Monica Lewinsky: The Price of Shame

23 03 2015

This TED Talk from Monica Lewinsky has been making the rounds on the internet for the past week week. A friend sent me the link, and initially I thought I wouldn’t be interested, but I found myself completely captivated by Monica’s speech. She is extremely well-spoken and personable while talking about public shaming, scandal, and her infamous affair with then-US President Bill Clinton which made international headlines, saying: “At the age of 22, I fell in love with my boss. At the age of 24, I learned the devastating consequences.” Monica urges viewers to return to the values of compassion and empathy, and touches on the suicide of Tyler Clementi.

Monica Lewinsky: The price of shame

Documentary: Being Mortal

18 03 2015

I recently watched a powerful documentary called ‘Being Mortal.’ To be honest, it took me over five tries to get through it.

Something I’ve not discussed on this blog before is that my father passed away from cancer in 2011. He was my best friend. In the weeks leading up to my dad’s death, I thought a lot about how people confront the end of their lives, and about how medical professionals address death both from a physical and emotional perspective.

When I was in high school I briefly considered pursuing a career as a doctor. The thing that stopped me (aside from all the science classes, not gonna lie) was that I didn’t think I would be able to look someone in the eye and tell them that their mother/father/daughter/son/husband/wife had died. And having to tell someone that they were dying? At 16 – and even today at 32 – that was not a conversation I could picture myself having. I can’t imagine being the bearer of that kind of bad news.

When you think about it, doctors aren’t trained for these kinds of ‘end of life’ conversations. They’re trained to diagnose. They’re trained to manage pain. They’re trained in the latest surgical procedures. They want to give hope but they don’t want to give false hope. What a delicate balance that must be. How difficult it must be to navigate the emotional issues of death, while trying to address the medical ones. How challenging it must be to prepare a terminally ill person for death.

I didn’t have a lot of interaction with doctors when my dad was in the hospital. I did, however, have a lot of contact with the nurses. I will be forever grateful to the nurses who looked after my dad in his last days. I am grateful for the cans of gingerale they brought me. I am grateful for the extra pillows they offered me when I spent the night sleeping on a couch next to my dad’s room. I am grateful for their soothing voices and explanations and ‘here’s what’s going to happen next,’ because they knew I was scared. I am grateful that even though they see people die every day, they never made me feel like my dad was just another patient. After his diagnosis, my father told me he wasn’t afraid to die. I tried not to be afraid that he was dying, but I didn’t succeed. These seemingly small gestures from those nurses made all the difference, reducing a bit of that fear so that I could focus on being with my dad in his final days.

When I think about what it took my mother to get through those weeks, I am in awe of her strength. When I think about the equally difficult tasks she faced after my dad’s death – practical matters like insurance and bills and papers and such, as well as having to go through his belongings – I can barely comprehend how challenging that must have been. To deal with those annoyances and aggravations while grieving the loss of her soul mate and partner seems like it would have been impossible to get through.

I watched my father die. I was holding his left hand when he took his last breath. My mom was there too, holding on to his right hand. We spoke softly to him and told him how much we loved him and that it was okay to let go. In those moments I was never more aware of the fact that we are all mortal.

If you have 54 minutes to spare, I highly recommend watching this video. It’s difficult but powerful. Link below.

Documentary – Being Mortal

Vocal Fry

12 03 2015

The other day I got into a conversation with my office mate about vocal fry. Except I didn’t know at the time that it was called vocal fry. I’ve been referring to it as “that way teenage girls talk now” for the last few years. I was ranting about a group of young girls that were chatting in my gym’s locker room the day before. I found their voices so grating that I actually moved to a different locker as far away as I could get. It was a real “I’m too old for this shit” moment. A few days later I happened to be listening to a This American Life podcast where vocal fry was mentioned, and I finally had a name to put to a voice, so to speak.

A good friend of mine had a roommate a few years back who was the worst offender of vocal fry I’ve ever met. I was having a conversation with her once where she ended a story with the phrase “I was devastated.” With her vocal fry in full effect, these three words stretched out for way longer than necessary. It sounded like: “I was devastaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated.”  Without hesitation I mimicked her vocal fry and responded “yeah, you sound devastaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated.” My stomach lurched when I realized what I’d just done. You see, my fiends and I used to imitate this girl’s voice in private, but I had accidentally let my impersonation slip.  Oops! Luckily it wasn’t my spot-on impression of her (presumed) sex voice, but still! Yeah, we did that.

Vocal fry isn’t new. When I was in high school it was referred to as ‘valley girl’ talk. It’s not the same as up-talking, nor is it the same problem as the chronic overuse of the word ‘like.’  I’m not going to pretend that I haven’t lapsed into vocal fry a few times. There’s something so easy about it. Like the vocal equivalent of a sedative washed down with a glass of merlot. And it’s what everyone sounds like now. I hear it on the subway, at the grocery store and on TV. The Kardashian family, in particular, are known for their vocal fry; in fact, they are frequently cited as not only the biggest abusers of vocal fry, but the source of its increased popularity.

Vocal fry is so prevalent, I suspect that in ten years from now it will be the norm. Can you imagine going to a doctor who speaks with vocal fry? Delivering your baby with the assistance of a vocally fried nurse who tells you “push haaaaaaaaaaaarder.” I can’t even.




RECAP: The Bachelor (Chris) – Finale and After the Final Rose

10 03 2015

Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on the finale episode of Chris Soules’ season of The Bachelor (original air date: Monday, March 9, 2015).

“After all the tears, after all the heartbreak…it all comes down to just two women: Whitney and Becca,” host Chris Harrison announces, kicking off the live finale event of The Bachelor. With a packed studio audience on the edge of their seats with lips glossed and stilettos cutting off circulation, it’s time to find out who Bachelor Chris Soules chooses. Will it be Becca, the hottie who’s never been in love nor penetrated? Or Whitney, the perky fertility nurse with a cartoon voice who is ready to get married and have a million of Chris’ babies, like, now.

Chris is back home in teeny tiny Arlington, Iowa, hanging out with his parents and sisters who he kind of never shuts up about. I guess when you live in such a dustbowl of a community, your family are basically your entire social network. “Just tell me which one to pick,” he half-begs.

Whitney arrives in Arlington armed with wine and flowers. “I just want you to know how much I love you,” she tells Chris before heading inside. “Gosh darn am I freaking nervous,” she admits in her voice over. First impressions are super positive, and she makes nice with the kiddies lounging about and family members above the age of 5 too. Whitney blends, seeming like part of the family already. Since their wedding crashing date, her and Chris have just seemed like a natural fit. Whitney talks and talks and talks and gushes about how in love she is and how excited she is to meet everyone. The sisters are smitten with Whitney, and when they pull her aside to chat their number one concern is about Whitney possibly re-locating to Iowa. “Love is the most important,” she assures them. When Whitney tells the sisters that she “can’t wait to call someone mom and dad again,” you can almost hear them planning their coordinated bridesmaids dresses for a Chris-Whitney union. It’s unanimous: the sisters love Whitney, even saying “there’s something about you…”

Later, Chris’s sisters ask him about Becca, as in ‘Whitney is totally the one, right? Becca can’t be better than Whitney!’ “There’s a certain chemistry I have with (Becca),” Chris insists. “He can’t articulate what he loves about her yet,” one of the sisters comments. Sounds like he’s still quite torn between the virgin and the non-virgin.

Whitney tells Chris’s mom that he makes her happy from the bottom of her soul (her words, not mine). “I lost my mom ten years ago and I have been waiting to call someone mom,” Whitney gushes, tearing up. “I could take you and love you just like that,” says mom.

When Whitney and Chris say goodbye, she cries again and tells him she’s “counting down” until she can see him again. In her voice over Whitney says she feels confident that she’ll be the next Mrs. Soules. “This girl is perfect,” Chris says. But there’s still Becca.

Time to get a dude’s opinion. Chris gathers with the menfolk in either someone’s garage or the local hardware store. It’s rather difficult to distinguish. One of the men (possibly a brother-in-law, I stopped paying attention) points out that perhaps part of Chris’s attraction to Becca is that she’s “hard to get” and that has a tendency to be super appealing.

Whitney has set the bar high, and now the family are sitting around trying to convince themselves that they need to give someone other than Whitney a chance to wow them. “We’re going to start with a clean slate,” lies one of his sisters. Becca arrives with cookies (well-played, virgin). She gets a warm greeting from the fam and gushes about how quickly Chris bonded with her family. Becca talks about her impromptu road trip with three of the other women to Arlington and reveals how shocked she was by the realities of the itty-bitty town. The most in-your-face of Chris’s sisters (you can tell because she has the shortest hair) pulls Becca aside to discuss the “slow, steady build” of their relationship. “What do you see happening?” she presses Becca. Becca responds that she’s not going to move to Arlington unless she’s sure, sure, sure that they’re going to get married and that “he’s the one.” “That’s where I’m struggling,” she adds. One of the other sisters (Lori?) says in a private on-camera interview that Becca doesn’t seem as into Chris as Whitney is. Um, actually, she’s just expressing honest and LEGITIMATE concerns. They’ve dated for about 9 minutes. It’s completely acceptable for Becca to not be 100% in and ready to drop everything and uproot her entire life. And no one in the world has ever been as into Chris as Whitney is, to be fair. The sisters lay down the gauntlet: Becca is a risk. Whitney is a sure thing. It’s go-time here. Chris, meanwhile, holds out hope that Becca will come through and confess her undying love and devotion to him, or something. Becca tells Chris’s mom that she’s crazy about her son but not in love with him…yet. Maybe. His mom basically tries to convince Becca that she’s in love with Chris and just doesn’t “recognize it”, because everyone obviously sees how much he’s into her. And she kind of makes Becca cry; however, Becca is unwavering in her uncertainty, but she doesn’t say she doesn’t love Chris. Tricky. In her voice over, Becca states that she’s not ready to say yes to a proposal, but emphasizes that the idea of being without Chris forever seems scary to her. His dad chimes in and sums it up perfectly: “I think Whitney’s the sure thing, but I think Becca is who Chris wants.”

Hopefully he’ll be able to make up his mind after he gets to go on a final date with each of the women. First up is Becca, and Chris’s struggle is weighing heavily on his mind. “I hate the fact that I’m just not there yet,” Becca tells him, speaking about being in love. “Do you see yourself being with me?” Chris asks. “I’m so excited to be with you…I know there’s challenges in that,” Becca tells him. She adds that she’s not quite sure if she’s ready to pick up and move to Iowa. Their conversation gets a bit heated when Chris pushes her a bit on the moving/marriage/kids ‘timeline.’ “All I know right now is that I want you,” Becca says. But Chris wants to hear that she believes in them, and that’s just not something Becca seems to be able to express. “If we fell in love what would hold you back,” Chris presses her. Ultimately, Becca is worried about what she would do in Arlington. I presume she means job-wise but she adds that it’s really just about being there in general. More than anything, Becca is scared that she’ll move there and then find out that it’s not for her. But she says just enough to appease him for now, and Chris looks super relieved when Becca whispers “I can’t wait.” Will Becca’s tepid assurances be enough for Chris to pick her over “sure thing” Whitney? We watch Chris cry into his hands for a bit.

For his date with Whitney, the duo embark on a corn-picking adventure with Chris’s dad, and Whitney thinks that’s just awesome. Dad is obvi Team Whitney. Later they drink wine by the fireplace, where Chris toasts to “this week that we’ve had together.” Then it’s super boring for five minutes. After the sun has set on Iowa, Chris visits Whitney in her hotel room, where Whitney reveals she has been carrying around a framed photo of her and Chris from their first one-on-one date. There’s more wine, of course, and Whitney gushes about their “perfect” day together. Whitney is down with the “simple life” in Arlington, which Chris finds that charming. Whitney asks Chris if he has any final thoughts, and he asks her what about them makes her feel so certain. Whitney says stuff about feeling “comfortable” and knowing what he’s thinking just by looking in his eyes. “I am excited about you, about what we have,” Chris assures her.

And finally it’s the day we’ve all been waiting for. “The moment is here,” Chris announces solemnly. He stares longingly out his hotel room window for a bit, then later meets with jeweler Neil Lane to pick out the engagement ring. He suits up and heads to his barn for the main event, because nothing says ‘let’s get married or just engaged and then announce our break-up on the cover of US Weekly’ like livestock and hay bales. We’re meant to understand that Chris is still “so torn” that he may not pick either of the women. Snort.

Clearly the production staff got carte blanche to buy up everything at the nearest Anthropologie to pretty-up the barn a bit. There’s nary a surface not covered in a lamp or some jug or trinket. It’s decorated like something straight out of a Pinterest board. The first limo pulls up and Becca emerges, looking lovely in a red velvet(?) dress. As usual, Chris tells Becca that she looks amazing. After the deepest of breaths, Chris says that from the moment they met he has felt good being around her. “I know I can see you as being my wife…but you’re not really ready,” he says, shakily. “I have to go with my heart and my gut,” Chris adds, and that gut is saying she’s not ready. Never in the history of The Bachelor has a woman handled this moment with more poise and grace than Becca. “You are going to be an incredible husband,” she tells him. They hug goodbye and tell each other how amazing they think the other is and then Becca is heading home. While Chris stares at his tractor for awhile and then returns to his barn to cry it out, Becca is stoic in the reject limo. “I think I’m in a state of shock or something,” she says. “I could have seen him being someone that I could be with and marry…I just wasn’t there yet.”

Whitney pulls up to the farm, and is shaking like a leaf. “Holy cow,” she exclaims. She’s got that farm lingo down!‎ With a “good luck” from host Chris Harrison she heads in. “This is crazy,” Whitney starts, voice quavering. “I came here with an idea of who you were and I’ve never been disappointed…I love you so much, I really do.” After a lengthy pause Chris tells her that their wedding crashing date was one of the best days of his life. “There are so many things about you that I’m so excited about…it feels so perfect,” he tells her. After declaring his love for Whitney, Chris gets down on one knee and proposes. Whitney accepts with an enthusiastic “absolutely!” and they laugh and make out. Across Bachelor Nation, women are crying and their long-suffering boyfriends/husbands/multiple cats are thanking the gods that another season has finally come to an end.

We head straight into the ‘After the Final Rose’ special, and Chris Harrison isn’t pulling any punches. His first question to Chris is about being in love with Becca. Chris responds perfectly, saying there’s a lot to love about Becca but he always felt she was “slow to catch up” to his feelings during his Bachelor journey. “What if she had…said ‘I love you’. Would that have changed things?” asks Chris Harrison. Chris responds that there are a lot of ‘what if’s’ from the show’s run but emphasizes that Whitney really is the perfect person for him and he’s #notlookingback. We learn that Whitney has been watching the show, but only her dates. Chris also wants us to know that his attraction to Becca had nothing to do with her being a bit more ‘hard to get,’ so basically his brother-in-law or whoever that dude was in the garage/barn/Home Depot can suck it.

Becca is brought on stage and says that watching the finale back was much harder than she thought it would be. “That week coming back from Bali was the toughest seven days of my life,” Chris admits. He speaks to their “undeniable” chemistry right off the bat. “I feel like because of the honesty there…I had so much respect for you,” Becca responds. Chris admits he was “constantly pushing” her to see if there was something there. Becca confesses she’s never been in love and maybe it was crazy for her to come on the show. She “wanted so badly” to fall madly in love with Chris but just, frankly, didn’t feel it. Chris Harrison points out that Becca’s behaviour is unprecedented in the show’s history. Translation: you’re the least crazy, most realistic woman we’ve ever had on this show. Becca ends her segment saying she is now more open to falling in love.

Whitney comes out to join Chris on the couples couch and it’s the first time they have been together in public since filming ended. Chris Harrison does the obligatory ring show off. Chris and Whitney are kissy and cute and very obviously in love. When asked what he loves so much about Whitney, Chris says she is gorgeous on the inside and out and she reminded him of his sisters, whom he respects a shit ton. Whitney acknowledges that despite her confidence in their connection she never forgot that another great woman was left and she had definitely considered that Chris might end up choosing Becca. Whitney does address the fact that Chris was so conflicted in the days leading up to their engagement, but says they have discussed it and it’s all good. She reiterates that she did not watch the season in its entirety, just her dates with Chris. Chris Harrison brings up Arlington, and Whitney confirms it’s still her plan to move…eventually. We then see a clip of Chris’s parents coming to the barn after the proposal, and they are clearly thrilled he picked Whitney. “We’re gonna make some babies. They’re going to be friggin cute!” Whitney announces. Well, she is the fertility specialist after all. We learn that Whitney has been sneaking off to Arlington from Chicago for some clandestine visits, and it’s abundantly clear that she’s already bonded big time with his parents and sisters.

Later, Jimmy Kimmel joins the happy couple to talk about his experience on the show. He took on hosting gigs early in the season, with hilarious results. Jimmy asks if they’ve been making love regularly and they both confirm “as much as possible.” He presents them with a present; a cow named Juan Pablo (ha) for “that horrible farm you’re moving to.” More Kimmel in everything please. Thanks.

Finally it’s time for the announcement of who will be the next Bachelorette. Chris Harrison says they had a hard time deciding and were split down the middle between Britt and Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn gets the loudest applause. So here’s the twist we’ve been promised all week: the Bachelor producers have decided “not to decide,” and there will actually be two Bachelorettes! Unprecedented in the history of the show. Britt and Kaitlyn join Chris Harrison on stage, holding hands. Who knows how this will all shake out but I’ll certainly be watching! Because I can’t stop.

No, seriously, send help.

And wine.

In the meantime, I’ll start working on some threesome jokes because, yeah. At least for week one. It looks like we’ll start with two Bachelorettes and end up with one by the end of the first episode.

(drops microphone)


New Around Here

6 03 2015

Some recent acquisitions.

1. This BunchaFarmers stain remover stick.

The most amazing stain remover ever, purchased at General Tao.

The most amazing stain remover ever, purchased at General Tao.

2. These kicky brown Mossimo ankle boots.

Purchased from the soon-to-be defunct Target (Ajax location). I heard the Toronto location was picked over in 48 hours!

Purchased from the soon-to-be defunct Target (Ajax location). I heard the Toronto location was picked over in 48 hours!

3. This skin saving warm mist humidifier that now lives right next to my headboard (because this winter has been murder on my face).

This and a nightly slathering of coconut oil are the only thing keeping my skin sane right now. Purchased online from Cayne's - and it's still on sale!

This Honeywell humidifier and a nightly slathering of coconut oil are the only thing keeping my skin sane right now. Purchased online from Cayne’s - and it’s still on sale!

4. This backpack.

Because I'm signed up for some classes at George Brown starting next week, and I need something to tote around my school supplies.

Because I’m signed up for some classes at George Brown starting next week, and I need something to tote around my school supplies.

5. This slightly daunting bedside book pile (yes, I’m currently reading all of these simultaneously – I don’t know why I do this to myself).

An Object of Beauty - Steve Martin Tiny Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed The Interestings – Meg Wolitzer The Post-Birthday World – Lionel Shriver

(from bottom) An Object of Beauty – Steve Martin
Tiny Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed
The Interestings – Meg Wolitzer
The Post-Birthday World – Lionel Shriver

6. These cozy slippers.

Coldest.Winter.Ever. I've totally slept with these on. Purchase at Winners.

Coldest.Winter.Ever. I’ve totally slept with these on. Purchased at Winners.

7. This fridge magnet I picked up at the Basquiat exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).

The Basquiat exhibit runs through May 10. Get your tickets here.

The Basquiat exhibit runs through May 10. Get your tickets here.

8. These pieces (I swear I will hang them one day, along with the 20+ others  I still need to do something with).

'Do All Things With Love' framed print purchased at HomeSense (Yonge and Dundas location) Wood print by Natasha Paterson - available here.

(from left) ‘Do All Things With Love’ framed print purchased at HomeSense (Yonge and Dundas location) and wood print by Natasha Paterson – available here.

9. These tickets to the ballet to see, amongst others, a performance set to the music of Johnny Cash.

Tickets available through the National Ballet of Canada.

Tickets available through the National Ballet of Canada.

10. This spray from Oribe.

For beachy waves, nothing beats this spray. Purchased at Jacob & Sebastian (the Distillery Market location).

For beachy waves, nothing beats this spray. Purchased at Jacob & Sebastian (the Distillery Market location).

RECAP: The Bachelor (Chris) – Week Eight

24 02 2015

Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on episode 8 of Chris Soules’ season of The Bachelor (original air date: Monday, February 23, 2015).

Welcome back Bachelor lovers! We’re down to the final three women – Kaitlyn, Whitney and Becca. Chris and the ladies are in Bali, and this is the week of the overnight ‘Fantasy Suite’ dates.

His first date in Bali is with spunky Kaitlyn, and they head into a temple and participate in some spiritual customs (which include attempting to balance a basket/box on their heads). Bali is so beautiful but I can feel sympathy sweat trickling down my back just imaging how humid it must be there. Kaitlyn is looking to let her guard down with Chris, who seems remarkably comfortable in Indonesia given his small-town farm life in isolated Iowa. The language barrier works for him here, since he’s not that great with the whole talking thing anyways. It’s just a lot of smiles and stranger hugs and everyone’s best friends in 5 minutes. Chris and Kaitlyn wander the streets and stop for roadside beers. Why did the monkey cross the road? To hiss at Chris, apparently. The cute duo have a brief run-in with some feisty street monkeys. Later, a different(?) monkey pees on Chris while he feeds it a banana (I hate bananas, so I understand this reaction) and then they sit on a bench and make out for what seems like hours. Kaitlyn tells Chris that her family L.O.V.E.D him lots. “Every moment that I have with Chris is exciting,” Kaitlyn gushes. For the evening portion of their date, they stroll a candlelit path and make their way to a ‘dinner’ (no one ever eats) and basically engage in “no, you’re prettier” banter. Kaitlyn admits her guard is up but she wants very badly to “let it down.” Kaitlyn accepts Chris’ invitation to spend the night in the Fantasy Suite, where she admits that she is “completely falling in love” with Chris. Chris responds that he is falling in love with her as well. WHOA! Is he even allowed to say that?! Rule breaking farmer! Love it.

Chris and Whitney’s date on a boat starts its ‘journey’ by being steered into the dock by the Captain, who assures us that it’s all good by flashing a thumbs up. Ok buddy, You just crashed a boat into the thing you were specifically moving away from. Not inspiring total confidence. Over tons of wine, the couple explore the Indian Ocean. Whitney lets Chris know that her sister Kimberly can be a bit of a Debbie Downer. She is an attorney after all – Whitney wants us to know – by way of explanation (?). So Whitney just hopes that her sister’s hesitation the previous week in giving Chris her “blessing” to propose to Whitney (should that time come) won’t fuck things up for her. Chris isn’t bothered. His feelings for Whitney are “really strong” and he’s confident that when the time is right he’ll get that blessing. Even her “soul” is confident that she’ll marry Chris. Over (more wine), Whitney reiterates to Chris that she’s head over heels in love. The boat captain gives the thumbs up. But he also gave the thumbs up after bumping the boat into the dock earlier, so maybe he’s just fast and loose with the thumbs up.

For the evening portion of their date, Whitney is wearing the shit out of a chartreuse dress and the main thing on Chris’ mind is taking Whitney away from her career in Chicago as a fertility nurse. She assures him that she’s more than happy to move to Iowa. Whitney is the only woman left who hadn’t seen Arlington, so Chris wants to really make sure she knows how teeny tiny it is. 500 people, remember. And if you want to do something, anything, you better be ready to drive. “I have always wanted to be a wife and to be a mom…I have this career but I’m not fully happy because I feel that there’s half of me missing and that’s to be a wife and a mom. If I move to Arlington I would leave that (career) and be ready to have babies,” Whitney declares. My insides groan, but really what else was she going to say? She’s in love. This is what people do. Or at least promise to do on television. So we know for sure where Whitney stands. Chris admits in his private interview that he’s falling in love with Whitney. I’ve no doubt that her willingness to move to Arlington has likely secured her a spot in the final two. I adore Kaitlyn but I think she’d lose her mind in a small town. There aren’t even any tattoo parlours! Shudder. Whitney also accepts the Fantasy Suite date card and with a cute giggle and a “cheque please!” they head back to the hotel, which has been kitted out with candles, matching robes, and a bubble bath.

The final date of the week is with Becca the virgin, and my how Chris’ penis must be tired. Luckily it will probs get a rest tonight. Chris apparently packed a full complement of pastel-coloured shirts, and today he’s wearing a lovely sherbet-coloured one. He pals around with a couple of local kids, and then him and Becca sit in a temple and question the local medium, asking “are we meant to be together?” The answer? They’re a very good couple. Becca asks for advice for their “very important” date that night and the advice is to “make love.” Specifically, while facing west. Amazingly awkward. Afterwards, Becca reveals to Chris that she’s learned a lot about herself through this experience. She too is falling in love, but Chris admits in his voice-over to having some lingering doubts because her family indicated during hometown week that Becca has never really been in love. Meanwhile, Becca is worried that her virginity might be a deal-breaker.

Over dinner Chris tells Becca that he’s falling in love with her (three for three! and unprecedented in Bachelor history), and when the Fantasy Suite date card arrives they both agree that they want to spend more time together. But no virgin confession yet. Over champagne Becca cheers to “falling in love in the most unexpected way” and reiterates that she feels she’s falling in love with Chris. She announces that she’s a virgin and Chris’ face briefly look stunned, then not surprised at all, then amused. “I respect that in a lot of ways,” he says, clearly not speaking on behalf of his penis. He adds that he’s more interested in finding out if they work as a couple. “I’m 100% in,” says Becca. And we’re left to wonder if Chris gets 100% in or just, like, the tip.

After the Fantasy Suite dates are done, Chris has to decide who to send home. He ponders that Whitney and Kaitlyn have confirmed they love him to his face (as opposed to ‘falling in love’), but he also really cares about Becca. He tears up during his on-camera interview, saying he wishes all three women could meet his family. “The toughest thing right now for me is worrying about making a mistake…but it’s not just about me.” He bros down with host Chris Harrison and talks about his struggle. It sounds like Whitney is for sure getting a rose, then probs Kaitlyn as Becca seems like the biggest question mark; however, Chris goes on about how much he liked Becca’s family and can see that she’s a passionate person. I just wish she had a bit more…spark. Spark is the word I’m looking for. Whitney and Kaitlyn have spark in spades.

At the rose ceremony, Chris Harrison (dressed in white with a colourful sash, as is the Bachelor) lets Chris know that the temple chosen for this ceremony is of the ‘don’t kiss here’ variety. Chris is visibly nervous and is trusting his gut to make the right choice. He stands before the final three ladies and says that the decision has been “excruciating.” Before he makes his announcement, he asks to speak to Becca privately. Whitney says that Becca had mentioned feeling like she was going to be sent home, so assumes that this is Chris pulling Becca aside to say goodbye privately. Becca doesn’t want to leave without Chris knowing how she feels. She talks about love and being in love and then we learn that in the Fantasy Suite Chris had asked her if her feelings were because of the show or because they’re her feelings. Becca now assures him that the show can only take credit for introducing them and that’s all. This is the most Becca has ever spoken! “This week is nothing I could’ve prepared myself for.” Still, she is talking like she is being sent home.

Meanwhile, Kaitlyn and Whitney are tossing about theories as to what’s going on with Becca and Chris. Kaitlyn feels guilty for being excited about making it to the final two and meeting Chris’ family while Becca is (presumably) being kicked to the curb. Whitney feels that Becca is “young” and may not be ready for marriage. Both are understandably surprised to see Chris returning with Becca. It’s unclear at this moment whether Chris wanted to chat with Becca to confirm his decision to keep her through to the final two, or if he had been planning to send her home and she, for lack of a better term, talked him out of it.

Predictably, the first rose goes to Whitney and Kaitlyn is ultimately the one send packing. Boo. I really really like Kaitlyn. But truth? I think she might be too cool for Chris. She cares about him and all, but I think life in Arlington would’ve gotten real old, real quick. Kaitlyn and Chris leave the temple holding hands (not against temple rules, just keep those hands where we can see them folks). She asks “what happened” and he responds that “nothing happened…just certain things I don’t even understand right now.” Not the best answer, but par for the course for Chris. While a rooster crows in the background (I’m terrified of roosters, they look like they know more than they let on), Chris tells Kaitlyn that he could see a life with her and thinks the world of her but…you know. It is what it is. “There’s no real right decision,” he confesses, confusingly. He hugs a crying Kaitlyn, who doesn’t want to leave. But the driver starts the engine, basically being all “let’s go lady.” Her heart may be broken, but Kaitlyn remembers to buckle up when she is driven off. Safety first! She says it’s the most humiliating moment of her life and is “really, really confused.” You know what will help with that? Realizing that Chris is kind of boring (albeit a total sweetheart) and you’re probs going to be the next Bachelorette.

Next week it’s the Women Tell All special. Can’t wait to see what happens with Britt and the much-hated Kelsey.

RECAP: The Bachelor (Chris) – Week Seven (Part 2)

17 02 2015

Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on episode 7 (Part 2) of Chris Soules’ season of The Bachelor (original air date: Monday, February 16, 2015).

Let’s jump right into the second half of The Bachelor’s two-night special. Sunday night’s episode ended with the ladies speculating the end for Britt, after a pouty meltdown on a group date with Carly and Kaitlyn. Host Chris Harrison promises that the “drama in Iowa continues.” We pick up the action with Chris strolling the streets of Des Moines and thinking about how awkward Britt made things after she didn’t get the date rose. Chris and Becca meet up for their date at the loft where he is staying. He tells her that things feel “real” when they are together. Real…kinda boring? Becca opens up about the fact that she’s never been in love before, despite having been in an on-and-off relationship for four years. All sex free years, remember. She admits that she wouldn’t necessarily accept if he proposed today (good!). Don’t worry honey, a proposal is, like, three whole weeks away. That’s enough time, right? Ha. Chris and Becca head to the roof to watch the sunset and do that awkward peck kissing thing they do.

Back at the hotel, the gals are gossiping about Britt’s disastrous outburst the night before and she drops a bomb: she’s packed her bags and is thinking of leaving before the rose ceremony the next night. For some reason the women start to talk her out of it, and she cries, but Carly thinks it’s all for show and calls Britt out on her wishy-washyness (not a word) because Carly doesn’t believe for a second that Britt is bailing. Whitney muses that Britt is cracking because for the first time since night one she isn’t getting exactly what she wants, and what she wants is for Chris to always be “fighting for her.”

The following evening finds the ladies preparing for the final rose ceremony before hometown date week. Jade is preparing to reveal that she posed for Playboy while Britt says she is gearing up to leave before the ceremony, because she’s not sure if she’s ready for Chris to meet her family. She is mentally preparing to say goodbye and get “closure.” The other women are beyond convinced that this ‘I’m leaving’ thing is all a sherade and that Britt is simply setting up a scenario where she says she’s leaving in the hopes that Chris will beg her to stay. Host Chris Harrison arrives and makes a shocking announcement: there will be no cocktail party beforehand, so instead the remaining women head straight to the rose ceremony.

Chris launches into his (horrible, as usual) pre-elimination speech and Britt interrupts, asking to speak to him privately. “She wants him to beg, and if not she’s leaving him,” Jade predicts. Once she has Chris alone, Britt apologizes for her behaviour on the group date while back inside the other woman try to not vomit in frustration. “I think she could convince him,” Kaitlyn grudgingly admits. Chris tells Britt that she put him in a “tough position” and reveals that some of the other women have questioned her honesty, particularly about her reaction to his hometown of Arlington. Britt wants to know from whom he heard that she wasn’t being honest, and WAS IT CARLY? When he asks if that’s important Britt insists that it is. Things get a bit heated and Chris has clearly had enough. He stands up and they hug and I have no idea what’s going on and then he’s walking Britt out the door and they say goodbye. Insert screeching tire sound here. Chris looks totally gutted and Britt sits on a curb sobbing, while inside the atmosphere is just short of a mardi gras parade.
Chris returns to his ladies and confirms that he has sent Britt home, and he thanks them (translation: Carly) for helping confirm the doubts he had about Britt before handing out roses. Alas, Carly is left without a rose and is therefore sent packing. The girls are all genuinely sad to see Carly go, probs because she’s the funny one and she looks like she’d be amazing at French-braiding hair. Also, she was sort of the buffer – as long as Carly was around there was a spare woman who was always up on the chopping block. And now the buffer has been sent home crying in a limo and things are getting real.
In what may end up being the shortest season of The Bachelor ever, we’re down to four women‎ and it’s time for hometown dates. First up is Becca in Louisiana. Our last virgin standing is a smitten kitten when it comes to Chris, who also happens to be the first man she has brought home to meet her folks. Chris is mildly freaked but Becca puts his mind at ease. “I can only see my feelings progressing” she gushes. Chris is introduced to Becca’s large and attractive family and her sister confides in Chris that Becca isn’t usually an “intimate” or “affectionate” person. ‎This is a bit of a red flag for Chris. After all, living on a farm in isolated Arlington leaves plenty of time for boning, so he’d likely prefer a woman who’s into some PDA. When talking to Becca’s lovely mom, she says she has never seen Becca be so affectionate with a man. Remember: Chris doesn’t know Becca is a virgin. Becca’s sister Katie reminds her that fantasy suite dates are around the corner. Thanks Captain Obvious! “It would be really great to be the guy that Becca has been waiting for,” Chris declares. After family time, Chris whisks Becca away to a nearby state fair so they can kiss on a ferris wheel. Finally a kiss that lasts longer than two seconds! Becca thinks that maybe possibly maybe this could be the night she would look back on and think that this is when she started to maybe fall in love. Maybe.
‎Next up Chris heads to Chicago to visit fertility nurse and world’s perkiest woman, Whitney. After a pretty adorable one-on-one date in Des Moines, the stakes are high on this hometown date. Whitney kicks things off by teasing Chris that they are off to “make a baby,” so they head to her work and change into scrubs. She walks Chris through a fertilization and gosh Whitney is so cute showing Chris her work. There’s an obligatory peak into the room where the “magic happens.” Chris notices the Playboys (probs not the one with Jade, this place seems like they keep their subscription up-to-date) that are in the room to help with the aforementioned “magic.” I appreciate that Whitney keeps the joke going for like 5 minutes too long.
‎Later that day, Chris asks Whitney who, given that her father isn’t in her life and her mom passed away a few years back, would be the person Chris would need to get ‘permission’ from should things progress. She says it’s her sister. During the ‘meet the family’ portion of the evening, Whitney’s uncle John pulls Chris aside for a talk, and Chris emphasizes their compatibility. Her sister wonders if living in Arlington is really feasible, and Whitney desperately wants her sister to give her approval but it doesn’t appear that things will go smoothly if Chris were to ask. After all, there are four other women left in play. Chris asks for her sister’s blessing and she answers honestly that she doesn’t like the idea of her sister being one of four so “call me when you have that (certainty) for her.” Fair enough! I wonder if Chris requested similar permission from all of the families and those parts were edited out or if he really only asked Whitney’s family? Hmm.
‎When Whitney questions Chris about it later she is so worried that the lack of a family blessing will work against her. He circles around the topic a bit and says just enough to take Whitney’s panic level from an eight to a four, and then Whitney shows him a bottle of wine from Napa that she had been saving to share with the man she planned to marry. She cries and tells Chris that she’s fallen in love with him and then they suck face and drink the aspirational wine.  Chris declares that Whitney “brings out the best in me.” I’m just impressed that she held on to wine for that long. Wine doesn’t last long in my apartment. I’ll always find some excuse to partake, like “hey it’s Monday” or “this wine would pair perfectly with this bucket of chicken.” It physically hurt me not to be able to bring wine home from my November visit to Napa. I had to pick between carry-on luggage and being able to bring wine back. The connecting flights forced my hand, and carry-on luggage won out. Boo.
For their date, Canadian gal Kaitlyn‎ meets Chris behind some dumpsters in Phoenix. Perfect! Phoenix is where her family “winters” when they’re not in Alberta. She resides in Vancouver. They head into a recording studio to record a love rap, and the vibe is cute and playful. ‎Chris is as good at rapping as he is at speeches. So, not good. At all. “She would make life fun,” he says, eyes aglow. Chris is introduced to Kaitlyn’s parents and their respective spouses. It’s nice to see a family where the parents are divorced and remarried but can all hang out together and meet some guy from TV who has spent roughly eight hours with their daughter and might be her fiance in a hot minute. Kaitlyn can’t stop smiling and she gushes to her mom that she’s “so excited” about Chris. “I know I need to be in love (to move) and I see huge potential.” She later leads Chris to a billboard sign that reads Kaitlyn ♥ Chris and it’s a super sweet moment.
Randomly, I miss Britt. It’s weird that she’s not around, right? Totally didn’t expect her to leave this week.
Chris meets Jade in Nebraska (though she makes her home in LA these days) and she’s worried about her pending Playboy confession. Chris is introduced to Jade’s mom, dad and future step-mom (everyone is so civilized!), and he gifts Jade a letter jacket. Something about sports? Who cares. As an aside: it drives me nuts when people wear shoes in the home. Chris talks to Jade’s dad Laren about appreciating Jade’s values, and says he’s falling in love with her. Laren brings up Jade’s ex-boyfriends (why?)  saying that she can be “too much” for some men. He also hints that there’s another side to Jade, and the comment doesn’t go unnoticed by Chris. I’m guessing that side is ass-up? Jade’s brother Zach refers to her as a “wild mustang” and “free spirit.” So… maybe not the sort of girl looking to settle down and move to Iowa. When Jade chats alone with her dad, he gets emotional telling her that he just hopes she can settle down with a man who likes her for who she is. Translation: I love you and you deserve the best and you’re great but please for the love of god keep your clothes on.
The duo make their way to Chris’ hotel, and she launches into her confession: “There are some things about me that would surprise you…” Jade finally reveals her Playboy past and 15 muscles in Chris’s face strain to not react. She then, inexplicably, offers to show him some of the photos and Chris let’s out a choked laugh and agrees to see them. Jade brings the photos up on her laptop (convenient that she brought that along) and Chris is treated to full frontal Jade. He giggles nervously and practically chews his hand off. Oh there’s a behind-the-scenes video too. In his private on-camera interview, Chris comments that “Jade seemed like a very innocent, somewhat shy girl. I would’ve never expected something like this to be part of her past.” He tells Jade that “something like that” wouldn’t make him think any differently of her. Hey, she did make that cute speech before about how Chris shouldn’t feel ashamed about loving Arlington, so let’s just call them even? “I know who you are as a person,” he assures her. “If she’s my soul mate I’ll stand behind her,” Chris declares. Cue 500,000 Google image searches for “Jade Elizabeth Playboy”.  But hey, who are we to judge? Everyone goes a little “wild mustang” when they move away from their childhood home. I bought a whimsical set of salt and pepper shakers and a stereo system from Coscto. I get it.
With the hometown dates complete, ‎it’s time for another rose ceremony. It’s between Jade and Becca for the last rose. Ultimately, Jade is sent packing which actually isn’t that shocking if you’ve been paying attention. During week one on the red carpet host Chris Harrison said a virgin ended up in the fantasy suite so we knew Becca was going to make it to the final three. I honestly thought Chris would keep Jade if only to prove how non-judgmental he was, but honestly his connection is stronger with the rest of the women. He walks Jade out and says things have moved faster with all the other girls and that’s “all there is to it.” Jade cries but handles herself so well. “You’ve been a gift to me just to have you in my life” he tells her. I am going to let the white shoes with a black dress slide because Jade is a super sweet chick. Chris watches her being driven away in the sad gal limo, crying. Probs because he knows what she looks like naked and won’t get to see it again. In the limo, Jade is crying prettily and says “I really did have feelings for him.” Sigh. And then there were three!
Until next week!


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