Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Bachelor's single-dad sham

Last night, I nauseated myself by watching the two hour premiere of ABC's The Bachelor.  I normally don't watch crap like this, but my schoolwork induced haze coupled with my lack of cable TV channels sucked me right in.  

The last time I truly enjoyed and followed one of these shows was something like five years ago when Fox rolled out Joe Millionaire.  God, I loved that show.  I was still getting used to being single and having my house to myself - I could come home, eat a whole pint of Ben and Jerry's, drink as much wine as I wanted to and watch the awfullest TV shows ever made without someone making comments or grabbing the remote away to turn on Junkyard Wars.  Joe Millionaire rocked - that stupid big plumber guy and all those horrible girls...  I so wish they would do it again.

The Bachelor?  I hate.  I hate the women who would quit their jobs for a chance to meet, and compete, for the love of this dude they think they know because they saw his heart get broken on national TV.  I hate the women who would give up their kids for six weeks for the chance to marry a tv personality and move across the country, to dismal rainy Seattle.  I hated the glittery, boobs-hanging-out dresses, and oh my god, the makeup.  I can't believe he kept some of them around - on tv it was bad enough, but in person, they must have looked like circus clowns.

But, what I hate most of all is how they play up the fact that the new Bachelor, Jason, is a "single dad."  Its everywhere.  "Jason is the first Bachelor who is a single dad!"  "Jason is a single-dad.  His kid Ty is the most important thing to him" (Really, looks to me like taking six weeks off and getting laid is the most important thing to him).  And the women "He's so cute! And a dad too!"  "I love that he loves his son so much..." 


When I first heard about the new Bachelor, I assumed his former wife was dead because it sure seemed like he was a full-time single dad.  Oops.  Not so much.  Guess what folks?  The Bachelor has an ex-wife that he shares custody with!  Ever hear that poor woman mentioned?  Nope.  You know why Jason the Bachelor is so "hot" and has time to go to the gym, get buff and wax his back (there is no way his back is that hairless on its own)?  Cuz the guy likely gets to see his kid every other weekend and one night during the week. 

Being a "single-dad" is a hobby to this guy, and most other single dads who share custody.  4 days a month they have their kid, and 4 evenings.  I spend more time than that mowing my yard.  It has been my experience that Mom still is the one holding down the fort, mom still has to take off work when kid gets sick, mom makes all the arrangements for soccer and kid karate, mom handles discipline problems, mom handles school problems, mom handles doctors appointments, mom packs the bags for when kid stays the weekend at dad's...

Being a single-dad is EASY!  All the work is done for you.  Its more like babysitting than parenting.  When I used to babysit, the kids would already have taken their showers, be in their pajamas and specific instructions were left.  Oh, and there was always good junk food, but that's slightly off topic.  Same goes for dad-night and dad weekends.  Specific instructions are given.  Clothes are laid out.  The arrangements are made - all you have to do is have them back home in time.  

Don't get your panties all in a twist guys.  I know that there are lots of divorced dads who wish they had more time with their kids.  And I know that there are divorced dads out there who have full custody who sacrifice to keep their kids.  What I am upset about is how Jason the Bachelor is made out to be a hero because he is a part-time dad.  He's not a hero.  He's just a guy that stays at home with his kid every other Saturday night.

Jason's ex-wife?  I feel for you lady, and I'm on your side.


Anonymous said...

So I'm a loyal reader of yours. I'm also a single dad.

I'm a single dad in the sense that I have 50/50 custody of my daughter. Literally 50% of the time she's with me.

There are many single dads out there who actually give a damn about their children. Don't judge us all by the stereotype, please.

I remain a loyal reader,


Katy said...

Boy have I got a story for you, that I won't be posting online. Let's just say single (or sorta single) dad is at it again.....

Mark-kudos to you. There are those good ones out there. Too bad none of them are ones I actually know.

Katy said...

BTW, this should have had a boys are stupid tag on it.

Susan said...

I know that there are really good dads out there, and also really good non-dad role model types. I also know that guys get an unfair amount of credit for being good parents. At least in my fairly conservative and at times backwards part of the world, a single mom is expected to be a good, self-sacrificing parent. Nobody singles her out and congratulates and adores her for doing so. Yet, we congratulate and adore the single dad when he is a good, self-sacrificing parent. Perhaps its because there are too few of you, and that's a shame. I hope someday its just assumed that every parent is a good parent, no matter the custody status.

Anonymous said...

and the truth is finally spoken. I'm still watching the crappy show, but only so that I can make fun of it. Really, that's the only reason.

For real, it is hard for me to admire any parent who would drag their kid through all of this and use them as bait.

That said, I'm guessing the ex had to sign a release for her son to be filmed.

I'm off to watch some more (he just mugged w/ four girls in less than an hour - yuck.) I'm definitely just watching so that I can make fun...

Unknown said...

I LOVE this blog. I am a single parent and it makes me sick the way he appears to be using his kid to land the ladies. I don't even let anyone I go on a date with meet my child until a set amount of time has passed. And you know if it were a single mom that were the bachelorette, plenty of negative comments about her parenting would be said. I just cannot imagine picking the stepfather of my son in such a way.

Anonymous said...

My 4 year old son's "single" father believes himself just such a hero. He also used our son on his MySpace page for bait in his quest for a new female parter to live off.

A good mother, connected in every way to my son, I watched as my loser ex-husband paid for every legal trick in the book, eventually taking custody of our son from me.

Believe me, this guy's wife left him for a reason!!! I know the story. Women do not leave husbands that are good fathers. . . it is a reason to stay!!!

The legal system does not administer justice in family law. It's a tool for those to pay for and secure what they're after.

A truly loving and sacficing father recognizes his YOUNG child's need for his/her mother and for continuity. My now-husband is just this type of loving, supporting, understanding, and rational man- allowing his much-loved children to remain with their mother even though it hurts him. Meanwile, we watch as my ex does everthing he can to take possession of his child.

Unless this Bachelor's ex is no longer living or diagnostically incapable of mothering, he is selfish and no hero.

Anonymous said...

jason is a dirt bag to bring a woman in to his life not only for himself but for a child to and break her heart like that on tv I will never watch the show again

Rey Abisan said...

Interesting post, isn’t it?

Thanks for sharing this.

Proud to be a single dad

Anonymous said...

I see women praised all the time. Single fathers are assumed to be some woman's problem, no one appreciates us but our children that we shed tears for. If my children don't see me every weekend it is a disappointment to us all. O haven't fail yet, and still their mother wants to move them away...and you should see the look on women's face when I say I have four children its like I'm the plague. No single fatherhood isn't easy as you may like to think.