Iím so ashamed. I hate myself. I feel dirty, I feel used. Iím not sure I have a shred of self-esteem left in my body.
     I watched "The Bachelorette" on television the other night.
     I can only blame myself, although it was my 30 year old daughter, who is home for a few weeks after four years in Brazil and New York, who made me do it. It was a bonding moment, but bonding is clearly overrated.
     We were home alone, my wife out of town. The Giants were on Comcast SportsNet, and real men were probably watching baseball. But I had made my daughter watch Matt Cainís perfect game last week, so it was her turn to choose.
    She is hooked on "The Bachelorette," as are millions of other Americans, including my other daughter. God help America.
    I was only planning to watch until the first commercial, just to show her I cared about her obsessions. I had a lot of other options, including reading, going to the other television to watch the Giants like a real man, or perhaps shooting myself. Any of those might have been a better choice.
     But "The Bachelorette," whose name was Emily, was kind of cute. And the eight remaining bachelors (one or two get eliminated each week) were some of the most handsome dweebs Iíd ever seen. As an added inducement, the scenery in Croatia, where they had gone to find true love, was spectacular.
    Watching "The Bachelorette" is much like looking at a car accident on the freeway. You want to look away, but you canít. Youíre witnessing one awkward moment after another, and you cringe and cringe, but you keep looking.
    "Thereís no way sheís going to end up with Travis," I said to my daughter before I knew what I was saying. "Thereís absolutely no chemistry."
    Travis had just gone on his one-on-one date with Emily. It hadnít gone well, for him or for me. I was saying things a real man shouldnít say.
    "Sheís going to end up with Arie, the race car driver," replied my daughter, slyly noting that I hadnít left after the first commercial. "Some of my friends think Sean is the one, but I donít."
     I was getting them all confused, but by the third commercial, I had it down. I agreed the best bets were Arie and Sean, and maybe Jeff had a chance. I also felt sick.
    Meanwhile, Emily was dating them all, taking them to sights in Croatia and talking about love and marriage and ending up each date with a lot of kissing.
    "THAT SLUT!!!" I cried after she locked lips with the sixth bachelor in the last five minutes. "She doesnít even like Doug!!! How can she kiss him??? Yuck!!"
    Next thing you know, she dumps Travis, denying him "a rose." And Travis starts to cry.
    "ARE YOU KIDDING ME???" I screamed. "Heís been on two dates with Emily!!! Please donít cry," I pleaded to Travis. "Youíre an embarrassment to mankind."
    "He really liked her," said my daughter, although I could tell she was cringing as well. "But he does seem a bit sensitive."
    At this point, I was mesmerized by the awkwardness of the show. Commercials flew by. I looked at my watch. I had wasted an hour and a half of my life, with half an hour to go.
    I could feel the dirt piling onto my body. I wanted to take a shower. Instead, I told my daughter she should have a party where everyone sits around watching "The Bachelorette" and drinks a shot of tequila every time someone on the show says the word "amazing."
    "Itís been done," she replied. "Not many people make it through the first hour."
    The train wreck was coming to the end of its episode, and I couldnít turn away. It was one "amazing" and/or "awesome" encounter after another. Emily and Arie were clearly bonding, but she had feelings for all the little nerds. Her heart was confused, and if she had a brain, it might be confused as well.
    Finally, it was over. Scenes from next weekís episode of "The Bachelorette" filled the screen. There was going to be trouble with Arie and Emily, who seemed so right for each other. What a surprise.
    I doubt Iíll be watching. But Iíll be secretly rooting for Sean. He was my favorite. Emily doesnít deserve him.



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