Oh, hell yes. I said it yesterday and I truly and sincerely mean this: I NEEDED THIS.
When I sign up for Bachelor in Paradise, this is the exact thing that I want. I want to be in my pajamas, forcing my boyfriend to take out his headphones so I can rewind and play him some nonsense. When I turn my TV on to watch Bachelor in Paradise, I want to be in no fewer than three Twitter fights in which I’m speculating wildly about the motivations of some white people on TV. If I’m not half a bottle of wine deep when that show hits 15 minutes in, I’m not getting what I paid for. I’m here for all of this.
Is there anything better than salacious gossip about strangers? Hearing gossip about strangers is better than any drug on Earth. Any of my dear readers could tweet me some bit of gossip about what’s happening at your job and I would be ready with a margarita and a bowl of popcorn being like, “I knew Shane was a piece of shit.” I don’t know the history of Shane and him not giving good schedules to anyone at American Eagle except for his girlfriend, Mia. I don’t know a single person involved, but I am invested. And I’m here for Anneliese’s messy ass trying to guilt Clay because her friend said Clay was picking out baby names the day before they broke up. I’m here for JOHN PAUL JONES violently puking for six full minutes of airtime. And I’m not only here for Blake’s life falling apart in front of our eyes, I’ve bought a house and I’ve taken up residence inside this drama. So, let’s get to it.
Again, the only narrative thrust this entire episode is the Caelynn-Blake-Kristina love triangle. I said it on Twitter while the episode was airing, and I’ll say it again, because I’m from Chicago and I’m just here to fight: Blake did nothing wrong. Was he incredibly messy? OH. YES. DUH. But every single one of his actions is completely understandable and quite frankly, justified. Let’s go to the tape.
With Kristina, they dated, broke up, decided to be friends, but still hooked up every once in a while. They both agree to those facts. Neither of them agreed to monogamy after their breakup and their hooking up seemed pretty sporadic. So, what’s Kristina’s beef, as revealed on this revenge date? He didn’t tell her soon enough that he hooked up with Caelynn.
Ma’am. He’s not your boyfriend. You’re not his boss. Why are you concerned with some shit that is not your business? When you break up with someone, why are you concerned with the comings and goings of his penis? What would him telling you sooner achieve? I’m thoroughly unclear on this.
And listen, y’all. I, too, have been single and a monster. I’ve woken up with a dude and then gone on a date with another dude. I’ve scheduled four first dates in a day. I’ve used OkCupid Locals. But if any dude that I wasn’t exclusive with wanted to know who I was fucking, I would have been fully in my rights to tell him to kick rocks. Should I disclose my sexual-health status and use protection? Absolutely. Should I have told any and all sexual partners when my relationships changed, and I was off the market? Absolutely. I said I was a monster, not completely evil. Any other information is simply not anyone else’s business.
Kristina claims that she wants Blake to be accountable and that she’s looking out for women all across America. She can and should tell Blake if he’s being a jerk so their relationship isn’t affected and to protect her feelings. Is it admirable that she’s trying to help her friend recognize how his actions affect other people? Sure. Something like that is a difficult and tricky conversation that should be approached with a lot of tough love. It’s not something you do on national television after an ATV date.
Then comes Blake’s conversation with Caelynn. Y’all. I’m tired. Let’s take each of Caelynn’s arguments one by one.
1) Blake slept with Kristina the day before he slept with her.
• If you have a problem with your sexual partner not being monogamous, you gotta bring that up and leave if your expectations aren’t met.
2) Caelynn thought this experience was going to be different.
•I thought the 2016 election was going to be different, but here we are.
3) Blake asked her to lie and she said yes and now she doesn’t feel good about that.
•If she didn’t want to, she didn’t have to agree. Once you realize you don’t want to do something you’ve agreed to anymore, you can withdraw consent. “I’m no longer going to lie for you.” Just like that, Caelynn.
4) “Of course I felt this way.”
•Ma’am. Men are simple. If you tell them something that gets them what they want, they’re going to believe it.
5) “I haven’t enjoyed myself here.”
•That sounds like a personal problem.
Here’s my takeaway for Caelynn and Kristina, who seem to be operating as if they could expect some level of exclusivity or emotional care-taking on Blake’s part: He was just trying to fuck. It also seems like both of them had fallen ill with Cool Girl Syndrome, behaving as if they were the type of women who enjoyed casual sex, both in concept and execution, despite not really being cool with anything that was happening. This isn’t to say they shouldn’t be upset or can’t change their mind about the terms of a relationship as it’s happening. They absolutely should and can. Be angry. More women should get angry. The problem arrives when someone tries to continue Cool Girl Behavior when uncool things are happening. You can change your mind in a FWB relationship and want commitment. You just have to say something. You cannot want to have to hide your relationship. You just have to say something. Expecting someone to give you want you want without an adult conversation about it is a problem, too.
The thing that’s so baffling is, in both cases, Blake seemed ready to own up to his mistakes, valued the friendships and the women’s feelings, and wanted to make amends. He wanted to talk to Caelynn to figure out what he could do to make it right. But Caelynn stormed off.
Again, she has EVERY RIGHT TO. But it’s a little hard for me to sit through a coven of women talking about how callous and heartless Blake is and how he’s a 100 percent bad person when he wanted to at least attempt some sort of repentance. Blake seeks out Caelynn to apologize again and she says, “I want your shit to be fixed and move on.” That’s what he’s trying to do.
So what was Blake’s biggest mistake? He picked two women to have sex with who weren’t on the same page and he didn’t seem to do all he could to get everyone on the same page. Blake is thinking, “We’re all single and we’re all having casual sex. If everyone has a good time in the moment, I’m good.” And honestly, he’s about 90 percent there. Caelynn and Kristina seem like two people who are a little more traditional than most and want a little more information that they’re really entitled to (and both have had very difficult pasts, to say the least). Instead of Blake realizing that, he just made his wee-wee happy first and looked for possible areas of conflict later. He done goofed for sure. Just not as bad as everyone wants to say he did.
So, what else is happening on this godforsaken beach?
The only other major drama is that more than one man is interested in Hannah G. Can we talk about the fact that 23-year-old Hannah G said she had a five-year relationship and is basically single for the first time and she’s having a hard time figuring out what to do? GIRLFRIEND. You’ve been in a serious relationship since you were like … 17 or 18, and now you have multiple men in their late 20s and early 30s trying to kiss you. That’s a lot for anyone to handle. Don’t let Dylan tell you he missed you when you had a six-minute conversation with another man. Get yours.
Then there’s the very minor drama in which Anneliese tries to guilt Clay into admitting that he’s not there for the right reasons. What is happening this week with white women getting into business that isn’t theirs? You can feel bad for your friend that she got dumped, but let Clay self-destruct. If he’s that much of an asshole, what is warning him that you think he’s rude going to do? Tell Nicole if it’s that dire of a situation. Clay tells her, “It sounds like you have one side of the story.” Anneliese just says that she doesn’t want to get involved in anything and then gets involved in something. She starts weeping about it and it doesn’t seem that serious. I need everyone to look up “weaponized white women’s tears” so I can save my word count.
Also, later in the episode, Anneliese writes Chris B a “kissing prescription” and I had to turn off my TV and walk into Lake Michigan.
After a cocktail party where JOHN PAUL JONES pukes his brains out because some woman named Jane (???) gives him an impossibly spicy taco, we don’t get a rose ceremony because Bachelor in Paradise knows we’re hooked. What a week!