There’s a few things I want to say about this season of The Bachelorette.
(This may sound familiar if you follow me on Twitter).
If I was the Bachelorette. . .
- Everyone named Luke has to go home immediately.
- Peter never makes it past the first episode.
- If one of the contestants made an entrance having the producers deliver him in a big box during the intro episode, I would simply not open the box.
- Anyone who introduces themself with “I’m king of the jungle and I’m hoping we can change your title to My Queen” has to leave immediately because Cersei takes no kings.
- But if he introduces himself with his mouth full of a hotdog that he’s eating, he gets to stay because I’d probably do that too.
- I would turn the first group date into a Chopped competition where Alex Guarnaschelli and I are the only judges. The theme would be nachos.
- All of the solo dates would take place in a spa and begin with 90-minute massages. Any attempt at romantically switching places with the professional massage therapist will be considered voluntary terminations.
- At least one group date would be a Quickfire Challenge where everyone has to make a different type of bruschetta. There will be no Last Chance Kitchen.
- Some of the group dates will be technical challenges that I’d kick off by screeching, “ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET, BAKE!”
I’ve caught myself judging Hannah harshly for her choices. It’s easy to say what I would do if I were the Bachelorette. But then I remembered what it was like to date and figure myself out in my early 20’s. I’m grateful I could do this privately. Simply being a woman who dares to have a social media presence is challenging enough, let alone working through all of this stuff on national television.
I feel helpless watching episodes of The Bachelorette, like I do viewing horror movies. Instead of shouting, “Don’t go upstairs!” I’m hollering, “Hannah, that’s a red flag!” and “Don’t give him a rose!”
Those of us who grew-up in a denomination that prioritized “Purity culture” have dated a Luke. We’ve dated at least one Luke.
In school and church, I wish we had more meaningful conversations about understanding healthy relationships, consent, how our bodies actually work, and having a healthy sense of sexuality and less conversations about “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.”
This week I read something that resonated with me. I’ve been mulling over a tweet that goes something like, “Be the person you needed when you were younger.”
Paula Pell’s brilliant series of tweets she’s shared throughout the years that begin with “Hey Young Girls. . . ” comes to mind. Here are a few of my favorites:
In December 2015 she writes: “Hey Young Girls, be a powerful source of your own light. You are not on the earth only to reflect the light of others.“
And in April of 2015: “Hey Young Girls, you are the original and permanent owner of your mind and body. Always know where your keys are.“
More recently in March 2017, “Hey Young Girls, finish your sentences no matter what look someone is giving you while you speak.“
I admit, as a cruise towards my mid-30’s, I’m feeling compelled to find the perfect retinoid serum and wearing lots and lots of sunscreen. But, still, I like getting older.
At a recent meeting, an icebreaker questions was “Would you rather go backwards in time, or forwards.” Forwards. Definitely, forwards.
With age comes wrinkles and bills and choices that become further complicated. But with age also comes self-assuredness. The development of an unshakable sense of self. Knowing what you do and don’t owe people. Finding your words and then saying them out loud. Feeling a truer sense of autonomy. Some of us learn these things earlier than others and that’s ok.
Maybe I love getting older. Watching women learn and demonstrate these things inspires me.
I’m chasing Stevie Nicks and Roxanne Gay. I’m curiously following Dolly Parton. Younger women are also watching us and we can all become the people we needed when we were younger.