Hometown dates. Always fun for the whole family.
Houston hometown journey with AshLee
AshLee is walking a cute big rat. I feel bad Sean is only visiting a hometown like 5 minutes away from his hometown. BO-ring.
Now with Sean, AshLee knows what real, true love is. Sean says AshLee has been a frontrunner from the beginning.
They have a picnic amongst some wildflowers. AshLee describes her pastor parents. Sean’s dad is a Reverend too! AshLee has always said she wants a man as amazing as her dad. It’s probably telling we didn’t see any previews of AshLee’s hometown date. (No drama.) AshLee says something about protecting her heart- but Kasey is not making a surprise experience. #bummer. Sean tells AshLee she should be confident in what they have. (I mean, I really hope he’s proposing after a comment like that.) AshLee does another one of those fist pumps in the air and fake yells about Sean meeting her parents.
Mom, Dad and the couple have lunch in a sun-drenched backyard. AshLee starts crying and tells a deep story about fear of abandonment and submersion of issues and leaving it all in the water and it takes me a second to realize she is describing the polar bear plunge. This girl just does not make anything light, does she?
AshLee to her parents: “St. Croix… you all are going to have to forgive me- there was a lot of romance. We rolled around in the sand. That was a lot of fun. I told him I loved him.” Yikes- why is AshLee telling this to her parents? My father is not even remotely a reverend and I would not report to him I rolled around in the sand with a boy I just met who is also simultaneously dating three other girls. Also, off topic slightly, can you image AshLee’s parents rolling around in the sand? Age is a cruel thing where sand romps are concerned.
Mama Deborah knows that hearts are fragile. So she takes Sean for a chat: “What are your intentions for AshLee? Are you going to break her heart?” “No ma’am.” (Like I said, Sean should be careful what he promises.) Then it’s time for Reverend Dad. When asked if Sean is in love with her, Sean says “I am crazy about her. Love is on the horizon.” Sean asks the dad about AshLee’s marriage at age 17… Dad was sad and would have done things differently. It’s a very real 5 seconds of a show that is not often very real so now I am tuning in a little closer.
And then back at the table Dad describes him and Deborah’s “first date with AshLee” when she was 4 years-old and they got introduced to her as a foster child and he knew he wouldn’t be able to give her back. “Whatever man falls in love with her is going to have to fall in love like that.” I am crying real human tears.
I have decided this week to intersperse excerpts from Sean’s People.com blog.
[AshLee] had been a frontrunner from the beginning because she was the type of woman I was looking for: loving, compassionate, sweet and nurturing. My only reservations were about AshLee’s intensity and her inability to let loose and have fun.
After meeting her parents, I could see where her big heart comes from. Her mom and dad were both so kind and loving and I could tell they genuinely wanted their daughter to be happy. It was easy to imagine myself being part of her family. Despite not being as fun and carefree as the other women, AshLee’s big heart and desire to love made me overlook it.
Seattle hometown journey with Catherine
They’re at Pike Place Market in Seattle. Sean lamely (and incorrectly) says it rains every day in Seattle.
Sean flings fish with the famous tourist-driven fishmongers in the market.
“I never worry about being the cool guy in front of Catherine” he says, because they are weird and goofy together. “It feels like we have been boyfriend and girlfriend for a while.” Sean mentions he loves being silly with Catherine and then they can turn it around and have romance too. They seem to be having a blast and this is kind of the visual explanation of what is pretty centrally missing from the relationship between Sean and AshLee.
Catherine gives Sean the lowdown on scary mom and feisty Lola grandma and Filippino traditions. And the two sisters are there. This is a house of 5 women. Wowza.
The Filippino food looks good, right. Don’t mind if I do grab an eggroll. Sean gets an apron on and makes food, gets called handsome by Grandma, and does push-ups with Catherine on his back. It’s all fun and games, until
The sisters have a chat in one of the bedrooms. Catherine wants to gush about Sean but Sistas have a different plan. Catherine says if he proposed she would say “Yeah, I wanna try this out.” Officially the worst response ever to the mention of marriage at the end of this show. Sisters seem skeptical and when they talk to Sean alone they say Catherine has a hard time in relationships once the fun happy beginning time is over. Also, apparently Catherine needs to be called out because she is messy. And has extreme mood shifts (happy or very focused). Wow are they selling her.
When Sean chats with Mom alone he asks for her blessing- as Sean does. Mom is not giving the answers or blessings easily. This family is just skeptical of this whole thing and they don’t want to fake it either to try to make Catherine have an easier go of it.
Sean: “I’m not sure where we go from here.”
Her family blew it but that probably doesn’t matter as most people aren’t necessarily gunning for this to be the couple. I also highly doubt a girl like Catherine wants to move to Dallas. Sean’s blog:
Her sisters also told me that Catherine had a strong desire to pursue a career in New York and that she may not be ready to settle down. I found it strange that they were telling me this, yet Catherine had never mentioned it.
Somewhere in Missouri “hometown” journey with Lindsay
That Somewhere is the Army Base in Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Lindsay’s dad is in charge of the whole thing, apparently? Why does he have time to appear on this show?!
Sean is so excited to see Lindsay. “She possesses all the qualities I am looking for in a wife.” It’s so like Sean to use possesses as a verb in casual conversation.
Lindsay the Army Brat (has lived on Army bases all over the world) has a 2-star General dad. Lindsay is doing her conservative family a solid and looking cute in a prim and proper white button down shirt. Not that we haven’t also seen her in a bikini.
Sean on Lindsay: “Lindsay gives me butterflies. I love her youthful energy. I love how I act around her.” “She has the biggest heart. So loving, so supportive.” They walk around her Not Actual Hometown and there are only like 3 stores so they go to one of them, which is an antique store. Then they have beers somewhere. “Every time I sit down with Lindsay, I gain a better appreciation for the woman she is.”
Then Lindsay has planned this goofy thing where Sean has to get “Army Ready” to meet her dad and she barks out in her baby voice through giggles that Sean has to do push-ups etc wearing an Army t-shirt and kiss her. It’s like the wedding dress gimmick, it’s a little corny (wagging her finger in his face: “you think you can kiss all these other girls?!”) but maybe Sean likes it. I dunno. The good thing about Lindsay’s little shticks is that she owns them. She never really seems that self-conscious.
We meet Lisa and Mark Yenter, her parents. Mom is sweet and bubbly and dad is cautiously nice like we would expect from a General. Awkward Brother is there.
Mom is being nice and supportive and happy Lindsay is so happy. When asked if he’s in love with her, Sean says: “I’m not in a position to say that right now.” Mom really likes this answer because it’s honest. Yes, true. I still think though that he gave stronger sentiments to AshLee’s parents. Which surprises me because he keeps acting like he is way into Lindsay also.
Sean says he thinks Mom would be a fantastic mother-in-law. She probably would be, to be fair.
Now it’s chatting with Dad time. Sean makes a lot of comments about “who knows how all of this is going to play out…” since he always feels like he has to be painfully honest with people’s parents before also mentioning there is always the small chance he might actually marry their daughter. The General struggles with being asked whether he would give Sean his blessing to ask Lindsay for her hand in marriage. “That’s the toughest question I’ve ever been asked in my life.” Whoa, way to go Sean. And then the General gives his blessing! (After a metaphor about being a paratrooper for over 20 years and managing risk.) Can you imagine if your father-in-law was a 2-star General? Ultimately, the Dad is super nice and cute. Dad and Mom give Sean dog tags as gifts with the values of the Army written on them. The parents are both kind and supportive. It just demonstrates the difference in how these hometown visits can be dictated by either the level of skepticism or support by the parents.
Sean: “I would be honored to be a part of their family. It makes me more attracted to Lindsay.” No diggity.
Lindsay: “Today was probably one of the best days of my life.” She tells Sean she is falling in love with him, and then tells the camera she met her husband.
But WHY DIDN’T WE GET TO SEE THE BROTHER?!
Sean did at least:
My favorite member of Lindsay’s family may have been her brother Marcus. He was the sweetest kid I’ve ever met and he made it clear he wanted me to be a part of their family.
Los Angeles hometown journey with Desiree
“It’s so cool to have Sean in LA where I live!” I am pretty sure Sean has spent some time in LA before.
Since ABC has shown us so many previews and promos of the train wreck that is this hometown date, it’s hard to watch this beginning serene part with an open mind. Which is too bad, because Sean and Des have always had a cool dynamic. Also, off topic, if Des is from Colorado why are they in LA?
Des is wearing hiking clothes and Sean his is fave pink shorts/navy shirt combo. Des missed Sean a lot and doesn’t want to miss him anymore. It’s pretty while they freeze-kiss but there is that typical smoggy view that I always associate LA with. Des first brings Sean to her apartment to prepare dinner ahead of the parents and it makes them feel like a real couple. She did all the artwork herself she tells us.
Knock at the door. It’s not the parents but it’s… bmp bmp bmp… a guy who asks to talk to Des after a really bizarre hug between the two. And kind of laughing asks for the camera to be turned off. Then he is holding a mic (what is going on????): “I love you. We were together for two years. I have been texting and calling, I love you more than anything, we have been together for two years, where have you been… Why didn’t your family call me?”
Des to Sean: “Now that he’s here, I do have to tell you something.”
IT’S AN ACTOR!!!! Des is getting Sean back for when he punk’d her on their first date.
I totally got punk’d too. I really believed it. Even if in hindsight the guy was kind of crappy actor and Des didn’t seem surprised or flustered enough.
Mom, Dad, Brother finally come over. Mom and Dad are kind of cure nerdy glasses types together. Mom is nice and sees a glow in Des and seems happy that Sean is good-looking! We have no idea what the chat with Dad is like because we just see Sean hugging him. But the point is they both just seem nice and supportive.
Brother Nathan is the problem. He tells us he has been skeptical from Day 1. Why does the brother talk like a roughneck hick compared to the parents, btw? Nathan’s thoughts:
- Sean is not The One and that this will never work.
- There is no reciprocation from Sean’s side in terms of caring about Des the way Des cares for him.
- Sean is just a Playboy. “You’re having fun with the circumstances.”
(I couldn’t help but notice a trace of envy in Nathan’s eye on that last one.) Sean looks pissed but he decides to somewhat keep his cool. He doesn’t like his character and integrity being called out but also doesn’t want to cause a scene.
They come back in for dinner and the brother is still being a smartass douchebag. Everyone feels awkward and the parents start talking about the weather and the seasons. They are super sweet and frankly, they seem scared of their son. Yikes. I feel like Des is spineless too. She doesn’t try to rehabilitate the situation at all. Why does this crazy family member have everyone spooked? Is it the multiple hand tattoos? Also, Faye and I were noticing nobody got to eat their steaks. 😦
Nathan: “He is not The One, Des.”
I finally got to meet her family and I absolutely fell in love with her mom and dad. They were possibly the sweetest people I had ever met and they were so accepting of me and my relationship with Des. Her brother was a different story though. I’m still confused as to what led her brother to call me a playboy and a fake. He decided to attack my character and integrity and I honestly don’t know what provoked him.
Regardless, he doesn’t know me and he sure as hell can’t speak to my integrity. As badly as I wanted to go off on him, I had to hold back because I didn’t want to cause a huge scene and embarrass Des and her parents. Her brother didn’t affect the way I looked at Des, but it did make me wonder if I could be in the same family as her brother.
And in other news, Sean makes a lot of Christian-y comments about making these decisions like “It hasn’t been laid on my heart yet” and just how often he is praying for answers.
Rose Ceremony Day
Finally a naked Sean shot!
Sean says he can picture his life with Lindsay and AshLee but still has questions about Catherine and Des.
In Sean’s sit-down with Chris Harrison, he is pretty honest about why he is trying to decide between Catherine and Des to send home (independent lifestyle vs. crazy, horrible brother).
He tells the girls that family is so important to him… and Des hears this cue and knows she has to grab him before he hands out roses. She cries and apologizes for her horrendous brother. Catherine wonders if she should have pulled him aside too. No, not to worry, because
Crazy, dramatic music and Roses to:
Then Sean puts down the last rose and rushes out of the room. He can’t decide. He can see himself with both of them. It comes down to “who will I miss the most tomorrow” if they get sent home? He admits his plan had been to send Des home and then she pulled him aside. But then he sticks with his gut.
On the rejection bench with Des, Sean admits he might be making a huge mistake and Des says “I think you are making a huge mistake and I could have made you the happiest.” I also think Sean should haven chosen her over Catherine.
“I am going to miss you so much.”
“Then don’t let me go.”
I have been praying for clarity.
From Des’s Twitter @DesHartsock:
You can’t ruin something that isn’t complete so be easy on my bro. A man who truly loved me would see past the family member I hardly see.
Men may come and go but family is there long after the show. #yeseventheoutspokenbro
Wonder why ABC thought we needed a quick Sean Tells All just weeks before the WTA and the ATFR? They are really milking this good ratings bout with these 2-nighter things.
There are overnight dates in Thailand
Based on the position of Lindsay riding him in her bikini on the beach, I think Sean chooses Lindsay in the end.