Mama Always Gets the First Kiss (or, Meeting Rachel’s Family: A Bachelorette Story)

Finally! An episode of the Bachelorette without major emotional stakes! Rachel took the final three members of her Dude Herd back to Dallas to meet the family this week, and there was the return of Copper, the (unrelated) appearance of a wine dungeon, and absolutely no life lessons lessons learned. All that is to say, we are swimming once more in familiar water– that tepid pond of fairy-tale delusion that is our regular milieu.

IT’S ABOUT TIME!

Someone cut the crusts off Peter, because that dude is toast. Oh boy. This was a real roller coaster ride of a week for our man Pedro.

First, he wears some truly fantastic maroon joggers and sells them super hard. Peter, when Rachel cuts you next week, put those back on and CALL ME.

Second, Rachel takes him shopping for baby clothes. The pre-family-meeting activity Rachel takes each of these dudes on is reflective of what she wants wrt/how she feels about them. Subconsciously she knows what is clear to the rest of us– Peter’s her best bet for baking up some near-term baby batter.

Third, Peter and Rachel are awarded a dubious-looking wine dungeon! How romantic!

Then Peter meets the Lindsays and crushes it pretty hard. Unlike Rachel, the remainder of the family appears to be practical, i.e. skeptical of a person’s ability to fall in love in two months on a television show. Which is why they are so pleased with Peter, who doubles down on the honesty and says he may not be willing to propose at the end of this grand experiment.

On the one hand, this gives Peter a big advantage with the fam. They were burned once before by the introduction to Vile Viall, and they take a real shine to a guy with some (gasp) perspective. Which has the added benefit of not just making Peter more popular with them, but of making them hate Bryan for the mounds of horseshit that fall out every time he opens his mouth. He salts the earth behind him and IT IS GLORIOUS.

But unfortunately, it will also be his undoing. Because, Rachel did not PUT HER CAREER ON PAUSE and GO ON NATIONAL TV TWICE to find a boyfriend! She has EARNED a proposal and SHE IS GOING TO GET IT. This makes Peter deeply uncomfortable, to the point that he looks constipated.

The thing is, I can see where Rachel is coming from. There’s a real power in someone being very, very into you. And on this show, early declarations of love and proposals are proxies for the certainty of being wanted and prioritized. Rachel must want Peter real bad– because she tries to give him an out, telling him that a proposal doesn’t have to mean getting married! It can just be committing to seeing where things go, but with a Neil Lane engagement ring on her finger! But Peter stands firm, and tells her that he cannot be sure enough to propose after such a short amount of time.

Alas. This exercise of good judgment– the very thing that makes Peter the best husband material of the entire Dude Herd– will be his undoing. Rachel is “devastated” at his reaction and his refusal to cave and give her this empty shell of a proposal. I foresee imminent doom. We will miss you, Peter, vaya con dios.

She’ll probably be fine if she picks Eric instead, but of course she will not. There’s not too much to say about Eric this week because he remains perfectly delightful and does not inspire any egregious princess-oriented stupidity from Rachel. (I will say– she did look pretty relaxed after a night in the fantasy suite with Eric. If she finds Bryan’s skills in that department lacking– which I would not find surprising– perhaps Eric has a shot after all!)

I understand why she will not pick him– nor should she, really, it seems unwise under most circumstances for a person to become engaged and/or married to the first person they “love,” especially when that love is the product of two months on a reality TV series.  Even though Rachel will assuredly break is heart, I think Eric will benefit from this experience insofar as he has seemed to have grown significantly as an individual and is better positioned to find lasting happiness in a relationship.

Also, his sweetness in asking for Mrs. Lindsay’s blessing to propose might or might not have made it rain on my normally frigid face. And his dramatic reading of the fantasy suite card was delightful. I just need him to stop referring to Rachel in the third person in front of her, and then we’ll be golden.

Hey Rachel, the red flag store called– Bryan bought their whole inventory. Ok, that was a pretty unsuccessful Seinfeld reference. But I stand by it, because Bore-yan had quite the week this week. Not only did he say, and I quote, “Mama always gets the first kiss,” he puts it right out there that his mother is “the #1 woman in my life.”

So the Lindsays have seen the footage of Rachel’s hometown date with Bryan, right? Because they really zeroed in on the mama drama and IT WAS GREAT. Rachel’s mom did everything but give him the “if Rachel and your mom are in a rowboat and it starts to sink” hypothetical, and Rachel is PISSED. No matter what questions they ask Boryan, he has a gross, slick answer about loving her and knowing immediately that they were meant to be…

What the Lindsay clan knows immediately is that Boryan is a big ol’ d-bag. Apparently Rachel also picked up on that at first, but the magic power of his lips was too strong and overwhelmed all reason and good judgment. Because despite the fact that Mrs. Lindsay point blank says that she does not believe it’s possible to fall in love in such a short time, Rachel believes that her feelings are REAL and she is NOT in a bubble, thank you very much. She clearly chose him to be the one to meet her friends because she wanted some girl support to back up her desire to lock down what she perceives as his hotness (I say perceives because to me Boryan is a bunch of facial hair on a sentient grease stain). Ultimately her family gives up and realizes that they should keep their traps shut, because Rachel’s heart wants what it wants and for a smart person, she is determined to act awfully stupid. Ah well, I have resigned myself to howling in disappointment and aggravation at my TV in two weeks and then to hoping that the next Bachelor is either Dean or Eric.

Lagniappe

  • All these dudes are wearing denim shirts to go to Texas. Subliminal wardrobe choice? I will say that thanks to Rachel wearing the hell out of one, I now understand the appeal of the cold-shoulder tops that have been foisted upon us by every fast fashion retailer in 2017.
  • Rachel’s sister Constance is a super-hot pregnant lady. As long as we are making women feel bad about themselves through reality TV, why don’t we give her a show in which she tells other women how to stay hot and not let themselves get gross and disgusting when they’re baking a baby? Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you have to get fat, ladies!
  • I know they’re being egged on by producers and aren’t allowed to do anything other than get in each others’ business, but it’s still nice to know that dudes can be gossipy fools too.
  • I don’t think Rachel realizes that the Dude Herd is way dumber than she is. She’s a lawyer who is accustomed to using words with some measure of precision, ergo, she views the phrase “falling in love” as distinct from “being in love.” Ugh, Rachel, these dudes are not subtle. They hear you say you are “falling in love” with them and their brains process this as “SHE WANTS ME TO WIIIIIIFE HERRRRRRRRR!” These are not men with whom you can paint with all the colors of the wind.
  • Thank goodness, Rachel’s makeup is so much better in Dallas. She must know that her makeup has been criminal because she has toned it down A LOT in anticipation of seeing her family. She’s still wearing a lot, clearly, but she no longer looks like she’s going to be crushed under the weight of her false eyelashes.
  • That vineyard was enough to convince me to stay far away from Spain. If there’s even a 1% chance that an old dude will sing aggressively at me while I stand awkwardly with my new boyfriend…. no thank you. Add in creepily silent children and wine stomped with UNWASHED FEET and NOPE. I am NOT there for this.
  • Speaking of wine– where on earth does Peter’s family store all those corks?!?!?

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