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Point/Counterpoint with Susan and Brian: Amanda vs. Tristaby Susan Schechter and C. Brian Devinney -- 07/10/2002
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Point: Amanda was the correct choice for the Bachelor to make.
Counterpoint: Trista was the better choice.
Susan: I was actually given the option by the sagacious Brian this evening, I could pick between either girl for this article. Maybe because I have the correct plumbing for this question, and Brian, although I love him dearly, doesn’t. But then, I don’t know what it is like to cough during a physical. So, thank you, Brian.
Brian: Sagacious? Pulling out those fifty-cent words are we? Sagacious? You could have used smart, witty, perceptive, and even erudite. But sagacious? So, thank you and you’re welcome.
Susan: Picking Amanda over Trista was easy
Brian: I would say, “Easy like you, Susan?” but then you would kill me and I wouldn’t want that.
Susan: Oh, Brian! As much as I think Trista is a beautiful woman, she was a woman I couldn’t relate to. My high school didn’t have bleachers. It was like a Japanese High School. All we did was study to get into Ivy League schools. We didn’t have a football team.
Brian: Well my high school had bleachers. And I all I did was study, do drama club stuff, speak Spanish, and who knows what else. We had a football team that made the playoffs during my senior year. GO MUSTANGS! And no, I couldn’t relate to her either, but I still think she was a better choice.
Susan: Maybe it is because Trista is the kind of girl I have always been jealous of, perhaps the type I always wanted to be. She has the same personality as my sister! Instead, I have practically the same personality of Amanda. If you add a decade to Amanda, and 30 extra pounds as well as a cup size, and blue eyes, that is me, with the same personality, bubbly, open, and in awe of everything.
Brian: Trista was the kind of girl I was into when I was going through those strange, turbulent high school years before I realized that it wasn’t the Trista-clone I was interested in as much as I was interested in her boyfriend. But she (her name was Lisa, I can admit it, and her boyfriend was David) was very attractive, talented, and smart. Trista is a pediatric physical therapist and got her master’s degree with honors. She has a brain and that can be the greatest sex organ out there. There was a sense of maturity in her that I didn’t see in Amanda. There are, after all, about six years difference between them, and a lot can happen in those six years. But since you seem to compare yourself to Amanda, I don’t want to know if you have the same costumes that she does hanging in your closet.
Susan: Brian, I agree with you. Trista is charming. She is extremely intelligent. And she was out of Alex’s league. So Brian, this is why I think Amanda was the better choice.
Brian: Because Trista was too good for him? I think in any good relationship you learn from each other. I mean besides Amanda’s sexual tricks, what can she teach him? I think you would have had a great couple in Trista and Alex. Brains and beauty.
Susan: When I was in college, I learned one thing besides what I learned in books. That you don’t put out on the first date, and you don’t like sex. Well, by the time I was a Junior, I had a steady boyfriends and the latter went out the window. It was right up there with chocolate. I hope my parents are not reading this. I don’t want to give them a heart attack.
Brian: Don’t worry, I’ve already emailed them a copy. Out of courtesy you know.
Susan: Regarding the first thing, I could see a lot of girls (women) picking up guys in the Rathskeller, or maybe the guys were picking them up, putting out, and waiting by the phone for them to call. Hey, it was the mid ‘80s!
Brian: Yeah it was those “Oh, Mickey, you’re so fine” kinda times. Those “Wake me up before you go-go” years.
Susan: Brian, trust you to like George Michael.
Brian: And Mr. Ridgely, too. It was WHAM! after all.
Susan: But the guys didn’t call. The girls waited by the phone for days to no avail. Maybe it was what my parents taught me, that a girl HAS to wear white on their wedding day. HAS to. In other words, a guy can sow his wild oats til the cows come home, but a girl has to remain absolutely virginal, pure and untouched for her husband. Maybe this is why I was in such a rush to lose it, thinking I was New Jersey’s oldest virgin, to rebel in the one way I knew I could against my folks. I don’t know.
Brian: White, huh? White doesn’t look good on Irish skin, you know. It bleaches you out and makes you look even paler.
Susan: Brian, I agree. When my time comes I will have a dress like Fergie. Eggshell white. But here is Amanda. Beautiful.
Brian: Just like Trista.
Susan: Great figure, flawless skin. And comfortable in it.
Brian: Just like Trista. You aren’t winning me over.
Susan: I agree. Just like Trista. How many women are actually comfortable in their skin (I was too, until I put on the superfluous 30 lbs).
Brian: Well I hope all of the women are comfortable in their skins. I mean I don’t know of any one who tries to get new skin. There are dermatologists and such but you just can’t go out and buy new skin like you buy a new wardrobe. [Editor’s Note: Sorry, had to jump in and point out that a new skin can be bought. As evidence, I point to Michael Jackson. Sorry for the interruption.]
Susan: Amanda was actually tickled pink to be in Manhattan, staying at the new W hotel (which, ABC, I have walked by a million times, and it is gorgeous), and very receptive to the room service delivery of Champagne and Sex on the Sheets. I don’t think Trista would be. She would be the kind of girl who would say, “The chocolate would mess up my hair.”
Brian: Now I have to disagree here. I think Trista, in the right mood, would be into it. Yes, she put up some walls around her for her own emotional protection. However, I think at this point she knew she was willing to pursue something with him. She did, after all, say many times that she was interested in him but she was realistic with her feelings. “I am in like with him. I am not in love with him.” That’s something incredibly honest and refreshing. Very in touch with her feelings and emotions. She’s willing to get to know him better and eventually fall in love with him, but until she knows she’s the one, she won’t emotionally commit.
Susan: Now again, I may be wrong.
Brian: You normally are.
Susan: But, this is how she was portrayed on the television. I know a lot of women like that. There is nothing wrong with that attitude. Really. It takes all types to make up a world. But we saw that Alex was a horn dog. Hey, my friend Jeff has told me all men are horn dogs. Obviously a horn dog with a huge libido. Amanda obviously could match him for that.
Brian: Oh, just because we didn’t see Trista making out with him in the back of a limo doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. And for the record all men are not horndogs. And you’re also redundant… a horn dog has a huge libido already. But I think Trista could match Amanda in the sack. So you aren’t scoring points there. Just because we didn’t see it doesn’t mean that it can’t, couldn’t, or didn’t happen.
Susan: I am not scoring points! Brian, watch the double entendres. Plus, Amanda was open and honest. She didn’t hem and haw. I am like that. You ask me a question, and I cannot lie, like I don’t have one ounce of guile in me. Amanda came off the same way. No guile. Alex asks her about her breasts, she says she had them augmented. Ok, that is her choice. But she didn’t lie about them, or coyly say “Why don’t you touch them and see if they are real or not,” which would have rendered that question moot. She just answered the question.
Brian: Or not. I mean he could have ventured a guess and she could have answered. Or not. Besides, I think he knew that she had a boob job done. He just wanted to see how she would answer the question, crass as it was. Trista would have been just as honest. I think it’s just apples and oranges and bad editing. You’re making Trista out to be a prude without any evidence one way or another. She answered all of her questions honestly as well. Especially, let me reiterate, the one involving “like” vs. “love.”
Susan: She answered the questions about her annulment like it was nothing, and was honest about the Wonder Woman costume (I have something similar at home too).
Brian: But she had to answer questions about her annulment. Alex apparently comes from a Catholic family where annulments are important things to discuss. And as for the costume, she brought that one up. He didn’t ask. Besides, we don’t know if Alex doesn’t have a cheerleader/dancer fetish. She could put on her costume and do a little dance for him.
Susan: Amanda was comfortable in her skin. She wore her heart on her sleeve. What kind of man wouldn’t be interested in a beautiful woman like that?
Brian: And Trista was perfectly comfortable in hers. What she wasn’t comfortable with was getting hurt. In hindsight, yeah I think I would have erected a few little walls of protection around me to keep me from getting hurt as well. Let’s look at the situation. She knows he is dating other women and doesn’t want to risk the emotional investment of falling in love with someone who may not reciprocate those feelings at a future invitation dinner. She was perfectly within her right.
Susan: I told you on the phone I didn’t think Alex would pick Amanda.
Brian: And I told you it would be Amanda, although I think it was the wrong choice.
Susan: Yeah, I know, I thought he would pick Shannon. So sue me. But I am so happy he picked Amanda! Perhaps it came from breaking rule number one. I don’t know if they went all the way in New York, nor is it my business. But I kept thinking, “She kinda put out. He won’t call her.”
Brian: Well they might not have gone all the way but they went farther that I thought that two people who were having cameras follow them around would go. Maybe that’s me. Maybe that’s why Trista asked about the cameras first and wouldn’t go any farther until she knew that they were off. That’s discretion. That’s something that I didn’t see in Amanda. She was willing to make love to this man, but on her terms – no cameras. Amanda just gave in and did it and didn’t care who was watching. I would be scared to be vacationing in the same spot as them for fear I would catch them doing it on their hotel room balcony.
Susan: Let me tell you a story.
Brian: Ooh, story time. Let me get my teddy bear and curl up by the fire.
Susan: I was working on a political campaign a few years ago, and I found myself every weekend sitting next to a blonde lawyer. He was like Adonis. The way he filled out his jeans drove all us women bonkers.
Brian: Yeah, men in tight jeans can do that to you.
Susan: He asked me out one Sunday night after we closed shop at 5 pm, and we went to Bennigans on Route One in Edison. Then we went back to his house. Things got a bit hot and heavy, and – well, we didn’t because a certain thing was not there.
Brian: Something wasn’t there? I’m confused.
Susan: But – he said he would call me. He never did. I waited by the phone for days! He changed his day to work at the campaign on Saturdays, and I never saw him again, until our candidate’s huge election bash in East Brunswick. Where he showed up with a gorgeous woman who could have passed for Trista on his arm, and didn’t look at me. Well, live and learn. That was painful. Now I know why all the girls I lived with both as an undergrad and grad student said never, ever, ever.
Brian: So does that make you Shannon or Trista?
Susan: It doesn’t make me either, but a fool. I was trying to say I was a bit like Amanda!!
Brian: Are you sure that’s a compliment?
Susan: Brian!!! So when Alex got tired of the chase (and men like that chase bit don’t they), he realized that perhaps Trista wasn’t the right girl for him in the long run.
Brian: And it was the wrong decision. Maybe it was all about the chase with Trista, but it was to get to know her better. Apparently he wasn’t running fast enough or he was more interested in knowing what was between her legs than what was between her ears or in her heart.
Susan: But Amanda was. She has a loving family. When a woman has a family like that, you know she will be a good wife and mother, although you may get slightly over-protective uncles in the mix.
Brian: And what? Trista’s family all hates each other? I think she has the same supportive family that Amanda does. It was the uncles that scared me the most. I mean they looked like they wanted to string him up and bring back the lynch as a method of keeping creepy men from dating their daughter. I think her family was fun and lively and not as confrontational with Alex, which was a winner with me. Her mom was just a hoot and looks like she would be a fun mother-in-law to have.
Susan: Yes, Trista does have a loving family and friends, I’ll give you that. But Amanda is the real thing, all-American in looks, and fun to be with.
Brian: But, Susan, you ignorant writer, so was Trista. Geez.
Susan: Amanda may not be as well educated as Alex, but then how many people really are? Even I, who could give Alex a run for his money with education, didn’t go to Harvard or Snotford. I didn’t have a year overseas to study.
Brian: Well I went to a Florida public university and I think I could give Alex a run for his money intellectually as well. I didn’t study overseas either but I don’t think that’s all that big of a criteria.
Susan: Like Amanda, my parents were (and still are) middle class. Trista, although she is beautiful, caring and smart, was always the kind of girl I was intimidated by. I am so glad he chose Amanda. Like Coca-Cola, she is the real thing. I am glad she was picked.
Brian: See, I think Trista is the better choice. Yeah, you might be intimidated by her looks and so forth, but I think that when you put them down side to side, he chose someone who was, perhaps, sexually compatible with him more than anything else. Trista’s only fault was that she opened up and played her cards too late in the game. If she had committed herself or even told him as much we might have had a different outcome.
Susan envies these girls and wishes she could have been on the show. The one thing on which she will agree with Brian is that the Yankees rule. In fact they are currently debating who is the bigger Yankees fan. Unlike Brian, the only Broadway she has seen is Off-Off Broadway. She can be reached as always, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian doesn’t envy these girls and something tells him that he wouldn’t make it on The Bachelor. Brian refuses to debate the bigger Yankees fan question because he knows he would win far too easily. Brian just saw Urinetown again and thought it was absolutely delightful. If you want to give him free theatre tickets so he attend all of the shows this year, you can reach him at TheRealityFactor@aol.com.
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