The Bachelor and Royalty

My friend, in reference to The Bachelor: “Who watches this shit?”

Her husband: “The same people who keep with royalty.”

The Bachelor, along with pretty much every other reality TV show, really is shit. It is a horrific concept: hundreds, maybe even thousands of women vying for a shot at dating/marrying a guy simply because he is good looking and successful, or at least for a shot at a reality-TV career and/or a contract with Playboy. I wonder what it would be like if a friend or colleague was on that show, would it change your feelings for that person? What if that person was the woman that no one in the house liked? Although I am a strong believer in karma and non-judgment, I unfortunately would have to respond yes to that question.

That show is revolting on a number of levels but is particularly gross when the dating gets serious and the contestants are all allowed to stay “in the couple’s suite”. Inevitably, every woman chooses to do this meaning that the bachelor is screwing a number of women in a short period of time – and everyone involved knows it. Eww! I am not a prudish person but I find that stomach-turning. Although I do think it would be funny to invent a drinking game in which players take a shot every time someone on The Bachelor says “I feel a real connection with you.” I mentioned this to my husband and he looked at me expressionlessly for a minute, then suggested that a) a game like that has probably already been invented by college students and b) it would not be successful as everyone playing would be passed out in the first five minutes. True.

I don’t actually watch The Bachelor, but I have watched enough episodes over its multi-year run to form an opinion on it. Similarly, I don’t actually keep with royalty but I have in the past. In fact as a child – like many girls born in the seventies, I suspect – I was obsessed with Princess Diana. For Christmas and birthdays I always received those glossy coffee-table books about her and her snappy eighties fashions as well as, I clearly recall, a paper doll book that had a replica of her wedding gown which was impossible to cut out with safety scissors, all those lace points. I was staying with my grandma in Saskatchewan during the Royal Wedding and I remember her waking me up at four in the morning to watch it. I remember lying on her thick shag carpet in my summer pajamas, Grandma in her chair behind me, smoking and drinking coffee and discussing Lloyd Robertson’s boring commentary. When Princess Diana died in 1997, I was on my way to the bar with a group of friends when one of them said “Hey, did you hear Princess Diana died?” It was a sad ending to my royalty following.

I watched the movie The Bank Job this weekend, and discovered that Princess Margaret was involved in a number of sex scandals – who knew she was such a scamp? That was never mentioned in my coffee table books. Apparently she had several sad, doomed relationships, not unlike Diana. This brings me to something that I plan on writing about in more detail – post to come! – Lori Gottleib’s article and book about “settling” for Mr. Right Now instead of Mr. Right. Did Princess Diana settle? She married the heir to the British Throne, for heaven’s sake, she had two lovely boys, and, by all accounts, a very unhappy life. She “won out”, so to speak, against Camilla Parker-Bowles, who evidently “won” in the end. The women on the Bachelor are looking to “win” – but what’s the prize?


  1. Oh the Bachelor.
    I often find it sad to see 25 year olds desperate to get married and settle down and this seems to be their “last chance”, and really, they are just old enough to rent a car on their own.
    I am one of the believers that love is something that must be worked at and cultivated and does not happen with 25 others competing for it.
    That’s just lust. And really, a wee bit gross.

  2. I did watch the Bachelor when it first came out but haven’t watched it after the first couple of seasons. I found it gross and compelling at the same time. And then I just found it gross so I stopped watching.

    I kind of work on the assumption that most royalty/famous folk are like Tiger Woods and screwing everything they can. I think it’s because they don’t have to work (hard) for their money so they have buckets of time that they don’t know what to do with.

  3. Yes, yes, yes! Totally hear you on the “last chance” for love and also for the “gross and compelling”. So very true.

  4. I find the Bachelor to be a totally ridiculous show. Never watch. Am fairly amazed that some couples have gotten married (apparently aired this week?)

    However, you stirred my heart with vivid memories of those coffee table Diana books. I too, had the same paper doll book. I was obsessed.

    We were up watching her wedding, and I donned a white nightgown of my mothers, the silk flower arrangement off of the back of the toilet (fab decorating), and a birthday paper tiara covered in silver sparkles. I paraded up and down the living room, forcing my sister to play Prince Charles.

    In my own 1996 wedding, I had puffed sleeves and a ballgown skirt, in a raw silk material. There was no train on the gown, but I had a long flowing veil, that covered my face. So out of date now. Maybe was even then. But I loved it. And laugh now.

  5. Princess Diana died on my 25th birthday. I got married later that year.

    I’ve never watched the Bachelor. It sounds really gross and seedy to me. But I remember turning 21 and suddenly feeling this PANIC to get married.

Leave a Reply