One of my favorite things about being a parent is that once totally-normal non-achievements (like eating an apple) are now SUCH A BIG DEAL. Life is brand new and exciting with this kid, and I love it all.
Good morning! Can I interest you in a few of my favorite things from this week?
You know how you feel about those burritos? That’s how I feel about you. Never ever getting over how much I love this project from This American Life. For an extra bonus, check out the video of Alex watching the video.
Speaking of This American Life, I listened to the latest episode, Cops See It Differently (part one), on my commute this morning. It’s clear that TAL is really working to tell as many sides as possible to this enormous, difficult story. If you get the chance this weekend, I really recommend you listen.
I’m a big fan of Sweaty Wisdom, and I’m an especially big fan of her new Bad Vibe Shield mug. My birthday is ONLY seven months away. Just saying.
Every few months I go on an inbox rampage and unsubscribe from pretty much every marketing email I’ve signed up for – but one that I’m definitely sticking with is The Charlotte Five. The emails are short, pithy, and interesting, while the actual articles are written with personality and humor. If you’re a Charlotte local, I highly recommend you sign up.
And lastly, I’ll be starting off my Valentine’s day with my favorite yoga class ever, Chillax Flow at Okra Yoga. If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly stretch in a low-pressure, welcoming environment, you should totally join me. This class has quickly become my new favorite weekend ritual.
Good luck out there!
Fade in on a girl, with an oxygen mask…
The action picks up where we left off last week: Kelsey on the floor, other girls all watching with a mixture of confusion/annoyance. Kelsey saying villainy things about getting a rose tonight and storebought brownies. The drama wraps up with Chris coming to visit Kelsey, and giving her yet another totally awkward kiss (+1, I guess).
Kelsey rejoins the girls and regales them with the HILARIOUS TALE of her IMPROMPTU PANIC ATTACK HAHAHAHAHA. Nobody is amused – I don’t even think she got a courtesy smile from Whitney. Honestly, I’m having trouble snarking on her. She is just so completely separated from reality here.
Rose Ceremony #1 - Chris explains he cancelled the cocktail party because he knows what he wants to do, and no small talk over whiskey would have changed his mind. Ashley I. and Mackenzie both cry in their ITMs (-1 each)
Roses go to Jade, Kaitlyn, Megan, Becca, Ashley, and Kelsey (Josh: “She’s horrible.”).
Mackenzie and Samantha are going home.
One on One - It’s sweet Becca’s turn! Kelsey,crazy eyes ablaze, starts searching the hotel kitchen for ingredients to put in the scary voodoo sachet that she wants to hide under Becca’s pillow while she’s gone.
Chris and Becca take off on a romantic horseback ride, which seems sweet and mostly uneventful. They move on to the evening campfire portion of their date, which is full of giggles and adorableness. Chris’s squeaky little giggle is a hit.
They really seem to be connecting. Chris says “I think this is the most easy, most real date that I’ve been on.” That’s a big deal! They wrap up the date with a kiss (+1, get it Becca!) and a rose. Even though Becca’s not on Team Corley, I like her a lot.
Here is what I love: Kelsey is doing her best to manipulate these girls with her big emotional show, and Carly and Kaitlyn are just not buying it. Whitney seems a little more sympathetic, but not much. BLESSED WITH ELOQUENCE or not, Kelsey isn’t gaining any ground here. Josh points out that she’s not eloquent; she’s condescending. Big difference.
Group Date Whitney, Jade, Britt, Kaitlyn, Carly, and Megan
The gang is going to write and perform original country songs with the help of Big & Rich (of “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” fame). Carly is PUMPED, and I don’t blame her. I think she might be meant to be my BFF. Her song is the best, everyone else is ok-to-bad, and the date is honestly kind of boring, which makes it surprising that this was, as Chris says, one of the best days of his life.
During the evening portion, Chris and Britt run off alone to a Big & Rich show, and he brings her up onstage to give her the rose. This totally freaks the other girls out, and I don’t think they’re unjustified at all.
Kisses on this date (+1 each) Britt, Jade
Crying on this date (-1) Carly, Whitney, Kaitlyn,
Two on One Kelsey and Ashley I. take the Badlands
Obviously, Kelsey and Ashley are both way too confident going in to this date. They ride a helicopter out to a random bed in the middle of the desert, where they get to sit and feel awkward in the shadow of our forefathers.
Things get dicey when Chris splits off with each girl. Ashley goes in guns blazing to talk trash about Kelsey, which we all know is a huge mistake. Don’t make him feel like he needs to defend her! Kelsey basically implies that Ashley isn’t wife material, and Chris tells Kelsey that Ashley called her fake. DRAMAAAAAA.
After their talk, Kelsey and her terrible short-sleeved blazer stalk back down the dune to confront Ashley. Ashley does her best to avoid eye contact with Kelsey for the rest of her life, but Kelsey wears her down eventually and they have a very weird confrontation. I guess it’s good TV, but it honestly seems unfair (to all of us!) to keep either of them around at this point. They are co-captains of Team Terrible.
Chris sends Ashley I. home, and she does her best to take Kelsey AND Britt down with her…and it halfway works! In what is without a doubt the best move of the season, Chris sends Kelsey home, too! Two terrible birds with one stone.
With that, Chris climbs into the helicopter, leaving Ashley and Kelsey to wander the Badlands like two ghosts in a Garth Brooks song.
Kisses on this date (+1) Ashley I.
Crying on this date (-1) Ashley I., Kelsey
Score this week:
Corley – 165 | Josh – 101
Next week: Rose Ceremony, Drama, Chris takes the girls to Iowa. Stay tuned!
Hey, friend! Buckle your seatbelt – it’s time for a quick drive-by tour of a few of my favorite things from this week.
Watch these women. Marvel at their ability to produce BACH with their FEET on a GIANT PIANO, then try and tell me there’s no such thing as magic.
I had NO IDEA Minted did custom journals and planners. We ordered our Christmas Cards through Minted this year and I LOVED them. Now I’m working on my self control to keep from ordering a dozen different personalized notebooks. Check the selection out here.
I’ve been cultivating a pretty daunting Want To Read list on Goodreads. Find me over there and please let me know if I’m missing any must-reads!
I love this awesome idea for birthday party photobooth one-uppery on Buzzfeed.
And honestly, you can just get right out of here with this I <3 U / Jealous Forever (Nick Jonas vs. Donna Lewis) mashup by Chambaland.
See you next week.
Sorry, sorry, sorry for another late recap! Toddler life is not conducive to prompt recapping. Please forgive me.
This week, Chris and the girls took their show on the road to exotic, foreign Santa Fe. Ashley I. opens up the show reminding us that she’s a virgin. Whaaaaat?! She iiiiiis?! Whaaaaaaaat?!
First One on One goes to Carly, with the most provocative date card yet. Josh and I were both scandalized by the note, which read “Let’s come together” – isn’t this supposed to be a family show?! (No. It is not advisable that you watch this with your family.)
I really like Carly – I think she’s funny, sassy, generally normal, and a good sport. She and Chris meet up with a “Meditating Love Guru,” and they discuss love in the time of camera crews. (That’s a Gabriel Garcia Marquez joke. Eh?)
This date started with your typical woo-woo Love/Sex Guru stuff – synchronized omming, blindfolds, sensual fondue, guru-supervised sexy massage…you know, just totally normal.
Chris and Carly both seemed to be appropriately weirded out, especially when they have to take each others clothes off in front of a weird stranger ON THEIR FIRST DATE. I’m cringing along with them from my couch. Awful. Terrible. Props to Carly for putting a stop to the weirdness. As Josh so aptly said, “This is not even entertaining to watch.” Just really uncomfortable for everyone involved. Except for the Love Guru. She’s loving it.
They wrap up the evening portion with a really sweet, natural conversation. I think Chris and Carly are well-matched! She just may be my frontrunner.
Chris wiggles his eyebrows when he kisses, BTW.
Points on this date: +1 kiss, -1 “vulnerable”
Group Date - Despite feeling #blessed, Kelsey is offended to be on another group date on this show that she signed up for which traditionally involves a big group of women hanging out while the guy they all like picks them off one by one until there’s a winner. Kelsey. What did you think this would be like? (We can all agree that the producers hate Kelsey, right?)
In general, these girls are wearing way too much makeup for whitewater rafting. The whitewater guide tells them all the ways they might die today, and then they raft up and hit the river. Jade falls out of the boat and parlays her spill into a riverside foot rub from Chris. Wiley, Jade. Very wiley. Mackenzie knows what I’m talking about.
Jordan (twerking pro eliminated in Week 2), ambushes Chris in the lobby of the hotel where they’re meeting for the evening portion of the date. She apologizes for being drunk all the time, and he agrees to let her join the group, at least for the night. The other girls do NOT control their WTF faces very well, and devolve into a mess of cattiness pretty much immediately.
Ashley I. goes for the jugular and tells Chris that Jordan isn’t wife material, which is a total spider-lashed-mean-girl move. Becca focuses on Chris’s emotional well-being. (Goofus, remember Gallant?) Whitney says that they should all be nice to Jordan, even if they’re bummed (a bluebird lands on her shoulder halfway through her speech). Jade very eloquently reminds Chris that this environment just doesn’t bring out the best Jordan. He finally caves and sends her home – again.
The lesson here, ladies, is that if he can’t handle you at your week 2, he doesn’t deserve you at your week 5.
Chris apologizes to his other dates for allowing his eyes to stray Jordan’s way, and then he gives the rose to sweet Whitney. She’s so happy, wildflowers start magically blooming at her feet. Ashley I. throws a temper tantrum on her way out, taking one more step in her road from spurned Disney Princess to Evil Witch who lives in a scary tower with a pet bird.
Whitney: “I don’t think that Ashley is pretending to be someone that she’s not, and that’s the scary thing.”
Second One on One goes to Britt, who dissolves into tears upon hearing that her date card says “The sky’s the limit.” Sounds like we’ve got ourselves a daredevil date!
Chris shows up before sunrise to wake Britt up from a slack-jawed, stink-breathed, dead sleep. Always super fun! Shout out to Britt who apparently stays prepared for moments like this by sleeping in a full face of makeup.
The date turns out to be hot air balloons. Britt is thrilled, which begs the question: How afraid of heights are you, really? Also, how cramped do you think they were in that balloon with the operator, the cameraman, Chris, and Britt?
After the balloon ride, Chris and Britt move on to making out under the covers. Chris then ominously closes his bedroom doors. Dun dun DUNNNN! While this is going on, the other girls are talking trash about Britt back at the house.
Points this date: +1 Kiss, -1 Vulnerable, +3 Daredevil Date
Kelsey sneaks to Chris’s room to tell him her “amazing, tragic” story and inspect his sheets. They wind up kissing on his loveseat (+1), which seems to make Chris kind of uncomfortable. Kelsey is getting a full-on crazy-eyed villain edit this season, but this definitely escalated things.
Cocktail Party opens with the girls emphasizing the importance of / stressing out majorly over private time with Chris. He starts the night off by apologizing for even looking at Jordan on their group date, and then tattles on Kelsey for her awkward confessional visit.
The entire Kelsey storyline got really weird tonight. She’s smug about her trauma-cred, and she’s being really flip and confident about her Bachelor fate. Villain edit or not, Whitney smells a rat, and not the friendly enchanted kind that takes her to balls and helps her clean her bathroom.
Chris S. deputizes Chris H. to come tell the girls that he’s skipping the party and moving on to the rose ceremony. Suddenly Kelsey is not so sure that she’s getting a rose tonight. She leaves the group and immediately swoons on the bathroom floor in a fit of hysterics.
Fade to black. To be continued.
Drama! Madness! Quel horreur!
Since we skipped the ceremony, everyone gets points for week 5 (+5). We’ll find out more next week. This must be the MOST. DRAMATIC. SEASON. EVER.
Score this week
Corley – 135 | Josh – 76
I’m late posting the recap this week – Henry decided last night that the notion of bedtime was both irritating and hurtful, so we weren’t able to watch live. I hope you can all forgive me.
Group Date #1 – Psycho Lake Party
Megan, Kaitlyn, Ashley S, Ashley I, Juelia, Samantha, Mackenzie, and Kelsey. The date card says “Let’s do what feels natural.” This is a hilarious concept on a show that seems to be, at all times, the absolute opposite of natural. Gonna be honest, Ashley I. and her crop top and already-unzipped jorts are grossing me out. Like all shy girls, she starts the party by taking off her bikini top in front of everyone. #shygirlprobs, am I right? Kelsey sums it up exactly as I would have – “I’m done. This is stupid.”
Back at the house – Double, double, toil and trouble
Carly adorably FLIPS OUT when Chris’s three sisters show up. She’s pretty starstruck, and I’m charmed. Jilian is mid-REM when the sisters arrive, so she and her black modesty box stumble sheepishly into the room behind everyone else. The sisters sit down for quality time with each girl.
Jade and Whitney get the spotlight during the sister interviews – both of them seemed to do just fine. Whitney seems like she is an ACE at meeting the family – this is probably something that always goes well for her.
On the Group Date, Kelsey is throwing MAJOR SHADE at the entire date – the water is muddy, the girls are dumb, the date is a “hell hole.” She wraps things up by saying “I wanna be where I wanna be, and I don’t wanna be here.” Mother Nature immediately retaliates by sending a bee to sting her in the groin. That’ll teach you to be a whiner!
Kaitlyn proves herself a master campsite-builder, only making her seem cooler to me. I WAS shocked that she didn’t make a crass tent-pitching joke, but the night is still young.
Jade gets the One on One Date! (+2) The other girls are crestfallen.
Back at the Group Date, the rose is in play! Kaitlyn asks Chris about his love language – he likes back rubs and “touchy feely” affection. Kaitlyn likes secrets and words. They kiss (+1). Kelsey is still just not feeling this date, although she turns on the sunshine with Chris. I think she’s trying to charm him into letting her go back to the house.
As the full moon rises, the girls shoot tequila and start the party. Ashley S. has the hiccups and starts teaching campfire songs. As a former camp counselor, I understand the need to sing in unison when a fire is going. Game recognize game. Mackenzie brings up aliens again. Chris jumps out with his best AXE MURDERER impression. Just a lot of wholesome campout fun all around.
Showing off his good instincts, Chris is mega-weirded out by Ashley S.. She gets her kisses in, so +1 for that. She drops an “I love you” in her ramble, which led to a major living room discussion on whether we count that as the official FIRST I LOVE YOU. After careful review, we count it and Ashley S. loses 5 points. He looks as uncomfortable as I feel. Kaitlyn drops a “right reasons” accusation (-3). Both of those girls on my team, so Josh says he’s mounting his comeback.
Ashley I, your makeout technique grosses me out (+1 for the kiss). I can’t help but think of this couple when I see her move in for the kiss:
Kaitlyn, my #1 favorite, gets the group date rose. Ashley I. and her creepy spider leg lashes vow to show Chris the real her – so she sneaks to his tent to tell him how “frickin’ innocent” she is. Chris is like I’ve kissed you, I know you don’t know what you’re doing. Ashley wraps up her ITM by saying “He can kind of probe at that area if he wants later on,” which is the least virginal way I’ve ever heard anyone talk about their virginity. EVER.
Back at the house
I like Jillian because it’s evident that when she’s not on a date, she’s napping. Smeared eyeliner, frizzy hair, comfy clothes…I get it, girl. She fills in the other girls on the details for the one on one, and the rest of the girls are obvi. mega-bummed.
“All I wanna do is go on a date and dress like a princess.” – WE KNOW, ASHLEY I. She says if asked, she would describe herself as a “hopeless romantic Disney princess.” I don’t think I could ever be friends with Ashley I. in real life.
This date really does look like a blast. She gets whisked into a room full of dresses and jewelry, some of which she gets to keep! Ashley I. watches from the corners, skulking around like Maleficent’s pet crow. She cannot shut up about how mad she is to be missing this date. Honestly, just gross.
One on One Date
Chris preps for the date by practicing his ballroom dancing and it is the most adorable thing he has done so far. He really is giving Jade the sweetest smile as she walks down the stairs, and she doesn’t trip, so she’s already doing better than I could! They seem to have a good conversation over dinner, and Chris presents her with the coveted Cinderella date rose.
They wrap things up with a VERY classy private concert (+5) and some kissing (+1) on top of a table in the ballroom. He seems to like her a lot.
Back at the House
In a totally normal and not at all psychotic move, Ashley I. puts on her OWN princess dress and grumps around eating corn on the cob and drinking champagne. Josh predicts “She’s gonna get wasted and do something stupid.” I think it’s a sound prediction – if not tonight, then soon.
Group Date #2 – Trash the dresses
Nikki, Jillian, Whitney, Carly, Britt, Becca – “Let’s get dirty.”
If Ashley I. was bummed to miss the princess dress date, you KNOW she was foaming at the mouth over the wedding dresses! Jillian seems like she would gladly trade places to get out of her dress. But once she spots the MuckFest course, she brightens – an obstacle course! She gets to use her muscles! Hooray!
Jillian won, crossing the finish line with arms raised in triumph as the theme from Chariots of FIre swelled behind her. THIS IS HER MOMENT. Who needs a rose? She’s got an obstacle course and mud!
Jillian and Chris shower up and head to the evening portion of the date. She’s VERY high energy and crass, and she seems a little manic – Chris doesn’t seem to be especially enamored. She’s definitely losing him to his visions of “unicorns and dancing fairies.” He opts not to give her the rose – a bold move from Prince Farming considering she could probably bench press him. She starts scrambling and loses two points for two “vulnerable” statements. I really feel bad for her – the whole thing is weird and uncomfortable, and I think she really was doing her best. But props to Chris for being upfront and not stringing her along.
Rose Ceremony Night
So many of these girls are weirdos. Megan and her blindfold fruit tray game. Ashley I. and her 1,000 ways to say she’s a virgin before actually saying it (-1 for crying).
During the Ashley I. I’M A VIRGIN LOOK AT ME show, Becca volunteers that she, too, is a virgin – but the difference is that Becca is totally classy and subtle and doesn’t feel the need to make a huge deal about her private choices. No actual points to Becca, but major Corley points to her for being the Gallant to Ashley I.’s Goofus.
Britt is worrying about Chris’s moral standards for allowing girls to skinny dip on the lake date, and Chris is basically like Um, I’m a grown man and I do what I want, BYE MOM. She’s essentially talking trash about the other girls and shaming him for his choices, which is not a smart move.
Kisses at the cocktail party (+1 point each): Carly, Kaitlyn
I really enjoyed reading this fascinating article about an experiment in making two strangers fall in love. So when I saw Cassidy Lou‘s post answering the questions from the experiment, I decided to crib her idea and answer some of them on my blog, too!
If you’re extra-curious (or if you want to share your own answers), here’s the full list of questions. I’ve selected a few to answer here.
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest? I would love to have the chance to sit down for a few hours with my Grandmother Daisy. She passed away when I was 14 months old, but I’ve always felt really connected to her.
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?Heck yes I do! Usually I’m praying for voicemail. Why? Two reasons: I’m a control freak, and phone calls make me feel claustrophobic.
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you? Coffee and breakfast with my family. Playing and reading books about trucks with Henry until he’s tired. Reading or watching a good movie while Henry naps. Lunch on a patio somewhere followed by an afternoon in the park. Cooking a healthy dinner at home and then enjoying that dinner all sitting down together with music playing and the windows open. Drinking a cold beer in the backyard, petting the dogs and talking with Josh after Henry goes to bed.
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else? To myself: an impassioned rendition “Take Me To Church” in the car this morning. To someone else: last night during our dress rehearsal for our school’s Faculty Follies variety show (tomorrow! ack!).
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want? The mind.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful? For my family and our life together.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? I’m lazy, so I would love to wake up with the ability to run five miles without stopping. I want to skip the hard part of getting there.
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it? I want to write a book. I haven’t done it because I’m tired when I get home from my day job, and I’m not dogged enough to put in the tremendous hours of work!
16. What do you value most in a friendship? Honesty. Tell me when I have food in my teeth. Tell me when I look weird in an outfit. Tell me when I’m being unfair or unreasonable. Give it to me straight.
17. What is your most treasured memory? Late one night in September, Henry and I were wide awake together. We were in the bed, and he was swaddled up, resting on my knees facing me. He had just finished nursing and I was talking to him when he looked right into my eyes and gave me his first little smile. I hope that memory never ever fades.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s? We’re Brady-level close. I think my childhood was just about as happy as a childhood can be.
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother? She’s my BFF.
26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “ Coffee, books, music, fun stuff outside the house. I wish I had a local BFF or tribe to hang out with.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself? In front of another person, the last time I can remember is at my Grandaddy’s funeral in September. By myself, I cried in the Harris Teeter parking lot recently because a woman was going the wrong way down a one-way traffic lane and made a really mean face at me when I tried to go the right way down the lane. I’m sensitive.
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why? I would want to save Henry’s stuffed Badger, Babeau. It was one of the first stuffed animals he named, and I want to keep it forever and ever.
That’s it. Now we’re supposed to maintain eye contact for four straight minutes – then we’ll be in love. Do you feel it? Is there something in the air?
If you decide to answer these questions, please leave me a link in the comments! It’s like the surveys we all used to put in our AIM profiles, but way more philosophical.
Josh and I play in a family Fantasy Football league. It’s always fun, but I’m going to be honest: I have never been as invested in that league as I am in our current 1 on 1 Fantasy Bachelor standoff. Here are the teams.
We drafted our teams just minutes before the premiere. Weeks 1 and 2 were kind of a blur of cocktail dresses and smeared lipstick (as they always are), and because I very WISELY chose Britt, I started Week 3 in the lead, 52 – 17.
So, here’s how things went during Week 3:
Chris reacted pretty much exactly I as I would have if I woke up to Jimmy Kimmel all up in my face. WTF indeed, Prince Farming. At least he brought coffee. 1 point to Kimmel.
Per Jimmy’s new rule, Josh and I decide to deduct a point for every “Amazing” this episode.
Kaitlyn gets the 1 on 1! She’s on my team and she’s one of my favorites. I think she’s hilarious and definitely too cool to be on this show. Their car pulls up at Costco – an “exclusive club,” get it?
“This is the kind of thing real couples do together,” says the note from Jimmy. This is hilarious. I am 100% in on this Costco commercial. This date looks more fun than any private concert or group tractor race. As Chris said, “Who the hell needs helicopters when you have Costco?” I especially loved the random kids pushing them down the paper goods aisle.
Back at the ranch, Chris and Kaitlyn talk about how this normal date was super fun and unique in its normalcy. I like how casual they seem together, but Josh says that the fact that they’re kissing to fill the lulls in their conversation is not a good sign. He’s just jealous that I drafted all the frontrunners. I think Chris and Kaitlyn are adorable, and I love that she’s a total spitfire.
At dinner, things get a little awkward. Katilyn implies that Chris isn’t a “legit” farmer because he doesn’t milk cows. Jimmy wants to talk about the Fantasy Suite, which Kaitlyn handles well. This is the most meta episode of The Bachelor I have ever seen. Jimmy proposes a threesome. I’m going to say it again: I love this date.
Group Date Card: still too many girls for me to keep track of, although my girl Britt and the enigmatic Ashley S are both going, as is our sweet little songbird Carly. Jillian loses 1 point for “Amazing.”
Wrapping up the 1 on 1: Kaitlyn gets a point for her kissing on this date and 3 more for the hot tub at the end. Chris gets a point for calling Jimmy an a-hole. Josh says he wishes Jimmy Kimmel was on every episode.
Back at the house, the girls get ready for their date. Jillian is pumping iron while the other girls stretch their hamstrings in the background. The group date is a “hoedown throwdown” on a farm. The girls have to shuck corn, find an egg in a chicken pen and crack it in a frying pan, milk a goat (as LEGIT farmers do, CHRIS) and drink the milk, shovel manure, and then WRESTLE A GREASED PIG. Whoever catches and pens the pig wins. It’s a metaphor for life.
Chris basically says that drinking goat milk from the teat isn’t a dealbreaker for him, but shucking corn IS. I like that he’s clear about his priorities.
Mackenzie is DQ’ed for breaking her yolk. Jillian is way too happy about the goat milking, and Carly is right there with her making inappropriate hand motions. Carly chugs the milk like a BOSS and heads for the wheelbarrows. Kelsey drinks her milk, but just barely. Jillian takes it like a shot of tequila. All three graduate to the pigpen.
Jillian goes totally aggro and jumps the fence to wrestle the pig, but Carly is the first to capture her pig and win her very first blue ribbon. NONE of this looks especially fun for the pigs, by the way. As part of her prize, they recreate the notoriously fun, joyful and romantic painting “American Gothic.” Chris waxes poetic about how you can admire a woman who wrestles a pig to the ground for the momentary affection of a stranger. He’s totally right.
And now, for the evening portion. Carly jumps right in and “steals” Chris from the group. Her blue ribbon for pig-wrestling is totally going to her head. She sings a verse of “You are woman, I am man” and gets 1 point for a kiss. Amber asks him for a slow dance and says “just pretend it’s our wedding,” which is totally a normal and not at all awkward thing to do. She gets a kiss, and Jillian does too (+1). Chris reminds us that kissing is “the point of this whole thing,” which Mackenzie somehow doesn’t understand. She and Britt both wish that they were the only ones racking up kiss points. Such is life on The Bachelor, ladies.
Becca gets some hand-holding on the rooftop as she shares her abbreviated life story. They’re making me nervous standing so close to the edge. She gets a hug and actually DECLINES a kiss (nervy!), and she gets docked for an “Amazing.”
Back at the house, the girls are bumming around waiting for the date card. It’s for Whitney! She loses a point (for Josh) when she cries over getting the card.
Wrapping up the group date: the rose goes to…Becca! Way to go, you coy lady, you! Carly is mega-bummed.
1 on 1 number 2: Whitney is “SO EXCITED” to be with Chris today. They clink glasses over a vineyard and dive right in to the life talk. Chris is looking for a smart, beautiful, funny girl who can “roll the cow (cob? What did he say?) and shoot the sh*t.” Typical. Totally randomly and not at all with the careful planning of the production team, Whit and Chris decide to go full #YOLO and crash a wedding going on just down the hill. Y’all crazy! Their plan is to pretend to be engaged and just “wing it” if anyone asks them who they are.
They “sneak” into the reception and are promptly invited to sit with the bride’s sisters and maid of honor. Chris blows it immediately by asking members of the wedding party who they are. Whitney covers for him and steers the conversation toward their fake engagement (another example of how she can roll the cab? tab? cob? WHAT IS HE SAYING?). She’s an excellent liar, which is I guess a great character trait for your future wife?
Chris is great at all of your favorite terrible wedding dances, including my fave, the fish on a hook. Whitney is honestly delightful – she’s moving in to frontrunner territory tonight. +1 point for a kiss on the dance floor (we count one kiss per date), -2 for two more “Amazing” offenses. Chris runs across a field to get her a rose (aww), and they end their date in a beautiful field with another smooch. They’re cute together, for sure.
Rose Ceremony day: Zoom in on Chris doing pilates crunches on his porch and then showering, also on his porch, and alongside Jimmy Kimmel. Up at the house, Whitney is tight-lipped with the girls about her “AMAZING” date, which is good. Take note, Mackenzie.
Jimmy delivers the news that they’re skipping the cocktail party in lieu of a POOL PARTY!!! Bring on the bikinis and full faces of makeup, always a practical pool party choice. Chris is pumped about the pool, but Ashley I. is NOT. A man after my own heart, Chris kicks things off with a cannonball.
Juelia decides the pool party is an appropriate time to tell Chris her (admittedly tragic) life story, just to make sure she gets the chance to tell him. Of course I can’t snark on her for her story – but I don’t love her timing. Chris is very sweet and supportive. -1 point to her for crying (sorry).
Down at the pool, Ashley I. is reminding us that she’s bummed out over the pool party. She’s worried about Britt, who is busy massaging Chris’s forearms and skipping that pesky conversation to get straight to the kissing (+1).
Jade says she wants to get in there, too (ha), so she grabs Chris’s hand and they sneak down to his house. Jillian stalks them down there to wait for Chris in his hot tub. Inside, Jade is low-key trying to snark about the outgoing girls (side-eye, Jillian). They move on to jumping on the bed (+1 for kissing, no points for the heavy petting) while Jillian soaks her tootsies outside in the hot tub in bikini bottoms and her tank top. Weird.
More girls (led by Ashley I.) are on the way down to find Chris when they spot Jillian and Chris. Jillian promptly tells the girls to scram, which I like. The girls disappear for approximately 45 seconds before they all come back to join the mini-party. +3 points each for Jillian, Ashley I., Megan, and Mackenzie for hot tub time with Chris.
Ashley I. is doing her darnedest to micro-manage the hot tub party process. She’s making it weird, she’s being desperate, AND she’s down one point for crying. Get it together, Ashley I. She throws her plastic wine glass down the driveway in a final act of protest, then stumbles through the gate and back up to the terrible, horrible, no-good very-bad pool party.
Mackenzie stumbles back in to the gaggle of girls to tell the tale of the hot tub. The girls agree that they are nervous and they want to talk to Chris – who shows up on cue to talk with Ashley I.! Finally! She just wants a kiss, a natural conversation surrounded by cameras and producers, and a confident feeling about sharing a boyfriend with 45 other girls! She is definitely too drunk to be having this conversation. She is also crying again (-1 more point). Chris is kind of weirded out, so he kisses her (+1 point). She’s really confident about their chemistry, dry mouth and all.
And now, it’s time for the rose ceremony! Kaitlyn, Becca, and Whitney already have roses. Ashley I. doesn’t have a rose yet, but she’s “like, at a 9″ in confidence and super-smirky, so she’s not worried.
Additional roses go to Jade, Samantha, Juelia, Mackenzie, Kelsey, Britt, Megan, Carly, Ashley S. (thanks, producers), Nikki, Jillian, and Ashley I (who was decidedly less confident by the last rose of the night).
We said goodbye to Amber, Trina, and Tracy. Looks like next week may be the controversial campout cry-palooza date, which should be interesting!
FINAL SCORE: 28 (Josh) to 91 (Corley)
I’m kicking butt and rolling the cob. Cow. Cab. Whatever.
On December 28, I saw a post on Facebook that said ClassPass had come to Charlotte. I’ve been interested in the service since I first heard about it, so I signed up as a late Christmas gift to myself. I’m very easily intimidated when it comes to trying new gyms and workouts, and I figured that this buffet-style option would make it easy for me to try new things in my neighborhood.
Since signing up, I’ve been to 10 classes with ClassPass. At $79 a month, that shakes out to around $8 per class – better than the drop-in rate for most studios in town. My plan is to find two studios I really want to stick with, and then transition to the (hopefully) more economical option of just buying packages at those studios. So far, I’ve found a couple of classes that really work for me, and one that really REALLY doesn’t.
One class I loved immediately was Chillax Flow Yoga at Okra Yoga in Plaza Midwood. I knew as soon as class started that I would be back, and I have been – every Saturday for the same class, as a matter of fact. The studio is exactly what I hope for in a studio – not too shiny, not too grungy. People of all shapes and sizes are in the class each weekend. My flexibility and joint strength are about on par with the average grandmother’s, so I’m often self-conscious in class – but I haven’t felt that way at all in my practice at Okra. I can feel my body getting stronger each time I visit, and I feel at home enough to really relax and benefit from the actual yoga when I’m there.
With ClassPass, you can only visit the same studio three times in one month. I’ve already used up my three Okra visits, but I love the atmosphere there so much that I’m already signed up and pre-paid for another class there this month.
Another class I have really enjoyed is the Barre Class at Xtend Barre. I was really nervous about trying barre for the first time – not only am I inflexible, but I’m uncoordinated and just generally not in awesome shape. My first class at Xtend definitely kicked my butt – but in the very best way. I’ve used all three of my visits at this studio, too – and I can definitely tell that I’m getting stronger each week. I had to stop so many times during my first class – and while I definitely still can’t do everything the instructor does, my endurance has come leaps and bounds from my first attempt. I’m still uncoordinated – but Xtend is another studio where I feel challenged without any judgement – free to mess up and catch up as often as I need to.
I mentioned I found one class that was definitely not a fit – and that was AIR Foundation atAIR Aerial Fitness. Like Okra and Xtend, the atmosphere at this studio was fantastic. I walked in to Beyonce blasting over the sound system and was greeted by a super friendly instructor who got me set up with my hammock and showed me the basic moves I would need to know to keep up. I remember thinking “This is going to be great!” just like the sweet, naive child of spring that I was. Ten minutes into class, my feet were slung up into my hammock three feet off the ground. I was facing myself in the mirror, red-faced and chubby with a dozen lithe, strong classmates in view behind me. My arms were shaking. My legs were swinging back and forth. As I struggled for balance, sweat dripping from my hairline onto my mat, I was thinking “This is it. This is how I’m going to die.” as the instructor called out “OK, we should all be warmed up now – let’s get to work!”
Yes. That was the WARM UP. Ha.
At the end of class, we were supposed to “relax” into an inverted lotus pose, hanging from our hammocks like windchimes in a gentle breeze. Here is what we were supposed to look like:
I managed to get into the pose with a little coaxing. But once I was down there, I felt a little panic when I realized I was going to have to get back UP. That involved heaving my hips back and forth in a manner that was probably JUST as graceful as you’re imagining until I had enough momentum to pull myself up with a little help from my pelvis and God.
Picture Elaine dancing in Seinfeld. Now picture a fish flopping around and gasping for breath on a wooden dock. Now combine those two images into a person, and put her in a fabric hammock, hanging upside down in a small fitness studio in Meyers Park.
I’m never, ever going back.