This site is about books, of course, but even a healthy diet of romance novels needs a little variety. Is it really such a big step to romance of the reality TV sort? That’s why I can’t wait for the new season of “The Bachelorette,” which airs on May 31. We’ll watch Desiree (good romance heroine name) selecting from among twenty or so handsome gentlemen to find her perfect match (in only six weeks).

I confess I watch “The Bachelorette” (and “The Bachelor,” and a host of other reality shows) with tongue firmly in cheek, because they’re twisting the classic story of true love, of a couple destined to be together, and selling it so hard that it becomes ridiculous. Desiree, for example, seems like a perfectly lovely, sweet woman. And maybe she truly does believe that a short-term television show in which she shops for men like she’s picking out a new skirt is the way to find a long-term partner.

But of course, as a semifinalist on the previous season’s Bachelor, she already found that love, didn’t she? She was in love with Sean (after only six weeks) and knew they were perfect for each other (after like five dates, some of which were with eight other women) and couldn’t wait to start her life with him (in a city to be determined, since they’d never discussed how they would blend their lives/careers/etc.).  But—oh noes!—Sean chose another woman (the equally sweet and lovely Catherine) and, according to the tabloids, is already cheating on his “true love” with his “Dancing with the Stars” partner. How romantic.

So now, the glass slipper is on the other foot, and Desiree has apparently gotten over Sean in a hurry. (The advantage of true love that comes after five dates is that you don’t have to spend very long moping in your breakup clothes—they say it takes half the time you were together to get over someone, so Desiree probably shook it off in the time it took her next issue of Marie Claire to arrive.) This time, this time, she’ll find True Love. For realsies. After six weeks.

Makes me appreciate my favorite romance novels all the more…

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