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The Bachelorette 2: Advice for the Remaining Threeby Betsy Wasser -- 02/16/2004
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Things are getting serious on The Bachelorette. Last week, Meredith visited the hometowns of her final four, met their families, and eliminated one more guy from the running. In the previews for next week, Meredith said that she feels conflicted because she’s not used to feeling connected to three different guys at the same time. I’m not buying it. After this week’s dates, as far as I’m concerned, Meredith has only one choice. Which guy should Meredith pick? Please, I’m not going to tell you in the first paragraph! First, let’s look at what the final three guys can learn from the poor rose-less Lanny, and offer advice to those guys on what they can do to be the last man standing. Along the way, I promise to tell you which one I think she should choose.
First, let’s look at Meredith’s ill-fated date with Lanny. What went wrong? What can the other three guys learn from him? Poor Lanny was at a disadvantage from the beginning. Meredith not only wasn’t sure about the idea of living in the country, but she’s also uncomfortable around horses. Considering that Lanny lives on a farm and works as a horse-breeder, that’s a lot for him to overcome right off the bat. When Meredith arrived at the ranch, Lanny was wearing a cowboy shirt which, although it looked cute on him, didn’t do much to convince her that he was more than just a country boy. He then presented her with a bouquet of yellow roses, explaining that he knows roses aren’t her favorite flower, but that they represent the yellow rose of Texas. So, Meredith doesn’t love roses, and she’s not sure if she wants to live in Texas, and Lanny offers her both all in one gift? That’s not the greatest, but we’ll let it go because after all, he did give her flowers. Next, Lanny took Meredith into the barn to tell her about his work. He explained very plainly how exactly one goes about breeding horses. I can’t fault the guy there, because it is his job, and he wanted to share his life with Meredith. Besides, it’s not often you can use the words “artificial vagina” on a date. It’s even more rare that you can use the words “artificial vagina” on a date and have the date get worse from there.
The date did indeed get much worse when Lanny introduced Meredith to his family, particularly his mother Jeanne. Jeanne explained that their family is very close and that it’s important to her that she remain an important part of her son’s life. That’s fine, but the immediate barrage of questions Jeanne launched into made it pretty plain just how involved she’d be. How does Meredith like Texas? Can she imagine living there? What faith is Meredith? Would Jeanne’s grandchildren be raised in a Christian home? How does Meredith feel about having Lanny be the head of the household, with Meredith the supportive spouse who loves, honors, and obeys him? By the time Jeanne finished asking all of these questions, I wanted to run screaming in terror, and I was just watching it on TV.
Perhaps the most telling part of Meredith’s exchange with Jeanne came when Jeanne asked what she, as a mother-in-law, could do to remain close to Lanny without making Meredith feel smothered. Obviously this has been an issue before, and if we weren’t sure, that was confirmed by an interview with Lanny’s sister-in-law who quietly said that Jeanne will be a huge presence in Lanny’s life even after Lanny gets married. She would know.
Now, while it’s true that when you get married, your husband’s family becomes yours, Meredith would be marrying Lanny, not Jeanne. And it’s certainly possible to love your husband and not be thrilled with your mother-in law. Look at how brave Debra is week after week on Everybody Loves Raymond. But here’s the scary part: at no point before, during, or after the visit with Lanny’s family did Lanny warn her about what his mom was like. He never said, “Hey, Meredith, if my mom starts talking about how wives should be subservient to their husbands, just know that it’s her talking, not me, all right?” Because that never happened, I have a sinking suspicion that Lanny is a-okay with having his mom exert some serious control over his life and that he agrees with a lot of what she said.
What can the other bachelors learn from Lanny? The lesson is simple: nobody is a perfect potential spouse with absolutely no baggage. But if Lanny had talked to Meredith beforehand so she’d know what to expect, she might have been a lot less uncomfortable. Lanny seems like a really sweet guy, and I’m sure his mom is a lovely person. But it could not have been more clear that Meredith is wrong for their family. She herself said, “It would be a challenge for me to fit in.”
After Meredith’s date with Lanny, it was probably not a hard decision to not give him a rose. They’re not right for each other. But how did things go with the other suitors? Let’s look at her dates with Chad, Ian, and Matthew to see what advice these guys need.
Meredith’s date with Chad did not go well at all. The first strike against Chad is that he lives with his mother. He explained that since his father died, he wants to stay with his mom, and that it will be really hard for her when the last of her children leaves the nest. As he put it, “Obviously, I can’t just move out.” I can understand why Chad wants to support his mother. But if I were in Meredith’s shoes, I’d be concerned. If he doesn’t feel like he can move out now, when will it be okay? Do he and his mom have a plan for when it will be okay for him to leave? I didn’t see him address any of these issues, and that’s a little scary.
The next scary moment came when Meredith met Chad’s sister Darcy. Darcy told Meredith that she was a huge Bachelor fan and was thrilled when she found out that Meredith would be the bachelorette that her brother would meet. Darcy went on and on about how she feels like she already knows Meredith. The more Darcy talked, the more uncomfortable Meredith looked. The thing is, that while we might feel like we know Meredith, we’ve only seen a very small portion of her life and her personality, and all of it has been edited for maximum drama. I remember on the “After the Rose” special of the last Bachelor, I thought that Estella seemed much funnier than she ever was on the show. Estella herself said that she felt like Kelly Jo was edited to be the funny one, while she was the serious one. As much as we’ve seen Meredith on TV, we don’t really know her, and it’s got to make her feel awkward to hear someone say they do. It was like Darcy saw a brief Meredith commercial and was all ready to marry her brother to this girl she knew next to nothing about.
Of course, I don’t really know Darcy or Meredith, so I probably shouldn’t judge them either. Let’s just acknowledge the irony and move on, shall we?1 2 Next-->
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