Monsters & Critics’ new columnist Mary Beth Ellis brings you up to date on this season of The Bachelor, with a quick FAQ recap summing up last week’s episode, what’s coming up this week, and why we even allowed her to do this in the first place…
What makes you qualified to write about The Bachelor?
This is offensive. This is my wheelhouse. For I, too, once owned many evening gowns, I speak loudly when I drink, and I enjoy simultaneously chasing after a man with a football team’s worth of other women, including subs– you know what, this is falling apart.
What makes you qualified to write about this particular Bachelor?
This Bachelor is an airline pilot named Peter. I am married to an airline pilot named Josh, which renders me an aviation industry expert. I know that if he tells me he’s going CLT to PNS that this is all a perfectly normal, non-pornography oriented trip from Charlotte to Pensacola. So I am here to learn these women something.
Some commentators are throwing Misogyny Flags on Peter because he delivered unto the women a “lecture” about “making sure they are ready for this” or some such cockpittery. But you know what? He’s not talking about “making sure you know you want a relationship, little girl.” He’s talking about the toilet paper.
When people find out I’m married to an airline pilot, they think it’s all very glamorous and exciting and that I skip about the world for free on a regular basis. It’s true that, as the wife of a regional airline captain, if there’s room for me on a flight I’d like to take on my husband’s parent airline, I don’t have to pay to climb aboard. Sometimes, yes, this means flying first-class from Miami to DC at zero cost. And sometimes it means watching an airplane pull away from a gate in Dallas, knowing I’m doomed to breakfast in Texas while the conference in Tucson gets underway without me.
But mostly it means cramming myself into a middle seat from Cincinnati to Philadelphia because I have not seen my husband in six days and joining him for a night in the Holiday Inn is the only way we can have a face-to-face conversation about how the lawnmower is making terrifying noises. And it means receiving a text from him twenty minutes before leaving for the airport, asking if there’s room in the carry-on for a roll of toilet paper because “what’s in the bathroom at the hotel is ridiculous and my ass does not deserve this.”
And here’s the other thing: The airline benefits don’t mean all that much in the end because once you get where you’re going, you still have to pay for a hotel, a rental car, food, bail, etc. And while most airlines don’t require a college degree to hire on, it’s a darn good idea to have one. And flight training, unless the pilot has done it through the military, costs thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars, all while entry-level pilot jobs pay, oh, about what you would make as a manager at McDonald’s. Airline pilots can make good money… once they’re far up in seniority and flying internationally as captains. Which means they’re gone even longer than they were earlier in their career. And Peter ain’t no international captain.
You see where I’m going with this? My husband has been out of college sixteen years and last year’s anniversary celebration consisted of splitting a bag of fries at 8 o’clock at night in a Scranton airport gate. That’s where I’m going with this.
But’s it okay because sometimes you get cookies.
The divorce rate in this industry will set your fake eyelashes on fire. Airline pilots are never home, and when they are, guess how many of them want to jet off on adventures. Some have to declare vacation days a year in advance even though they don’t know their schedule any further than a month out. I can navigate this lifestyle, because we have no children and I ’m a writer and an un-people person who can sail happily on for days with a Kindle and a box of Cheez-Its.
These women probably think they’re vying for Maverick and a split of Champagne on a private jet, when what they’re actually going to get is a honeymoon of fourteen hours in Schenectady because the passenger loads were high for Orlando and two flight attendants grabbed the last non-revenue passenger slots.
I’m telling you. It’s the toilet paper.
Which women are left?
Check out Mary Jane’s full report. We’ve got six women left before Peter whittles it down to the Four Horses of Potentially Inappropriate Footwear: Madison, Natasha, Kelsey, Victoria F, Hannah Ann, and Kelley.
What happened on the dates?
Peter and Madison had a one-on-one date where he could “definitely see her as my best friend…” which looked baaaaaad until he rosed her up.
Natasha and Peter ate what looked like baby food, very romantic. He told the camera, but not Natasha, that he felt “like it’s just a friendship with us,” and yikes. Out she went. He was holding a rose but then was all “I can’t give you this rose” and it was bruuuuuuutaaaaaaallllll. Out went Natasha’s suitcase.
Kelsey and Peter — again with the romance — ruined a perfectly good Peruvian countryside with screaming ATV engines. She announced that she wanted to raise her children (big of her) but “still have something for me.”
Well, Kelsey, in Pilot Wife Life, that means never seeing your husband but always seeing your children, unless you can afford a nanny, which you can’t until the loans are paid off, at which point the children are replacing the tennis balls on the bottom of your walkers, so I hope that Kelsey’s “something for me” involves selling Herbalife and unblocking the ice maker. She’s well on her way, because she got a rose.
Then there was a group date with Kelley, Hannah Ann, and Victoria F. Hannah Ann handed him a freaking list entitled “Things I Love About You” and Number One was “You make time for me” — along with this whole herd of other women, especially on a three-to-one ratio date — so I’m going to give Hannah Ann high marks for low standards of happiness. So does Peter, apparently, because she moved on to the next round.
Victoria F. and Peter have a long and confusing Dramatic Conversation that was too boring for me to recap here so I’ll just tell you she got a rose and also that Kelley was ousted.
What happens now?
Tonight, Peter visits the hometowns of the final four women and cuts them in half. The field, I mean. Not the women. Or the hometowns. I hope. I am going to go drink and dig around in my carry-on for a mostly not-stale packet of tiny pretzels.
The Bachelor next airs on Monday, February 17 at 8/7c on ABC.