The Bachelor

I feel no particular shame about being a girl who watches The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. And I want to take a moment and apologize to anyone who I've told that I watch these shows, "but not really.. like, I don't believe in them." I am sorry. This is a lie. 

I don't believe in them so much that I would ever sign up to go on one. And I don't believe in them so much that if I had a friend who signed up I wouldn't mock them endlessly. Even if they "won". But I am a part of Bachelor Nation. Whatever that means. It is part of my identity and I have to move on. 

It is because of this part of myself that I found myself attempting to watch Ready For Love hosted by Eva Longoria one afternoon during my senior year of college, during its brief, brief run on Hulu. And it is because of that day, that I wrote this poem.

 

THE BACHELOR POEM

These women are in boxes.

And I'm sitting on my sofa

Thinking

The fuck is going on America?

These women have gone crazy

And I'm sitting on my sofa

Wondering

What do we think love is again?

 

See

I've been watching The Bachelor.

Where the women have gone crazy

Where the women say

“I'm in love”

3 weeks after they've met this asshole

Who, by the way, is always a white asshole

That works out a lot while covered in oil

And the women drunkenly squabble

When he says catchwords

Like family

And commitment

And soulmate.

And no one cares that he never says the important words

Like multiple orgasms.

 

And

I tried watching Ready for Love

That new show

Where they put the women in boxes

For the men to choose from

In public

Like they’re grocery shopping.

And the boxes can also disappear underground

Like foreshadowing.

Like saying “Sweetheart if he doesn't pick you

You'll die.”

Like saying, “Sweetheart we built you a glass coffin

Just in case this doesn't go your way

But

We can still want to see your pretty face.”

 

I watch while

Hosts say things like

Most eligible

While matchmakers sit

Being catty

And flirting with each other

Making it look like

Love is just a game after all

So long as you're beautiful enough to compete.

 

And I'm sitting on my sofa

Wearing sweatpants

And tank tops.

And thinking

The fuck?

 

I mean, I believe in love too

But not this.

I mean, I want love too

But I won't die if I don’t get it.

Won't put myself in a box

And turn myself into a shadow

That can only be filled in by an oily asshole

Because that's not love, right?

 

I'm getting old

And people wonder if I wanna get married.

Ask me

If I wanna have babies

And be happy.

Wouldn't I like to live in a box

with a broad shouldered man who smiles a lot?

And I'll admit I wonder too.

Those shoulders are good, and the abs are good

And if there’s a little oil,

Who’s complaining?

 

But

I sit on my sofa and feel the blood running through my body.

Feel that

I'm bigger than love like that.

That I’m worth more.

And I hear myself

Whisper to the TV

“My sweethearts,

You are too.

Believe it.”

 

On Getting Old

Ever since I graduated from college, I've been putting off turning into that weird thing that I call a "grown-up" and think of as completely separate from myself. To be honest, it's embarrassing to me that I think this way. Because I should be excited to get older. And sometimes I am... kind of. But mostly it just scares the shit out of me. 

Probably because I think about being an adult the way I've seen it in movies and read about in books. Where you suddenly panic that all your neck skin is shriveling and that you're going to develop unbearable bunions. It's not cute.

The setting of my imagined glossy life in Los Angeles. Or somewhere equally glossy.

The setting of my imagined glossy life in Los Angeles. Or somewhere equally glossy.

So for a while I insisted on living like a child still: eating Oreos on special occasions and staying awake until 3am just to prove I still can. Which is even more embarrassing because I'm only 23. By all accounts, I am still an infant. 

Then, today, I came across this poem, which I must have written sometime when I was still in college. And it so perfectly captures my mental state when it comes to growing up: if it can't be unabashedly glamorous, I'm not interested.




My Imagined Life

I miss my imagination.

The anxiety I faced from playing house

Too strenuously.

And worrying that my baby dolls

Would never get into college.

I miss cutting out dresses

With fold-over tabs

And shopping for plastic

Real estate

Or

Making room for imaginary friends

To sit next to me

On the sofa--

I’m getting old.

I hear myself say things like

"Kids these days"

And "When I was young"

And I feel my hair turning grey

My arthritis flaring up

The pains in my hip

When it’s about to rain.

I am old.

Feels like fake teeth old

And dinner by 4 old.

Feels like playing bingo and scrabble and

Pudding cups.

What happened to my make-believe,

Fairy tale life?

Where I had three movie deals

And two clothing lines

Where my phone rang off the hook

And my boyfriends waited around the block

And someone was hired to do my hair

Because I was

Busy.

I mean,

When did I shave my head--

And get responsible?

Bald and tall---

I am my baby doll in college.

Programmed

To say Ma-ma or just cry

On repeat.

And I miss my imagination.

I want to color by number,

And paint pictures with my fingers,

Feel like a princess in a castle

Feel like playing hide and seek and cops and robbers

And pudding cups.

Feel like telling him he has cooties

So he’ll leave me alone.

I have lost my imagination.

Replaced it with primetime television

And seven letter words.

But maybe

Somewhere my imaginary friend

Has made it.

She has a new perfume coming out in spring

And a boyfriend named Jean Claude.

She wears high-heeled shoes

To the set of her next movie

And someone does her hair

Because she’s

Busy.

She wears cut out dresses

With fold-over tabs

And shops for plastic real estate…

And when we run into each other,

She says

Darling--- look at us.

We’re getting so old.