for the record. i didn't make this picture collage. my life is pathetic, but not THAT pathetic.
Constantine, Ames, Ben and JP let us into their homes and on behalf of America, I say thank you. I'm obsessed with my family, but let's face it, it's hard to bring someone home for the first time. You have to relinquish all control and be like, "the is me. this is my family. deal with it." That's not easy! It also has to be LESS easy with a camera crew tagging along filming the knick knacks your mom has had out since 1986 and your middle school pictures framed on the mantle, not to mention the fact hanging over you that you could be the next guy going home roseless and your family could then berate you about that for years. "Hey, remember when you thought you were going to marry that Ashley chick and she totally dumped you on national TV??" Duh. Of course, that would be the topic at Thanksgiving for the next 40 years.
Okay, let's get these Hometown Dates rolling!!! I think I'll title each one?
Hometown Number One: My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Time for Ashley to see what life is like with Constantine in Atlanta. I feel like she keeps focusing on how "attracted" she is to him. Okay, check that off the list. What else have you do you two have going for you?Also, was anyone thrown off by Constantine's restaurant, Georgio's? He even went out his way to mention, that yes, he is Greek, but his restaurant is Italian and American with Greek influences. hmmm. Okay? I think I'd just rather go to an Italian restaurant or just a Greek restaurant, but whatever works. Oh and I love how he calls it "his" restaurant, it's clearly his family's restaurant that he just goes to and hangs out at everyday. Sort of reminds me of the movie....."My Big Fat Greek Wedding"....remember "Dancing Zorbas"?? The family restaurant?? At least that one was actually Greek.
They go back to the kitchen (VIP treatment) and make pizzas. Am I watching the Food Network?? Constantine is impressed with Ashley's topping skills. Ashley seems to be having the time of her life and can really "see herself here". Constantine makes some kind of joke about how "she is his favorite pizza topping". She doubles over in girly giggles as if this is the first time that anyone has ever flirted with her. It's definitely the first time Constantine has. I don't think this honey badger/Constantine cares or gives a shit?
They retire to the patio to dine on the pizza and salads that they have created. I can't really concentrate on what they are talking about because all of the waitresses are watching them eat through the window. Is there no one at the restaurant?? Don't they have tables to serve?? And you know that Constantine has slept with at least a 1/3 of the waitresses there. I'm thinking at a minimum at least one girl was staring Ashley down with jealous rage thinking, "This is the guy that I hook up with every other Friday and this is my restaurant!!! You can take your TV crew and leave, you...you dentist!!" Hey, it's a possibility?? You know how crazy the service industry can be. If that is happening it is all covered up because the waitresses seem to be swooning when they kiss as if they are watching a romantic comedy take place live and in front of them.
Time to meet the family!! This is pretty serious, because C-man (why did I just now start abbreviating?), anyway, C-man keeps on emphasizing how much his family means to him and how you will NOT know him until you know his family. Sounds like someone needs to leave the nest. Does he still live at home? I know he is 30, but again, I'll reference "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". Tula was at least 30 and lived at home. I'm not ruling that out as the same for C-man.
pre-makeover, Tula. living at home. does C-man share this trait?
They enter the home and we meet Mom, Dad and Sister. Ashley brings us wine. Good move. I brought wine when I meant Robert's family for the first time. It was good wine and I couldn't afford it, but you only make a first impression once. It was not a time for Yellow Tail. Anywayyy, C-mans, fam, they are lovely people and very welcoming. They missed their son. I bet they are used to whooping it up at Georgio's all the time together. Ashley and his mom sit down to have a heart to heart. I think C-man's mom is trying to make her understand that if she wants to date or marry C-man, she has to date and marry C-man's family. Literally. They are together all time. Ashley misinterprets this and thinks that she is asking if she'd be open to move to Atlanta if this works out. She assures her that she "could be happy anywhere and she IS open to move." C-man's dad doesn't want them to rush into anything, but does say how happy ol' C-man looks. Oh dads, they are so cute.
At this point everyone has really bonded and this has all just gone really well. Ashley even says, "I love your family!! I'm moving in!!" Too much? They didn't think so, they ate it up with a spoon, a big fat greek spoon.
We think this date is winding down when C'man's mom mentions that there is a surprise. What could the surprise be?? Well, duh, the whole Greek family comes pouring in the house. It's a scene out of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" complete with more food, that Greek liquor, tons of female relatives and dancing!! Yes, dancing together in a circle linking arms, the Greek way!! C-man's sis says that, "Ashley, caught right on! Of course, she's a dancer!" That Greek circle dance is like the easiest thing ever, I don't think it requires official dance training. Oh well....OPA!!! What was going on with the Dad throwing out money?? I thought that only happened in rap videos?? Whew, this is wearing me out. My family usually just gossips about each other, we don't dance and throw money. C-man is really happy that Ashley gets to see what his life is like all the time and Ashley tell's C-man when she leaves that she "is really happy". Greek people, the are like prozac!!
I don't really see Ashley fitting in there, but she obviously digs C-man...so we'll see??
Hometown Number Two: A Lesson on Sprezzatura
bless his heart
Time to rub elbows with the intellectuals on the Pennsylvania country side. Gees, that was a pretty property!! I had no idea it was so scenic up in those parts. Of course, I'm from New Mexico, soooo that's a little far from home for me. Who cares about me and my lack of geographic information on New England? Probably not you. Okay, time to meet la familia de Ames!! We've got, mom, sister, brother-in-law and nieces and nephews. Aren't they all cute!
Ashley and Ames regale them of their travels and the time that Ames got a mild concussion Muay Thai Boxing. Ames's mom and sister seem sort of horrified, but Ames's smooth narration skills make it seem like the concussion was no big deal and all worth it for the "prize". Ashley rolls her eyes. America rolls their eyes. Everyone goes on sipping their cocktails with cucumbers in them. What were those??
Ames's sister and Ashley sit down for a heart to heart. I cannot believe they stamped Ames with "the onion/peeling back the layers" metaphor. Just because Ames is a person of depth does not mean he's a damn onion. I don't think he has all these layers. I just think he is a cool, smart guy. Obviously, something Ashley is really unfamiliar with because she says how, "he is different from anyone she has ever met." and adds, "in a good way!!" ppppffffffftttt. Different - in a good way. Oh and she also used "unique"...yeah, that's definitely a relationship death sentence. Ames's sister's female intuition seems to kick in and she asks Ashley if she is really "feeling it". Ashley is honest and says that it has been "moving slow". AKA "no, no I'm not feeling it"
I feel like Ashely really WANTS to like Ames. She knows he's smart. She knows he's interesting. She knows that she could be a stay at home mom because Ames's smartness could support them, but she just can't force the physical chemistry thing. Even when Ames turns on the "fiyah" as his sister suggests and takes Ashley on a romantic picnic under a magnolia tree. The "fiyah" just does not appear. In a final attempt to woo her Ames gives her a lecture on a word that I swear I learned in 16th Century English Literature (shout out - Sarah and Su Fang)
OMG - I just googled it and I did, I did learn that word taking that class!! I love when I remember learning!!! Sorry, this part of the post is purely focused on me and not Ashley's quest to find love. I miss college.
Anywayyy, Ames's definition, which is something like "finding love in the ordinary little things is what is really extraordinary", while it is probably right (because I'm not arguing with someone who went to Harvard) is not want I learned SPREZZATURA to be. I learned that it meant, "nonchalance, effortlessness". Which is the polar opposite of how Ashley feels about Ames. I do love how she keeps complimenting him, but really complimenting herself. She tells him, "I feel like we think the same." Do you, Ash?? Do you think the same??
i'd love to think the same as the guy who went to Harvard too ;)
Even after carriage ride with champagne can't force Ashley to want to go past first base with Ames. But at this point, I still wasn't sure. I thought maybe he was still in the running. Yeah, I thought wrong. :(
Hometown Number 3: Grieving in Wine Country
Well, hey Ben!!! Ashley missed you!! It's time to tour the vineyard and winery!!!!! This really isn't fair. This is a one up on all the guys.
oh let's just check out my vineyard
oh no big deal, let's just sample wine out of my barrels.
So after all that wine business, I feel like Ashley is ready to give him a rose during the rainy picnic on the porch and they haven't even meant the family yet. Then Ben drops the bomb about Ashley getting along with is mother and sister, "it needs to be good, otherwise, it doesn't work for me." Really?? Geeezz. Talk about an ultimatum. I mean, it's kind of weird considering I haven't heard a single peep about Ben's family until now. He talks about wine, not his family. Oh goodness and I forgot his Dad died. Big frowny face. But, it's really okay that I forgot because this episode serves as a big reminder. Emotions are at an all time high up in Ben F.'s house.
Ashley seems to get along great with Mom and sister. Good thing, Ben won't have to immediately end this date.
This begins the turning point where we see Ben starting to get real. He's really had to open up and do some thinking through this process. (All that alone time in those hotel suites in Asia waiting for date cards?) He tells his mom that he wished he would have been there for her more when his father passed away. I felt like his mom was thinking, "Thanks, honey. But, can we talk about this when it's not going to be on prime time television." Oh well. Let the emotional floodgates run free Ben. To top it off Ben's mom tells him that she knows his father would be proud of him. Well, shoot. Now, I'm emotional.
Hometown Number 4: Rollerskating to Love
Now, JP, what, WHAT were you thinking with this rollerskating biz?? Yes, it ended up being completely genius because Ashley was loving it, but WOW. I was like are they really rollerskating listening to Journey right now?? They are!!! I know JP said that he planned that activity because it was supposed to rain which I get. I mean, it's not like they can do something normal like go to a movie.
Like I said, Ashley is loving this and says she feels like she's in middle school again. I'm so confused by how happy she is about this? I went to skating rinks in middle school. I was always in a state of feeling awkward and was never just having a blast skating around with my friends. Granted, I probably should have been. #ihaveissues.
Anywayyyyy, one of my bestie's Ashley and I were texting throughout the episode and we were cracking up when they did the staple Bachelorette mini picnic with wine in the middle of the skating rink. Priceless. You're supposed to have shock tarts and nachos with processed cheese at the skating rink, so it doesn't really go with the theme, but that's okay.
Okay enough play time....family time!! Is anyone else wondering what happened in JP's last relationship?? I mean, I feel like his ex-girlfriend left him at the alter. He was obviously really broken up about it and his family was involved in the heartache too. Was JP on suicide watch? What happened? We may never know. We do know that JP's family is really great even though they are all worried about him being heartbroken again. That's what you've go to do though, you've got to put your heart on the line for a chance at looovvvvveeee.
Of course the grand finale of the date........
bar mitvah poster!!!!!!!! AMAZING.
This is also when Ashley (my friend not THE Ashley) texted me, "JP is Jewish??" Seriously, how do they not get around to talking about normal things that dating people talk about -like their religion?? Again, we may never know. We do know that Ashley and JP mainly have spent time making out in trains all over Asia and have had little time to talk about petty things like belief systems. Regardless, JP's curly adolescent mullet has put him in the front running with me and we already know he is with Ashley. Love has no religion.
Hometowns are over! :(. But that just means we are one step closer....
Rose ceremony commences. Ashley is wearing a dress that looks like something that the gothic kids wore at my high school. We all know what happens. Ames goes home. His look of shock was just heartbreaking!! :( He was genuinely sad, but so eloquent when he left. He's such a class act with pedigree and such a good guy to boot. I know that he's meant for bigger and better things than cannot be offered to him at The Bachelorette. Like marrying Sarah :).
That's all folks!! Fiji next week!! Oh la la.........fantasy suite timeeeeeee!!!!
OMG and who is excited about Ashley's family getting there???????? Her sister with the tattoo sleeves??????? yessssssssssss!!!!!! Ashley's sister for the next Bachelorette!!!!!