It's one of the scariest times of a relationship -- time to meet the parents of your significant other. As if it's not hard enough to meet one set of parents, our esteemed bachelor has to go through this grilling four times to narrow down the choice for his one and only.
First, we are off to Buffalo to meet Gwen (Jenni Garth's clone)and her family. First impression -- seem to be normal. Nobody would ever say that Gwen and her Mom do not resemble each other. Picture Gwen 20something years older, short hair and several added pounds. Then they sit down to dinner, and the questions begin shooting straight from the hip (literally) as Mom pulls out a neatly written list of questions on cutesy note paper and dissects Aaron. (side note: favorite question was "What makes you think he would make a desirable potential husband for their precious little baby. Aaron did not respond to that question. Does that mean he has nothing to offer, or he just didn't have enough time to think of a BS answer to suck up enough to the parents?) But the parents ended up liking Aaron. And Dad even says that he can picture Gwen walking down the aisle and marrying Aaron -- (Stop it Dad, I'm getting all misty now or is that tears from fighting so hard to keep from vomiting?)
Our lovely couple is off to Niagra Falls since Aaron has never been there before. At the Falls we get the requisite hand holding, making out, and speech of how they feel so connected to each other.
The next stop on the quest for love is the City of Brotherly Love (no, not that kind, I mean Philadelphia, silly). And we get to see Helene and her "fam-a-lee." Aaron immediately sweeps her off of her feet, again literally, and greets her with a hug by picking her up off the ground and a "hey good lookin'". She then takes him to a place that she used to picnic, etc, and they have a somewhat serious discussion. Helene is obviously being an attention whore and Aaron has to reassure her that she has a lot going for her. The girl showing how conceited she is can't even say thank you and accept a compliment. Instead she tells him that he's laying it on thick and that she just can't trust him yet (repeatedly, in a litle kid voice, like she's taunting or is that haunting him). This poor man has already been battered and abused on this hometown visit, and he hasn't even met the family yet, can we cut him a little slack, (oops where did that bit of sympathy come from?) Finally, we get to meet Mom, Dad, and brothers. The brothers are pretty rough on Aaron, but they think he handles himself well, and they end up joking around with them. He seems have an easier time with them than he does Helene. (Warning to Aaron: that is not a good sign for a relationship.) Helene then gives her spiel about how she likes Aaron more every time she sees him -- funny, I wouldn't have guessed that, but that's just me. And of course the mandatory spit swap seesion comes along with that statement.
Sweet Home Alabama We are then off to visit Brooke, in Albertville, AL. Here we get to learn many interesting facts that Brooke's town is the fire hydrant capital of America, now that is something you can be very proud of, and will do you a lot of good the next time you play Trivial Pursuit. We also learn that for some reason, they like statues of larger than life cows along side the road. Brooke's mother tells us how she encouraged Brooke to call in and audition to be on the show, and how gorgeous she is and that she would make any man happy (really pageantMom, take a chill, and relax for a second) and how you can see the glow on Brooke's face (do you think she meant afterglow?)
The producers then must have had a discussion on how to make this family seem as redneck as possible, because the father, John David, and his brother ask Aaron about NASCAR racing. Aaron admits that he is not in to that. (Now, I am an admitted NASCAR fan, but I do not understand this next statement) The uncle then begins to compare NASCAR to fine wine, and once you taste fine wine you never go back, or some other nonsense (HUH???). Any minute, I am expecting them to light candles and have a moment of silence in honor of The Pettys and Earnhardts.
ABC producers to family: You are still not country/redneck enough, I know, let's discuss hunting and killing
John David and brother: Y'all got it, we reckon we can do that
Aaron is then put into the hot seat and told that they have another brother who is a Marine, likes to hunt and is a 3rd degree black belt in karate. Just remember Aaron, if you break Brooke's heart, and hurt their little princess, he will hunt you down and kill you. There is silence at the table for a minute and then the family begins to laugh, more than just a little sarcastically. (When Aaron left his seat, I wonder if there was a big wet spot under it.)
ABC producers to Mom and Dad: This is still not stereotypical southern enough, we need more
Mom & Dad: Okay, we'll show off the 'Bama room
When Aaron and Brooke arrive at the house, Dad takes Aaron to "God's Country". This is a monument to everything to do with the Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama. (I thought I was imagining things for a second, but it's true, the shelves in the room were shaped in to the letters B, A, M, and A)
ABC producers: Thank you, you finally succeeded in getting us the footage that we wanted to portray you as dumb hicks.
And of course, before Aaron heads out, we get the obligatory kissing session. Now the vomit is even harder to keep down when Brooke shows Aaron what an Eskimo kiss is and rubs noses with him.