 31 men while sequestered at a Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Mexico for six weeks.
Also, my husband can be tad erudite with his viewing habits. This is a man whose idea of a good time is watching obscure foreign language films. So, the fact that he was even going to consent to watching an episode of “The Bachelorette” was almost groundbreaking.
At first, he approached his Bachelorette viewing as a lark offering commentary on the whacked-out process of attempting to find true love on a dating show. Then something really scary happened – he got into it, like 11 episodes into it. I knew he had jumped the shark when he started discussing the contestants with my daughter at dinner.
A major concern of my husband’s was how could anyone take a six-week absence from their job to be on a dating show and stay employed. My daughter had to explain that most of the people on reality TV are betting on using their recent fame to become full time social media “influencers” so keeping their day job isn’t exactly a priority.
This explains the oft repeated statement heard on “The Bachelorette” that someone “wasn’t there for the right reason.” The right reason is supposed to be discovering your soul mate, not social media fame, but that’s not exactly the main draw of the show for the contestants.
This “right reason” statement slowly began to infiltrate our lives. In fact, several Bachelorette phrases became part of my husband’s lexicon. If I was at the store and forgot to get something on the list my husband would look at me with dewy Bachelorette eyes and sigh, “I don’t think you were there for the right reason.”
I was actually astonished that my husband lasted so long in his Bachelorette viewing. He was a trooper. But then came the three-hour finale. He kept on begging our daughter to fast forward. She would laugh and cheekily reply, “Dad, why would you want to fast forward your time with me?”
When “The Bachelorette” finally mercifully ended our daughter asked him he thought of his first Bachelorette experience. He answered that the good news was he got to “enjoy it” with her. The bad news was he felt like he needed a vigorous brain detox. (PBS here he comes!)
She smiled and said, “So does this mean ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ is a no go for next week?”
His response was throwing multiple couch pillows at her.
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