Tenley: “What do you think’s happening today?”
Joshua: “I don’t know but I was really hoping it was going to start happening already.”
Something about Joshua’s above response stuck out to me as both funny and true. It represents the lackadaisical world of Paradise, where unless you’re one of the drama-stirrers, you’re basically always waiting around for stuff to happen. Waiting to be granted date cards, waiting for rose ceremonies, waiting for Chris Harrison to materialize, waiting to be told what’s next. You either have to be blissfully happy and not interested in changing things up, or objective and brave enough to end things before they get out of hand.
Dan falls into the latter category. For all the crap I gave Dan last week about being passive, I do have to give him credit where credit is due. He may not be the most proactive when it comes to pursuing a woman. (That really fizzled out with Samantha, didn’t it? And did he ever act on his attraction to Cassandra? Didn’t think so.) But he’s very good at ending things. He doesn’t ride the wave of convenience—that path of least resistance—far too long, only to be faced with a one-sided relationship with a woman who sees herself having your babies one day. Dan nips things in the bud. My ridiculous analogy: It’s like being at a restaurant and going pee before you leave, not because you’re necessarily desperate to pee, but because you don’t know the next time there’ll be a bathroom around. I call it a preemptive pee. (I really do call it that.) It’s about taking care of business before you get desperate, not after. I’ve mastered the preemptive pee. In Paradise, Dan mastered the preemptive breakup.
I think we all know what I’m getting at with this. Kirk’s decidedly non-preemptive breakup with Carly was easily the most brutal we’ve ever seen on Paradise. We first caught a glimpse of Kirk’s reservations in Episode 5, when the two had their one-on-one date. Why he spent another two weeks pretending to see a future with her, I don’t know. Carly is clearly a reasonably intelligent, discerning person and it takes a nurturing environment for someone like that to become as vulnerable as she did. (Unlike Ashley I., a lot of reciprocation was necessary for her.) Furthermore, she is effusive and she doesn’t keep her cards to herself. There is no way he didn’t know the extent of her feelings for him. So, not only would Kirk have had to create that nurturing environment for Carly, but as Jade said, he also allowed himself to “receive” her affections.
The issue here is not what Kirk said or did, it’s when he said and did it. What on earth was he thinking, waiting until the last minute to drop this bomb? I have to wonder if he was encouraged by a producer to wait it out. It’s possible he wanted to do this sooner but was told to see if things would change, told to give it a chance. I’m not defending him—it would still be no excuse—but it’s food for thought.
To me, what was possibly even more offensive than Kirk’s terrible timing was how he played victim through it all. Some highlights:
- It was “the worst breakup” he’s ever gone through. (He felt the need to mention this numerous times.)
- “The anger in her eyes was scary.” (How awful for him!)
- He felt like he was “punched and then walked away from.” (She wasn’t the one doing the punching, friend.)
- Acting wounded that she wouldn’t have a conversation with him about it. (Anything he had to tell her further would be redundant. So any conversation would just be a vehicle for him to rationalize his actions and attempt to feel better about himself.)
- “Everyone was looking at me like I’m the worst person in the world…” when he was only “trying to be honest.” (Ah yes, honesty, the Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card.)
Just take some responsibility, Kirk! Admit waiting until the eleventh hour to end things—when you knew how invested she was—was a downright crummy move. Onwards and upwards, Carly.
More Bachelor in Paradise:
Sharleen Joynt on Bachelor in Paradise: Episode 1
Sharleen Joynt on Bachelor in Paradise: Episode 2
Sharleen Joynt on Bachelor in Paradise: Episode 3
Sharleen Joynt on Bachelor in Paradise: Episode 4
Sharleen Joynt on Bachelor in Paradise: Episode 5
Sharleen Joynt on Bachelor in Paradise: Episode 6
Sharleen Joynt on Bachelor in Paradise: Episode 7
Sharleen Joynt on Bachelor in Paradise: Episode 8
Sharleen Joynt on Bachelor in Paradise: Episode 9
Sharleen Joynt on Bachelor in Paradise: Episode 10
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