Are You the One? is back for another season, and if you thought there couldn’t possibly be enough people willing to brawl on national television while ostensibly searching for an MTV-sanctioned soul mate, well, you clearly have no idea how much pocket money can be earned shilling teas that will cause you to shit out your spleen on Instagram. But there’s no denying this show is poppy escapism, so let’s just go ahead and pretend. Let’s pretend the participants are truly invested in finding love and not in parlaying their appearances into careers in the Reality Arts. Let’s pretend being followed by cameras is totally conducive to forming healthy relationships. And let’s also pretend a few of these contestants will feel just a teensy bit of internal shame for what we’ll all eventually be exposed to when they stumble into a location actually named “The Boom-Boom Room.”
Remember that episode of Friends when Phoebe changed her name to Princess Consuela Banana Hammock? Well you guys, sometimes-fictional stories morph scarily into real life. That’s right – it’s time to meet GatorJay231SouthsideGawd! To be clear, this is a name a grown man chose for himself.
Full disclosure: I do not follow the reality show people I write about on social media. (Well, there is one. I’m Twitter buds with Ariana from Vanderpump Rules, but that’s because 1) She followed me first and 2) I’m pretty sure she’s fucking normal.) But the rest of them? Nope. It’s nothing personal, but I figure my job is to write exclusively about the lives they so willingly portray on these shows and I see no need to cloud my recaps with outside stuff. And it is because of this intentional blissful ignorance of mine that I had no idea how correct my first impressions have been of Logan, Kortni’s terrifying boyfriend. Last week I mentioned the way the guy causes my insides to freeze. Then I searched online for a picture of him to accompany the post on my site and it turned out that Googling “Logan Floribama Shore” led me to all sorts of scary articles you can check out yourself if you’re interested in what I guess I’d call “tragic spoilers.”
I used to fall asleep without praying. For decades, I would crawl into bed, arrange my pillows into a fluffy mountain to keep my head elevated all night, turn immediately onto my side with my legs curled in sort of a tree pose, and drift off to a choppy dreamland often marked by sugarplum dreams dosed slightly with acid. There was something comforting about getting into bed and just being done. Though my mind would often spin with unanswered questions and unrequited longings, those thoughts were never linear and they certainly weren’t planned out and there was a freedom to my nighttime ritual I wish I could reclaim. Because the thing is, I don’t quite know what happened or even when it happened, but I pray every single night now and it takes me a while to do and, rather than feeling quieted by my prayers, they cause nocturnal anxiety. I think it’s probably that my prayers, though coated with gratitude, are also motivated by fears I spend all day pretending are not there. I speak of my family and my wishes for them and I ask for safety and protection for all of us and I pepper my words with a request that those I care about will be alleviated from whatever ails them. I pray that those I loved who have passed on are at peace and that they are together in a spiritual stratosphere I’m not even sure I believe exists, and I end with thoughts of appreciation. All of it is done in my head; I do it whether I’m alone in my bed or not, and I never really talk about it with anyone – about how I feel like I have to do it now, about the way it’s almost become a superstition, about how I’m not even sure it helps anything, about the way I’ve convinced myself it cannot possibly hurt.
If I prayed for you at one point, you probably remain in my nightly thoughts. I’ve never been all that good at the process of elimination.
I used to do yoga. Once a week, one of my best friends from high school — a certified instructor who still smells comfortingly of patchouli — would show up at my house. I’d unroll my yoga mat (it was green and began to absorb the scent of my feet more and more every week) and she would unroll her purple one that never seemed to smell at all. She’d guide my breathing and force me into positions I was initially certain my body was never meant to bend into and my dog would lay beside my mat and yawn, occasionally standing up to do a downward facing dog that put mine to shame every single time.
The season finale of Billions ended with Bobby Axelrod standing at a very unexpected doorway and then — even more unexpectedly — being invited inside by a person who was (REALLY unexpectedly) quite pleased to see him. That ending was a shocker. Know what’s never a shocker? When an episode of Floribama Shore ends in a brawl outside of a bar or with two unappealing human beings fucking in a shower that they’ll probably then piss in during a moment of postcoital bonding.
One taught me how to grill vegetables inside a tent made out of aluminum foil. Just some zesty salad dressing for a marinade, he told me. If you can chop and turn on a grill, you can cook.
So it appears the most pressing issues are as follows:
Nilsa wants Gus, but he’s yet to fully give in to her advances. He’s also in the midst of a full-blown spiritual crisis that could cause his hair to finally go limp.
Candace is choosing to date a walking hyphenated felon. She also cannot forgive Gus for refusing to swear to a police officer (who has a gun) that Kirk did nothing wrong — even after everyone, including Kirk, admitted he did something wrong.
Kortni refuses to stay sober for longer than fifteen minutes straight and enjoys pissing in corners.
Aimee is mostly keeping it together, but a recent story on Page Six makes it clear her stability is temporary.
Jeremiah can’t believe he shares a bathroom with such imbeciles and he needs a stylist immediately.
Codi likes to kiss strangers after puking in urinals.
Kirk punched a guy at a bar and is currently in handcuffs in the back of a police car.
Now, I’d love to believe a weekend of intensive group therapy or the lighting of several hundred Jesus candles will resolve all of these issues, but let’s be realistic. Let’s also remember that we’re only in episode four and modern technology probably cannot even begin to chart just how far things will devolve from here.
It’s either love or desperation that’s brewing in the Floribama Shore house between Gus and Nilsa. Fortunately for us, neither driving force is ruled by the desire for privacy. It appears their entire courtship — from Nilsa’s bold flirtations to Gus eventually giving in to the imminent sex recorded by night vision cameras to their subsequent alcohol-fueled drag out fights — will all be televised, and I suppose I should be concerned for the mental wellbeing of all the other roommates as they become forced spectators of this probably doomed relationship, but really? I’m just one person. I can’t afford to expend energy worrying about everything that can go wrong in that house, especially since I’m far more apprehensive about the moment Kortni decides to break someone’s nose for doing something unbelievably egregious like moving her contouring kit. Still, a romance between housemates cannot possibly be a good idea, so I think it wise that we organize – that we benefit from this madness in some way. Here’s what I propose: we set up some sort of bracket wherein we place bets on all the crazy shit that will eventually transpire in that house, including how and when things between Gus and Nilsa will eventually crumble beyond reason and comprehension. And I think this bracket should involve money, as I have recently decided to redecorate my living room and the hammered stainless steel block coffee table I have my eye on doesn’t come cheap.
In case you missed the first episode of this season’s Floribama Shore, allow me to catch you up: Kortni is psychotic. There. You now know all you need to know. What’s that? You demand evidence to back up my harsh (and completely accurate) diagnosis? Fine. As I am one of those pesky people who, you know, appreciates facts instead of blatant lies being peddled simply to support a false narrative, I am happy to inform you that my above statement is based on the following: