The Bachelorette: Bryan, I’ma Let You Finish, but

If you’re a fan of Bachelor Nation you can probably guess where this post is headed, but sweetheart, don’t be so sure you can read me. You might find yourself surprised by the end of this post. It’s approximately 11:30 PM at night and although I have a meeting in the morning my mind is STILL swirling so much that I had to take a second and figure out why I’m so bothered by the finale of The Bachelorette.

I mean I’m bothered. Throw the tv on the patio, bothered. Call my mama because she’s the only one who would listen to me rant this late, bothered. Slide in Rachel DMs for a lemon squeeze, bothered. So bothered I wrote a list of trigger words for the next 48 hours, bothered. This was my first time watching The Bachelorette, and I’m bothered.

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After accidentally tuning into the Bachelor last season when I was supposed to be finishing my thesis (I know…I graduated tho *dabs*) I was invested in Rachel Lindsay. Her journey of skepticism seemed to mirror so many women I know, sometimes including myself, and I was compelled to see her through to the end. And I was disappointed. I didn’t think she was “perfect” for the Bachelor, but I had hoped he’d choose her or Raven once Kristina left. He didn’t, but that led to Rachel being the first person of color to be a Bachelorette.  You know my “for the people” self, I jumped on the band wagon and declared myself a viewer…despite her being a Delta *wink*. I hoped that the pressure of race wouldn’t burden a journey of love, but at the same time, I hoped she would speak about it.

Fast forward to last night. Beloved, what have you done to me. It’s rare that my predictions fall through on a reality television show. Rachel is the exception. I was prepared for Bryan to go and for Eric and Peter to receive a rose.

*SPOILER ALERT*
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Bih that did not happen. I felt like I was going into shock. But I wasn’t disappointed in Eric going home. He needed to and I’ll tell you why. He experienced a pure love for the first time in his life and that experience needed to be preserved. That was God. #miracleseason I’m not certain he would’ve been able to survive Rachel disappointing him down the road because this experience was a whirlwind that changed him as a man. His journey with her completed its season and the great love that’s in store for him won’t scare him as much because of this experience. Go be great, boo!

Now you’re probably wondering “Sierra, what about Black love? what about the people?” I’m here for the people and open on weekends! But in this case, and so many others, this is simply about people. Which leads me to Peter…

Peter. Peter. Peter. I had a chant for you every Monday night. I imagined you and Rachel’s kids with the little gap teeth, precious. I was rooting for you from day ONE! Every time I heard you say, “I don’t know if I’ll get to the end and want to propose.” I just smiled and ate more popcorn telling myself, “he’ll get there.” Many viewers struggled to understand Rachel’s choice, however, after I separated my shock and disappointment from reason, I knew exactly why. But first, I have to shoot a home run for the team.

For those of you who bucked at Rachel and called her behavior toward Peter “rude,” please take your seat. Peter’s comment was unfair and Rachel’s response was what she would have done during their final moments had she not been overwhelmed by emotions. I LOVED Peter the entire season, but this is how embedded ideologies creep in when no one’s looking. How dare he (a fully grown white male), tell her (a fully grown black woman) that she would be “settling for mediocre” by not choosing him. Boo, in what world did you think it was okay to make a definitive statement about her life? Rachel had every right to call him out on that. And although Peter apologized, her sassy response wasn’t to withhold forgiveness, it was to assert that no one (male/female, black/white/brown/purple or gray) has the right to project an unwelcomed AND negative outlook on your life. She claimed her power and that was necessary not only for her but other viewers who’ve been influenced into believing that someone can make claims about their life without it being challenged. #livingmybestlife That being said, Peter, I still got a thang for you. You’re a great guy and what comes next in this post is meant to help you not hurt you.

Once I realized that Peter wasn’t her choice I was upset. Let me back up, I actually did a soft cheat and went on her Instagram for spoilers. Then, I watched it for myself and I was upset. Originally, I thought she was being foolish. Like, “Rach, you fell for the bad boy-playpapi.” Nah. I took to Twitter with a couple of tweets and then threw my iPad down. Then I picked it back up and wrote a couple more tweets. When I finally finished watching the finale I tweeted…

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And here’s why. Rachel took Peter at his word. She consistently asked him what he wanted and all he could offer her was long term, vague goals (e.g., marriage, a family, etc.). His concern was that he would lose her or the opportunity to create a life with her and he did. At the end of the day, it was inaction that stopped Peter and Rachel from working as a couple. She pleaded with him to show her actions and he gave her possibilities. Essentially, Peter wanted her to choose him in the hope that they could get to a point where he would propose and Rachel asked that Peter would offer a proposal in the hope that he believed they were headed to a marriage. It sounds the same but the difference is where the action is coming from. If Peter had proposed and asked Rachel for a long engagement period I have no doubt she would’ve agreed. That’s clear because she and Bryan are “taking it slow.” Peter’s inability to separate marriage from engagement was tripping him up. Although he doesn’t have a fear of commitment, there’s room to improve on his level of self-awareness. Rachel needed him to make a choice, not necessarily have an answer.

 

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A lot of viewers are frustrated by the pace Rachel and Bryan are taking in their relationship without realizing the difference between Bryan and Peter. If I ask someone “what do you want for dinner?” and their answer is “I don’t know, what do you want?” and we sit there for 20-minutes discussing it, it’s very different from me asking someone and after 5-minutes of discussing it they say “let’s get in the car and maybe we’ll see something we want.” The difference lies in the action the person is willing to take to get to the end.

I completely understand why Rachel wasn’t willing to dedicate time (possibly another 5-years) to waiting for Peter to see more than just a potential life with her. So many women fuss at their girlfriends about staying in relationships when a partner has made it blatantly clear he/she isn’t willing to commit beyond… We can’t condemn Rachel for being wise enough to call a spade a spade. Sometimes we’re meant to wait and sometimes waiting makes us fall victim to someone’s inaction. So, after all of my “frustration” (the most used word on the show), I say,

Beloved (Rachel & Bryan),

Thank you for publicly sharing your journey. I can’t imagine what it was like for you (I would never do it lol). My prayer for you and Bryan is that you find peace in messy beginnings and strength in knowing that God’s surprises have a savory sweetness that can bring endless blessings. May your friendship and love for one another grow with each moment, and your choice to love never waver. And girl good luck with his mama. Be Blessed!

For everyone else who was bothered last night, go in peace. I quickly realized I was bothered by her decision because I would’ve chosen Peter. I’ve waited on a Peter. I was upset because Rachel didn’t make my foolish mistake to ignore her needs and choose/chase the dream. Hopefully, y’all will arrive at this epiphany on your own and not need another Lemonade album before you give Rachel some credit. Sometimes just making a move gets you the win.

 

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