eh. over you.

Disclaimer: I am fully cognizant that there is nothing of value in watching shows like “The Bachelor,” however…I thoroughly embrace this zero-calorie eye-candy entertainment. This season was a bit of a downer. As the tabloids and the downward spiral of the last few episodes suggested, Ben did what all of America still hoped against hope he would not: he proposed to the woman we all loved to hate, Courtney.

When faced with host Chris Harrison’s questions about her words and actions on the show, Courtney complained that for lack of a manual on how to behave on the “Bachelor,” the show simply brought out the worst in her. Clearly, it is everyone else’s fault but her own that she behaved so terribly, because all other contestants got a manual on basic human interaction that Courtney did not.

Oh wait…no…no they didn’t? Hm. Weird.

Every tear she squeezed out seemed like a contrived attempt at damage control. Sorry, darling, days late and dollars short. We just can’t bring ourselves to like you. I definitely feel sorry for you…but I can’t like you beyond your entertainment value.

There is no manual on how to act on reality television. Mostly because one would hope that merely interacting with other humans in day to day life would help you know what to do in social situations…but for some, “living” is not explicit instruction enough. So, for Courtney and dozens of other clueless “reality stars” who “never thought it would be this hard” and can’t understand why America is disgusted with them (entire cast of “Jersey Shore,” “Housewives” of Anywhere, “Dance Moms,” etc.), I offer this survival guide:

Realize you’re on television! I know, I know, this seems obvious. BUT there always seems to be people who, despite having signed up to be on the show on their own free will, act like such morons that they must be in denial of the cameras recording It can and will all be used against you FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Everyone you know and don’t yet know will see it. Your mom, your grandma, your neighbors, your current and future bosses, the little kids you babysat, etc. Pull yourself together and behave!

Everything I’m about to say after this should fall under “realize you’re on television.” But as a junior high teacher, I’ve realized it’s important to be specific. So here goes:


Keep your clothes on – As one who has traveled much and loves a good group skinny dip, I understand the thrill of a nude swim in an exotic ocean. BUT because she did it on TV, Courtney will forever be remembered as “that girl on Bachelor who went skinny-dipping? And showed her girls to a tribe of indigenous people off the coast of Panama?” Ben may have fallen for your little “nightcap” trick, but millions of people will never forget the image of you two stripping down to your birthday suits the third week of your acquaintance.

Don’t swear – Too many bad words speaks to a lack of a developed vocabulary. As I get older, I realize that F-bombs sound terrible coming out of the mouth of something so adorable as Kacie B in her limo confession. I know she was upset, but too many swear words just makes you sound immature.

Drink water – When I auditioned for “Real World,” cocktail waitresses were prowling the audition lines with shots at 10am, trying to get us to booze up and be ridiculous. On a show like “Bach,” those girls are bowing to Bacchus all the time. I see purple teeth and the drunk bathroom cries (hello, psycho blogger Jenna!) and think – “homegirls, you must pace yo self.” Ain’t no shame in pouring water into that wine glass and passing it off as pinot grigio…but please, keep your composure!

Make friends – Ben’s sister Julia asked if any contestants brought drama to the house or weren’t friends with the other women, because that would be, and I quote, a HUGE RED FLAG. I’m not sure why men don’t pick up on this kind of flag. Guys – do you really want to marry a woman who has no friends but other men? Will she get along with your mom, sister, aunts, grandma? No! And when you piss her off, you want her running to other guys for comfort? Again, NO! Stay away from women who think having only guys friends is cool.

Realize what show you’re on – Everyone always acts so surprised when the rejected suitor comes back for one last chance, or their one-on-one date forces them to face their greatest fear (sharks/heights/caves/yarn etc). These shows all follow a formula, and I hope you have done your research before auditioning for it. As for my application, I would say my greatest fear was something I was good at, like….eating ice cream or napping. I would never mention “I am deathly afraid of birds and can’t say the word “animal” correctly.”

Warn your family – I LOVED Kacie’s family and how old school they were. But they may have cost her Ben. While it may have been disappointing for her then, now we’re all agreeing that she dodged a shady bullet of cheating when Ben let her go. Kacie’s Dad was a sober conservative, and made no secret of his old-timey ways (which I love) to Ben, the wild winemaker. But if I were Kacie B, I would have definitely set out a list of “you may not say this if I make it to hometown” to secure that date for myself.

Get a stylist/makeup tutorial/nails done/hair did – You’re on TELEVISION. Invest in Spanx and a mascara that doesn’t run. Invest in a comb. Get some nice clothes and test them in bright lights. Learn how to walk properly in those high heels. Get a spray tan. You’re appearing in front of millions every night. Make it count.

Practice your laugh/cry/exit speech – I will never forget Courtney’s cackle, or Kacie B’s F-bomb exit, or that one nameless girl who shrieked like a banshee over leaving when it was revealed that she actually had a boyfriend back home. We’ve seen ugly cries, heard crazy laughs, and witnessed terrible limo confessions. Note – these are things to work over in a mirror before you get on the show and release them to the public, who will inevitably turn it into an auto tuned Youtube of hilarity.

So those are my tips. You are now free to audition to whatever bad idea you want. Me? I’m waiting these two months to watch Emily’s sure to be sickeningly sweet season of “Bachelorette.”

And practicing my limo confessions in the mirror.