We didn’t know what to expect when we showed up at Felt on Saturday to audition for The Bachelor. Our best guess was that we would see hoards of scantily-clad women airing their issues with men in front of a panel of producers. Instead, we found a handful of fully-clothed women looking to meet a nice guy.
Arriving shortly before 5 p.m., we were directed to the second floor of the club. A Felt staffer handed us a numbered index card and a half-sheet of paper that served as our application. After jotting down our height and weight, and supplying the phone number and names of our single friends who may also want to audition, we eyeballed our competition and waited to meet with a casting person.
Most of the women we saw were casually, but stylishly, dressed, wearing nice shirts and jeans. Two thin women in their mid-20’s sat in a corner, quietly chatting. A heavyset woman sat with her friend who was there for moral support. A woman in her 30’s came in with her young daughter. As the waiting area filled up, two women joined us at our table.
Most of the women we saw at the auditions came alone, saying their other friends found the idea of auditioning for a reality show beneath them. But the women we talked to said they didn’t think it was any worse than the other ways they tried to meet men.
“I’ve been through friends-of-friends, I’ve done online dating, and I’m tired of meeting guys at bars,” one woman told us as she nervously checked her red lipstick.
Another woman at our table nodded. “It’s hard to date here. It’s like guys are scared, or something.”
The women started to trade stories about how many of their friends are in long-term relationships as we were summoned to the third floor. We expected to see a group of producers, or at least a video camera. Instead, a chatty woman in her late 30’s pulled us over to a bench by the window.
After snapping our picture with a beat-up digital camera, she fired questions as us. What do we do for our job? Do we want kids? Do we want a husband? Are we jealous? After answering yes to the last question, she smiled.
“Good. If you’d said no, I was going to ask what was wrong with you.”
After a couple more questions and a discussion about the weather, she hustled us to the door and wished us good luck with our job.
“I meet so many smart, successful women,” the LA-based agent said, “and all they’re missing is a man.”
As we walked away from the bar, it dawned on us that the audition didn’t eliminate any of the pitfalls of dating. We’re still waiting by the phone, hoping to be called back. We still have competition from the many cute, smart women who live here. Even if we do get to meet whatever hunk the show has lined up for the next season, it’s not certain we’d be compatible. We’re happy we tried yet another avenue to wedded bliss, but we think we’ll stick to the roads we already know.
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