Why are we watching ‘The Bachelorette?’

Has anybody else been glued to the TV watching “The Bachelorette?” on Monday nights? I have been completely hooked. I even turned off the phones and the computer for last night’s finale. I know, this does not sound like the intellectual fare that someone of my age and education should be watching, but dang it, I can’t help myself. We’ve got beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes in beautiful places doing beautiful things. Even the their meals are beautiful–although they rarely seem to actually eat. It’s a Cinderella story in which Cinderella aka Desiree does not lose her glass slipper but she does get the handsome prince. And he never says, “Oh by the way, I don’t want to have children.” The men always say they want kids, and some who already have children insist that they want more. They want two, three, five, eight, a whole dozen.

Last night, as Chris proposed to Des, he included children in his proposal. “Do you want to have kids with me?” I’m sitting on my couch in my nightgown screaming “Yes!” He says all the right things, plus he’s handsome and has a good job. Where was this guy when I was dating? Husband number one didn’t even bother with a real proposal. Number two had all the right qualities except that he didn’t want to have kids with me.

I know, The Bachelorette is a fairy tale. I know that the couples rarely stay together long enough to actually get married. And as far as I know, only one Bachelor/Bachelorette couple has had children together. But don’t spoil my dreams with the reality of reality TV. I want to believe they will live happily ever after in a house full of beautiful children and beautiful grandchildren.

In a Huffington Post article titled “What Could You Have Done With All The Hours You Spent Watching ‘The Bachelorette’?Jessica Goodman tallied up how many hours fans have spent watching “The Bachelorette” over the years: 6.54 days or 157 hours. She offers suggestions for other ways we might have used that time. Not one of those suggestions involves kids, but they might be fun. Check it out.

Is watching this show a waste of time? Or is it okay to seek comfort in fantasy when our own lives haven’t turned out quite the way we planned? And now what will we do on Monday nights?

I welcome your thoughts.

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With "The Bachelor," you get babies

I was watching “The Bachelor” on TV the other night. Is it just me or has it become sleazier than ever? So why am I watching it? But that’s not why I bring it up. I noticed that every woman there professes not only to love, love, love the hunky bachelor Sean but to want to have babies with him. He has repeatedly said that he is anxious to “start a family.” So it’s all happy, right?

But what if he chooses his dream girl and it turns out one or both of them are infertile? No babies. What if she decides she’d rather keep her perfect bikini body and skip baby-making?

This year, the candidates are a diverse lot. Apparently the producers heard the complaints, so now Sean can pick from a smorgasbord of women who are white, black, Asian, Hispanic and even disabled–one girl was born without a left arm. No fat girls, of course, no one who isn’t beautiful, and no one who is not gung ho about having children. I bet if one of the girls said, “You know, I really don’t want to have children,” old Sean would vote her out in a heartbeat.

But it’s not a realistic situation, is it? It’s the old Cinderella story. She’ll marry Prince Charming and they’ll have beautiful children together. That’s about as real as their big breasts and their claims that they adore this guy they just met when all they really want is to be on TV and maybe get famous.

The night after “The Bachelor,” I watched the second-to-last episode of “Private Practice.” And what did we see? Babies everywhere. Charlotte gave birth to triplets, Addison’s adoption of Henry was finalized, and Amelia announced to the hunky new ER doc that she wants to have his babies. He was fine with that. By the end of that show, I was suffering some serious baby lust which holding the dog did not satisfy.

In the real world, we may be seeing one in five women never having children, but prime time TV rarely reflects that reality.

What do you think?