By Risë Birnbaum

Is it the Guinness, the whiskey, or the Irish Spring hotel soap that’s gone to Kaitlyn’s head?  Not sure, but this dimwit bachelorette just let one good, hot guy walk out the castle door.  It’s no secret anymore that handsome, heartthrob Ben Higgins was given the boot and has already been crowned the next Bachelor-in-waiting.   Ben, in that fisherman sweater, was one shade away from Christian Gray.  Can you even imagine the line of beautiful women waiting to get their hands on him next season?  If I were just a little younger 😉

Meantime, Kaitlyn (who’s slept with just about every Bachelor and maybe even Chris Harrison) continues to make dumb mistakes and then cry about them.  Between her non-stop laughing and endless sobbing, Kaitlyn should be having a one-on-one with the on-set shrink.

So, Kaitlyn is left with two guys:  Nick V. who cried on the couch when Andi Dorfman dumped him last season, and Shawn B., the jacked and slightly unhinged trainer, who’s about to turn Nick’s head into ground meat.  Kaitlyn’s apparently very torn between the two, because she lets us know every 5 minutes.  Nick’s had an extra bed session with Kaitlyn, but we’re not yet sure if that works to his advantage.  And Kaitlyn did get to see Shawn’s putter on the golf course before she stayed in the fantasy suite with him that night.  Hole in one.

As for family time, both families seemed OK, with Nick’s mother definitely worried that Nick’s head might explode if he comes in 2nd again this season.  So were his 18 brothers and sisters.

Next week Kaitlyn takes the hot seat (looking forward to Ian from Princeton reminding her how shallow she is) and then it’s on to the finale.

My guess on who Kaitlyn winds up with?  Think it’s Shawn, who’s been nursing booze and an unhealthy attachment to Kaitlyn these past few weeks.  As for Nick?  It’s a really good thing there’s a pub nearby.


Guilty pleasures — everyone’s
got ‘em but not everyone is gutsy enough to admit ‘em.  Well, must be the hot summer sun here in DC
or too many bus fumes, but here’s my list (not in any special order):

Burgers – ya gotta understand
I’m a relatively healthy eater, but happen to have this thing for juicy cheeseburgers
with tomato, pickle, ketchup, mayo and mustard. 
And with each bite I take, I just slather on more Hellmann’s.  Maybe I’m a condiment junkie disguised as
burger addict.  Add the fact I was
brought up Kosher and it doesn’t quite compute.


Vegas – what’s better than a
few all-nighters loaded with craps, clubs, good eats and then an affordable
room that could sleep 12?  Actually the
bathroom sleeps 12.


Fast cars – I know they’re
definitely not “green,” but I’ve been a car lover all my life and ‘til now have
liked cars that (sadly) guzzle gas like a 1960 Corvette.  But, I am eyeing the new Tesla.


Any movie – doesn’t matter if
it’s Journey to the Center of the Earth (with Pat Boone) or a Sundance award
winner, I will literally watch anything on a big screen where they also sell
popcorn.  I am that discriminating.

Reality TV – Def taken with every
show from “The Fatsos of Marin County” to “Watch Me Eat Bugs.”  Made up the titles, but you catch my drift.

Moose – Love my 15 year old maltese,
moose.  Talk to him, sing to him and if
anyone saw me they would take me away in a net and lock me up for life.

Hamptons – OK, so I know it’s a bit of “my Porsche is bigger
than your Porsche” out there, but beaches are beautiful, friends are
long-standing and cocktail hour is from like 4pm to whenever.


Facebook –No, I’m not a 23 yr
old (but have one) but it is such a kick to connect with “kids” I was friends
with and barely said a word to in high school. 
Unfortunately most look like my grandparents these days.

Online dating– as a single mom with a college grad on the west coast, it's a good way to fill time while scouting out the landscape. And if Jon Hamm's twin brother happens to be online within 50 miles of DC, so much the better.



Not sure what’s wrong with me.  I work hard, travel, have a daughter, friends and a loving maltese (Moose), yet I’m addicted to reality shows.  I should probably tattoo Bravo or Food somewhere on my body or at least see if they’re publicly traded.

I come home from work, make Moose and myself dinner and then start clicking away.  Anthony, Bobby, Heidi, Isaac, the NYC preps and the Real Housewives (no matter where they’re from) have become my new best friends.

Yes, I read the news and even have a stack of magazines (unlike Sarah Palin) and paperbacks on my nightstand, yet I am drawn like a magnet by the guy who eats goat guts and the doc who lets himself get bitten by bugs head to toe.  I’m amazed by the spoiled brats in NY who constantly talk sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll (wonder which colleges are actually accepting them).  And I get hungry when Flay does his throwdown and nauseous when Adam scarfs down 12 pizza with extra cheese.  Yet I stay glued to the screen.  Kinda like a train wreck.

What is it about reality shows that reels me in?  Don’t I get enough reality watching one disaster after the next every day in the news?

I’m trying my best to figure it out and I think it’s watching real people do outrageous things that turns me on.  It happens in the news, too, but by the time I see the news it’s usually over and done.  With reality TV you’re not quite sure what will happen.  So, I find myself rooting for Adam to down the last pastrami sandwich with fries or the NYC prepster to toss his hair and say something totally obnoxious or the hotties in Miami to go clubbing all night.  When they do something like that, I feel a touch more normal.  Is that normal…who knows?  All I know if that when Anthony Bourdain goes to Vietnam and rants about the food and the booze, I wish I could be by his side.  So, while Tony gets plastered, I stay plastered to my plasma. 

Will I be able to free myself from my reality habit?  Probably, but it might take a 12-step program and RA (reality anonymous) meetings. And at the moment, I’m just having too much fun.