Thursday, June 23, 2011


The Best Time Someone Dumped Me to Be on Reality TV

I used to think the worst way someone could dump you was via text message, or with one of those QR codes for your phone that you scan and says “HEY THERE! LET’S SEE OTHER PEOPLE.”

Both of those are false! The worst way to get dumped is when your boyfriend suddenly gets to choose between starring on the WB next to Ashton Kutcher with a mic duct-taped to his chest hair, or being with you, and he chooses you, obviously. Just kidding, he chooses Ashton, or this wouldn’t be a really awesome story.

I dated Bro* off and on throughout high school and then college in Florida, because we went to the same college. Our love was totally destined for greatness, the same way all high school romances that you try to make happen in college are destined for greatness! Bro first broke up with me September of our freshman year, because, from what I could gather, he wanted to be a big man on campus. Three years later, right before our junior year ended, we decided to make things officially “on” again, sealed by a late night kiss in a sketchy Miami parking lot.

I moved to New York City that summer to do an intensive Latin program for 10 weeks, because I know a good time when I see one. He stayed in Florida to work for a public relations firm. As it turns out, long distance exacerbates things, and we fought a lot, usually about how he would take his female “friend” to the movies, just the two of them, on Saturday nights. I mean, really. Basically, I was up in the city conjugating, and he was down there doing conjug-something.

So, I had an inkling that things were amiss, but still, I was 21 and naïve and whatever. Finally, he called me one night as I was memorizing deponent verbs on index cards while my roommate watched America’s Next Top Model.

“I’m going to Los Angeles. I have an opportunity to be on reality TV,” he said over the phone. I blinked. In the background, Tyra was losing her shit at the fainting girl.

“Uh, what? What show?” I asked.

Beauty and the Geek,” he said. At the time, this was sadly the hottest thing on TV: an Ashton Kutcher-produced reality show that paired geeky guys with hot but ditzy girls who competed against the other duos to win money.

I said the first thing that came to my mind: “Are you going to meet Ashton?”

“We should break up,” he said.

“Uh…” I said, confused. “It’s not a dating show, right? As in, you can still be on this show and have a girlfriend? And won’t you be back in like, six weeks?”

“Yeah, but you know. It’s L.A.”

I spent the rest of the summer doing the usual breakup stuff: shopping for crap on 34th Street, calling my mom and crying while my roommate brought home strange singers she met at clubs and hooked up with them while I was in the room. Fuck New York.

Once my program ended in August — I got an A; e pluribus unum, bitches! — I went back to Florida to finish my senior year. Bro arrived back on campus with tales of his mysterious trip to Los Angeles that he wouldn’t actually tell anyone about because he had signed a “multi-million dollar confidentiality agreement.” OK. We didn’t get back together.

That January, Bro’s season of Beauty and the Geek finally debuted on national television. I think it was called the CW by then, and that Gilmore Girls had already jumped the shark. I hadn’t really talked to Bro since the epic breakup, but there was no way I was missing the broadcast of the shiz that had been worth dumping me for.

There were mojitos involved. My sister made me my own baking dish full of spinach artichoke dip. We turned on the television, and suddenly Bro was right there, alighting from the limo in front of the Fancy Los Angeles Mansion. It was weird in that way it’s always weird to see people you know on TV.

We watched as Bro sat stiffly for a talking-head segment, his polo shirt buttoned all the way up to his Adam’s apple and his ankles peeking out beneath too-short khakis. He never dressed like that IRL. The little caption said he was an “assistant neurobiologist.” Another lie! I stuffed some more spinach dip into my mouth.

“I’m not goods with girls,” Bro lisped at the camera, gesticulating wildly like an excited Star Trek convention attendee. “I’ve never known what to say to them. I’m too scared to even ask for a girl’s number.” I flung a glob of dip at the screen.

Later in the episode, I watched, kind of bored, as Bro awkwardly cozied up to a busty blonde in the Hot Tub of Manufactured Drama. They fake-suspensefully decided to become Beauty and Geek partners together. It was like amplexus, the mating embrace of frogs, except one frog was totally faking his whole frog routine.

Then, in what has proved to be the sweetest just deserts of my life — my life is kind of dull — Bro got voted off the show in the first round! I forget exactly what happened, but I think his partner, Spaghetti Straps McGee, flunked a trivia question about C++ or whatever. I had only had to endure two episodes of Bro sweating under the Klieg lights in his affected nerdwear. Yay, schadenfreude!

I didn’t really talk to Bro ever again, though he tried to call me a few times after I had finished college and moved to Connecticut. He had taken a semester off college to do the show, and I’m not sure if he ever went back and graduated. Sometimes, I wonder what happened to him. Mainly, I wonder what Ashton smelled like.

*not his real name, although it is an accurate depiction of his personality.

Jessica Misener edits Lovelyish.com and has a Twitter, and is now engaged to that dude from Joe Millionaire. OK, not really.

92 Comments / Post A Comment

Judith Slutler

This... this is basically the best time anything has ever happened to any person, ever. I am in awe.


"My sister made me my own baking dish full of spinach artichoke dip." now *that* is a good sibling.

elysian fields

@becky@twitter uh yeah. can we trade sisters please? In that situation my sister would do something like: buy a bag of M&Ms for me and then eat all but 3 of them herself on the way home.


@elysian fields i think we have the same sister.


@elysian fields oh geez, this is what i would probably do if i were the sister in this scenario. M&Ms man! So good.

I would also wolf down the spinach artichoke dip. But in between bites I would be like, so reassuring! So that means I'm not the WORST sister right..


@elysian fields @becky@twitter: WHAT IF YOU TWO ARE EACH OTHER'S SISTER!


@elysian fields Sis, is that you???


@Kneetoe aren't we all sisters here? kidding aside, my sister has not figured out much of the internet quite yet. just m&ms.


@becky@twitter Ha, I read this line and thought about how many readers had to pause and zone out at that moment.


@JessicaLovejoy Haha. Exactly. I had to stop reading and just contemplate the glory of that statement. I also had to speculate on the size of the dish. I mean, are we talking 9 by 13? I really hope so.

Hot mayonnaise

You basically handled this the best way possible. Right?

Lily Rowan

@Hot mayonnaise Pretty much.

Misc Jenn

One of the geeks was my waiter back in my college town. I think he ended up "winning" that season, which made it even more awkward that he was still a waiter. In North Carolina.


Ohhhh my god. This brought back long-repressed memories: two consecutive presidents of an ex's frat were on that show. One was the ex's roommate. Whoosh.

Also your "about me" made me laugh. ("OK, not really.")


@mgll Also wanted to add: they substantially geeked up one of the guys but not the other. SOME of the geekitude was faked, but some if it was painfully genuine!


@mgll OMG I 99% FOR SURE KNOW YOU. I know the frat you're talking about, and the dudes. I was a rush hostess there while this as going on. Is there a way to PM/email? Who aaaarreeee yoooouuuu (I like cheese a lot, does that help?)


@Cowabunga Ahaha! After posting, I vaguely wondered whether this would happen.

But yeah, there's a reasonable chance we know each other. No PM on this site as far as I can tell and my email is my actual name, so not posting it. If you have a pseudonymous address, reply with it here and I'll shoot you an email?


@mgll Makes sense. How about emailing me at hrh.lumos.nox@gmail.com? That has Lumos Nox as the name (which is clearly not mine). Yay! :D


He has the funk of Ashton Kutcher reality programming on him for all eternity, so you dodged a bullet there.


@applestoapples A funk not even Jolie Kerr would know how to remove.


Illegitimi non carborundum!


suus nidor nobis cordi esse spero.



Omnis cum in tenebris praesertim vita laboret.


@atipofthehat This means "all of Gaul is divided into three parts," right? Damn, I'm good.


@SuperGogo Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres. 5 years of Latin, that's all I remember.


@steve ...quorum unam incolunt Belgae. The largest of which is Belgium. There. That's the first thing I've ever posted here, and it's to flash my Latin wang. Sad.

Also, that's as much as I remember.


@steve Cornelia est puella Romana, am I right? Up top!


@AngerMonkey@twitter amo, amas, amat... I am loving the Latin geeking out here! (Although the only thing Latin ever did for me was make me more confused when it came to learning Spanish.)


@Hella tivo, tivas, tivat, tivamo, tivamus, tivant. I tivo, you tivo, he tevos, etc. We use that one a lot around our house.

Hana Maru

@Hella membrum virile!


1. Dude and I break up.
2. Dude goes on Blind Date a week later. Roger Lodge calls him a baffoon because he really did act like one.
3. Phone rings off the hook for days. I die.


HOW did I forget about Blind Date?! I used to watch it constantly. I think you should find it and share a clip... mostly because I like invading other people's privacy.


@JoanTition If it wouldn't out who I am I would gladly give more details but I nearly died of embarassment that I had dated this person seriously.


@JoanTition My sibs and I were just talking about how much we miss Blind Date. We used to have date-o'clock where we'd watch blind date and elimidate back to back. Oh, family togetherness!


@fleurdelivre I was entirely too obsessed with all of those dating shows. I gave some sort of speech in a media class my sophomore year of high school where I reenacted Elimidate with mutilated Barbies and a tiny James Dean cardboard cut-out.

.... not as weird as it sounds?


@parallel-lines Only thing better than that would be if he'd gone on Shipmates. Now THAT was a motherfucking show.

Hana Maru

@parallel-lines I used to watch that show partly to laugh at dumbasses but really because of my crush on Roger Lodge.

Setec Astrology

I am dismayed that the geekitude was faked. Not necessarily surprised, but dismayed nonetheless. (I really should know better.)


@Setec Astrology I feel like a lot of true geeks wouldn't be that interested in the conventional albeit ditsy beauties?


@DrFeelGood I went to college with one of the Geeks. His geekitude was not faked even a little.

sarah ruth

@Setec Astrology i got really excited thinking your name was a reference to the movie "sneakers". but. that's setec astronomy.


@sarah ruth Maybe Setec Astrology was in the sequel, "Sneakers 2: More Sneakers."

Daisy Razor

@sarah ruth But her icon is scrabble pieces! It has to be a "Sneakers" reference, don't you think?


@DrFeelGood I'll speak for "true geeks". While we say we wouldn't be interested, up close and personal the hormones kick in hard and all thoughts of "I can't be with someone who doesn't get Mitchell and Webb" go right out of our heads.

sarah ruth

@Daisy Razor/@theharpoon: i totally didn't even notice the picture! it's probably sneakers 2. in which the secret code is one of the following:
-scatology trees
-largest coyotes
-stately scrooge !


When did Gilmore Girls jump the shark? I'm trying to think of something equally as ridiculous as shark jumping that happened on that show. When Lane got married to that guy that is now on True Blood? When Rory got bangs? I'd really like to know this.

Anyways, this was awesome! Being the first person eliminated from a reality TV show is like, the lowest of the low. He probably did not graduate, still lives in Florida and works part-time at Petsmart.


@nogreeneggs Some time in season 5, I think? Actually I'm going to say it was the butt-faced miscreant episode. Or the end of season 5.


@nogreeneggs i'm thinking when luke and lorelai got together? not sure.


@becky@twitter Oh maybe it was when Rory was like, sick of Yale and being smart and decided she wanted to be a miniature version of her grandmother. I do not blame her, that grandmother was awesome.


@nogreeneggs agreed. also, whiffenpoofs!


@nogreeneggs I'm pretty sure it was a slow jumping of the shark, occurring sometime just after she stopped not caring about clothing and just before she starting wearing only items a person purchases and Barneys while still managing not to know what a Birkin bag was.

so what?

@nogreeneggs i want to be the die-hard fan that says, "gilmore girls never jumped the shark! never!" but in reality it was a slow decline. still love it, but at some point around season five, i just started looking for the episodes where jess shows up for a cameo because oh my god, how can someone be such a babe, it's not even fair. i still (still! i know) have such a thing for jess.

Lila Fowler

@nogreeneggs Gilmore Girls had a slow decline towards the end, but that shit officially jumped the shark when Lorelei slept with Christopher at the end of Season Six. Or when Luke found out about his secret daughter. Stupid Amy Sherman-Palladino! The seventh season of that show is the pits


@nogreeneggs One of my favorite shows of all time, but--when Luke discovered he had a daughter. Blech.

Llew Forestell@twitter

I got to the end of this and I thought, I'm really jealous you know Latin. Maybe I should go on Beauty and the Geek?


@Llew Forestell@twitter Yea I was thinking... that is an AWESOME use of 10 weeks!!


"It was like amplexus, the mating embrace of frogs, except one frog was totally faking his whole frog routine."

This works on so many levels.


That headline actually made me think of one of the subplots of She's All That. The one where the guy gets on the Real World and it's a parody of Puck.

Clare Boyle@facebook

Did anyone else just do a Wikipedia search of the show to find out who was eliminated in the first round, then do a google image search to know what Bro the douche nozzle looks like? You know, to avoid him in the future? Anyone else do that?

Emily Christina Murphy@facebook

@Clare Boyle@facebook yes. obviously.


@Clare Boyle@facebook Did you see "Brad" the Mensa member from the 1st season? Cause, I'd hit that, theoretically speaking, of course.


@Clare Boyle@facebook You're a genius.

p.s. Semper ubi sub ubi

the fourth bot

@Clare Boyle@facebook Now that you've given explicit instructions, I'm, uh, similarly educated. You know, avoidance purposes...


The correct pun is "conju-mating"


@deepomega HA! Yes.

My ex was on Yo Momma and I actually really enjoyed watching his episodes! He won Shit-Talking King of Brooklyn!

fondue with cheddar

Worst way to get dumped: via the OUTGOING message on his answering machine. Yeah, that's right, the greeting EVERYONE hears when they call him. It happened to me in high school.


@jen325 Omg no way that is just awful plz tell me more THAT IS SO MEAN

fondue with cheddar

@Napoleon Yeah, well you know...high school. We'd broken up once already (probably because I wouldn't put out), then a few days later he came to my house. We sat outside and talked for while and decided to get back together. Makeouts ensued. The the next day I called him and got his answering machine. "If this is Jen...about yesterday...I just want to be friends." Douchey, right?! I don't think I left a message, but if I did it was probably lame because I was an insecure, naïve teenager without the balls to curse him out like I should have.

Now that I think about it...I'm pretty sure our first breakup was on or immediately after Valentine's Day.

Also, he was a white kid who wore dorky glasses and dressed like Vanilla Ice.


Spaghetti Straps McGee!


Oh, this is eerily similar to the story of my first NYC roommate, a girl who I vaguely knew from high school in Ohio, and who ended up being the most actory type of actors. (You know what I mean.) She made it onto the CW's short-lived series The Starlet and was convinced this was her break, only to be dismissed in the third round due to her lack of convincing sexual chemistry with a male model in a steamy hot tub sequence. And then when it aired, we had to have a viewing party at the apartment that included the Starnot, her new boyfriend, and myself, and she began sobbing pretty much as soon as the credits rolled. He had to comfort her. I just ran away.



"Starnot" !!!!

Ashley Marie@facebook

I MUST know... which season was Bro on? I have to watch, just so I can see for myself what you are talking about. :) Sorry, I'm a tad bit nosy.


@Ashley Marie@facebook Wiki it; he's the first guy to get eliminated in Season 2. A friend looked it up. I totally did not take time away from my job to look this up and attempt several Google image searches. In fact, I am working right now. Very hard.


@HelloTitty I would love to see the analytics from this show's wiki page for this week. I'm predicting a mysterious spike.

I felt embarrassed to be viewing it myself, but the color coded elimination charts someone had created really soothed my self image. I'm wasting time? You're wasting time!

no way

!!! he shares a last name with a few of my most favorite tv characters. Speaking of which, Wipeout is an awesome show, but I will always call it Most Extreme Elimination Challenge.


Oh man, LGI grad here. Was certain after "I moved to New York City that summer to do an intensive Latin program for 10 weeks..." that this was going to be (another) "this is how the Latin Institute ruined my relationship/marriage/life" story. This is a much better story. It even has artichoke dip!

hello world

@MerelyGoodExpectations Pretty sure I did the same summer language program, except in French (and then stuck around for a PhD at the same place). Dejectedly buying crap on 34th Street has become a way of life.


Ack! Was this the guy? http://www.buddytv.com/articles/beauty-and-the-geek/profile/brandon-blankenship.aspx


Jessica! I used to intern for you at Lovelyish! Hi!

I'm Not Rufus

This reminds me of the time my old roommate from college broke up with his girlfriend of several years and then went on a popular dating show in China and then his ex unfriended all of us on facebook.


I have one vaguely similar story. My high school sweetheart and I parted on good terms, and we occasionally still talk, especially when he's been dumped and wants to be reassured that he's an OK person. One girl who caused this kind of "please-reassure-me" email had a rather distinctive name. One day, after being out of the country for a few months, I decided to catch up with a show I missed out on: "Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys".
She was on it.
Needless to say, I watched her life with her GBF for 3 hours. Then went and got a bikini wax.


thank you for teaching me the term amplexus!

Margaret Hill@facebook

A girl that I went to high school with was also on the first season. Similarly, she claimed to be a "lingerie model". Right.

In my school, she is best remembered as the girl who got disqualified from being prom queen for ballot stuffing.


Anyways, this was awesome! Being the first person eliminated from a reality TV show is like, the lowest of the low. He probably did not graduate, still lives in Florida and works part-time at Petsmart.
Free Proxy


A girl that I went to high school with was also on the first season. Similarly, she claimed to be a "lingerie model". Right.Anyways, this was awesome! Being the first Calgary SEO person eliminated from a reality TV show is like, the lowest of the low. He probably did not graduate, still lives in Florida and works part-time at Petsmart.


This was common in reality shows. People just play role in it no one live life as like a reality. so why say this kind of show "a reality show"?


thank you for sharing

Web design Calgary

That show was great, its a funny thing when they dump someone on tv.


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