The Bachelorette July 12 – Hometown Dates A/K/A Everyone Loves Ali.
The Bachelorette July 12 – Hometown Dates A/K/A Everyone Loves Ali.
Welcome back Bachelorette fans, and join us for the home town dates. Ali will visit the hometowns of Roberto (Tampa), Chris (Cape Code), Kirk (Green Bay) and Frank (Chicago). In prior seasons of the show, they generally visit the contestants’ parents in their homes, but not the contestants’ homes. However, because Frank and Chris are both currently living with their parents (or dad in Chris’ case), Ali can see how half of her contenders are actually choosing to live right now. Maybe we’ll be treated to something creepy like when Jake visited Vienna’s house and sat on her bed with Jake with her parents right in the next room.
Roberto’s Date - And Now Is the Time On Sprockets Where We Dance
First up, Ali goes to Tampa where Roberto puts on one of his old baseball uniforms, gives Ali a jersey (also with his old number, 19 on it), and they play some ball. They look like they’re genuinely having fun, as Ali keeps jumping up on Roberto and wrapping her legs around him. Then Roberto shows her his baseball card from when he was in the minor leagues (in a town close to her hometown) and she declares that he was super hot. Champagne appears from nowhere. I wish that happened more in everyday life. We could all use some champagne fairies in our lives.
Ali and Roberto talk about her being nervous to meet his family. Roberto doesn’t tell her that she shouldn’t be nervous, but instead tries to prepare her for meeting his dad, whom he describes as “tough” and a former Army Ranger and his mother who is “passive” and doesn’t like to argue. That doesn’t sound like a real fun time, but he advises her to not be nervous.
Ali met Roberto’s parents, bother, sister, and sister in law, and they all welcome him warmly. She tells them about picking Roberto for the first impression rose on the first night after he salsa danced with her. We find out that Roberto is actually Roberto Jr., as his dad is also Roberto (Sr.), and he pulls his sons outside to state that he wants to question Ali to make sure that she is good enough for Roberto, whom he calls “a prize.”
Roberto Sr. asks if Ali would be willing to make job or personal sacrifices to further Roberto’s career and their potential family. Ali gave a very modern woman answer about the two of them being a partnership and making choices that are best for their family. Personally I liked her answer, but I’m not Roberto Sr. and his idea of the right answer might be somewhat more 1950s than that, but his parents gave Roberto their blessing to pursue a relationship with Ali. With the tension of their approval vanquished, it’s time to dance. Someone turns on a radio and they clear a space in the living room and everyone gets up and dances.
Chris’ Date – I See Your “Dead Grandma’s House” Hometown Date and Raise You a “Dead Mom’s House” Date, Plus a Beach in the Rain With A Wet Dog.
Chris’ hometown date is in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We see him chilling on the beach (literally chilling, because he looks drenched and freezing), and he’s playing fetch with a gorgeous black lab named Jenny. Ali is wearing high heel boots, which doesn’t seem like what I’d wear at the beach (especially in the rain), but she’s from Massachusetts and I’m not, so what do I know about appropriate beach apparel? Wisconsinites wear shorts anytime the temperature is over 40, and honestly, many of them shouldn’t be wearing shorts in public. Let’s just say that there is sometimes more cottage cheese than cheddar in many Wisconsin venues.
Chris claims to have knowledge that whales are mating right off the coast as they speak. I didn’t realize that Chris was really the whale whisperer – but if he is, does that mean that they told him “don’t come a knocking when the ocean is a rockin’?”
Chris reminds us that his mom won’t be able to meet his future wife. Ali looks at the family photos all over the walls and tables. Chris looks a lot like his mom, and he’s obviously missing her. One of his brothers is married, and the other is engaged. Ali felt comfortable in Chris’ arms, and they practice being “old married folks” sitting on the front porch.
A car drives by and honks, and Ali wonders if it was his family. She says that she was getting nervous, and their joking tone turns serious while he tells her that she shouldn’t be nervous, as he wouldn’t have brought her to meet his family if he wasn’t serious about her. He is choked up that he hasn’t brought home a girl to meet his family since his mom died, and he wants the great relationship that his parents and his brothers had/have in their relationships.
Chris’ dad Ed had talked to Ali on the phone during their New York date (on Chris’ birthday), and she says that she feels like she knows him. Ali already knows quite a bit about Chris’ family, which is a contrast to Roberto’s family that she didn’t seem to know anything about prior to going to Tampa. Chris’ sister in law noticed that Ali is wearing the bracelet that Chris had given her in Portugal, as both she and the other brother’s fiancé were wearing the same bracelet, so she realizes that Chris is serious, and that his family has some rather cult-like membership rituals.
Chris’ dad Ed is a huge proponent of great romances and his motto is “love is the only reality.” Try hitting someone in the face with a frying pan and then telling them that LOVE is the only reality, as in that moment, a frying pan would seem rather real as well. He retells how he’d met his wife when she was 19, sneaking into a bar with a fake ID, and she had told her friend that night that she was going to marry Ed. He tells Ali that he thinks Chris is ready to be in a relationship.
Ali has to be wondering whether Chris would be willing to relocate away from his obviously very tight knit family, as Ali is attached to her “new” hometown in San Francisco. When Chris tells his dad that he thinks that Ali might be the one, he mentions that Ali would “fit in well in this house.” I’m not sure that Ali really wants to be Ed’s other roommate. Poor Chris tears up when he thinks about what his mom would think of Ali, and is rather concerned that he wants Ali to pick him, not someone else.
Kirk’s Date – If You’d Like To Keep Her Around, We Could Have Her Stuffed and Mounted For You.
Next we head to Green Bay, Wisconsin for Ali’s date with Kirk. I grew up in Wisconsin and I’ve been to Green Bay, and luckily they don’t head straight off to a paper mill, as I remember the distinctive smell of the mill from my visits there. Kirk explains that his parents are divorced, and so they’re meeting them separately. Ali can relate as her folks are split too, but she thinks her parents are more cordial than Kirk’s are towards each other. We start off with Kirk’s dad, step-mom, and adopted little sister (who is adorable).
No sooner did they get comfortable on the lovely couch with the wilderness scene embroidered into it in Kirk’s dad’s rather dated looking house does Kirk’s dad Pete invite Ali to the basement to see his taxidermy studio. Ali is genuinely creeped out, as she comments that she loves animals, but when they’re alive. Pete’s a professional taxidermist and works out of his basement. This is not an unusual occupation for Wisconsin. I’ve been to several bars and restaurants in Wisconsin which feature taxidermy displays of animals playing cards and other strange situations, let alone the “trophy muskies” up all over the northern part of the state.
Pete shows her his large chest freezer where he has preserved animals awaiting taxidermy, as well as all of the family’s supply of Good Humor and Schwans frozen treats. Ok, I can relate. My parents have a fridge in the basement of their house where my dad keeps his live bait (usually leeches and worms) as well as any food that doesn’t fit in the upstairs fridge (usually all of the canned pop and beer). The last time I visited them, my mom put her leftover rhubarb dessert in the “bait fridge” on Friday night, only to find out Saturday morning that the leeches (or perhaps the minnows) were leaking into it. She seriously considered just scooping out the soggy part and serving the rest. I seriously considered tossing my cookies, so we ended up getting rid of the whole dessert.
We see Kirk hanging out upstairs, asking his little sister what she would think if Kirk asked Ali to marry him. As if on cue, Ali (still in the lovely taxidermy basement) asks Pete if Kirk is ready for a serious relationship. Kirk’s dad mentions that Kirk hasn’t brought many girls home, and that she must be special to him. Ali doesn’t seem so sure about that, and is still trying to figure out how to escape the basement of dead animals. Pete (whom Kirk had described as a quiet guy) gives Ali some very sincere advice about relationships, and maybe she was able to see beyond the creepy animals to see he’s a real guy. Pete catches Kirk and tells him he approves of Ali. Kirk’s step-mom didn’t seem to say anything at all.
Kirk and Ali take little sister Mika to the backyard and kick around the soccer ball while Pete and his wife watch from the house, remarking how happy they seem together. Kirk says he was relieved that it went well at his dad’s, as he was nervous about that. Then it’s time to meet Kirk’s mom. Again we hear about what an acrimonious divorce they had, and Ali speculates as to whether that is why Kirk has never had a long term girlfriend. When I met the fabulous Mr. LG (on an internet dating site, when I was a 34 year old single mom), he was 36 years old, had been raised by a single mom who never remarried, had never had a relationship last “a whole year,” and it had been over 5 years since he had last introduced anyone to his family. Writers of dating advice books would have concocted a whole new category of warning signals for him. We’ll be married five years this November, so I think Mr. LG has gotten over his inability to enter into lasting committed relationships, but you can check in with us again in a decade or two to be sure.
Next we meet Kirk’s mom Tina, his sister, and his grandma Arlene. They cooked meatloaf and two kinds of potatoes (cheesy and non-cheesy). Of course there are two kinds of potatoes with their meat, but why is there only cheese with one of them? Kirk’s sister asks why Ali has kept Kirk around, and he tells them about the first night scrap book introduction to Kirk’s life, and Kirk teases his sister that she had advised him not to show it to her the first night. Ali says that Kirk is quirky and funny and nice, and then he starts to blush. It is really adorable. Kirk’s mom’s house has a rather nice blue and white color scheme with great exposed beams on the ceiling, and there isn’t a dead animal mounted anywhere that we can see from the dinning room. Kirk gets a little choked up seeing Ali bond with his mom, sister and grandma. Kirk tells his sister that Kirk has never felt this way in a relationship before and that he doesn’t want it to end.
Ali tells Tina that Kirk had told her how she supported him when he was sick and how much he admires his mom. Tina embraces Ali and hopes that it works out for Kirk and Ali. She tells him that she wore a LiveStrong bracelet for 6 years (Kirk is still wearing his) as a sign of support for Kirk that she put on when he was first sick from the mold in his old house. Tina said that they day Kirk left for California, her bracelet snapped, and Tina took it as a sign that someone else will be Kirk’s main support soon. I think it’s a sign that it’s a cheap rubber bracelet and it was amazing that it lasted for 6 years, but that’s just me and I’m a smartass.
Frank’s Date – Welcome To Chicago For A Deep Dish Of Whiney Neurosis.
Last (and least, in my humble recapping opinion) is Ali’s hometown date with Frank. I like Chicago. The last time I was in Chicago was for FORTCon in 2004 I think. Good times riding the “L” and visiting Navy Pier and the Sears Tower with folks I’d only met online. Uncle Scott wore a lampshade, and John a cow’s head – it was a great time. Ali would be so lucky as to have so much fun in Chicago – but alas, she is there with killjoy Frank.
Frank and Ali seem to have commandeered a tour boat, as they are the only ones on board. Either that, or everyone else jumped ship when Frank started whining about wanting to know where he stands with Ali, or starts pitching his latest screenplay or something. Frank drones on about his feelings, and Ali wonders why Frank’s lack of confidence and need for reassurance continues when it’s just the two of them. Perhaps it’s because he’s a whiney, needy jerk – but that’s just my theory.
Back at Frank’s house, we meet his parents, Frank’s sister, and brother in law. Frank’s mom goes right into it, wondering what on earth possessed Ali to keep around Frank. Frank opines it was a combination of sympathy and pity. Frank’s mom pulls Ali outside to talk about how she would feel about moving someplace with changing weather after living in California and other deep topics. Frank’s sister is up next, and she tries to explain why Frank is such an emotional wuss. Frank’s family voices their approval of Ali.
Drama Queen Frank then whines about the many and various hardships he’d endured while being on the show, and that Ali is worth all of the hardships. Good grief, what a whiner. Here’s a tip. Get out of your parents’ basement and try working a job for a while, or being in a marriage and raising some kids. You will find much more challenging days than hanging out at a mansion, waiting to go on dates that someone else is paying for.
Back in California, Chris Harrison questions Ali about her dates. She has complimentary things to say about all the families. Chris H. asks Ali if her future husband is one of these four guys, and she gives a very noncommittal answer, and starts crying. That’s not a good sign for the franchise if they were trying to plan another wedding extravaganza to air on ABC in the future.
The guys arrive for the rose ceremony, and Ali starts crying in anticipation of having to ditch someone that night. She’s wearing a special “rose ceremony” dress, as it is pink in color and the bodice is covered in fabric flowers. She gives roses to:
Leaving my favorite Kirk with no rose. Roberto gives Kirk a big hug, and he goes outside to hear her “it’s not you, it’s me” speech. Kirk says that it hurts because he gave all of himself to Ali, and it wasn’t what she was looking for. Kirk thanks her for helping him open himself up, and leaves with class. In the limo, Kirk feels that he was really not expecting it, that he’s never been dumped before (he was always the one to end things), that he felt he could have proposed to Ali, and he’s had his heart broken.
Hang in there, Kirk. I have a feeling that your dating stock is through the roof back in Wisconsin. If he ends up being the star of a future season of the Bachelor, I hope they get to film the crew going to Lambeau Field.
Tune in next week to see PhoneGrrrl’s take on the trip to Tahiti and Frank’s big news about something very dramatic.
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Mixing Old Fashioneds
Re: The Bachelorette July 12 – Hometown Dates A/K/A Everyone Loves Ali.
Awesome recap, as always, LG!
Try hitting someone in the face with a frying pan and then telling them that LOVE is the only reality, as in that moment, a frying pan would seem rather real as well.
from sky to fire
Re: The Bachelorette July 12 – Hometown Dates A/K/A Everyone Loves Ali.
I too am wishing for the champagne fairies...
And you're right-on about Drama Queen Frank. Uggh.
Thanks for the great recap!
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