Monsters & Critics columnist Mary Beth Ellis answers all your questions ahead of the latest episode of The Bachelor.
What happened last week on The Bachelor?
Short form: Bunch of women clamped on to Peter and he sent one of them — not the one who has unlocked Markle-levels of impressive emotional manipulation — packing. In other words: Not Victoria F. Somewhere, Charles Barkley is hurt and disapproving.
Long form: Check out Liz Long’s scene-by-scene review. For the excitement of real-time horror, here’s my liveblog of the episode (yes, another one will unfold tonight. Bring your angry fathers and your fake family’s fake houses!)
Surely you’re being overly dramatic about Victoria F.
I mean, breaking up four marriages and getting thrown out of a Virginia Beach bar isn’t quite on the level with upending a royal family which has been in place for over a thousand years, but in terms of reality television resumes, it’s up there.
We loved hearing about how woefully unprepared these women are for life as a pilot wife! Can you tell us more about how your experiences as the spouse of an airline pilot has maximized your use of your husband’s medical plan’s excellent mental health benefits, which are obviously there for a reason?
You mentioned that Peter probably isn’t an international airline pilot. Is your husband an international airline pilot, Mrs. Big Deal Wife of a Pilot?
He is! It is extremely glamorous. A couple of times a month, Josh flies all the way from Maine to Toronto, or even Ottawa! Sometimes he takes this opportunity to use the handful of Canadian coins on his dresser which are otherwise entirely useless, which is very exciting indeed, because then I don’t have to dust them anymore.
We cannot look at the two of you directly due to all the glamorousness.
It doubtless is what these women are dreaming of when they mention “traveling the world.” However, Josh does not like round trips to Canada, because when he lands there and has to go to the bathroom, he isn’t allowed to leave the jetway without going through Customs, so he has to pee in the tiny little Coronavirus petri dish of a passenger airplane bathroom. Also he’s not allowed to bring the open packet of turkey slices in his lunchbox into the country if he’s staying overnight.
If you want to damage the foreign policy stances of my husband, you will mess with his turkey slices. Anything affecting proper sandwich assemblage, really.
What else sucks?
Well, one of the perks of marrying a pilot is that you can live anywhere while the pilot commutes to his or her base city. But — and this is a prominent but, like, a Sir Mix A Lot-sized but — commuting is a rolling disaster-nightmare of a lifestyle that ends sleep, destroys lives, and ruins entire nation-states.
Because we need to be near family right now, Josh and I live in Cincinnati. He is currently based in Philadelphia. As a commuter, he isn’t guaranteed a ticket to get to work in the morning, so he has to fly standby, and his union contract dictates that he must leave room for at least two flights prior to his check-in time. That means even if he’s flying in the late afternoon, sometimes he and his rolly bag are thundering out the door at 4 AM to make the required flight to Philly.
Pilots who commute usually lose at least a day on either side of a trip to travel time, which means they’re typically home a grand total of maybe three days a week. Commuter pilots are adept at rolling into any possible venue on two wheels out of four and at least twenty minutes late, whispering, “Sorry, we had to de-ice in Akron.” This has happened to us in the following places: Mass, a nephew’s basketball game, a viewing of Birdemic, and probably at some point, my own funeral.
Very junior pilots are often on reserve, meaning that they aren’t flying, but they might, possibly tomorrow, probably five minutes from now. That means the renting of a crash pad, which is kind of like a dorm for pilots, only with less hygiene, more sleeping, and increased chance of terrifying mid-evolution life inside the refrigerators. But most junior pilots can’t afford a crash pad and a place in the city where they prefer to live. So the vast majority of pilots, especially those with children, live “in base.”
How does this delightful aspect of airline life affect Peter on The Bachelor?
We know that Peter is a first officer at Delta, and, honestly, good on him. Delta has the biggest prestige, the largest bonuses, and the most and bestest cookies. As a matter of fact, Delta just paid out a rather massive pilot bonus, which is on top of their very nice health benefits package, both of which Peter will likely need for all the post-reality show STD counseling. A career at Delta is Having It Made… eventually.
By all accounts Peter just started at Delta, and, as a pilot without a great deal of seniority, he probably doesn’t have a lot of say in which base he’d prefer. Plus, he’s a first officer. He’s the junior man on a two man crew. This is why pilot wives across America were hurling wine glasses at the general direction of the TV at whichever bundle of hairspray and Spanks was recently trilling “I wanna be Peter’s co-pilot!” Girl, he IS THE CO-PILOT.
When it’s time to walk around the airplane when it’s four degrees with a windchill of Antarctica to visually check that the wings are still on and whatnot, Peter is the one shrugging into a neon vest. When they land, the one calling for the hotel van while the captain does Important Airplane Things is Peter. Guy who runs into the terminal to pick up the crew meals? Peter.
Because there’s a lot of movement in the airline world due to a pilot shortage, Peter won’t be in the neon vest for long. However, even as a captain, he’ll probably still be in the same base, because often changing bases means changing aircraft type… which means becoming a first officer, complete with paycut, all over again.
How’s that co-piloting looking now, honey?
Where would Peter dwell with his new The Bachelor wife, given that they will surely live happily ever after in a magical cottage with elves and butterflies and gentle wildlife which graze upon the moors?
Well, let’s look at where Delta crew bases are. Bear in mind that pilots are not awarded locality pay for living in bases with higher costs of living.
-New York City
-Salt Lake City
In summary, Peter and his “winner” may choose from the following cities in which to live:
-place where you and everyone you know gets shot
-place where you and everyone you know gets shot, but you get to pay some of the highest taxes in the nation
-place where you and everyone you know gets shot, but you get to pay some of the highest taxes in the nation, and it’s snowing
-the depression and hipster capital of North America
-furthest humidity pit of Satan’s horror cave
-furthest freezer dump of Satan’s horror cave
This leaves Salt Lake City. I have a massive crush on the Southwest, so this is happily my choice, but then, I am not these women. I don’t think Victoria F. would in any way find joy, as I do, in regarding large rocks in the wilderness for extended periods. Would any of these contestants enjoy a mostly-alone life in Salt Lake City?
Hannah Ann is a “model.” How are the Latter-day Saints Fashion Week bookings going, Crop Top Hannah?
Is Daddy Girl Madison cheerfully going to pick up from “the place that means literally the whole entire world to me” and haul two time zones away from Auburn for the foreseeable future?
Is Victoria, Snookie’s Virginia Beach horcrux, going to last in Utah, where the official state snack is Jello, longer than Johnny Manziel’s Twitter account after tweeting the XFL to ring him?
For that matter, would Clothier Kelsey going to think shopping for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was a solid career move?
See you at 8 for the liveblog tonight.
The Bachelor next airs on Monday, February 24 at 8/7c on ABC.