We all do impulsive things when we find ourselves with a little extra time on our hands. To some that means shooting texts to friends or would-be-lovers as a distraction. To others there’s YouTube and a treasure trove of online distractions just waiting to take you down a rabbit hole that ends with clips of various unlikely animal friendship pairings. The other day however, I opted to do something a little different: I submitted an application to compete on The Bachelorette. Now I have almost zero expectations that I will end up a part of the swarm of men trying to publicly court a woman significantly more competent than them, but as ridiculous as it sounds, hitting send left me an unexpected sense of catharsis.
It should be known before I get too far that I am just about the farthest thing from a Bachelor/Bachelorette addict. Despite being a regular presence in my apartment thanks to my roommate’s weekly viewing parties, there’s always been something off-putting about the entire franchise to me. Maybe it’s the show’s objective of turning the intimacies of romance into a competitive spectacle or just watching several smart, considerate women compete over a man who possesses the charms of a wet pile of hay in a V-neck tee. Being a guy in his 20s still clinging to notions of true love and partnership, the very series that should stand as my nemesis now possesses my headshot and a brief personal statement somewhere in their archives.
More huggable than rugged with an often absurdist sense of humor, companies aren’t exactly lining up to sponsor my Instagram account.
The more I thought about why I was drawn to this silly idea, the more I began to realize this was my rebellion. I never doubted for a second that I wouldn’t be anything close to a contender to get on the ABC reality juggernaut. More huggable than rugged with an often absurdist sense of humor, companies aren’t exactly lining up to sponsor my Instagram account. But in this insane age where superficial dating apps enable split second judgments, it’s crucial you believe you’re worth paying attention to if you want any chance of being noticed. After spending a majority of my adult life harboring a defeatist attitude to protect myself from any unexpected pain, if I don’t believe somebody who’s silly and tries to treat people decently is worth considering for this mega-franchise, nobody else ever will.
But at the same time, I did it because it was just a silly thing to do. Because these contests and races for “happy endings,” whether on TV or your social media apps, seem so important when in actuality they’re just their own type of distraction. They’ll almost certainly say no or won’t ever even respond to the application I whipped up in 15 minutes, but that’s the only thing at stake. I still have to find some way to make a little happiness for myself, but at the very least I’m not going to be afraid to ask. And if I do somehow end up in a rose ceremony, hopefully by being there I can convince some folks to take their own romantic journeys a little less seriously too.