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Friday, Mar. 28, 2003 | link
The night of the, I think, penultimate round of The Bachelorette, my friend Adrienne came over to watch the cringe festival, and also to eat some grilled cheese sandwiches.
For some reason, the producers had decided to send Trista and date-rape-y (and fellow San Rafaelian!) Russ on a horrible, hippy-theme-ed Arizona trip for their "romantic retreat." It started out with the couple standing on a red-rocked mountaintop and getting their auras photographed and analyzed. (What?) Apparently Trista's aura revealed her to be "remote" and "hard-to-read," while Russ's said ... I don't know, something boring and unmemorable (maybe that was it, actually: Russ's aura revealed him to be "boring" and "unmemorable"). Anyway, after the aura reading, they went to dinner, where Russ proceeded to CONFRONT Trista about her remoteness.
The more he tried to force her to "open up," the more Trista shut down. It was like a hellish, protracted version of that creepy guy on the street who tells you to "smile!" and thinks he's showing off his fun-loving nature, when really he's demanding that you do a little facial tap dance just for him and making you feel harassed and very, very un-smile-y.
"Oh my god," Adrienne and I screamed at the television, "stop! Stop!" But Russ wouldn't stop. He just wouldn't stop.
And you know what? Good thing! Because what if Russ had managed to suppress his creepy aggressiveness long enough to win? Trista would have wound up with creepy, aggressive Russ and totally missed out on the tousled, maybe-not-so-so-awful Ryan the firepoet. (Hey, Trista? Ryan? I read about your first fight in this week's US. Hang in there, OK?)
If you, like me, read the online personals obsessively, then you know that they're filled with guys who say they're looking for a "partner in crime" or a "muse," or who make jokes that are so tired ("Celebrity that I resemble most? Tom Cruise ... Best or worst lie I've ever told? That I look like Tom Cruise!"), you have to stop in the middle of them to take a nap. Men? Didn't you even read what other people had to say before you wrote your own ad? Oh. Because if you had, you'd know that six hundred other gentlemen used the same exact lines as you did, like word for word -- you might as well have said you like walks on the beach (or worse, said you like walks on the beach ironically).
I used to think that there really needed to be a Learning Annex class on the fine art of personal ad writing. But now I'm thinking that the last thing we need is for the terrible people to stop advertising their terribleness.
When Liz, Heidi, Jill, and I went to Edward James Olmos's house for New Year's Eve two years ago -- you'd think there'd be a long story behind that, but there really isn't -- Liz got all pukey drunk on Appletinis, and I said to her, "You know, there's a reason those drinks are the same green as poisonous tree frogs."
If all the Russes and muse-seekers learned to stop sharing how icky, or mean, or manipulative (Hey you "Best or worst lie I've ever told: 'I love you too'" men? Hi!), or boring they were, it would be like if the poisonous electric-green rain forest tree frogs suddenly toned down their colors, or the manufacturers took the do-not-ingest warning labels off Drano.
See? It's a lucky thing that the Russes of the world let their freak flags fly. And that I post my bitchy, hyper-critical thoughts on my worldwide online website so you can all get a heads-up about how mean I truly am.