Link Love Wednesday: Stock Images, Rejection, and Wilma’s World

Hanging out with Beauty and the Beast - my favorite!

Hanging out with Beauty and the Beast – my favorite!

Good evening, readers! 🙂 I hope everyone had a fun St. Patrick’s Day yesterday and is enjoying this wonderful week. This weekend, I went to Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival! I planned my entire future at Spaceship Earth, practically cried tears of excitement watching the manatees in the aquarium at the Finding Nemo ride, went to dinner in Italy, and took more pictures in the park than I know what to do with. It’s crazy to think that I live so close to Disney but so rarely go.

Do any of you live near major tourist attractions? Do you visit often or do you steer clear?

Here’s our latest batch of link love. Feel free to add your own favorite links to the comments section below!

What are your favorite links from the week? Anything cool that you’ve posted on your own blog? Share in the comments below! 🙂

Predictions for the Season 10 Premiere of ‘The Bachelorette’

andiAfter 12 years on the air, The Bachelor franchise has definitely perfected its charade of attractive young people finding love (and getting a Neil Lane ring out of it) on national television. The show returns on May 19 with assistant district attorney Andi Dorfman at the helm, but she does not come without her own controversy after walking out on Juan Pablo Galavis (a.k.a. America’s Most Hated Bachelor) after their night in the Fantasy Suite.

Because of the formulaic nature of the show, I’d like to make a few predictions about what will undoubtedly happen on Andi’s upcoming season premiere. (Please keep in mind that I have not read any spoilers or conducted any research on this season’s contestants – this is entirely for fun!) Feel free to add your own predictions in the comments section below.

  • Opening scenes will include footage of Atlanta (Andi’s hometown), Andi in a courtroom and Andi outside doing something that will make her seem fun and adorable to viewers.
  • Andi will talk about all of the wonderful things she has in her life, but how much better her life would be if only she had someone to share it with. This will serve as a voiceover as Andi either skips rocks across the water, sits pensively in a meadow, stares out a window or walks through the busy streets (surrounded by people but still feeling very alone, of course).
  • Andi will “prepare” for her time on the show with a popular former cast member, either the previous Bachelorette (Des) or perhaps a few memorable contestants she befriended last season.
  • At least once throughout the episode, Andi or host Chris Harrison will use a law-related metaphor to describe Andi’s search for love.
  • At least one of the contestants will be an attorney.
  • At least one of the contestants will impersonate Juan Pablo upon exiting the limo, most likely by inserting his phrase “Ees okay.”
  • Several of the contestants will sit in the house and discuss everything Juan Pablo did wrong on his season of The Bachelor, and how they are all much better people than he is. They will also rave about how Andi is even prettier in person.
  • Tension will arise between at least two of the men on the house on that very first night.
  • One man will make a positive entrance that sets him apart from the rest of the men, who will talk about him negatively for the rest of the night. If he makes it past this episode, he will likely be established as the season’s Resident Villain (who is there for All The Wrong Reasons).
  • Andi will announce at some point in the evening, either to the cameras or to the men as a whole, that she thinks her future husband might be in the room.
  • During or after the rose ceremony, Andi will make a speech about being open to love and excited to share the journey with each of these contestants.
  • Andi will eliminate at least two memorable contestants, likely the ones with the most bizarre entrances.
  • Several of the eliminated men will cry or at least tear up, even though they have only known Andi for an hour or two, and will lament that this was their only chance at finding love.

Who knows? Maybe there will be more predictions as the season wears on! 🙂 In the meantime, add your own to the comments section below and feel free to use this blog as a checklist when the episode airs.

Happy viewing!

How To Win “The Bachelor”

bachelor-juan-pablo-galavisIt’s Monday night, and for many of us (read: women across the country between the ages of 18-49), that means it’s time to tune into the latest episode of The Bachelor. Now, I have not disillusioned myself into believing that this is the ideal way to entrap attract your ideal mate, but I’ll admit that the show can be incredibly addictive, even if you aren’t enamored with bachelor du jour Juan Pablo Galavais.

On each season of The Bachelor, grown women cry when a man they barely know (but have determined is the only man for them) decides he doesn’t feel an immediate connection and sends them home without a rose. Of course, much heartache and suffering could be spared if these women learned the ins and outs of wooing America’s bachelor. Luckily, through several viewings, I have been able to unlock the code for winning The Bachelor competition, and I’m sharing the wealth with you! Ladies, if you’re thinking of auditioning for The Bachelor, look no further. This guide will guarantee you airtime and at least a spot in the final four, if not a proposal.

You do not talk about winning The Bachelor.
Although The Bachelor is, in fact, a dating competition, you are not supposed to acknowledge this. To do so is a HUGE betrayal to both the Bachelor himself and to the other contestants, who will personally take offense to the fact that you see them as competition. Instead, befriend everyone to a degree, and look down upon anyone who says, “I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to find love.” This person will emerge as the season’s villain, and will rarely win.

courtney-the-bachelorYou DO NOT talk about winning The Bachelor.
Seriously, must I repeat myself?

Have a cliché catchphrase that is SO you.
My favorite is, “You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.” Wear a sundress with cowboy boots and find a meadow to stroll through while you say this, because it creates a nice visual that viewers will find charming, feminine and nonthreatening.

Turn your dates into metaphors.
Going cliff-diving? Tell the camera crews that you can’t wait to “take the plunge” or “take a leap of faith” with The Bachelor. Spending the night in a dark cave? “___ has made me see the light.” Be creative but not too creative – your metaphors should be accurate, but still somewhat predictable in relation to the date itself. The more you are able to do this, the more airtime the producers will give you, so that even if The Bachelor doesn’t fall in love with you, America will.

the-bachelorMake dramatic confessions that aren’t that dramatic.
It is important to “open up” in a serious but not too serious way. For example, tell The Bachelor that you have a confession to make, and then confess that your parents have been married for 30 years and that you want a marriage like theirs. You can brush on family life and loosely discuss past relationships, but avoid any mention of political beliefs, religion, or anything else that could cause discomfort. Instead, wait until he proposes and then let it slip out when your families meet.

Be memorable, but not too memorable.
Quirkiness can come across as adorable, but you can only take it so far. There is a difference between “Zooey Deschanel–quirky” and “I am growing a mustache on purpose and I have a pet possum” quirky. Try to avoid the latter.

the-bachelor-lindsay-shows-up-in-wedding-dress-shocks-sean-455x422Stock up on evening-wear and casual “I put 4 hours into looking effortless and low maintenance” outfits.
This shows that you can be the graceful trophy wife he’ll want to show off to all of his friends, but that you’re also laidback and “up for anything.” Buy as many evening gowns and cocktail dresses as you can, because you will be seen in them and you can’t wear the same thing twice on television.

Stay out of the drama.
As soon as you tattle on one of the other girls (even if she is 100 percent wrong), you will be sent home – or, at the very least, you will be the last to receive a rose in that night’s ceremony. Even worse, the girl you’ve told on will likely receive the rose before you do! If you think that someone is doing something wrong, encourage one of your “friends” in the house to tell on her instead!

Fall for him immediately.
It doesn’t matter that he’s two feet shorter in person than you imagined him. It doesn’t matter that you have nothing of substance to talk about. It doesn’t matter that he embodies most, if not all, of your pet peeves. As a contestant on the show, you are not allowed to have an opinion on these things. Because of this, you need to envision a future with The Bachelor immediately and talk about it a lot when interviewed.

Worst case, you can always tragically exit from the show and become the next Bachelorette! 🙂

Link Love Wednesday: Brackets & Buzzwords

jargon_push-envelopeHope everyone is having a wonderful week! I can’t believe the first week of fall semester is about to begin, and for the first time ever, I’m not enrolled in classes! Coincidentally, my schedule at work happens to be at its busiest yet, only to get crazier next week. Because of that, I find it more important than ever to uncover some interesting articles and links to de-stress and maintain a fresh perspective! 🙂

What are some of the best articles you’ve come across lately?

What If “The Bachelorette” Realistically Portrayed Relationships?

931245_581100941922086_1773207484_nThis week on The Bachelorette, Desiree treated the men to a group date with rapper Soulja Boy, where they filmed their very own rap music video parodying the show’s earlier seasons’ contestants. This group date, although entertaining to watch, was probably one of the more ridiculous dates ever filmed on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, and this is coming from a girl who already thinks the show is bananas. (The whole time, I not-so-secretly hoped that Desiree would give the rose to Soulja Boy, and that they would ride off into the sunset together in the convertible that ABC gave her for the show.) Meanwhile, on the first one-on-one date, Desiree exhibited stage-five clinger behavior by wearing a wedding dress for the afternoon. As someone who is not a total cynic when it comes to relationships, and for whom marriage may one day be on the horizon (albeit a horizon on a distant planet that hasn’t been discovered yet), I would like to warn men everywhere that if a woman wears a wedding dress on the first date, it may be wise to change one’s phone number. But I digress…

Reality dating shows are never realistic. We accept this as fact from the moment we begin watching, and so when we learn that the Bachelor du jour and his pretty blonde administrative assistant fiancee have called it quits just months after taping, we are not even remotely surprised. We’ve been expecting this the entire time.

brad-womack-proposes-to-emily-on-the-bachelor-march-2011I’ve been observing the mockery that shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette make of dating and relationships. They follow the same basic formula: A woman meets 25 attractive men, goes on adventurous dates that are somehow metaphors for the relationship, converses with them about what love means and what their past relationships were like, whittles it down to a few top contenders and chooses her final match while an 80s love song plays in the background. The men in the house create their own drama, ultimately ganging up on the one man who seems to want the other men out of the picture. The conversations are superficial at best, and the word “engagement” becomes synonymous with “dating someone exclusively and not ruling out an eventual marriage.”

Of course, these shows are purely for entertainment… but what if they weren’t? What if shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette actually portrayed a budding relationship more accurately?

The show would go something like this: A woman meets 25 men. Some of them are attractive in a generic sense, some are not as traditionally handsome but interesting enough in a way that she finds especially attractive, and some are just not her type but are worth a shot. On the first night, she eliminates several of the men because, while briefly dating them might be nice, she can tell that the long-term potential isn’t there, and she doesn’t want to waste their time by making them sit through a few more doomed weeks on the show. Her first dates with each of the contestants are extravagant and fun, but as the show wears on, the conversations become more serious, and instead of having endless discussions about “love” and trying to vaguely define it, they discuss their interests, goals (not just family-oriented, but personal goals too), preferred parenting methods… and perhaps, eventually, taboo topics like religion and politics.

JEF, EMILY MAYNARDNot all of the men fall immediately in love with her, and some will leave the show on their own accord because they don’t see a future. Some are there to take advantage. The woman may weed some of those out, but a few may slip through the cracks.

Not all of the dates are wildly glamorous – some include movie nights and grocery shopping and day-to-day tasks that normal, non-TV couples have to endure. The woman’s friends may meet the contestants at one point and provide their own two cents, because sometimes there are red flags in relationships that we are unable to see. On one date, the woman takes a contestant to an important work event in order to see how he interacts with her co-workers and how he would behave at these functions if they dated long-term.

Occasionally, the woman may argue with the contestants, but this doesn’t cause her to send them packing. Arguments are normal; the way they are dealt with determines whether or not the woman will keep the contestant around.

The woman says “I love you” when she feels ready, not when she is contractually obligated to do so. She sends all but one man home when she knows whom she cares for the most and sees the most potential with. (She doesn’t need to send three men to the fantasy suite before deciding!) The show does not end in an engagement, because they haven’t known each other long enough to commit to something so serious, but the dates do give her an idea of how they would behave in a relationship together.

Of course, none of this would ever last for more than a season because it would hit too close to home! Maybe we like to suspend disbelief for two hours a week, so that we can observe these snapshots of “love” without letting it border too closely to our own relationships. What would your version of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette entail?

The Weekend Five: Alternative Job Choices

sean-lowe-300Tomorrow I will embark on the first day of my career, and I am extremely excited to begin working full-time in a job that relates closely to my Bachelor’s degree. In the past, I have discussed my earlier struggles with selecting an undergraduate major and career path, but when I talked about the roads I didn’t take (psychologist/teacher/journalist/anthropologist/etc.), I may have left a few out! 🙂

This week’s post will dive further into some of those alternative career choices I decided to forgo, some of which may even inspire you! Feel free to include your own in the comments section below.

The Weekend Five: Alternative Job Choices

1. Camera crew member for The Bachelor.
I love to work behind the camera – why not transfer that passion to the small screen? As a camera crew member on The Bachelor, my main purpose would be to film pensive scenes of the bachelor du jour as he skips rocks across a nearby lake, runs on a treadmill and watches the sunset while hoping to meet his future wife. I would also have the opportunity to interview women with too much Botox as they simultaneously complain about other women in the house and pine for a man with whom they have been on two group dates. It’s just like high school all over again (minus the Botox)!

*

2. The Bachelorette.
After spending sufficient time behind the scenes of The Bachelor, I could easily get my foot in the door for my own chance at “love” on national television by becoming The Bachelorette.  Not only would I have access to unlimited evening dresses, but I would be able to discuss superficial topics with guys from all over the country while we fly in a helicopter over some beautiful canyon or glacier. If anything, this job would allow me to put my passport to good use!

*

thrift-shop-macklemore-ryan-lewis-onesie3. Macklemore’s personal shopper.
Imagine getting paid to run around through thrift stores and pick out quirky, vintage clothing and accessories. Wouldn’t you feel pretty “pumped up” about the situation? I would have so much fun sifting through garments and putting together crazy outfit combinations so that Mackemore could go and get some compliments.

*

4. Voice recording for 1-800 numbers.
For some strange reason, I really enjoy talking in a somewhat robotic telephone voice. I can still imitate the automated phone messages that my high school used to send my parents if my sister or I were marked absent in any of our classes. If that isn’t reason enough to hire me for this type of position, then I don’t know what is.

*

5. A “source” for the tabloids.
I always wonder who these “sources” really are, and why they would spill secrets to the tabloids if they were really the celebrity’s “friend.” Although I don’t keep up with celebrity gossip in the way that I used to, I still occasionally will peek at the trashy magazines in the grocery stores. Every time I read a quote from a “source,” however, I take their words with a grain of salt because that unnamed source could be anybody: the garbageman who drives by the celebrity’s house twice a week, the waitress that served the celebrity once, some guy who has the same last name as the celebrity… So really, if anyone can do it, why can’t I? It would be like a fun exercise in fiction writing, and perhaps a stepping stone to my eventual career as an author. 😉

*

What are some of your weird “alternative” jobs?

The Weekend Five: Things That Pop Culture Taught Me to Expect About Falling in Love

25.1T073.mindyc--300x300As Valentine’s Day looms dangerously close by, we begin to think more and more about love and relationships based on our current frames of reference. Even if you have a significant other, you might still be a sucker for  cheesy romantic comedies, and this could potentially affect your own beliefs about what “love” really looks like. In my own life, pop culture has played its role in shaping my expectations, for better or for worse.

In honor of Singles Awareness Day/Valentine’s Day (depending, of course, on your relationship status and/or feelings about Hallmark), I would like to present the five things that pop culture taught me to expect in the world of relationships.

The Weekend Five: Things That Pop Culture Taught Me to Expect About Falling in Love

1. Every social encounter is a potential meet-cute.
It doesn’t matter where you are or why you’re there; any time you meet someone of the desired gender, you have the chance to find real love. This allows you to turn an awkward situation, such as running into each other and dropping all of your belongings on the ground, into something more meaningful. If your eyes meet for more than a few seconds as you laugh and help each other to pick up your things, it’s a sign of good things to come — and if your hands brush against theirs, it’s obvious that you’re soulmates. You can apply similar logic to other situations as well: meeting someone at a bar, admiring the same painting in an art gallery, reaching for the same book in a library. It doesn’t matter if the other person doesn’t see all of this as reason to exchange numbers or break up with their current significant other; as long as you keep your mind open, any moment can become a meet-cute.

*

2. The one who has been around the longest is the one you’ll end up with.“I’ve been right here in front of you the entire time!” the romantic female lead exclaims as she plants herself in her male best friend’s doorway. “I was here all along!” This rule can go two ways: either you will end up with your best friend, or you will end up with the person whom you met in the very first episode (a la Carrie/Mr. Big) of Your Love Life. Either way, longevity will trump all else in the game of love.

*

bachelorette_ver23. If all else fails, you can broadcast your search for love to the entire world.
By becoming the next Bachelor or Bachelorette on ABC, you will not only have countless attractive dental assistants and entrepreneurs of ambiguous backgrounds vying for your attention, but you will also have access to an unlimited wardrobe of evening wear. Falling in love on television is totally genuine and foolproof; even if you don’t end up married later down the road, you are at least contractually obligated to get an engagement out of it, and your entire courtship will be littered with poorly disguised metaphors. Who wouldn’t want that?

*

4. Your relationship will have its own montage.
Every memorable moment that has led up to your declaration of love will flash before your eyes. This montage will be relatively short – no more than three minutes – but will highlight your relationship’s “Best Of” moments. This also happens when you aren’t in a relationship but considering confessing your feelings for someone with whom you’ve developed a close friendship. This montage is a mental one, so don’t be creepy and put anything together in iMovie.

*

5. Your relationship will be scored by a mix of 1980s love songs and modern indie music.
I always imagined that The Glory of Love by Peter Cetera would start playing the moment I realized I’d found “The One” (okay, maybe not always, but at least since I watched last season of The Bachelorette). The truth is, if pop culture has taught us anything, it’s that our relationships will take up entire soundtracks – and bands like Foreigner, Death Cab for Cutie and Sparklehorse will be the main attractions. Our relationships will consist of sweet if not slightly poppy melodies, smarmy songs that came out the year before we were born and a few songs by obscure bands we’ve never heard of. Get your iTunes ready.

*

What are some of the things that pop culture has taught you to expect about falling in love?

According To The Movies, True Love Is…

In keeping with our romantic comedy theme from yesterday’s post, I thought it would be entertaining to poke fun at some more of the film and television relationships we love. Before I continue, I have to admit that a few of these come from some of my favorite movies, but I love being able laugh about them all. Without further adieu:

According to the movies, true love is…

  • Vowing to turn the nerdy girl into a beautiful prom queen until you give her contact lenses and a haircut and then realize she was beautiful all along. (She’s All That)
  • Finding the one who will rescue your cat in the rain after you let it out of the car during a tantrum. (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
  • Lying about your age to your English teacher and making him think the girl he’s falling for is a high school senior when you’re actually 25 years old. (Never Been Kissed)
  • Trading your girlfriend for a hotel, sleeping with her arch-nemesis, and then asking her to prove her love for you atop the Empire State Building. (Gossip Girl)
  • Losing your ability to speak and then realizing that you can still win the prince’s heart with your looks. (The Little Mermaid)
  • Getting engaged to your employee to avoid getting deported to Canada and then marrying him anyway because you bonded with his crazy grandmother.  (The Proposal)
  • Knowing that your sometimes-enemy and business rival is also your anonymous email pen pal, but still asking her to meet you for a date in the park. (You’ve Got Mail)
  • Getting on a boat to Paris with the guy who tried to ship you off there in the first place. (Sabrina)
  • Inviting at least 20 young women (mainly account coordinators, dental assistants and aspiring models) to compete for your affections on TV over the course of several weeks and enjoying romantic moments with each before deciding that your “real feelings” are for the girl that audiences hate the most. (The Bachelor)

What has the media taught you about “true love?”