When hormones outtalk common sense

I’ve been thinking about Monday’s “Bachelorette” TV show. Did you see it? Kaitlyn, the bachelorette, and Nick, one of her suitors, made out all over Dublin, even in a church. It was embarrassing to watch. I kept yelling at the screen, “Nick get your hands out of her dress!” but he didn’t hear me. Then they went back to her hotel suite and had sex. We didn’t see it, but we heard the sound effects, and it was all over the news on Tuesday. Shooting in Charleston, Kaitlyn does Nick. It could all have been staged, but clearly those two were in that zone where common sense goes out the window. I’ve been there. Have you?

In her voiceovers, Kaitlin kept saying that when she gets together with Nick, she forgets the cameras, the other guys and everything else. I know the feeling. Maybe you do, too. You have just discovered this person. Your hormones are going crazy. Suddenly nothing else matters. You will do or say anything to keep the relationship going. You’ll move, you’ll quit your job, you’ll shut out the advice of everyone in your world, and you’ll ignore that little voice in your head that says, “Hey, wait a minute.”

Then the initial fire cools. You look around and think, wait, I don’t want to change my whole life. I like my job. I like my home. He’s not as cute as I thought he was. Suddenly he or she says, “About those babies . . . I’m not so sure.” Now you’re committed and in a jam.

That’s where most of the folks here, including me, end up. I hear it over and over. Yesterday, an anonymous writer sent a four-part comment about her situation. She’s 38, he’s 40. She’s sure he’s the love of her life. She moved in with him a while ago. He was okay with baby thing before, but now he’s saying he doesn’t want to have a baby. She’s freaking out, she’s starting counseling, she’s not sure if they can stay together. What do I think she should do?

I never know what to tell people in this situation. The old lady in me misses the days when people didn’t jump into bed or move in together so quickly, when you had to commit to marriage before doing the horizontal polka. Or maybe people were just sneakier about it. We all do it. I slept with Fred early on and moved in with him before we got married. Luckily, I got a good man and I have no regrets, except for not having children, but it doesn’t always work out that well. I could have skipped my whole first marriage if I had listened to the wiser woman in my head.

Don’t ignore that little voice. It’s like when I quit my excellent job and gave up my apartment in 1983 to sing with a band that had a contract to tour the U.S. All I ever wanted was to sing in a band, and here was my chance. We were going to be rich and famous. Our sponsors went bankrupt in two months. There I was with no home and no job. I moved back in with my parents and started over. Wiser members of the band had kept their jobs and had something to go back to, but me, I jumped headfirst.

It’s the same with relationships. I know how it feels to be crazy in love. The rest of the world just disappears, but don’t let it. Do whatever you can to get a clear head, whether it’s prayer, a hiking trip, or a long talk with a friend. Listen to your loved ones, listen to that voice in your head. Don’t burn any bridges until you’re sure it’s going to work because sometimes it’s perfect, and sometimes it turns into a disaster.

Have you been in similar situations? Have you dumped everything for a man or woman and then regretted it? I would love to hear your comments.

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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.