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Stop & Smell The Roses
Marg Jackson

I blame Emily.

She used to come over to the house on Monday nights to watch The Bachelor with my friend/housemate while I was busy on the computer working on getting sports and/or news stories done for deadline day on Tuesday.

Inevitably, the chatter between Emily and Jonyce would draw me from my work station at the kitchen table to the living room to see what they were fussing about, usually some drama regarding who was or wasn’t getting sent home that episode.

For those of you not indoctrinated, the Bachelor and Bachelorette phenomenon gives one (lucky?) bachelor or bachelorette the chance to meet several dozen potential life partners – they alternate seasons and have now also added the summertime Bachelor in Paradise show that puts many of the non-chosen ones together in Mexico for a second chance at love. And drama.

So I first started to get a little sucked in to this whole thing during a season with Juan Pablo as the bachelor; I came in late in the season and they had to explain a lot of it to me and it just didn’t make much sense. However, it was also hard not to watch. I think that season I started by watching the final ‘rose ceremony’ of each week just to see who got roses and the chance to stay and those who had to say their final good-byes.

Then they tell me, after Juan Pablo didn’t really choose anybody, that one of the bachelorettes from his season would be given the opportunity to try and find her guy in the next go-round of the series.

Of course, they just got me hooked. But Monday nights are tough, there’s a lot of material to prepare for the papers and that’s definitely crunch time. Thank goodness we can DVR the episodes and watch them later.

Not only did they rope me in – Emily bailed on us after another season – but my daughter got pulled in to the fray as well. Now, she is even more hooked than I am, following many of the past season personalities on Instagram, Twitter and whatever.

The word that comes to mind when I realize I have become a full-fledged member of Bachelor Nation? Shocked.

I watch crime dramas. I watch sports. I enjoy the Food Network and the Travel Channel. But rose ceremonies? Never in my life did I expect it, since I didn’t get into Big Brother or Survivor or any of those other ‘reality’ shows.

Be that as it may, Ally, Jonyce and I do watch regularly and do our best to guess who will be ‘the one’ at the end of it all.

Now comes The Bachelor Live on Stage – it was at the Gallo Center on Feb. 19 – with two favorites, Becca and Ben, from past seasons. Bachelor Ben’s final rose choice ultimately didn’t work out. Bachelorette Becca’s final rose went to Garrett – who grew up in Manteca – and he was there and appeared on stage briefly to say how happy he was to be back in the ‘209’ – getting a roar from the crowd.

Ally and I were in that crowd. The tickets were a gift from her godmother for our birthdays and on the way there we decided we would upgrade to the VIP experience if spots were still available. Why not? We got fancy laminated Bachelor Live lanyards, sat in the orchestra box seats, received a commemorative gift and also got the chance to ‘meet and greet’ Becca, Ben, dancer Sydney (another past season participant who tours with the stage show) and had our photo taken with them. We made a true mother-daughter date out of it and it was just a fun experience. They even used a question Ally had submitted, answering it on stage during the live show. And the woman chosen by the Modesto Bachelor to receive the final rose (and a date night) had been nominated by the very vocal group sitting behind us, so at least we were in the cheering section of the winner.

A memorable night, and a great way to stop and smell the roses.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.