Tag Archives: love. random

What If I Went?

My latest television obsession is The Week the Women Went. I stumbled across it while I was flipping channels and the premise intrigued me. Basically, the shows produces found a small town entrenched in stereotypical, traditional roles. Most of the women were stay-at-home mothers and their husbands worked long hours or worked away from the home. The mothers took care of the majority of the housework and child rearing and the fathers worked hard so they could do so. The women who worked were hands-on business owners who were an integral part of both their business and their home.  Then the producers removed all of the women (age 18 or older) from the town for one week; leaving the men and children to fend for themselves.

The producers throw in some usual occurrence oddities, like a little girls beauty pageant, which the fathers have to take care of, thus throwing them even more out of their comfort zone. Two of the guys decide to tag team and live together for the week; which sounds good in theory, but sometimes less is more – especially when it comes to 15 month old children.

One young man (who still lives at home with Mama) proposes to his girlfriend just as the women are leaving. The poor girl says yes and then boards a train with her future mother-in-law (who didn’t know the proposal was going to take place) and leaves for what could prove to be a very interesting period of getting to know her future family.

There is a single mother on the show. She leaves her three kids (two girls age 15 and 12 and a son who is not much younger than that) with her boyfriend of 7 months; a young, handsome, never-been-married Marine. I don’t have a young, hot boyfriend with whom I could leave my kids, so they would have to stay somewhere else.  It will be interesting to see what happens with this particular family. The marine, age 24, doesn’t qualify to date me based on my Chronological Chart of Eligibility. Corey’s Chronological Chart of Eligibility basically states that 1) in order to be dateable, a man must be at least double the age of my oldest child and 2) must not have a single son who also falls into this age group. Nothing is more awkward than dumping a guy for his kid, so I find it best not to put myself in that situation. Anyway, this Marine is not even double the age of his new teenage charge, therefore I’m not sure I would have left her with him, but to each his own. Either he is going to man up and be the marrying type, or he is going to request a transfer to a new base before the week is halfway through.

My first thought when I started watching was that the men would be crying in no time and the children would realize just how amazing their mothers were. But before the first episode was over, I started to wonder if that is what would really pan out. I think the men will gain a new appreciation for the women in their lives, but what about the women? How will they survive this week away? Then the horrible question popped into my head, “What would happen if I went?”

I’m a business owner and single mother of two boys. I get the kids dressed and fed and off to school, open and run my business, pick them up from school, help with homework, grocery shop, pick up from football practice and volunteer at the school – all while training a puppy! I’m Wonder Woman, right? I know two parent families who don’t juggle as much as I do in a week. My world would fall apart if I left for a week…or would it?

I suppose my children would stay with their father, or perhaps my parents. I could write payroll checks and write up daily plans for my store and leave it with my employees. But unlike the women on the show who have the majority of their identity based in being a wife and mother, I am used to being away from my kids. They visit their father every other weekend and for a few weeks over the summer. I enjoy my free time and am not one to pine away and wonder what the little angels are doing without me.

The part that scares me is the curiosity – fear, even – that someone else can not only do what I do, but do it better. What if the kids do better in school? What if they don’t fight as much with each other? What if they drop five pounds or start cleaning their room or worse; what if they figure out that I’m not that good at being a mom? What if sales increase at my store? What if shoppers enjoy it more when I’m not there? What if the atmosphere is better? What if the displays are more creative? What if the only thing keeping my good life from being great is me?

The Week the Women Went airs on Tuesday nights at 9:00 Central on Lifetime, and I’ll be tuning in each week as this social experiment unfolds. I’m a little apprehensive to watch, since most of the reality television I watch makes me feel better about myself – you know, the girls on the Bachelor are cuter than me, but they aren’t usually that bright – but this show has already proved to be a catalyst for some deep thought and self reflection. I hope that by the conclusion, I have learned as much as the actual people in the experiment. Or at least maybe I’ll learn how to get a 24 year old Marine to date me.


Five Reasons Southern Girls Don’t Get Punched in the Face

Over the past few years, I suppose I’ve had my fair share of antics, and every now and again, I’m even told that I should have my own reality show. But to date, Andy Cohen hasn’t called me, so I’ve devoted my time to running a small boutique. I think I’m at least as interesting as the Real Housewives and maybe even the Jersey Shore people, but still – no television show. Now that I’ve thought about it, I have decided the problem isn’t me, per se, the issue is that I don’t ever get punched in the face. It seems like more fights break out on reality TV shows than at hockey games, so that must be the crucial missing element to my life. The issue this poses for me is that I will more than likely never be punched in the face. Why, you ask? Because I’m Southern, and Southern girls don’t get punched in the face. Seriously. They don’t. So in an effort to explain why I don’t have my own reality television show, here are the top five reasons Southern girls rarely, if ever, get punched in the face.

  1. Southern girls don’t talk badly about people. Oh, we talk, but we don’t say anything bad. For instance, Olivia may leave the Gatsby and head to a bar with friends. While there, she may see one of her arch enemies and decide to speak badly about said nemesis. Southern girls; we just don’t do that. Our Mamas taught us if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. We would never flat out say that some girl was a fat cow. First and foremost, that girl is most assuredly friends with a chick named Karma, and we have no desire to meet up with her in a dark alley. Therefore, we would simply and nicely say something like, “I declare, if it doesn’t look like Stephanie accidentally tripped and swallowed a washing machine, bless her heart.” You see, poor Stephanie isn’t fat. Oh, no! She just looks fat. And we are just calling a spade a spade; and there is nothing mean or malicious about pointing out the obvious. We are more than happy to help out others by making excuses for them such as, “It must be that time of the month, God love her, as she looks swole up something awful.” A mean girl would never cut a rival slack like that and help justify their portly appearance. That’s why they get punched in the face.
  2. All groups of Southern girls – yes, Southern girls travel in groups – have at least one member who look like they accidentally tripped and swallowed a washing machine. She is usually the funny one with a cute face that everyone clamors over and wants to stand next to in group pictures. Have you ever heard of one of those trainers at Sea World getting involved in a riot and getting punched in the face? Of course not. And do you know why that is? Because they hang out with Shamu. And nobody messes with Shamu. Did that Sea World trainer look at your boyfriend funny? Did she accidentally knock over your bar stool? That’s okay. No worries. Let it go! Why? Because she’s standing next to Shamu, that’s why.
  3. Southern girls carry guns. That’s right, guns. Not mace or pepper spray or Tasers or Duct tape (although we usually have some of that, too), but guns. And we actually carry them. We don’t leave them in our purse, or store them in the glove box of the car, or put them on the top shelf of our closet; we carry them in sleek, form-fitting holsters that fit right into the back waistband of our designer jeans. There is one in the chamber and plenty more in the clip, and we use high quality hollow point bullets. Only the best for us, baby, and we have a spare clip ready so we don’t ever find ourselves in that terrible position by which we break a freshly manicured nail because we had to reload in haste. Now, do you know anyone who would intentionally take a fist to a gun fight? I didn’t think so.
  4. Southern girls know how to handle drunk assholes. Now, I promised my Daddy I would try not to cuss so much, but dammit, there is no other word for some of these people. See, if you’re a girl it is inevitable that at some point in your life you will get hit on by a non-desirable. Your chances increase greatly if the guy is drunk, and your chances seriously increase if you are Southern. I’d like to say we don’t get punched in the face because the world is filled with chivalrous gentlemen, but considering there is a well- known saying, “Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince,” this is just not statistically feasible. The thing is, a Southern girl would never yell at some guy to get his filthy hands off of her when he grabs her arm and says something like, “I bet you could really heat things up if you took off that dress.” We would politely tilt our chin down and look up at him through our lashes and smile as we respond, “Oh, Honey, I assure you, when I take my pistol out and help you meet the devil, you’re going to be so hot you won’t be able to handle it.” Guys dig honey coated speech, regardless of what is being said. And drunk, stupid guys are usually too distracted by the lashes and the pad of our index finger at the top of their collar as we give them a shove backward that the morons don’t even realize they are getting turned down. Therefore, we get hit on, but never hit.
  5. In the South, everybody knows your Mama. I don’t care if you work at Wal-Mart or own the bank, if you’re from the South; everybody knows your Mama. They have gone to Sunday School with her for 47 years, or they play bridge with her at the Club, or somebody once dropped a big stack of mail in front of the post office and your Mama jumped out of her car and helped them pick it all up. But trust me; somewhere, somehow, some way – everybody knows your Mama. If you think for one instance that you can punch a poor, sweet Southern Girl in the face and her Mama won’t know about it before your hand finishes it’s follow-through, you are sorely mistaken. And the only thing worse than a woman scorned is a crossed up Southern Mama whose little darling doodle-pie just got punched in the face. She will bring the full fury of hell upon you in front of God and everybody, and then when she is done; she will call your own Mama and tell her to come pick you up.

So in summary, I’ve never been punched in the face and I don’t have a reality show. But not to despair; I know over 47 analogies for fat people, I’ve got a great group of friends, a swell pistol, fantastic eyelashes and everybody knows my Mama.

Princess Anne

I moved to Gulf Shores the weekend before my senior year. To me, at age seven-teen, this was very traumatic. I found myself having to take typing to graduate. I was in a class taught by “Miss K.” She was a prissy old southern gal who strolled around the room saying, “Busy your fingers! Busy your fingers!” and would then retire to her desk in the back of the class to touch up her makeup. I was nervous as could be my first day of school. I was doing a pretty good job at blending into the furniture when Miss K jumped up and ran over to me. She exclaimed, “Oh, Honey, you’re in the wrong class! This is Typing I!” I just looked at her. She went on, “There has been a mistake. We will just have to get this straight right now!”

The problem apparently was that I was typing too fast. She assumed I had taken the class before and should have been in Typing II. I explained I had indeed never taken typing and promised I would slow down if it would make her happy. She began a barrage of questions that I answered as best I could and after a few minutes, she told me that people who play the piano can often type fabulously and that I was obviously gifted. She then said there was no need to waste my time with the busy exercises, so why didn’t I find some way to amuse myself until test day. As we were talking, a girl with the curliest blond hair I had ever seen was also finished with her assignment and sat there staring at Miss K and myself. The teacher noticed she was not typing and told her to busy her fingers! Miss K noticed that she too had completed her assignment. I looked up at Miss K with my most convincing face and said, “She’s with me. We’re both amazingly gifted.” Miss K responded, “What shade of lipstick are you wearing? It’s absolutely divine! Well, you two run along, but don’t get caught on campus because I’ll sell you out faster than I would my mother!” So my friendship with Anne began.

Anne had lived in Gulf Shores a few days. It seems that it is just as devastating to move the week before your tenth grade year as it is your senior year. Anne named me The Queen since I was truly in charge of everything around me. I named her my Princess and promised her that one-day a young Prince would come and take her away from it all. Our relationship grew from there. She made what I predicted to be a terrible year a blast. I went off to college at the end of the year, but we remained as close as could be. When she graduated, she joined me at Auburn University. This is when our friendship deepened.

We were both independent and wanted our own space, but we often would stay over at the other’s house. Shortly after school started, Anne hit me with some news. She had colon cancer. She had been diagnosed as a child and was not expected to live as long as she had. She had not told many people and wanted to keep it quiet. She didn’t like the way people changed toward her when they found out about her illness. She told me, however, because she needed me. She had come out of remission. The next year was the longest of my life. Anne was the only person I knew that slept less than I did. And we had many a sleepless night. I still attended classes and would take care of her the best I could between them. We got her a puppy so that she wouldn’t be alone when I was gone. Lady was a black lab. She really perked Anne up. But there were many things Lady couldn’t do. That’s where I came in.

Although we still kept separate living arrangements, there were times when I wouldn’t leave her house for a month. Anne was the strongest person I had known. I watched her beautiful blond curls get limp and fade. I remember the night she brought me the scissors and asked me to cut her hair short. I swear I could hear that first strand of hair as it hit the floor. Anne could read faster than anything. She would go through ten to twelve books a day. I think I bought every book the used bookstore had in stock.

Chemotherapy was cruel to Anne. I watched her weight drop and her smile fade. I held her through the night while she cried until she couldn’t find anymore tears. I would cook her favorite meals and feed her only to have it thrown up all over us. I bathed her and carried her outside so she could watch Lady run. But through it all she had dignity and grace and pride. Anne is amazing. My most vivid memory of her is the two of us sitting on the bathroom floor at five in the morning; both of us covered in blood and vomit. She looked at me and smiled with her eyes. “I’m a Princess!” she said; then drifted into sleep with the corners of her mouth turned up.

She is back in remission now. She was even well enough to spend a week in Charleston with our friend, Denise, and me for my birthday the year after graduation. Having Anne back to her old vibrant self was quite the birthday gift. That Prince I promised her hasn’t arrived yet. But whoever he is, he’s the luckiest man alive.

***Anne is alive and well. She did find her Prince. She does really read like a house-a-fire. And we did get to skip every Typing I class that wasn’t a test day.

Anne and Denise and me on our Charleston trip.

The Bachelorette: Episode Seven

Taiwan: where it seems everything is made. In tonight’s episode, I wondered if they made backless shirts and jeggings in Taiwan, because Ashley kicked up her donning of both items to a new high.

Groban I and Groban II got the first two one-on-one dates tonight. Ashley and Constantine boarded the train to Hogwarts where they wrote magical wishes on hot air balloons and let them go into the sky. I don’t think they were really at Hogwarts, but there was a train and balloons. I got so distracted by the perfectly tailored short-sleeved cowboy looking shirt that Constantine wore that I have no idea what else happened on the date. But it would be hard to tell where one date ended and the other started with the Groban boys. Groban II embraced his excitement about the upcoming Tom Hanks film, Larry Crowne, and hopped on his scooter and declared that he and Ashley were “Going places.” I’m not sure where they went, but before I knew it, it was dark outside and they were drinking wine. Ashley proved once again that she knows nothing about wine when she declared for the second time on a date with Ben, “This wine tastes like the wine you brought me the first night!” Um, yeah, Ashley, all white wine does not taste like the wine Ben brought you. For some reason, Ben doesn’t come home that night. I assume he stayed up all night trying to explain bouquet and undertones to Ashley.

The group date appeared to be as much fun as a root canal. (Ironic, considering Ashley is a “dentist.”) JP, or as I like to call him, the winner, was super pissed off that his future wife was going out with other guys and going on a group date with two of them was not high on his list. If the William Wedding Weirdness in Vegas wasn’t enough for you, then you surely ate up the group date. The guys dressed in different styles of wedding wear and had their photos taken with Ashley. As painful as it was to watch, it was totally worth it to hear JP describe Ames as the “offspring of an ostrich and Elton John.” Ames also brought a bunch of childhood photos to use in his campaign for a home town date. In the most shocking event of the season, Ames discarded his traditional white pants for a pair of red pants. Clearly, he is a rebel. JP gets the rose and then he perks up.

Ryan got the last one-on-one date. They went to this temple where they made wishes on these rocks and threw them to the god of matchmakers – or something stupid like that. Then they threw the rocks and they landed in a way that indicated their wishes would not come true. Ryan gave Ashley an eco-green lesson about tankless water heaters and bored Ashley to the point that she can’t stand him another minute and tells him she doesn’t want to meet his parents. He cries like a baby in his pink shirt and runs into the bushes to cuss and have some alone time. Or maybe he was hugging a tree. Who knows?

Lucas is super excited about the cocktail party because he feels like he’s on the fence and needs time with Ashley.  Too bad, so sad, Lucas – there will be no cocktail party tonight. It looks like the boys back in Odessa won’t be reliving the feeling of victory like they did back in 1988 as chronicled in the book Friday Night Lights. Nope, it looks like this boy from Odessa is going home a loser.

Episode 7

In case you couldn’t make it to your television because you were camped out at the magazine stand waiting for the latest Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue to go on sale, here is your weekly re-cap of what happened on ABC’s the Bachelor.

Ah, Anguilla, a tropical paradise where anyone could fall in love. Except for two lovely ladies, that is. This episode started with the Anguilla Tourism Board getting their promotional consideration. The girls hopped on a plane and headed over separately from Brad. They showed a little map with the icon of a commercial airliner flying over from Costa Rica to Anguilla. It reminded me of Indian Jones movies, except he wasn’t on a Delta 747. Where the hell did that plane land? Anguilla doesn’t look long enough to have a landing strip for a plane that size. I found myself daydreaming about the plane crashing into the water and the girls having to use their breasts as flotation devices. That’s when Ashley said that Anguilla felt like it was “straight out of Bay Watch.” Right then I knew this would be the “most controversial season ever!”

Someone has never told Chris Harrison that if you roll your clothes before you pack them that they will resist wrinkling. Nor have they taught him how to use an iron. He meets the women and tells them that this week there will be a total of three one on one dates and one group date. The individual dates will not offer a rose, but the group date will. I’m sure he probably said other stuff, but I spent the whole time looking at Michelle’s shirt. Was that Spanish moss on her boobs? What is that? Why would she wear that? It was like a poly-cotton Rorschach test.

Emily got the first one on one date. She starts out with her new signature side braid. Brad picked her up and she was wearing a swim suit with a cute, little, sheer, black cover up. They were having a glass of champagne when the helicopter arrived. She told Brad to “shut up” for the first of many times during this date. Her continuous use of the phrase is just one more reason to like her. Those other chicks that break out with the “oh my good gosh gollys” just get on my nerves. He also says the word ass in front of her. When they are together it feels like he is less censored and more genuine. Anyway, after their Magnum PI tour of the area, they go to their own private island named “Sandy Island.” It’s this island about the size of my kitchen in the middle of crystal blue water. They are dropped off alone (except for the camera people, sound guy, whoever the hell cooks their dinner, the dude that makes the fire, etc.) and have a picnic. Brad is all tense and nervous. Both of them are wet during the conversation so either they went swimming and we didn’t see that part or they are both just very sweaty. Brad tells her that he cares for her more than he should say. The sun goes down and they have a private dinner by a fire on the beach. It looks like they’ve showered and changed clothes, although I’m not sure where they did that on the 10 by 10 square foot island. Brad asks if he would be able to meet Ricky if he went to her home town. She just isn’t sure. She’s very torn over it. Brad says that he knows he isn’t supposed to do this, but he doesn’t care about the rules. He wants her to know that she will be getting a rose this week and that he wants to come to her hometown. I guess she was happy with this because they make out in the surf.

Britt gets super upset when the date card comes for Shawntel. At this point, Britt is the only girl that has not had a one on one date. Shawntel is excited to get the date and confessed that if she were like Britt and hadn’t had a date that she would “go crazy like some of the girls here.” For their date, they start with a bike ride to the farmer’s market. Shawntel acts like at trip to the farmer’s market is her end all, be all idea of the best date ever. But this chick hangs out with dead people, so I suppose we shouldn’t expect too much. Oh, and she is rocking the Emily side braid. They drink something out of some sort of fruit or vegetable (vodka, maybe?) and then we see them jumping rope on the street and playing dominoes. I’m confused. Are they still in Anguilla or did they ride their bikes to Harlem? Anyway, they meet Aunt Jemima on the side of the road and she imparts a precious pearl of wisdom to them, “hold hands and kiss and tell your parents before you get married.” Thank you oh wise one. We shall all take that clever insight to heart. Next we see the couple walking with nice wine glasses into a little area with baby goats (aka next month’s street vendor gyros) where they have a picnic. Shawntel tells Brad that she’s falling in love with him. Brad then confesses that all other girls are now compared to the sliding scale of Emily.

At dinner, Shawntel reiterates that she’s falling for him. Brad talks about his father leaving him when he was four years old and then confesses that this is eye-opening to him. He is surprised that he can talk about personal stuff with Shawntel that he can’t even talk to his brother about. It starts raining (Wait, it’s the wrong Chantal) and they make out. Then they are treated to a concert by Bankie Banx, a reggae singer, known as the “Anguillan Bob Dylan.” Apparently, he’s not into intimate performances like “Mr. Seal” because all these random tourists show up for the concert as well. For the first time I can remember in Bachelor history, we see the couple drinking beer directly from a bottle and then they go for a dip in the ocean. When they strip to their swimsuits, I was momentarily blinded by the sequined top Shawntel had on, but then I clearly focused in on her lower back tattoo. I was magically transported to the SNL skit about lower back tattoo removal and souvenirs from Jamaica.

Britt gets the last one on one date of the episode which prompts Michelle to start her crazy analogies about sinking ships. Brad picks her up on a yacht which makes all the other girls jealous. Michele confesses that it’s a waste of a one on one date and that she doesn’t even think Brad and Britt would be Facebook friends, much less husband and wife. As soon as the two are on the boat, they are in swimwear with drinks in hand. They start the date with some cliff jumping. Britt is terrified “as normal” but has to “do it for the relationship.” After jumping, they swim back to the boat. We are treated to a shot of scurrying crew in black outfits ducking down at the top of the boat. It was like they were being attacked by secret service. I was hoping it was going to turn into a Jason Bourne movie, but instead it was just Brad and Britt sitting on the beach. Brad tries not to yawn while Britt provides voice-over about how she is scared of rejection. Why the hell did she come on this show if she is scared of rejection? Is it like people that sky dive to get over a fear of heights? Brad confesses that they are in an amazing, romantic place but he has no urge to kiss her and hope that they will find a romantic connection over dinner. However, even though Britt is wearing a slip at the dinner table, they continue to talk about the weather. Brad confesses again that she is really sweet but that there is no romantic chemistry. He tells her that it was a nice day, but wants her to know that he doesn’t have romantic feelings for her and doesn’t see a future with her. Of course, she interrupts him about fifty times, so it takes him a million years to get it out. He tells her it’s time to say goodbye. Poor girl went from thinking “no rose; no pressure” to see you later, alligator. Or in this case, see you never, alligator. The girls greet Britt at the door and she tells them that she needs to pack because it’s not there for them. She starts crying, packs her stuff and leaves.

At this point, we are treated to the highlight of the entire night. We get to see an awesome commercial for a cell phone. In the commercial, there is this chick in a tree outside of a guy’s bedroom window. She looks remarkably like Michelle and starts the voice-over with “Brad and I just had the best first date, I think he’s the one” or something to that effect. But dude’s name is Brad. She then talks about using her phone to stalk him on his Flickr account and Four Square check ins, follow him on twitter and send her mom pictures of him. The tag line: Go Crazy on Android. Best played and placed advertisement in the history of man.

At 2:07 a.m., Brad goes to the girls’ house and wakes up Ashley, Chantal and Michelle to leave for the group date. None of them is thrilled with being awakened or being filmed without make-up. The girls find out they are being photographed for the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue. The girls get their hair and make-up done and Chantal starts freaking out in confessional voice-over about feeling fat. At sun up, they all go down to the beach and meet the photographer. They photograph Ashley and she takes her top off and covers he non-existent boobs with shells. Chantal continues the voice-over about feeling like a lard. Sure enough, when she takes her top off with little to no encouragement, she really does look tubby standing there. When she is laying down, she looks fine, but she’s looking pretty preggers in the side shots. Brad declares it all awkward and Michelle claims she is not so easily persuaded [to take her top off]. She also decides she wants Brad in her photos and the two of them set out to recreate the famous beach scene in “From Here to Eternity” while the other girls stand there watching them wondering “what the hell?” Michelle claims her photo was a 15 on the hotness scale of one to ten. Brad realizes quickly that this date is going down hill and admits he went too far by kissing Michelle in front of the other girls.

He spends the afternoon doing damage control with Ashley and Chantal. We discover Chantal also has a back tattoo which consists of some oriental lettering. (Oh, by the way, in case you care, Brad’s tattoo of a cross has the word Prosapia over it. This means family in Latin. Either family means a lot to him, or he’s hoping to hook up with sisters at some point.)  Brad tells Michelle that he thinks they may be too much alike and that he thinks she may be too volatile. She gets defensive, but agrees they are a lot alike. Brad tells Chantal that he’s trying to be respectful and not closed off. He confesses that he knows the girls’ walls are going up and he is fearful that giving a rose will do more harm than good.  After calling it the date from hell, he talks again to Ashley.  She says she doesn’t want to go home from there and is freaking out that he’s going to send her packing like Britt. He excuses himself and she flips out even more. He returns with the rose and she becomes all smiles and rainbows, calls him Babe and runs to hug him. He tells her to trust in what they have. Meanwhile, Chantal and Michelle are beyond pissed off. Chantal starts crying. Brad begs her to talk to him while Ashley whispers sweet nothings in her ear. Michelle and Ashley exit and Chantal tells Brad that if he can’t choose her over two other girls then to just send her home. He tries to encourage her and tells her it is all about timing and reminds her that there are more roses coming that night. They hug it out and she waddles off.

The girls arrive for the cocktail party barefoot. Apparently, none of them have ever heard of hookworms. They settle in with some wine and start to wonder where Brad is. We see Brad chatting with Chris Harrison (thank goodness, he is no longer in that wrinkled shirt). Brad tells Chris that he doesn’t need a rose ceremony because he already knows who he is sending home. Chris tries to reason with him, but Brad’s mind is set. Chris goes and tells the girls to meet him on the beach as there will be no cocktail party that night. Michelle confesses that she needed the time to “pull Brad back in.” Chantal is scared out of her mind and feels like she’s going home. Ashley is wearing pants. Smart girl; she already has a rose, so why waste a good dress.

Brad tells the women that he promised them in the beginning that as soon as he knew for sure one way or another about them, that he would tell them and this is why there was no cocktail party. He says his goodbyes to the unnamed girl before giving out the roses. He also tells them that he is 100% confident in his decision. As Chantal freaks out and Michelle  blinks her eyes in slow motion, the roses are handed out to Emily and then Shawntel. Chantal looks like her head is going to pop off and Michelle is now slow motion blinking with sideways glances. The final rose goes to Chantal. Michelle looks stunned then smiles. She hugs the girls and walks past Brad. He follows her out, darting around her like a puppy, trying to hold her hand and talk to her. She ignores his attempts, says she doesn’t want to talk and gets in the car. Brad confesses that there was a ton of physical attraction with Michelle, but that he knew it would fade and he’d only be left with crazy. As the limo drives away, Michelle lays down in the back seat and blinks herself to sleep.

Brad returns to the beach to toast with the women. They all raise a glass to their families in anticipation of the hometown dates.

And that’s what happened on the Bachelor.

(P.S. The annual Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue hits news stands Tuesday, February 15th.)