The Bachelorette Recap: Episode 8: An Italian Renaissance Way of Being Romantic

22 Jul

Ah, hometown dates. This week’s episode began with Ashley, back at home in Philadelphia, reflecting on her four final dudes. Ben F she sums up as “just a man.” Okay, fair enough. Constantine is “sexy.” If you’re into that sort of thing…With JP, “everything is there.” Cut to scene of Jordan Paul in front of the fireplace wearing adorable rented pajamas. Ames is “unique,” she says, “We’re both nerdy.” Ash drinks from a mug, a Yorkie jumps on her suitcase, and she goes outside where she pretends to hail a cab.

Okay, I think we need to have a discussion about the definition of nerdy that really should have happened several episodes ago. Now, as someone who deeply enjoys diagramming sentences, sweats at the thought of properly used semicolons and has a giant framed poster of Emily Dickinson on her wall, I’m not really so sure that Ashley gets to call herself “nerdy,” though she seems to really enjoy doing so. Remember how she claimed nerdiness to Ames a few weeks ago? He admitted to having whiteboards all over his house (actually nerdy? Maybe.) And Ashley retorted that she has “closets filled with dental supplies.” Um, Ash, that makes you a dental student. Not a nerd. You, my dear, are an affront to nerds everywhere. And Ames: also not really a nerd or he would have called you out on your false nerdiness claims.

Anyway, moving on… Speaking of non-nerds, Constantine’s hometown date in Georgia came first this week. Constantine brought Ashley to his family’s Italian restaurant, Giorgio’s, where he taught her how to make a pizza. This involved him saying a lot of stupid things like, “Don’t put too much cheese on the body of the pizza” and “The placement of the pepperoni is crucial (actually not meant as a sexual innuendo).” The waitresses oohed and aahed at Ash and Constantine’s awkwardly blooming love.

Back at the family house, Ashley meets Constantine’s parents and his sister Maria (who looks uncomfortably similar to Ash). Mom wants to know if Ash is ready to move to Georgia; Ash says she’s open to the possibility (read: not considering Constantine as a potential partner at all.). Constantine’s dad is kind of adorable and tells him that the beginning of true love should be perfect. Too true, Dmitri. Then the rest of Constantine’s giant, wild-and-crazy extended family comes over. Insert reference to My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Music and dancing ensues. Ashley loves it. There is a white poodle in a dress on the sofa. So far we are two for two for small dogs. Overall, a fairly boring hometown date.

Next, we travel to idyllic rural Pennsylvania where Ames greets Ash in front of his parents beautiful house in his typically adorable plaid shirt, powder blue boxer briefs unfortunately on full display. Ames’s mother and siblings are just as well spoken as he is. Big sis Serena grills Ashley about her feelings for Ames. She can’t seem to believe that Ames’ feelings for Ash could possibly be mutual. She compares Ames to an onion in that he has so very many layers just begging to be peeled away and explored. She uses the word “smitten” but not without first commenting on how “old-fashioned” it is. Touché, Serena. After his sis tells him to “get more personal” with Ash, Ames decides to take things to the next level. He takes Ash to chat underneath his “favorite magnolia tree.” That’s funny ‘cause I’ve been meaning to pay a visit to my favorite magnolia tree. Ames then tells Ashley that he’s been thinking about this particularly French Renaissance way of being romantic that involves not trying too hard & finding magic in the ordinary. Win, Ames, WIN! You win the nerd award, hands down. Non-nerd Ashley looks vaguely bored and like she’d rather be playing Naughty Waitress with Constantine. Then they kiss without touching body parts other than their lips.

Next we are transported to beautiful Sonoma County where Ben greets Ashley in an adorbs blue button-up and brown boat shoes. Cuteness abound! First things first Ben takes Ash to his winery, and Ashley says she wishes her mother were there cause she would love it. I think that’s cute ‘cause my mother would love it TOO! Ben tells Ashley not to be nervous about meeting his family, but just to remember that IT HAS TO BE GOOD BECAUSE IF IT ISN’T IT WON’T WORK FOR HIM. Ash is terrified. They go to his mom’s house where they have dinner with Ben’s mom and sister. We find out that Ben’s sister signed him up for the show and also that she is Ben’s best friend despite the fact that she’s wearing a triple-strand of pearls around her neck. Ben’s mom tells Ashley that she hates Ben’s long hair. There’s no heart-to-heart “do you really love my son?” convo to speak of. But there is a whole lot of footage of Ben and his mom talking about his dad’s death, and it is really fucking sad.  Ben tells his mom that he wishes he had been there more for his dad, and I think his mom should be hugging him because I want to hug him, but she doesn’t. Ben tells the camera that his mom has “become more supportive over the past couple years,” which sounds very sad. Ben cries a lot, and is adorable, and is wearing some tattered leather bracelets. He’s essentially a perfect human. Possibly too perfect for non-nerd Ashley.

Now that we’ve sort of taken heed of our emotional baggage at Ben’s house, we are whisked to Long Island, thank goodness, for some comic relief. Jordan Paul greets Ash in a classic hot-boy-gray t-shirt. Since it was supposed to rain, Jordan Paul planned a very special indoor date: roller-skating at HOT SKATES! Be still my beating heart, JP. They skate to “I Can’t Fight this Feeling Anymore” – sadly, there is no REO Speedwagon cameo – and Ash says she feels like she’s in 7th grade. 7th grade feeling = epic date. We know this. Ash kind of seems like she’s obsessed with Jordan Paul. She keeps grabbing his buzzed head like it’s a fuzzy peach and saying, “you’re so cute” in a baby voice. And thank goodness she keeps doing that because I’m watching it on TV so I can’t. Ash and him discuss past failed relationships and she asks why he’s so sure about their relationship. Jordan Paul says, “I don’t want to be without you,” which is pretty stinkin’ cute, I must admit.

At JP’s house, awesome Long Island accents abound. His adorable mom greets him with “YOU are sunburned!” And basically everything else that comes out of her mouth is pure gold. She confides to Ash about how afraid she is that JP will suffer another heartbreak. Who – by the way – are these people who are so intimately familiar with their adult children’s heartbreaks?! I’m fascinated. Ash reassures Mama Rosenbaum that she is “smitten” – old-fashioned much? – with her son. Mama’s eyes light up and she awesomely calls Ash “a beautiful young lady on the inside.” Later she brings out a fantastic poster of a mulleted Jordan Paul taken at his bar mitzvah, and she says, “I think that’s a beautiful picture.” JP’s mom = world’s most wonderful human. Ash seems to think so too.

Back in LA, Ash is wearing a bombshell dress with a lacy back and flashy chandeliers. Okay, and I think we can see her bra through her dress. She chats about the Final Four – with the obligatory mention of Bentley – with her BFF Chris Harrison. Then on to the Rose Ceremony. Did Ben cut his hair or did he just comb it?! I’m pretty sure he caved under mom’s pressure and cut it, which is weird because I didn’t think that radical changes in appearance were allowed during the show’s taping! Clearly they are not and Ash has been advised to not acknowledge any changes in hair length. Ashley hands roses to Ben, Jordan Paul, and Constantine, leaving poor little Ames with a stunned look on his face. I really like how Ames keeps his mouth slightly agape during every rose ceremony like a paste-eating preschooler. Sadly, we will never see this heart-warming sight again. Ash walks Ames out, and he’s wearing a strange vacant grin the while time. Ash says, “I care about you so much.” And Ames replies without missing a beat, in strange other-worldly-articulate Ames style, “Then I’m lucky to have you in my life.” Ames also likes to puts accents in weird places in his sentences, but I think that’s what makes him all the more beautiful. The odd genius articulateness continues in the limo when Ames tells the camera: “I was hoping to share a lifetime of adventures with this beautiful woman. And now I’m back to sharing a lifetime of adventures with myself, which is – less enticing.” Less enticing, indeed.

Stay tuned for more next week and beyond: Fiji! Frenching! Crying! Ashley calling her tattooed sister a bitch! Until then ❤

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One Response to “The Bachelorette Recap: Episode 8: An Italian Renaissance Way of Being Romantic”

  1. christa July 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    “past-eating-preschooler=the best.

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