Bachelor shares thoughts on intimacy
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Ben Sands -
11/22/2004 23:31 MST
Editor's note: This is the third in a series of columns that Ben Sands is writing for the Aspen Daily News. Sands is vying for Jen Schefft's affections on the reality television program "The Bachelorette," which airs tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC. At the end of the column, Aspen Daily News Associate Editor Troy Hooper grills Sands on last week's episode.
"INTIMATE?" WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN? We were sitting around the kitchen table the morning following Fabrice's date: Ryan, Jerry, Wendell and myself. Drinking coffee, we listened as Frenchy recalled the night that had just passed and his first one-on-one date with Jen. Cotton Club, Vanessa Williams, blah, blah, blah. Casually, I asked the only question anyone really cared about
: "So do ya kiss her or what?" With a coy half-shrug he responded, "It was intimate, yes." The group fell silent. Intimate? One by one, everyone got up from the table and went to do something other than listen to this guy talk about how he had presumably made out with our collective girlfriend. At that point we liked to think of her as "ours." But, more accurately, we were hers: a collection of obsequious male concubines. Interestingly no one had had a problem with our role until somebody tried to stake their own claim ... and our French friend had made le premier interlude romantique.
Well, it was an intimate moment between Fabrice and Jen (not to mention the camera guy who was documenting that most unpleasant of French kisses). But, after watching it on television, the date clearly hadn't been as successful as Fabrice had implied that morning after. Of course we weren't privy to such information at the time, so, consequently, that one little word permanently changed the dynamic in the house. Suddenly the whole situation became much more real: We were all trying to date the same girl and some relationships were moving more quickly than others. In response, some in the house became detached, some contentious and others, like Ryan and myself, just angry that we hadn't taken more shots during our little game of street ball. (Allow for a brief interjection here regarding that hoops game. The final score was 15-1. 15-1! The television footage did not do that particular ass-whooping justice. Furthermore, where is the justice in giving Fabrice the one-on-one date for being the low scorer? Not surprisingly, he took no issue with the award whereas Ryan and I, children of a more meritocratic culture, rightfully felt slighted.)
Jen could relate to the confusion that gripped the remaining guys. How do you attempt to begin a relationship with someone who has made inroads with another? She had two recommendations: First, don't think about it. (Sound advice. Ignorance really is bliss.) Second, if it works out in the end, this month of uncertainty and awkwardness will soon be forgotten. (Yeah, tell that to my friends TiVo-ing this in HD.) Honestly, what she said did make sense. What it comes down to is simple: It's not a perfect situation - she's going to have to test drive a couple before she buys. That's just the way it works. Fair enough.
By the time the rose ceremony rolled around it looked like Fabrice was the lemon of the bunch. None of the guys in the house were giving him a chance - except me. Fabrice struck me as a very intelligent guy - emotional yes, but ultimately rational and clever. Sure enough, just when it looked like he was heading to reality TV purgatory, he talked his way into the next round.
The next round? When Jen adorned me with my next rose, the pin tore through my jacket, shirt and undershirt, glancing my chest. The fleeting sensation of pain brought me out of my rose-ceremony-induced haze, and I became immediately conscious of the predicament I was in: One more of these roses and I was taking Jen home to meet my parents, possibly in Aspen. Which raises the question: Can this girl ski?
Hooper: "Oh Silent Smiley One: Cat got your tongue? Why so quiet my friend?"
Sands: "I said plenty, just not so much related to finding a girlfriend on national television. On that issue, I usually preferred to listen."
Hooper: "I didn't see Fabrice at Gay Ski Week. But in that last episode, I did seem him crying like a schoolgirl. Is Fabrice gay? French? Or both?"
Sands: "Not sure. I've never considered crying to be an exclusive characteristic of either homosexuals or French people. I've always considered it a fairly common biological feature of all human beings. Regardless, given Fabrice's success in getting a rose despite crying (twice!), it appears that women are attracted to guys who aren't afraid to show and share vulnerability. I might try it myself."
Hooper: "Nice layup. How many points did you score?"
Sands: "Three buckets total - two jumpers in addition to the layup. I should have dunked that last one, though."
Hooper: "I noticed that both of the virgins have been eliminated. Coincidence? Or further evidence of Darwinism?"
Sands: "Josh and Jason may have been virgins, but it is not because they can't get a date. Instead, they have a conviction founded in their beliefs, and they are true to it. I find few things more impressive. I think a more accurate interpretation of Darwin would find them most likely to finish first in the struggle for existence."
Hooper: "I doubt it. Save that B.S. for Jen."