“Someone recently called me ‘tragically undateable,’ ” The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison confessed to me the other night.
The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison is a very tan man. He is so tan that I would not be shocked to learn that he wears television makeup even when he is not on television. He is, like every famous person, much smaller than you think he will be. But he isn’t unattractive, and I found myself leaning in as he hovered above me—stationed midway up a grand, spiraling staircase in front of an Old World tapestry hanging in a Highland Park house. He leaned over an ornate railing and assured me that if I was open to airport lounges, he was perfectly dateable. He told me (many times) that he is good friends with the Jones family, including Charlotte Jones Anderson. He made mention that his grandmother had lived on Beverly Drive, just in case I mistakenly thought he only had gross reality-show new money. He mentioned The Bachelor a few times, and he told me about the new romance novel he recently penned, The Perfect Letter.
In true Bachelor fashion, I was definitely falling for him. Also, in true Bachelor fashion, I was not the only woman he was romancing. I was one of about 100 women gathered in Charlotte Jones Anderson’s foyer for the opportunity to get a book signed by him. Now, I’m not suggesting that these women weren’t there for the right reasons—in this case, to fall in love and read a book—but I was the only woman there who was wearing glasses and sleeves. I desperately wanted to get some alone time with The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison to let him know that no woman can comfortably read a book in a crop top or platform heels, just to emphasize how serious I am about important issues like literacy and true love. After all, I wasn’t there to make friends.
I considered asking if I could steal him away for a minute, but then decided to snoop around Charlotte Jones Anderson’s very fancy house instead. There’s some kind of a crest inlaid on the marble floor in the foyer. Intricate, gold-inlaid moldings abound on the edge of every ceiling and door. Draperies are made of cloths of gold. Iron works filled with candles and glass obelisks grace every surface, and each piece of furniture looks to weigh approximately 5,000 pounds. As I sipped Pellegrino from a silver-and-glass chalice, it occurred to me that this house was ready-made for a rose ceremony on The Bachelor.
After sizing up my competition and my surroundings, I returned to good news: a generous donor had purchased all the copies of The Perfect Letter. So our books were free! Instead of shelling out $25 for the book, we were encouraged to give a donation, which would then be distributed to the Salvation Army. The donation was a mandatory $25. So all the women teetered to one end of the house to pay for the book while the man of the hour headed for the dining room and armed himself with a Sharpie.
The line was long; the process inefficient. Two women—strangers, mind you—recorded credit card numbers in notebooks. Did you know that Kim Schlegel is a total line cutter? Because she is. That lady marched to the front, gathered up an armful of books, and headed for the dining room. Meanwhile, we rule followers became cranky and catty.
After getting my copy, I waited in a second line. I thought of clever opening lines and stared at Pat Smith, maybe the most beautiful woman in the world. And then I saw her: Kelli Finglass, director of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and star of my favorite reality program, Making the Team. I realized I needed to stop focusing on falling in love and start concentrating on serious things. So I got my book autographed, smiled for a photograph with The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison, and headed out into the night to work on my high kicks.