Everything I need to know in life I learned from the Bachelorette

Dave Smurthwaite

August 8, 2011

Every morning, I wake up with a slight smile on my face, stretch and get out of bed in my perfectly matching (and very expensive) pajamas. From there I go into the bathroom and get ready for the day, taking breaks to talk to myself in the mirror and review what’s been going on in my life, how I’m feeling, and why I’m looking forward to the future. I make a delicious and nutritious breakfast, with only the freshest of ingredients, and then leave the house, stopping to wave to the neighbor kids as they pass me on their bikes.

That has never happened. I’m actually laughing to myself about how not true it is. But on “reality” TV that’s how it happens. Isn’t reality TV supposed to be… real? What’s wrong with my life? I’m sure the problem lies with me. So, following the season finale of the Bachlorette (the Super Bowl for women), I’ve been thinking about the significant and meaningful lessons I can learn from reality TV in order to bring my life into better alignment with the shows I enjoy so much.

  • Turn up the crazy. No one got famous off of mild manners and civility. Any press is good press, so if I want to be noticed in life, I have GOT to dial it up and play right in to the “fiery redhead” caricature people have in their minds.
  • Pick up corporate sponsorships. Think how much more glamorous I would sound if I could casually throw around, “Aren’t these shoes great? I got them from Piperlime, with a huge selection of all the brands I love!” or “I’m looking forward to a weekend getaway with my girlfriends, thanks to the Hilton and their family of beautiful hotels worldwide.”
  • Ask inappropriately personal questions way too soon. Normally my social filter is pretty high (or at least I like to think so) and, if anything, I err on the side of too cautious when it comes to getting to know someone. But where has that gotten me? So what’s the worst that could happen if I ask a virtual stranger for details on his parent’s pre-mature death, or if I question someone’s parenting skills without warning? It’s never gone poorly on TV, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work in my life.
  • Make up some family drama. I come from a painfully boring family. My parents love each other. I get along extremely well with my siblings. I’m from Denver. There’s just not a lot that I can blame my problems on. But no one needs to know that my father didn’t run off to join the circus when I was six and that my brother isn’t a government secret agent whose ties to the Russian mafia make me afraid to sleep without a nightlight.
  • Come up with a catch phrase. Anyone can talk to a camera, but legends are made with catch phrases. Henceforth, I intend to end 35% of all conversations with “za-pow!” I think it’s going to make me more memorable and, ultimately, likeable.