Our 27th year of publishing
Published January 19, 2021
Courting on television
By John Toth / The Bulletin
He was standing next to a bunch of roses, ready to hand them out to the lucky winners. He was looking for a wife.
The candidates stood by anxiously. They excitedly hugged him when he called out their names, asking if they would accept the rose.
I was working on The Bulletin and had the TV on for background noise. I do that quite often. This is how I also watch sports. I mostly listen to it while I work. I look up for home runs, touchdowns or rose handouts.
I had the TV tuned to “The Bachelor,” a reality show in its 25th season. I can honestly tell you that I have watched zero seasons. It’s not a guy show. Women, I hear, love it.
So, is this an “alternative’ way to choose a wife? While I was not paying full attention to the show, it was not hard to follow the plot by just listening to it between writing headlines.
Why didn’t I think of doing this when I was single? I could have rented a venue and invited 30 or so women to compete for a chance to marry me. That’s what the TV bachelor does. I would have bought roses and started to eliminate the candidates after a short interview. Or, I could have even selected some candidates to whom I had never spoken.
I would have speeded up this process by asking them to fill out a questionnaire.
Then I could have handed out a dozen roses and asked those who didn’t get one to just leave. I know they would be heartbroken, but that’s not my problem. I needed to pare down the crowd.
If I followed the show’s path, I would still have the problem of dealing with a harem, although now much smaller. In the USA, I can only marry one of them. So, more paring down would be needed, and more breaking of hearts.
Finally, after several weeks, I would be ready to make up my mind and tell the second-to-last contestant to scram (in a nice way, maybe with tears rolling down my face). And the winner would be the love of my life because she beat out all the other contestants, just to spend eternity with me.
I don’t know if Sharon would have gone through all that, so I’m glad that I didn’t rent that venue. We met, became friends and spent time together. She got roses, but only she got them.
Those were great times. No cameras around to record it every step of the way, but the memories are there, made sweeter as years pass. That’s reality without the show.
Since 2002, only three couples from The Bachelor are still together. Meanwhile, since 2003, five of the "The Bachelorette” couples remain married. We beat those odds.
I do have one thing in common with the bachelors on the show.
From pagesix.com: “Contestants on the ABC reality series do not get paid, according to multiple reports, and some have taken to extreme financial measures so they could appear on the show.”
As young journalists, we didn’t get paid all that much, and after taking care of bills and groceries, little remained. We also took extreme steps financially - not to get on a show, but to make ends meet.
Back to work. Show is over. There were lots of tears and sighs. I hope the bachelor finds his wife, and they live happily years after - at least for a little while.
(John looks forward to hearing from you on this subject. Send me a note at email@example.com. You can even send an old-fashioned letter to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516.)