The Record approached me a few weeks ago about writing an article in honor of The Bachelor’s upcoming finale of its 18th season. However, unlike Juan Pablo’s torrid search for a fiancé, my own search would be for that perfect someone with whom to attend the Hundred Days dance, a tradition for soon-graduating seniors at the College signifying our remaining 100 days to find a match. All this would be done by going on dates with the wonderful women of the College. It sounded like a totally valid and worthwhile social experiment to me, and being a man of science at heart, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
So I did my research on this “Bachelor” phenomenon and could see that there was going to be a long and difficult road ahead of me if I wanted to find romance. Like the show’s hero, Juan Pablo, I like to spend a lot of time without my shirt on and have a difficult time grasping basic English. (Writers note: This is actually being dictated to my best friend, John Wawrose ’14, as he knows a lot more big words and general English than I do.) Like my boy Juan, I also maintain the physique of a long-retired semi-professional athlete, which makes up for his and my inability to talk good [sic].
I began my journey by asking a number of women out to coffee. Even random people, whom I had never met. I just relied on my natural winning smile (and on being shirtless all the time) to make a good impression. In the pursuit of journalistic integrity, I wanted to channel Juan Pablo as much as possible. Unfortunately, almost every single one of my proposals was turned down. At first I thought this was due to the language barrier; coffee is a difficult word to pronounce if you’re not good at fake Spanish accents. But I came to realize that College women are a sophisticated bunch and really liked it when I wore all of my clothes, which baffles me to this day.
For the sake of science, I persisted. I was inspired to see my spirit-guide Juan Pablo travel with his dates to a slew of Asian countries, an astute move that in my opinion was meant to distract them from noticing the basic flaws right in front of them. As I was researching the show, zealously taking notes, one of the contestants prompted another ingenious breakthrough. On a trip to the impoverished rice farms in Vietnam, one said, “These are so cute. They should, like, totally have these back in America.” I thought to myself, “I’ve lived abroad and seen farms! That girl is totally on point!” Armed with this fire-flame’s hot intellectual idea, I was off to the bar, Spring Street’s foremost symposium of metaphysical inquiry, to make intellectual conversation with the erudite women of the College. I wore an unbuttoned shirt and short shorts, figuring this might be a happy medium in the being-clothed department.
First, I chatted up a biology major, and told her my brilliant ideas about getting farms in America. She was nice, but had some crazy ideas about there already being such things, so I moved on. Next I chatted up a nice girl who told me about her dreams of being a lawyer. I nodded and smiled a lot, but tried not to talk much. This worked really well; girls at the College seem to enjoy talking a lot about themselves. She kept talking about how she was reading a lot of things, and I couldn’t help but
think, “anyone who knows how to read probably doesn’t share a lot of Juan Pablo’s interests,” and so I had to interrupt her midsentence to say, “thanks, but no thanks.”
Then, amazingly, a girl came up to talk to me! She and I began to talk about deep and important things, but I couldn’t understand a lot of the big words she was using. So I naturally asked politely if she could explain everything to me in terms of soccer metaphors. This was the best conversation of the night.
Finally I left the bar, despairing that there was no one on this campus for a Juan Pablo type of man. But as I made the lonely walk down Spring Street, one of my more friendly acquaintances from the bar caught up to me and asked if I wanted to “go swimming in the Green River.” I told her that was a dumb idea. What would our future children think if I made myself sterile swimming in that cold water in the middle of the night? Only later was it explained to me that the phrase was a euphemism. You live and learn I guess.
At this point, I was forced to give up channeling Juan Pablo, because my academics were seriously suffering. Also, a lot my friends were starting to get really confused as to why I would only talk to them in mumbled, half made-up Spanish.
I was going to report my failure to the higher-ups at the Record, when I did happen to meet a nice girl, who did happen to want to go on a date with me. She may have even asked me to go to coffee with her, if I remember correctly (Author’s Note: I probably don’t remember correctly). And, having learned a lot from my colossal failure as Juan Pablo and from my daunting search, we got along really well. I did ultimately take her to 100 Days.
The elusive and great Adam Falk, having heard of my Bachelor adventures and eager to marry all Ephs off to other Ephs, descended like a brunette Chris Harrison to the 100 Days dance and offered me a shiny new class ring to propose to my date with. Yet, by that point, I had learned my lesson about emulating reality TV. And let’s be real. No way in hell was I ever going to consider that.
In the end, we had a great time. She even convinced me to wear a shirt under my tie.