It just so happens that not only am I subscribed to the topic of narcissism on Quora, I’ve also been reading a book on the topic as well. I’m not claiming to be any expert on the subject in the least, but even a laywoman like myself can tell that Shanti appears to have some sort of personality disorder. Watching her act out last night was simultaneously difficult to watch and legitimately fascinating. After my initial eye-rolls at her claims, I found myself truly wondering: Does Shanti really think the other girls are jealous of her? When she’s openly arrogant and the women subsequently question how she can be so confident, does she really not see how it was her own conceit that provoked their incredulity? (And that perhaps their incredulity isn’t an attack, but simple curiosity?) A woman who isn’t passive, but who contradicts or challenges her is, according to Shanti, a “weak little girl”—does she really not see how it’s the exact opposite? After disgracefully revealing to Chris that Dee has a daughter, she goes from feeling constantly victimized to having a nonchalant, “what’s the big deal?” attitude. Does she not understand that someone else is the victim because of her actions, and really not feel any remorse? DOWNRIGHT FASCINATING, right??
For what it’s worth, being thrown into a house with other women isn’t easy. In my experience, one or two ladies were neat freaks, most fell somewhere in the vast grey area between tidy and messy (myself included), while others fell in the “piglet” category, as though we had a cleaning staff picking up after us. (We didn’t.) I remember feeling an intense irritation with one woman on my season, who would make multiple smoothies a day and leave the blender dirty EVERY SINGLE TIME and scatter her used glasses around the mansion, without even soaking any of them in water to make them easier to clean later on. I was one of the house “dish washers” (because the Bachelor mansion dishwasher was perpetually broken—I am not kidding) and distinctly remember scrubbing the dried, crusty green residue from one of this girl’s many smoothie glasses, and (of course) feeling annoyed as shit. That said, did I feel personally wronged, like this smoothie-loving woman was an unappreciative user, out to get me? Of course not. She was a really sweet person, and no one forced me to wash the dishes; I chose to do it because it was something to do and a disgusting kitchen stresses me out. Volunteering to do something for others does not make them indebted to you. On our season, Renée was dubbed the “house mom.” She cooked several meals for all of us because she enjoyed cooking and was good at it. She didn’t, however, then lord that favour over us, like we should be so thankful that she’d cooked, that we owed her for it, or somehow insinuate we weren’t “wife material” because of it.
With Shanti, despite her short stint on this season (which, by the way, feels Canadian—I can’t help but think producers of the U.S. show would have found a way to keep her around longer), we had the foreshadowing to see it coming. As I mentioned on The Morning After last week, Shanti’s intro video felt overwhelmingly “me against the world.” A sampling of actual quotes included: “take it or leave it” (regarding her personality), “I have bad days just like anyone else,” “it feels like the whole world is against me,” “I go through my list of haters/kill list…. [of] people I’m going to prove wrong.” Reading those, in all honesty, exhausts me. I feel like it must be very tiring to have such a chip on your shoulder, to feel so alone and incapable of maybe, just maybe, being in the wrong. That thought process of feeling endlessly abused, the lack of awareness that she’s the common denominator in her many conflicts, the constant victim mentality… they all scream of narcissistic personality disorder. Again, this is from what I’ve read. I am no expert. I would be very interested to hear the thoughts of anyone who is an expert!
Alright, enough about Shanti. My Top 4 based on this episode are…
1. Catie, 28: Catie and Chris have serious chemistry and their photo shoot date kiss was hot. I mentioned last week that I really get the feeling Chris receives (as opposed to gives) spunk and humour well, and those are things of which Catie has plenty. Her 1-on-1 time is always shown, and despite not getting the cocktail party kiss she’d hoped for (thanks to Lisa hovering in the background), she still secured the coveted first Group Date rose. Catie is a serious frontrunner and a 1-on-1 date is definitely in the cards for her.
2. Lyndsey, 23: For all my beef last week, worrying Chris didn’t have the personality for TV, he made up for it this week in his reaction to Lyndsey’s age. It was so honest and expressive and I love that he didn’t just go, “Oh, okay.” In fact, his pause showed that he’s taking this whole forever-partner thing pretty darn seriously. And he’s right: While Lyndsey comes across super mature for her age and seems to be an “old soul” of sorts, as Chris put it, “you have a lot of growing up to do when you’re 23.” By the end of their 1-on-1, Lyndsey did dispel Chris’ concerns about her age, but notice her emphasis on saying she’s ready for a relationship that makes her feel secure, and ready for a partnership, but not addressing his being ready for marriage and kids. Those are not the same. As I said on Bachelor Canada’s Facebook Live event, I don’t think 10 years is a crazy age difference but I think it’s a big difference at THOSE ages. Twenty-three is just very young to be considering marriage and children, especially for a woman who is career-driven enough to move to New York City at age 18. A 10-year age gap is not created equal across all ages: it’s a huge gap at 23 and 33, while at 33 and 43 is not as extreme. All that said, Lyndsey is an obvious (almost too obvious, hmm) early frontrunner. The two have an easy rapport, seem to laugh a lot together, and Chris can’t stop gushing over how gorgeous she is. All the parts are in place, it’s just her age that still has me hesitating.
3. Mikaela, 27: Like Catie, Mikaela’s 1-on-1 time (and photo shoot session!) is always shown. She seems a little quieter and less goofy than Catie with Chris but their time together has a nice calmness to it, and as though it has substance. As Chris put it, “It’s like there’s no effort, yet our conversations are so meaningful at the same time.” In some ways I think Mikaela is neck-and-neck with Catie, but the fact that Catie got that Group Date Rose gives her the edge this week. Mikaela too will be getting a 1-on-1 and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And a side, superficial note: I LOVE that she isn’t afraid to wear her hair up!
4. Dee, 32: Okay, so I sadly had to bump Dee. It’s not so much that I think Dee is struggling—in fact, I think she’s probably still going strong. It’s the fact that we were NEVER shown a 1-on-1 conversation between Chris and Dee after Shanti’s big reveal. This was mind-blowing to me. A conversation where Chris empathizes with her or asks about her daughter would’ve been imperative for us to take this relationship seriously moving forward. In fact, the episode just skipped from Dee being terribly upset and Shanti shrugging it off, to a commercial break, to the cocktail party where Chris spoke to Dee IN FRONT of all the other women. Sure, we got some resolution in that Chris realized a conversation with Shanti couldn’t move past the “duress” stage (LOVE that he called her out on that, by the way). But the storyline with Dee felt spotty and unresolved, particularly considering she was the First Impression Rose recipient and a clear early frontrunner.
Watch The Bachelor Canada Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. EST on W Network. Then, head on over to FLARE.com/themorningafter for Sharleen Joynt’s always on-point recaps.