The Bachelorette: Bob D'Amico
Karyn L. Barr
January 21, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

Meredith doesn’t go for baby talk

One thing’s for sure on this season of the ”Bachelorette,” baby talk is definitely a no-no. Between feisty Meredith’s sarcastic, cut-to-the-chase attitude and her no tolerance policy for men with ticking biological clocks (ah, poor Harold), this 30-year-old model/makeup artist proves that she’s the anti-Trista.

The show’s second episode kicks off with the first of the two group dates, the ”Mad Max” excursion. (Um, yeah, why the producers decided to name the date after an postapocalyptic movie is beyond me. But hey, just go with it.) The lady of the hour and seven of her suitors are whisked away in a helicopter to Coyote Dry Lake in Paradise Valley, Calif., where the group gets down and dirty — literally — and rides ATVs through the muddy terrain.

But sadly, the excitement ends here. Seriously. Okay, okay, the men do try to snaggle Meredith’s attention with not-so-Rico-Suave moves, like brushing mud off her cheek, and with overly gushy confessions of falling in love (I mean you, Ryan M.). But trust me, this date was a giant snoozefest. So let’s fast-forward 10 minutes or so to Meredith’s first one-on-one date with San Diego businessman Rick (you know, the guy whose flower-adorned pink slippers earned him a white rose last week).

In what may be considered the male version of the ”Bachelor”’s Cinderella date, the two singles head off to a Hollywood mansion for a little dinner, a little drinking (only California Oakwood chardonnay for Rick — don’t ask), and a little bowling. At first, it seems that Meredith may have made the wrong choice. Rick is Uberpicky: He hates basil and only drinks certain wines (see the comment above). And to top it off, his self-proclaimed ”metrosexual” lifestyle baffles the Bachelorette, who has ”never heard a man refer to himself” that way. But for an inexplicable reason, Meredith digs this guy, who has a strange penchant for wearing a tie with his bowling shirt, because by the end of the night, Rick scores two kisses and seemingly has Meredith swooning all the way back to her Bachelorette pad.

Too bad this lovin’ feeling didn’t carry over to her second group date when the equine-hating Meredith had to rough it on a horse during a rodeo-themed outing with the last seven cowboys. The girl clearly hates horses (as did Trista, but I swear, the similarities end there), but god bless her, the Oregonian is willing to ”step outside the box” and ride alongside Lanny the Texan horse breeder and Ian the NYC slicker (as well as Todd, Robert, Ryan R., Damon, and Elliott). Again, like the last group date, the excursion fails to register much excitement. Granted, there is some mildly entertaining talk about Todd’s superheinous black and red cowboy shirt, but for the most part, the eight of them sit around a bonfire until Meredith deems it time to mosey on back to the city. (If you took a restroom break during this date, you didn’t miss anything earth-shattering.)

It might not have been the most dramatic rose ceremony ever, but Meredith definitely hemmed and hawed over which 10 of the 15 men were the most rose-worthy. Should she pick slipper-slipping Rick despite his ”high-maintenance,” metrosexual ways? Or should she pick lovelorn Harold, the guy whose open-hearted vision of a pregnant Meredith ”freaked” her out?

Well, like I said, baby talk is cheap in Meredith’s eyes, and poor misguided Harold got the boot and joined the other flowerless suitors, Elliott, Damon, Robert, and Marcus, in Dumpsville. So, attention Rick, Lanny, Ian (my personal favorite), and the other remaining seven bachelors: Don’t confuse Meredith for Trista and pull a Harold. Keep your visions of lil’ Merediths to yourself if you really want to get hitched to this tough cookie.

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