It’s Monday, hands down the best day of the week. The Bachelorette is on TV, and I’m gearing up to watch true love unfold in the most dramatic season ever. I can’t wait, or rather, we cannot wait, because I won’t be watching it alone. At my house, The Bachelorette and The Bachelor have become a group event, a ritual for my friends and family. We view in person as a group when we can, but more often by text, with our phones in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.
The day begins with my early morning text to the group.
“Tonight at 7. Everyone still on?”
The replies arrive instantly.
“You bet,” my friend Lesley replies.
“Can’t wait!” responds my sister.
“I’m in!” says Taryn, my niece.
When 7 o’clock finally arrives, I’m flying high on Cloud 9 like Bachelorette Rachel. (Hold on, maybe that was Gabby. No, it was Taysia. Wait, it was most definitely Kaitlyn with Shawn, or maybe with Jason. For sure, it was one of them, or all of them. Phew! Cloud 9 must be full.)
Within minutes of airing, the messages roll in.
Looks like lots of crying ahead.
Looks like it’s going to be an interesting episode
For the next two hours, we fill our message inboxes with LOLs and OMGs. There will be laughing, laughing with tears, and grimacing face emojis in abundance. We share our predictions as to who will get the first impression rose, the final rose, or be the villain of the season (Hint: there is always one). We listen to see who gets the clown music—a sure sign of pending doom and gloom for the poor guy, or who receives the romantic Final 4 track, as we have aptly named it.
Our anticipation for fireworks builds along with the crescendo of music. We rejoice when the bad guy is finally sent home (Hint: he’ll likely make it to the final 4), and we whine (no pun intended) when our favourites get ousted. For one night, we might be dream girls or act like mean girls where we hang our heads in shame—but we do it together.
Over the years, we have learned to keep the process simple. Though we tried it once, there are no fancy drafts or pools. We don’t award prizes or trophies. It’s not about the leader or the winners at all. In fact, one season, we even let Lesley cheat on her predictions and for the entire year, no sour grapes, we allowed her to pretend that she had correctly picked the final rose contestant!
The shocking reason for all of this: we don’t believe the Bachelorette or Bachelor will find their one true love. We are too wise and know the truth: the contestants are as flawed as we are, maybe more, and sadly, the entire premise is more flawed than the contestants.
The future the contestants can see together is simply the near future, at least until the season finale, we hope. Still, after twenty-six seasons and countless bottles of wine, we want to believe it’s possible.
The bottom line is that the magic doesn’t come from the on-screen budding romances, declarations of enduring love, or not even in the overnight fantasy suite (sigh!). Instead, we create our own magic. Although all the contestants claim to have a special connection, it pales compared to the friendship and connection we create when we come together, in the same room, or by text, to laugh, cry, cringe, and groan.
The reward is priceless: time. Time for us where our husbands, partners, children, or sometimes parents, can either join in, leave the room, or just add side comments while they pretend they are not watching. It’s time for us to be selfish, have fun, enjoy some silliness, and unlike many contestants, we are here for the right reason.
Thanks for the date night!
Until next week…
Yvonne Denomy is an avid reader who delved into writing after striking a “nearing retirement” deal with her sister – her sister would paint, but only if Yvonne would write. The deal stuck for both, and Yvonne is now nearing completion of her first YA novel. Yvonne holds a Master of Education degree in the area of teacher-librarianship and is currently a school administrator in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This summer, Yvonne completed her first writing course, Writing Personal Stories, with Brian and absolutely loved it!
See Brian Henry’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.