Things got off to a rocky start for America’s new favorite couple for the next three months (at which point they’ll either break up or we’ll forget about them).
The very picture of happiness…
Last night was the big finale for The Bachelorette, but before Ashley could get engaged she had to introduce the final contestants to her family, including her Dragon Lady sister, who you may remember played Kala in The Golden Child.
JP was up first and initially all I could focus on was Ashley’s poor little brother who looked absolutely miserable in the hot Fijian sun. White people of rural Maine! This is what the sun looks like! Do not stare directly at it. Do not go out into it unprotected. Bow down before it and start off with a nice base tan before you go for the baby oil.
Things start off well and Ashley is pretty sure her family is gonna love JP. And then her sister Chrystie starts to gnash her teeth and shake her hair and beat her breasts. YOU WILL NOT HAVE MY SISTER! She wails, her frantic movements turning her body into one giant tattoo kaleidoscope. Um…. says JP.
“You’re not funny enough, you’re boring, and my sister liked Brad Womack so much better. There’s nothing you can do to change my mind about this,” Chrystie replied, turning back into her human form and smiling sweetly.
All of this made Ashley very sad, indeed. She cried a lot, nearly drowning the spiders that live on her eyelids and pretend to be her eyelashes. You’re being such a bitch, she whined. You’re vocalizing everything I’ve been repressing in my head for the past two months.
JP is sad that Ashley didn’t really stand up for him and tell her sister to calm her ass down, quit being such a bitch, and stop jockeying for camera time. Meanwhile, their poor little brother spontaneously combusted.
Ben’s visit went far better. Why? I’m not sure. It had something to do with Ashley flopping her arms around wildly and Ben being willing to pretend to talk to his dog in front of the entire family in a really embarrassing voice. Everyone laughed — my how they laughed! And Sister Chrystie laughed loudest of all. She clapped her hands and bounced up and down. “Dance, monkeys, dance!” she whispered happily.
We were so close to the end, but we had two agonizingly boring dates left to go. Ashley and Ben took a trip to a mud bath and they told us that it was really sensual and sexy and we’ll have to take their words for it. Because all I could think about what what might be living in that mud and the many orifices it might be able to crawl into. That night Ben reveals to Ashley that he asked her family for permission to propose to her because he loves her. She kisses him and he says that she is returning the love in her kiss.
Ashley’s date with JP was really just them hanging out and whining about what happened with Chrystie. Ashley is still expressing doubt about their relationship and their lives fitting together. JP has no doubts and begins a lifetime of reassuring Ashley. He, too, reveals that he is madly in love with Ashley. Her response to that: “You’re the best boy ever.” Baby steps, people. JP has also created a photo album for Ashley. It has one picture in it. It also has a love letter promising to fill the book with more photos of their time together… if she chooses him.
Later, the boys meet up with Neil Lane to pick out some sparkly jewels by Neil Lane, purveyor of the finest Neil Lane joorey. Neil Lane’s got a pretty sweet gig going with this Bachelor/ette contract…
It’s finally time for these people to stop torturing me. Ben meets up with Ashley first. He starts things off with a joke, which always goes over well when one is about to propose. He then interrupts Ashley to profess his love for her. Blank stare. He completely misreads her facial cues and gets down on one knee to pop the question. He’s totally shocked when she declines and he stalks off. Now it’s her turn to be shocked! Don’t you want to be my friend? her face asks. Don’t make me feel bad for rejecting your marriage proposal in front of millions of people because I’d rather be with someone else.
Ben says “things don’t end unless they end badly,” which is actually my relationship philosophy as well. Scorching and then salting the earth is always the best policy. Always. To make this as difficult as possible, Ben is forced to walk over to a dock, get on a tiny motorboat, and get jetted away while JP’s plane flies overhead and Ashley stands on the beach watching him. Aaawkward, amiright?
It’s JP’s turn. As he walks towards Ashley, he says he’s nervous about having his heart broken again. But Ashley says she’s ready for this — she knows that JP will make a great father and husband. He tells her that the time they’ve spent together has been the happiest of his life. She tells him that she’s been wanting to tell him for a long time that she loves him and she wants to be with no one else but him forever.
He gets down on one knee and pops open his Neil Lane jewelry box — Neil Lane: there; even when he’s not. Ashley says yes and then we re-live the greatest love story of all time, set to “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” Because every great romance begins with REO Speedwagon.
Did you watch the “After the Final Rose” special? Should we discuss that, too? Not much happened, to be honest with you. Ben was trotted out and the ladies of the audience did quite a bit of squealing for him. He said some nice things about his experience, but couldn’t help getting snarky when Ashley came out wearing her giant engagement ring. “Nice ring,” he said. Oh, snap, said everyone else. Only on network television would that be considered a burn.
Later, JP and Ashley come out together. They’re still going strong, a whole 45 minutes into their public relationship, so that’s good. Ashley’s moving to New York City and they’re getting an apartment together. Because NYC — one of the toughest rental markets in the country — is where you want to move in together at the beginning of a very precarious, very public relationship. This is going to be great! If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere and get married in about a year-and-a-half.
Chrystie is also brought on stage to talk about how wrong she was about the whole JP thing. And to be honest, I ended up on Team Chrystie after watching JP on stage last night. He was a bit of a snoozer, no? He seemed a little bitter and boring. Same thing when I saw him on Good Morning America today with America’s Sweetheart Robin Roberts. “We were pulling for you,” Robin said. “I didn’t know that,” JP snarled. Back off, son! No one talks to my Robin like that! OK… maybe that’s not exactly how it went down, but it was something like that.
Anyway. Ashley. JP. Together at least. I think they make a good couple and I hope they’re happy. Mazel and congrats, you crazy interreligious couple! And good luck….
A real recap is forthcoming, along with a recap of “The Men Tell All.” I just need a day or two to collect my thoughts and try to find out where Ben lives. See you then, romance lovers!
PS: Most romantic video ever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYoh_sV35eA