I just knew Trista was going to pick Ryan!

Published 12:05 am Saturday, February 22, 2003

By By Lloyd Albritton
I was one of the early reality television guinea pigs. I got hooked on the first Survivor series and stayed glued through the second one, but soon lost interest as reality television picked up steam and quickly evolved into the ridiculous. I only started watching The Bachelorette with my daughter toward the end of the show. I had to behave though – i.e., restrain myself from making facetious comments and mocking faces. Women love these romantic reality soap-operas and they don't want cynical old dudes like me messing up their moods while they're watching. And so, I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.
Getting right down to the final two contestants, Ryan and Charlie, I gotta tell you that I thought Charlie was going to be The Man right up until the very last. My god, that guy was so handsome I was falling in love with him myself! Any man would give his eye teeth to have hair like Charlie – and to be that tall.
Trista pretty much admitted that she had slept with Charlie, and perhaps a couple of the other fellows too, but she stated emphatically that she had not slept with Ryan. I thought poor Ryan would have done better if he had combed his hair before the show, but my daughter informed me that Ryan's makeshift "doo" probably took more time to prepare than Charley's slick-back and is generally more popular with the girls too.
Ryan's decisive edge over Charlie seemed to come when he called Trista's father aside for an old-fashioned, man-to-man tte–tte and asked The Old Man for permission to propose marriage to his daughter, for whom he professed his undying love. That is, in the event she selected him.
All the women in the family shed tears over Ryan's ingenious stratagem, including Trista. Ryan's poetic prose had already advanced him to neck-and-neck with Smooth Charlie, but when he started talking about the "M" word, that thrust him way out front. Charlie, who said, "I'm definitely willing to commit to develop this relationship further," pales in comparison.
I knew right then and there that Ryan (that cunning devil!) had Trista bagged, for Ryan had cast his line into the core of the female psyche. A woman can no more resist a man's expressions of immeasurable devotion and commitment to her than a hound dog can resist chasing a rabbit. The only possible winning hand Charley could have dealt after Ryan's grand slam would have been to offer a financial statment showing him to be a multi-millionaire, for the evolutionary development of the female psyche ensures that most women will always give the gravest consideration to their future financial security.
But, even then it is doubtful that Charley could have saved the day, for women generally desire financial security from a man more in the form of a secure "regular job" than a big jackpot. Good-looking men with lots of money tend to be targets for other women. They also tend to be narcissistic and vulnerable to the solicitations of designing floosies, having a greater need for new conquests than committed relationships. Consequently, landing Jackpot Jack is often a short-lived glory and a greater risk for a woman.
A man with a regular weekly paycheck is easier for a woman to monitor and control and is by far the safest bet. In the case of Charley and Ryan, both held respectable regular jobs. Of course, if Ryan had been a garbage collector or a school janitor, rather than a firefighter, I suspect that no amount of poetry or commitment would have won Trista away from Charlie. I think the rejected cowboy was probably right when he causticly observed that Trista is a very "shallow" person; else why would she be selecting a husband on a reality television show to begin with?
If Trista's relationship with Ryan does not work out, her superb performance on this show should at least insure her of a regular role on one of our favorite daytime soaps. I'm sure we will see more of Handsome Charlie as well. Perhaps Charlie and Trista can play lovers on Days of Our Lives while Ryan is busy back at the firehouse writing sappy poetry.
All promotion and scripting aside, I do believe most Bachelorette fans believe this to be a real love connection. Chuck Woolery, pay attention! Assuming that it is, I still predict that Ryan and Trista's love affair will not last. If Ryan truly is the doe-eyed romantic who Trista fell in love with, she is sure to grow sick and tired of him goo-gooing over her all the time.
On the other hand, if Ryan turns out to be an insensitive macho man (he is, after all, a firefighter!), I predict Trista will jump ship for the first Good Time Charlie who comes along.
Lloyd Albritton posts movie and book reviews on the Internet at www.Lloyd-Albritton.com. He can be contacted at LloydAlbritton@aol.com or at (850)384-6676.

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