This week’s Bachelorette was bittersweet for me. As some of you may know, a dear friend of mine passed away a little over a week ago. She was a main part of my Bachelorette experience when I lived in Seattle, and it was hard to watch knowing she wasn’t following along.
I’ve known my friend, Jenni, since middle school. She went by Jen when we got older, but I’ll always think if her as Jenni with an “I”, and sometimes with a heart instead of a dot. Jenni was such a good person. She sparkled, she drew people to her, and she had a joy for life that was infectious. When we were in high school we lived a few minutes away from each other and were together almost every weekend.
After high school, we solidified our Bachelor/Bachelorette watching habits. We’d come home to Seattle for the summer just in time for the Bachelorette season to start. Every Monday, I’d bring over the wine (always Chardonnay, Jenni’s favorite), we’d paint our nails, and discuss the episode. I had watched the show before then, but I looked forward to these Mondays and will always remember them as a starting point for my true appreciation for the franchise.
Jenni actually auditioned for the show one summer. A friend and I accompanied her to an outdoor mall about 40 minutes away from home for an open casting call (you know, the ones they advertise during the commercial breaks of the show). We sat forever, coached her on her answers, and waited while she went in there and interviewed. I didn’t know if she was going to get on the show. She was pretty young at the time (only 23), we had been out on her boat the day before so she had a vicious sunburn, and had just chopped her hair off into the cutest bob (see my post on what makes a winner – mermaid hair is a constant theme). She ended up not getting called back, but I’m pretty sure we saw Chantal O’Brien auditioning (she got second place on Brad Womack’s second season).
It’s hard for me to separate the experience of watching the show from my memories of Jenni. My friends in Seattle continued that tradition and would spend every Monday watching the show together, Jenni included. It’s also hard for me to describe the deep sorrow I feel now that Jenni’s gone. So, for this week, a tribute.
When we went wine tasting for a joint birthday celebration and planned on riding bikes to the wineries. Jenni didn’t have a bike so we bought her one at WalMart. We popped all our tires. Jenni’s WalMart bike was the only bike to survive.
Triple birthday celebration (we were all born within weeks of each other). Jenni let me borrow her dress for dinner. We owned Yakima that night.
Surprise engagement party for Jenni. She was the first of our friends to get engaged. I made cupcakes from scratch. She asked me to be her bridesmaid that night.
Wine tasting in Napa for Jenni’s bachelorette. White wine only, of course.
Bridesmaid picture with Jenni the night before her wedding.
The night before my wedding.
My last picture of just the two of us. Bend, Oregon, May 2017, at a friend’s bachelorette party.
I recently stumbled across our class senior picture from high school. It’s at trip.
Jenni’s right in the front, with a big shining star on her shirt. I’m right behind her. Jenni was always a star and I am honored to have been close to her until the end. Love you always, JMo.
No recap this week, but I’ll leave you with my top guys. This week’s episode was gloriously drama free, and I think it’s a testament to the caliber of men Rachel kept for her top 6. They were all mature and thoughtful. Usually at this point I’m thinking, HOW has the lead not figured out that X contestant is there for the wrong reasons?! Not so with Rachel.
- Bryan/Peter. It’s between these two for me. I think she has strong feelings for both, but Bryan has given her a ton of affirmation and Peter seems to still be a question mark. I find Peter’s honesty very refreshing, but I can see how it would be scary at this point. I don’t know who she’ll pick but I think it’s down to these two.
- Eric. He has totally stepped it up since he went on his one-on-one. He’s still the same analytical guy, but some of that anxiety is gone and he’s been able to be joyful and positive.
- Dean. I love Dean. He’s a really great guy. His interactions with the men in the house have been very mature and he just seems like a good person. I thought his one-on-one with Rachel this week was a little disjointed, and I think that speaks to his age. Dean’s references to his eccentric family also point to the very classic hometown date disaster awaiting us next week. I think Rachel and Dean are very sweet together, but I don’t see the long term potential for them in the same way I see it with the other guys.
Next week back to regular programming. Until then, xoxo.