Ghostly greetings one and all! Last week Brad presented Sheena with sparkling diamond earrings, then gave Kristy and Hillary the old Texan boot, which means Jenni, DeAnna, Sheena and Bettina will be bringing Brad home to meet Ma and Pa. I look forward to the ghoulish hometown visits each season with great anticipation because there’s always at least one family that grills the Bachelor like a piece of USDA prime beef that’s been charred over an open flame. So put on your favorite frightful Halloween costume, heat up a batch of bat wing soup and let’s have a spootacular good time watching our Big Boy squirm and shower. Yes, you read that right, shower. You know it’s going to be a terrific show when it opens with Brad taking a shower. Booyah! *sigh*
Jenni watches as Brad jumps out of the car to greet her with a hug and kiss. She grew up in Wichita, dancing her way across the city, and to this day her family still lives there. She has brought Brad to the auditorium where she won her very first dancing competition because dance is her life! I suppose we should be grateful being a mime isn’t her life because I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I could stomach watching her mime on stage - then again, mimes don’t constantly giggle so it does have its advantages. She says she has something very special for Brad - I’ll bet she does (cue Beavis and Butthead laugh) and judging by Brad’s reaction, he’s right there with us. And what is this very special surprise? Why, it’s none other than watching her dance/flit around a stage (without music) all the while tossing out lines like, “no laughing” and “I’m so embarrassed.” But we’re wise to the folks who volunteer for these shows, and as much as I like Jenni, I can’t help but feel her more obvious intention is not to amuse Brad, but to catch the eye of perspective entertainment executives. The dancing reminds Brad that Jenni wants to dance for the Phoenix Suns and that would require a one-year commitment for her to remain there. She takes her final curtsy, and he mentions that he worries how they’ll deal with being separated for a year if she gets the contract with the Suns. He says just being separated this past week was hard on him. Jenni is more philosophical about it and says if you have a goal and it’s important to you, you’ll work things out. I guess I don’t understand why it’s that big a deal. How long could a flight between Phoenix and Texas be? An hour? It’s not like they’ll be separated by fjords.
Jenni says it’s been almost three years since she’s brought a man home, but apparently she’s not bringing Brad home, either, because mom’s house is “too little.” Instead, they’re headed to Mom’s hair salon where according to the sign out front you can also get a massage. Um, hair salon, riiiight. With a ginormous bouquet of flowers in hand, Brad enters holding Jenni’s hand, and is immediately greeted by Mom, Dad, Sister and Grandma. They sit around a dining table (isn’t that some kind of health code violation to serve a meal amongst the permanent solution and hair dye?) for dinner and the conversation eventually works its way to Brad’s profession. Once Grandma hears he owns several bars, she pounces, wanting to know if he’s a “drinker.” I can’t help but notice all the wine glasses on the table, heh, but Gram says she’s a tea totaller. Brad’s glad she asked and says he’s the most boring bar owner they could ever meet. As endearing as he is sometimes, he wouldn't get any argument from me on that note. Dad wants to know if his brothers have any children and Brad says not yet, but they all want lots of babies. Grandma doesn’t skip a beat and chastises him, saying that Jenni isn't going to be a “walking baby factory,” hahaha. I officially love Grandma. Brad breaks out in a sweat and quickly backtracks, Jenni covers her face in her hands, and Grandma warns he’d better treat her granddaughter with respect. Booyah!
After dinner, Mom walks Brad over to the wash bowls and proceeds to wash his hair…vigorously. And since she’s got him held captive with a faucet running over his head, she begins to fire questions off to him. Most importantly, doesn’t he meet a lot of girls at work? He responds it’s difficult to know what some women’s intentions are, and when he’s at work, he’s working. For good measure, he adds that it’s not often you meet someone as wonderful as Jenni. Mom’s pleased and lets him get up with both ears still intact as well as whatever dignity he has left under the girly little towel sitting on his head. In case he’s thinking of mistreating Jenni, however, Mom threatens that she has thousands of tapes of Jenni dancing that she can whip out at any given moment. I’ve got to hand it to Brad - he’s a good sport about letting Mom run her fingers through his hair.
Meanwhile Jenni and her sister secretly talk and Jenni admits she may be falling in love with Brad. Dad takes Brad aside wanting to know about his goals for the future. When Brad begins to elaborate, Dad interrupts saying he doesn’t want to know what Brad’s goals are…just that he has some. I love Dad. Brad promises he would take very good care of Jenni, and Dad says if he didn’t, he knows his daughter would call him. Then Dad offers up some advice about Grandma - “you don’t have to watch out for Grandma, as long as you stay out of her reach.” Hee. Jenni’s family is a hoot and Dad thinks Brad fits in quite well. He adds if Jenni chooses Brad, he will support her completely. As the day comes to a close, Dad announces that Jenni made the Suns team and she tells us later that although this puts a crimp in things, she’s holding out hope that things will turn out as she wishes. When Jenni and Brad are alone they talk about how their relationship would continue with them being apart. She loves dancing and feels compelled to do it. He understands and would never ask her to walk away from it. She says if he chooses her, she will give him a million percent (?!), and he says good relationships require compromise and he’s okay with that. Brad feels if it’s true love, a year apart means nothing in the big scheme of things. Jenni’s hope is to dance and have Brad.
A Frightfully Kooky Visit
Walnut Creek, CA
Sheena is waiting for Brad along a dock as her mom and dad enter the scene on their yacht. Introductions are made and soon Brad and Sheena are straddling a large inflatable raft being whipped around the water by Dad’s boat. Occasionally they’re bounced off the raft completely, and Brad says he thinks they tried very hard to make him feel comfortable. I thought he was going to say they tried very hard to kill him because that's sure how it looked to me, heh.
Eventually the four of them sit on the boat deck engaged in casual conversation. Mom, who believes in love at first sight, says they’ve been married 24 years and are still in love. She then wants to know what Brad’s 'sign' is *rolleyes* and is thrilled to hear he’s a Scorpio. As Mom drones on about horoscopes, Sheena makes it clear she knows nothing about the subject. Mom insists Scorpios get along famously with Aries (Sheena’s sign). Later Mom enthusiastically tells us the stars lined up and she felt so fully connected with Brad, it’s as if he’s already a part of their family. I think Mom's been dipping into the spider cider. Ack.
Back at the house, Mom and Brad sit alone on the couch and Mom is still rabidly talking crazy-as-a-loon-astrology-psychobabble about the stars aligning, Brad being the same sign as her husband, and something about how you can lasso the Big Dipper in the sky when you’re up there. She then goes on to say that Sheena’s The One. Mom’s not sure if Sheena is Brad’s One, but she’s The One, and furthermore, she can’t take her eyes off his eyes. Brad’s beginning to look spooked which is only appropriate since it’s almost Halloween, but Mom says “they’re ready to commit." I wait for her to add “they’re ready to commit me to an institution,” but apparently she means they’re ready to commit to marriage. Wha? She says they’re ready to walk down the aisle and be one man’s everything. She continues to ramble about how every Mom wants her daughter to be married, and says, “let’s get the ring!” She’s a fashion coordinator and promises they’ll have The. Best. Wedding. Ever! (Did Fleiss write that line for her?) Gah, I believe in signs, too, and I quickly scan the room looking for a hookah pipe, or roach clips or some other sign that she’s high on something other than life.
Sheena and Brad hit the Jacuzzi, and she asks if her mom annoyed him. Brad says meeting her family lets him understand more about her (I'll say), and I have to admit, I’m surprised we’re not seeing the back of his head getting smaller and smaller as he bolts down the street at a fast clip. Sheena thinks he’s fit into her family quite well and thinks the visit was wonderful. Oy.
Sit for a Spell and Have Some Brew
Brad loves the fact that DeAnna doesn’t ‘need’ him and he admires her. She greets him with a basket of peaches (cliché anyone?), and together they go to her father’s house where Brad is introduced to Dad, Brother, Sister and Stepmother. DeAnna tells us this is the first time she’s ever walked into her dad’s house proud of who is on her arm. What? What kind of scuzzo’s has she dated in the past? Wait a minute. I hit replay and notice the statement is heavily edit by the Fleissman, so who knows what she really said. She just as easily could have said, “today is the first time I’ve ever walked into my dad’s house proud to be carrying a basket of peaches on my arm surrounded by a lighting crew, boom operators, and cameramen.” Harrumph. Think they can fool us, do they?
Dad wants to know if Brad’s been married before and Brad says he’s been in some long-term relationships, but no marriages. He further explains that his parents divorced when he was young so he takes marriage very seriously and wants to feel sure when he takes that step. Dad tells us he hopes Brad’s intentions are good and that his heart is in the right place. They go off together and Dad says he can see the sparkle in DeAnna’s eyes when she’s with Brad and warns him that she’s been through a lot having lost her mother at a young age. DeAnna joins them with photo album in hand, and shows Brad a few pictures of her as a young child with her mother. She explains to us later that although her mother isn’t there in person, she’s still a very big part of her life and she wanted Brad to see that. Brad is falling for her even more after seeing her soft, emotional side regarding her mother’s death.
DeAnna and her sister are alone and she says if Brad doesn’t pick her, she’s going to be crushed. Her sister reassures her she’ll be proud of her no matter how things end up and that Mom's watching overhead.
Suddenly the front door opens and Grandma, Grandpa, aunts, uncles, and cousins enter the house with booze in hand - Ouzo, that is. For those of you not familiar with Ouzo, it’s an anise-flavored liqueur that is widely consumed in Greece (and obviously DeAnna's family). Oh, and it packs a big wallop. Brad tells us he tried to be a man and keep it together when swallowing, but says he failed miserably, hee. One of the uncles announces he likes “this guy” as Grandpa pours another shot for Brad. Grandma toasts, “to your health and may you love your mother-in-law.” Laughter, drinking and dancing ensues with Brad occasionally shouting oopah! They are a wonderful family and a joy to watch. DeAnna has completely fallen for Brad and again says she’ll be crushed if he doesn’t give her a rose.
Out for Blood
Brad and Bettina meet at a park by the Washington Monument and Bettina’s sure her family is going to love Brad. During this visit Brad hopes Bettina will come out of her shell and that her whole family will be laughing and joking with him. Did you just feel that chill? Either a ghostly apparition just floated into the room or I do believe Mr. Foreshadowing has made an appearance and left an icy chill in the room.
The mood is high as Bettina introduces Brad to Dad, Mom, Stepmom and Sister. Bettina tells us her father’s opinion is very important to her because they think alike. They all adjourn to the living room and Stepmom immediately begins the conversation by saying the only thing they know about Brad is his name. Dad follows up questioning Brad’s education. Somewhat hesitantly, Brad explains that he went to college, but left before he got his degree to go into business for himself. Trying to engage Dad in conversation, Brad asks what brought them to D.C., and with great smugness, Dad says he was offered a professorship and they’ve been there ever since. Cut to Dad talking to the camera alone and he whines, “well, that’s a great disappointment.” But wait. It gets even better when they hear Brad owns four bars. You can see their collective nostrils flare and lips curl at the very idea of it. Brad is definitely getting more and more uncomfortable, and who can blame him. Stepmom is not happy having her stepdaughter “hooked up with a guy who owns a bunch of bars.” I’m sure Brad’s mother wouldn’t be too happy knowing her son was hooked up with a woman whose parents were bigots.
The pompous family sits down for lunch and Mom wants to know if Brad works late into the night. Brad tries to explain it’s a business and it does require him to be there in the evening. I think the stick moved a couple more inches up Dad’s butt because he stiffens a little more in his chair when he hears Brad's answer. Without a doubt this is The. Crappiest. Family. Visit. Ever! I wouldn’t blame Brad if he got the hell out of there, leaving them to wallow in their arrogant muck. Either that, or Brad, and Bettina’s dad, should go ahead and enter into a duel with water pistols at 30 paces and get it over with because Brad would surely soak the little vermin. Later Brad tells us that he felt like he was being severely judged - perhaps that’s because he most definitely was. Dad is not happy having Bettina choose a husband this way and I say that’s something he should take up with her, not Brad - afterall, no one put a gun to her head and told her she had to come on the show. Dad adds that her first husband was a “wonderful, wonderful man,” and I’d like to know where in the hell this great guy is. Dad pulls Bettina aside and asks why she’s chosen Brad because he isn’t college educated. She says one of his own daughters doesn’t even have a degree. His three main concerns are 1) the bar business, 2) lack of education, 3) having to move to Austin.
Meanwhile Mom and Stepmom have Brad cornered in the kitchen and are questioning the way the show has the man string the ladies along. Look, we all know that’s what goes on with this show. Shouldn’t they be asking Bettina why she’d want to be on a show like this? As Brad is in mid-sentence, the women decide it’s time to take the dog outside. In the end, isn't it reassuring to know these folks still end up with pooper scoopers in their hands just like the rest of us? Heheh.
Brad and Bettina get away from the witches and warlock and she tries to explain her family’s reaction to him. When he says he felt harshly judged, Bettina’s response is, “well, I don’t look that good on paper either.” Ouch. He doesn’t like people questioning who he is, and quite honestly, I’m hoping as he left their house, he snatched several of their objets d’art which he can sell later on eBay.
Which Witch Will it Be?
Chris greets everyone at the mansion and reminds the women how important this ceremony is because the overnight dates are next week. Brad says it’s good to see them, and it breaks his heart to say goodbye to one of them tonight. Roses are given out as follows: DeAnna, Jenni, and...Bettina. Noooooooooo! What the hell? Sheena, who has never looked as beautiful as she does tonight, takes a deep breath. Brad walks her out and she compliments him on how nice he looks. He explains that she’s deserving of happiness and he wishes he was her perfect guy but he’s not. She breaks down crying, hiding her face in his shoulder, then composes herself and tells him he’s an amazing (drink!) guy - he’s the first thought she has in the morning and the last thought she has at night. Our best witches go with you, Sheena. You’re a lovely, sweet young woman with some magnificent earrings, and you’re going to have plenty of men beating down your door. Providing you can rein in your mother, that is. That woman is daft.
Next week everyone dons trunks and bikinis as they frolic at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for the overnight dates. Say, you don’t suppose Brad is taking Bettina to Cabo just to drive the old man wiggy, do you? That’s brilliant! And to think he doesn’t even have a college education. Heheh. What would you like to see happen to Bettina’s dad? Let me know via a pm here. Have a safe and spooky Halloween!
Many roses go to bigedlb for the picture of Bettina's wicked father.