Throughout my countless humorous attempts (but mostly fails) to conquer the treacherous hurdle that is dating, I always seem to be stuck between the notion of “putting myself out there” and that 8-word phrase I want to strangle and throw off a cliff, “waiting for a guy to come to me.” Um NO. Unless you’re the pizza guy delivering a large pizza, a 2-liter soda and bread sticks to my door at 10 p.m. on a Friday night, I have no reason to believe that sitting around and waiting for Prince Charming, otherwise known as Jake from Papa John’s, actually works.
I’d like to think I’ve done my fair share of “putting myself out there.” So much, that in the literal sense, I have actually “put myself” halfway out of my car window on a freeway to mime my phone number to a guy. Turns out a 2-lane freeway is packed with eligible hungover bachelors who were seeking to continue their weekend of questionable decisions, like calling a stranger hanging out the window, while stuck in traffic post-Superbowl. But now I’m just digressing (and kinda bragging).
But the burning question still remains: How much is too much when it comes to putting myself out there? You’d think my car stunt was enough for me to take a step back and evaluate my own questionable life choices, but no. This weekend, I went above and beyond, and did something every girl has only NEVER dreamt of doing: I auditioned to find love on The Bachelor.
As many of you unwillingly know, I am a Bachelor/Bachelorette fanatic. I annoyingly live-tweet the show every Monday night, while making fun of the dramatic production, the cast and Chris Harrison’s “Ladies, this is the final rose tonight,” obvious and repetitive statements (my chances of moving forward in the process have probably gone to shit now). While watching the show one night, I saw a casting call in Costa Mesa, CA. Oh my God, what if I actually went to the audition? Turns out, a few of my friends also saw the casting call because I started receiving texts telling me I needed to audition. Although I wasn’t sure if their suggestion was to get me to shut up about my non-existent love life or to get me to stop blowing up their Twitter feeds every week, it only took about five minutes until my mouse just magically double-tapped the “Sumbit Application” button. Woops!
The audition crept up on me and was here before I knew it. My friends texted me nonstop throughout the week asking things like, “Do you know what you’re going to say yet?!”
“Ehhh, I haven’t really thought about it much,” I’d reply, when in reality, I had been frantically texting my mom the past week straight asking what to respond to questions like, “Are you genuinely looking to get married now?” UH, F*CK NO, I can’t even commit to making my bed every morning!
The morning of the audition arrived and I figured the only way to justify feeling the slightest bit OK about myself for doing this was to get pampered. I made an appointment at DryBar, glued on my fake eye lashes and even bought one of those sexy body chains that went straight down my cleavage (as if the twins needed any more attention). Not gonna lie, I felt good.
I got to the hotel where the audition was held, and as the elevator doors opened to the second floor, I was bombarded by the overbearing scent of perfume, hairspray and a flashback of sorority recruitment, except the chosen house at the end of the process would be inhabited by one hunky bachelor instead of 85 vocally-challenged women.
As I walked down the much-shorter-than-anticipated line to check in, each girl and I casually looked each other up and down, however, every glare ended in a guilty smile, after we both assumably thought to ourselves, “Look where we are, we’re clearly in no room to judge each other right now.” While in line, the girls behind me broke the awkward silence by asking what we all thought of the final two remaining men on the current season of The Bachelorette. Although I thought what every girl was thinking when they took their place in line that day (you’re not here to make friends, Alex), I couldn’t help but chime in with my two cents because these girls were genuinely nice people, who eventually agreed that it would be a fantastic idea to snag a seat at the hotel bar together after this process was over (my kinda friends!).
I get to the front of the line, where I was handed a thick packet of questions. Acting like I didn’t already have a pen in my purse, I asked if I could take an official The Bachelor pen with me, seeing that the only souvenir I would be taking home at the end of this process was either this pen or an engagement ring, which, if we’re being honest here, is probbbbbably not the latter.
I began filling out the lengthy questionnaire:
Do you drink alcohol? I questioned how I should answer this, like the times you feel completely judged at the doctor’s office when they ask that question.
Only on weekends, I swear!
What is your favorite alcoholic drink? When I’m trying to get hammered, or when I’m trying to be classy?
Do you have any special talents? Uhhh, I can spit a mad rap inspired by Blackstreet, Nicki Minaj or A$AP Rocky…?
List three adjectives that would surprise people about you. WTF? Awkward, emotional, vulgar?
What were your past relationships and why did they end? Uh, how much time do you guys really have?
Come and get it, Ben.
Safe to say my chances after filling out this application were nearing slim to none.
As I turned my packet in, I felt like a college student who hesitantly handed the professor my final paper, knowing that there was zero possibility I’d receive anything higher than a big fat “F”. But then it came time to take my picture. I was handed a whiteboard to pose with, showing my name and phone number. The photographer, who was probs getting a kick out of my revealing outfit that screamed “trying too hard” and awkward sorority pose, took about 800 pictures of me from a head shot to an “above the waist shot” to a full body shot… Uhh, can I edit those on FaceTune real quick…?
After my comical photo shoot, I waited in line with a few other girls for the on-camera interview. Making nervous small talk with them, I felt better knowing that most girls felt just as weird being there, and many, like myself, would make the excuse, “I’m just doing this as a joke,” when in reality we wanted nothing more than to be drunkenly accepting a rose from a stranger we hardly even knew at the end of a long and tedious ceremony.
Then came my turn for the interview. Don’t you dare say anything awkward or stupid, Alex. This is your chance. I entered an empty room with a video camera and a male producer awaiting my arrival. What is this, a taping for a porno?
I sat down in front of the tripod that was holding up the video camera. The producer picked up a small microphone with a clip on it, and nervously asked, “Can I clip this on you?” It was like a game of Operation, where the guy had to clip the mic on my blouse without touching my boob and making the awkward silence even more unbearable. He then began by asking me general questions like, “Name, age, what you do, where you live.” Then he got a little more in-depth and asked about my hobbies and interests. Uhhh, I work full-time, does Netflix and balancing a wine glass on my boob while nobody is home count?
“I blog, in the winters I snowboard, oh and I cheerlead.” Cheerleading? WTF Alex, you haven’t stepped foot in a pleaded skirt in three years… Let’s see you try doing the splits now…
Cue the MIC DROP for that winning answer. No but really, at that split second, my microphone somehow managed to pop right off of my boob in the middle of my interview. UGH, you had one job, producer man. I awkwardly laughed and bent down to pick the mic up and clip it back onto my low cut top. The rest of the interview was a blur and I walked out relieved that my audition was over.
BUT here’s the real kicker, guys (because obvi I try to preach what I learned from every experience).
When I first decided to audition, I, along with my mother, was terrified that this was process was going to squash any ounce of self-esteem I had worked so hard to build up the past couple years. “Just remember there will be a lot of pretty girls there, and you don’t know what producers are looking for, but just know that any guy would be lucky to have you,” my mom sent me off with (such a mom thing to say). But as I left the hotel that day, I felt ZERO negative thoughts in my head about myself or the other girls. It was quite the opposite, actually.
Shockingly enough, I left feeling better about myself than I had in a long time. I was able to laugh at myself throughout this entire process and I felt so proud that I not only felt like I was just as beautiful and as smart and nice as anyone else in there, but everything I wrote or said in my audition was 100% real and just me.
Although everything I had just written about this process seemed like it would’ve tore me to shreds, auditioning for The Bachelor helped me realize just how much I had grown. I was surrounded by hundreds of stunning and genuinely nice women, who any guy would be lucky to have. We all auditioned that day with a little bit of faith and a lotta bit of vulnerability, and I realized that no matter how blonde, skinny, curvy, tall, awkward, shy, damaged, confident or whatever these girls and I are, we are ALL equally capable of finding love and being loved.
I’m sure every girl in the audition walked out questioning something they had written or said (I’m still kicking myself about saying that I cheerlead), but the beauty of it is, is that we all took a chance that day. It was the chance of a lifetime, the chance to “put ourselves out there” and the chance that might just take us ONE step closer to someone who will also realize we ARE capable of a lifetime of love.