Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Bachelor

I generally click right past reality TV shows, finding my own life quite fascinating enough. But last night I gave in to curiosity and watched the final night of ‘The Bachelor’, having seen none of the previous episodes. It was down to the bachelor and two very attractive women who loved him. One a Rhode Island girl, and the other, a purposeful gal from Texas.

This bachelor struck me as an honorable guy. Open, affectionate, confused, wanting to make the right choice, hating to have to cause pain to the one he would ultimately reject. If it were up to me, I’d have chosen the RI girl, hands down. But he chose the Texas girl, perhaps because she expected more of him, and he liked that.

Yet the Rhode Island girl showed such courage and dignity. She had outgrown her negative self-image and could genuinely thank him for helping her realize she deserved a very good man. She liked the other girl, and wished them both the very best.

The bachelor meanwhile is still holding the cards, still taking his time. He gave a ‘friendship’ ring to the Texas girl, offering her his love and all the time they need to get to know each other and begin building toward the future. It was an offer of a road leading to marriage, a wise thing for him to do. She popped the ring on her right hand.

Winners and losers? Men who watched this program may have learned a thing or two from this bachelor about how to express honest, complex, and conflicting feelings. He was a good role model for that. He managed to steer a course through the extreme minefields of celebrity, media exposure, and incredible pressure to conform to other people’s scenarios.

Although the Texas girl got her man, she got him on his terms, so much remains to be seen. Now they get to work out their relationship like the rest of us.

I think the real winner is the Rhode Island girl, who grew in confidence and self-respect from this experience. Whoever this woman eventually chooses will be a lucky man indeed.

gg murray 5/17/05