Emily Hirshey
Updated Jan 23, 2013 @ 4:01 am

So I’m feeling a little weird right now. You see, it’s three weeks into Season 17 of The Bachelor and everybody knows that’s supposed to be like watching the first ¾ of a deadlocked sporting event: It doesn’t really mean anything, no one’s throwing ‘bows quite yet and you’re conserving your emotional energy until the stakes are at their peak (howtowatchsports.com). You’re relaxed, enjoying the ambiance of the stadium and texting away like it ain’t no thang.

But Season 17 of The Bachelor is kind of a thang. In fact, there’s a possibility that Sean Lowe will actually fall in love. And I simply don’t know how to handle this.

I used to watch The Bachelor merely for comic fodder, as ironic a fan as Alanis is of having ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife. But suddenly, this episode came along, and I was hurtled to the precipice of the slippery slope that leads to that other kind of irony. The kind that you shout out when defending your 22-year-old self for spending $200 on Miley Cyrus concert tickets. Knowing deep down that you spent another $35 for the MiCy tankini and you wear it everyday underneath all your clothes. This is the “irony” of a lifetime of lies.

Because, here I am, wondering if it’s not only Sean’s chest that is exposed, but his heart, as well. And I’m wondering if there is love in the world. Actual love. The-Chris-Harrison-and-me-starring-on-MTV-in-“True Life: The Notebook Lacked Spark Compared To Our Love” kinda love. Suddenly, up is down and down is up and Jef Holm is straight and… I don’t know how to look myself in the eye anymore.

Am I losing my edge? Has the world gone insane? And how amazing are the FLOTUS’ bangs?!

Well, as a child of Pythagoras, it seems the only way to solve this is with some simple math. Thus, I’ve compiled a tally of my optimism levels during The Bachelor Season 17, Episode 3, where the baseline level = belief in love as of episode two = 0.


Third straight opening clip of Sean starring in a Bowflex commercial: -3

The way that a blue button-down brings out the sapphire of Chris Harrison’s eyes: +10

Robyn’s romantic musing, “I want the date card to say, ‘Robyn, let’s ditch these bitches and go fall in love for real:” +1 (for use of iambic pentameter)

Imagining a date at the Guinness World Records Museum: -48 (continuous states visited by Papa Lowe)

The sign behind Lesley that reads “Longest On-Screen Kiss” as she proclaims, “I have no idea what’s about to happen:” -1

The fact that no one provided ChapStick: -1

Sean’s on-screen butt grazes: +3

Lesley’s lack of on-screen butt grazes: -3

Description by one audience member of the 3 minute, 16 second kiss as, “just, like, awkward:” -5

Potential popularity of longest-on-screen-kiss-record-breaking game show: +72

Lesley’s last-minute leg pop: +1 (Because she paced herself.)

Hearing my own aloud reaction to Sean and Lesley M’s date (“Oh holy balls they love each other, this is crazy, OMG, OM-f-ing-G.”): +100

How rapidly all the other contestants became the evil stepsisters to Lesley’s Cinderella: +10

Sean blushing as he tells Lesley, “I didn’t think I would have feelings this fast, but…you know…I do:” +8 (What a panda. Like truly the hottest of pandas.)

Sean’s record-breaking ability to cite three qualities he likes about a girl (“sexy, smart, funny”) that don’t include “her energy” or “something about her”: +3

Seeing the girls chant, “Take off your shirt!” as they rotate sitting on Sean while he does push-ups: -5 (But +5 of a different kind of love.)

The “serious quality alone time” of a 6-on-1 date: -5 (for number of people making it anti-alone time)

My preoccupation with uncovering the identity of the announcer at the volleyball game: -5 (Though, if my suspicions are correct, it’s actually God taking a break from his human incarnation (Chris Harrison). In which case: +infinity.)

Witnessing the waste of vital resources as the winning volleyball team sprayed champagne in celebration: -1 (Do you not realize there are 6 of you going on a date together? That’s 5 more than you want….Ya huh. Math on math on math.

Lindsay + Lindsay’s face + Lindsay’s voice: -3

Beholding Lindsay’s face while hearing Lindsay’s voice say the quote below: -50

My ever-growing concern that Amanda is, in fact, a psychopath: -5 (“It has nothing to do with volleyball. Nothing.”)

This face: -1

The reveal of Tierra’s upcoming autobiography entitled Tierra Took A Big Fall: -1

Understanding Sean’s ability to move on from his date with Lesley M thanks to his self-description as “a guy who’s had several concussions:” +10

How little concern AshLee has for Tierra’s potential injuries: -4

Seeing Tierra have a bitch blackout on a stretcher: +1 (It just made me feel warm.)

Sean’s genuine (really) compassion (no seriously) in spite of wearing a shirt (poor planning): +20

AshLee’s touching (emotionally) vulnerability (the nice kind) in spite of her face’s relative lack of mobility (part plastic): +10

Sean. Crying. From his eyeballs.: +1000

Sean having “the highest hopes” for his future with AshLee: +5

Remembering that he said the same thing to Lesley and Desiree: -15

Realizing AshLee’s feelings for Sean describe my newfound feelings toward our bachelor’s search for love (“I really want this. I never thought I’d believe in this.”): +30

The amount of whooping Sean evokes: -10. At a rose ceremony? Come on, ladies. Have some respect.

This face: -1

Sean surprising Sarah with a visit from her puppy: I MEAN. THIS HAS TO STOP.

Tierra’s need to “punch some [bleeping] walls:” +/- 1 (Depends on what the bleep stands for. Could be one of those “glass-ceiling” barrier shenanigans.)

Lesley H’s second turtleneck at a rose ceremony: -11 (Seriously, gurl, what is up with your décolletage?)

Picturing the kountless kats Kacie will keep: -….0h, whatever belief in love I had left. So nevermind. False alarm.

Images via ABC