Guys, this is important. There are only a couple of episodes left of The Bachelorette. Who will Barbie-lookalike/single mother Emily pick to spend the rest of her life with? Will it be the Hulk-like and prank-happy Sean, whose favorite way to prove his devotion to Emily is to run around screaming her name? Will it be Mormon hipster Jef, who actually seems moderately intelligent despite an inability to spell his own first name properly? How about Arie, the race car driver who spends most of his time onscreen attaching himself to Emily’s lips?
Obviously, this question has been on my mind nonstop keeping me awake at night. But here’s the other thing that’s been niggling at me: do Emily and her paramours ever talk to each other about anything besides love? In the world of the show, date conversation is an endless barrage of “So what do you look for in a relationship?” and “You’re so beautiful, I think I’m falling for you,” with a couple of obviously rehearsed cultural facts about whatever idyllic location they’re visiting that week thrown in for good measure. If someone went on a date like that in the real world, they’d die of boredom within the first five minutes. The Bachelorette positions it as a pathway to eternal devotion (although looking at the show's track record, it’s more commonly a pathway to a couple months of dating before a messy break-up).
On one recent episode, Jef asked Emily what her daughter’s favorite animal was, and I nearly wet myself in surprise. That’s such normal real-life date chat, but it’s completely atypical on The Bachelorette. It got me thinking. The producers of the show edit out tons of footage. Maybe, within all the cast-off bits, one can find hints of non-love conversation topics. Here's what those conversations probably sound like.
Between Emily and Sean:
Emily: That was a funny prank you just pulled, convincing me that you still live with your parents and own a million stuffed animals.
Sean: Ha! Ha! Ha! I love to pull pranks. One time in high school I set a full-grown grizzly bear free in the principal’s office!
Emily: Oh, that’s very Mitt Romney-esque. Except you didn’t hold down a gay classmate and cut his hair off.
Sean: Good old Mitt! Speaking of, who are you planning to vote for in the upcoming presidential election?
Emily: I’m undecided. I just really don’t want anyone who will curtail my Second Amendment rights. Regular handgun lessons are how I combat the stress of being a single mom.
Sean: (suddenly jogging in a circle) EMILYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!
Between Emily and Jef:
Emily: So Jef, I’m confused. Are you a Mormon? Are you a hipster? Is it possible to be both?
Jef: Excellent query, dude. If you, like, peruse the New York Times regularly, you may have noticed an article back in October exploring this very question. In fact, Mormons can participate in this particular subculture. We just, like, hide our temple garments under our thrift store flannel shirts.
Emily: Okay. So, did you enjoy Book of Mormon?
Jef: I liked the shaky bootleg video I saw of the first rehearsal, but now it’s too mainstream.
Between Emily and Arie:
Emily: What kind of music do you like?
Arie: GIVE YOUR FACE TO ME SO I CAN MUNCH SEXILY ON IT.
Emily: Mmmm. This is nice. But seriously, I’m a big Carrie Underwood fan. I also enjoy Rachmaninoff.
Arie: NOM NOM NOM.
I guess with some people, normal conversation is hopeless.