On Monday’s season finale of“The Bachelor”
Chris is expected to propose to Becca or fellow finalist Whitney. And it’s here we must plead to producers: Stop obsessing over virginity! Whitney’s story is much more interesting.
There has been a deeper, more resonant theme than usual this season, and it is Chris’ quest for a wife who will move to his home town of Arlington, Iowa (population 500), where he’s a farmer/millionaire entrepreneur.
This is a tough situation for Whitney, 29, a fertility nurse, who has been defined from the beginning of the show by the career she loves. The conflict raises lots of questions about the show’s gender politics but also more universal issues about sacrifices people make in relationships.
Although Whitney’s story hasn’t gotten half the attention of more salacious themes, the producers have zeroed in on Chris’ hometown insecurity. In a recent episode, contestants took a road trip to Arlington, where they were horrified by the aroma wafting from the farms and the empty streets that called to mind a ghost town. On the subsequent episode, Chris visited Whitney’s home in Chicago, where she happily showed him around the clinic where she works.
“Something that is a big part of my life is my job,” Whitney explained to the cameras. “I’m a fertility nurse, and there’s nothing more rewarding than completing someone’s family.”
“I make corn. I can’t imagine what it would be like to make babies,” Chris said, in awe.
Though Chris admired Whitney’s dedication to her job, he made clear his expectations she would move if they got married.
“There’s nothing to do in Arlington. Zero. So you go other places. For a career, or whatever, you drive. Des Moines is three hours away, Chicago is 31/2 to four,” Chris said nervously. “Generally, when I want to go do something, I drive somewhere. I spend a lot of time just hanging out at home.”
Whitney took a deep breath and admitted that, no, Arlington might not be a place she would choose to live on her own. But she would still move there if Chris proposed.
“I have worked so hard to be where I am. But I have always wanted to be a wife and to be a mom. And my mom taught me that sometimes even when you are those things, it doesn’t work out,” Whitney said. “So you need to have something to fall back on.”
“So I have this career, but I’m not fully happy,” she continued. “I feel like there’s half of me that is missing, and that is still to be a wife and to be a mom. … If I move to Arlington, I would leave that and I wouldn’t have any hesitation about it.”
Chris appeared relieved, and the two headed to the fantasy suite.
There’s a lot to digest there. You’d like to see an entire season of “The Bachelor” that delves into their dynamics: marriage, careers, work-life balance, gender roles, forging a life after reality TV – should they decide to live that life together.