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Bachelor Nation grows by 3

I have a guilty pleasure. I love The Bachelor/Bachelorette shows. If you've been living off the grid since 2002, I'll give a brief synopsis. The show is basically The Dating Game from years ago on steroids. Instead of asking a few questions to contestants and sending two hopefuls on a date after blowing a kiss to the audience, there are up to 30 remarkably gorgeous singles crammed in a house all trying to win the heart of one bachelor/bachelorette. There are a series of dates; some one-on-ones in exotic locations, some involving groups of the stags/does in a competition, and some two-on-ones to whittle down the herd. There is a lot of crying. There's always a villain. There are rose ceremonies every week where the bachelor/bachelorette says goodbye to several participants. Families are introduced towards the end. After 9 weeks or so, there are two left standing and a proposal of marriage is expected. Neil Lane supplies stunning rings, the show provides a mountaintop/beach setting, and the audience gets the fairy tale ending they've been craving with a guy down on one knee. 'And they lived happily ever after, the end.' Well, sometimes.

This season has been more fun than usual because the bachelorette was from right here in the south. Alabama Hannah charmed the Bachelor Nation with her southern accent and dimples. She was bold, sassy, and goofy. She captivated her gang of admirers from Tuscaloosa to Greece. In the end, she chose an aspiring musician from Nashville. His family had the worst home visit, and her family saw the red flags. The entire fan base was pulling for the contractor from Florida, but Hannah chose the underdog. Go figure.

In a shocking twist, it was discovered that her new fiancé had a girlfriend he'd left behind to join the show for a career boost. This information came out in a People magazine article before the finale. Game changer.

I did not troll the internet for spoilers in between shows, so I was oblivious to this bit of news. I'd seen the commercial teasers and surmised that a normal ending wasn't in the cards, but I was intentionally in the dark. The tension was thick as I reacted to the build up with, "oh no he didn't", and "he's going to get his now" as the story unfolded.

I live with three grown men. Hub and my two collegiate man-boys do not partake in this bachelor indulgence. They roll their eyes and make weekly comments about my little obsession, but last night was different. They got hooked into the drama and were as fixated as I. There we were, four grown adults hanging on the edge of our seats to see the outcome of this spunky twenty-something year old, roll-tide-loving girl's journey. It was irony at it's finest.

Do I think they will become part of the bachelor nation? Absolutely not. Was it fun to share the season ender with my crew? You bet it was! For two hours we were mindlessly entertained by what some call a "chick show". It was bliss.

In the end, Hannah dumped the musician and asked the contractor out on a date after the show. Will this be her true love? Who knows. I'm pretty confident my clan will not google to learn the outcome. I'm simply grateful I got to share the excitement and suspense of a final rose ceremony with the fam jam.

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The finale that brought us together, if only for two hours.

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