Last night on The Bachelorette was hometown date night. I find these stressful, because, as a socially awkward person, I always find meeting the family of a significant other hit or miss. They either love me or want to get a protective order against me for their son. But these episodes are also boring because it’s usually just people sitting around talking unless a) the family hates the Bachelorette or b) it’s a crazy family. None of these things happened last night, so it was a bit of a snoozefest.
More of this would have certainly livened things up!
First Ashley went to visit Constantine in Cumming, GA. Cumming is a town with a name that promises an extraordinarily fun time. Unfortunately, all Constantine has in mind is making Ashley work at his Italian restaurant for an afternoon. They make pizza and talk and the waitresses spy on them and provide 80s-style in-studio audience sound effects (“whoooooo” for kisses and “awwwwww” for adorable things).
After Ashley cooks, waits tables, washes dishes and does everyone’s sidework, they go to see Constantine’s dad, mom and sister. Mom and sis look just alike and dad is very affectionate with Constantine and has an adorable Greek accent. They all seem to like Ashley but worry about how quickly things are moving. Most of all, though, they want Constantine to be happy and to have a solid marriage. Later, dozens of extended family members come over and hug and holler and scream at Ashley and then they all dance while an older man showers them with money. Crazy Uncle Anatoli… always mistaking family dinners for the gennelmen’s club.
Ashley’s next stop is Chadds Ford, PA, which is Ames’s hometown and also the setting for many a Ralph Lauren photo shoot. Ames is super excited that Ashley’s there because he feels that they are like “boyfriend and girlfriend” and even though he seems super smart he apparently hasn’t picked up on the fact that while Ashley knows that she should really like him… there’s just no chemistry there.
Ames introduces Ashley to his mom, sister, brother, and his siblings’ spouses and kids. There will never be any doubt in anyone’s mind that Ames and his siblings are related. They look freakishly alike. I say this as someone with siblings who look exactly like me. It freaks everybody out at first but eventually they get used to us holding hands and talking in unison like the girls from The Shining.
Anyway. Ames’s family picks up pretty quickly on the fact that Ames is a smitten kitten for Ashley but the feelings aren’t reciprocated. Ashley assures them that she likes Ames but they’re moving slowly and need more time to get to know one another. Ames’s sister pulls him aside to tell him to step up his game, so he takes Ashley on a picnic under a magnolia tree and then takes her for a ride through the woods in a carriage pulled by four horses. Um… yeah. You know there are some things that may look romantic in movies or books… but in real life, I don’t know. They just seem lame or contrived or just so awkward that they can’t be fun. But Ames put some real effort into this and was his usual charming self, speaking in Italian and talking about the concept of being romantic in everyday life.
The third visit was to see Ben in Sonoma, CA. After wine tasting and a picnic, it’s off to see Ben’s mom who is adorable and his sister who is… something else. Julia, you see, hasn’t always liked Ben’s past girlfriends. And something tells me that you don’t want Julia to dislike you. Bad things happen when Julia dislikes you. The people who Julia dislikes… they disappear. I have a mild crush on Julia.
After dinner, the whole thing turns into a therapy session as Ben apologizes to his mom for being a bad son and his mom assures Ben that his father is looking down on him from heaven and being very proud and there are a lot of tears and it’s sad and then there’s Ashley bounding back into the picture like an adorable golden retriever who has no idea that a whole lot of baggage has just been opened.
Final hometown visit is with JP in Roslyn, NY. JP takes Ashley roller skating at a local rink (HotSkates!) and it’s pretty cute and they share some pretty steamy kisses. At his parents’ house we meet his mom, dad, brother and brother’s girlfriend. This is a family that looks nothing alike! How did that happen? JP’s family is really, really worried that he’s going to get his heart broken. I say heartache is a part of life… a price you pay to the gods of love…. But the way they’re going on and on about it makes me wonder if something horrific didn’t happen at the end of JP’s last relationship. I mean, JP’s mom brings it up about a million times… but then she whips out a giant photo of JP circa 1990 and love sickness is forgotten as everyone marvels at how cheesy he was.
Final stop of the night is California, where Ashley recaps the hometown dates for Chris Harrison and then hands out roses. The first one goes to Ben. A confused-looking JP gets the second rose. The final rose goes to Constantine, leaving Ames looking pretty stunned. He says some incredibly nice things to Ashley and smiles at her a lot before she finally puts him in the limo, where he tells us that he was in love with Ashley and had looked forward to a lifetime of adventures with her. Awwww… don’t worry, he is apparently hooking up with another one of Brad Womack’s castoffs, so things are working out for Ames.
Next week… Fiji… romance… trouble in paradise. See you for the full recap!