Each year I conduct at thorough examination of my life, my goals, and my values in hopes of staying driven and dedicated to success….and then I panic and create a fake application to a reality TV dating show as a semi-legitimate back-up plan ((re: here and here)). This pattern of behavior is as dependable as the annual Farmer’s Almanac and this year is no exception.
((I like to think of this hilarious bit as consistently zany and well-received, like Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions on SNL, and not a sad reminder of a desolate reality, like the real Jeff Sessions.))
Well perhaps this year is a bit different, due to the fact that I am now both more ambitious and more lost than ever before, so I decided to up the ante.
I’m applying for Married at First Sight.
In Lifetime’s most addicting attempt to deprecate the institution of matrimony, they bring in “expert matchmakers” ((a pastor who is suspiciously chill with being on a show that leads to a 66% divorce rate, a sexologist who is basically your worldliest friend when you were thirteen repeating a half-remembered Cosmo sex advice column to scandalize you at a sleepover, and someone named Dr. Pepper whose role and legitimacy I still can’t understand)) who go through Bachelor rejects and pair them together. The show documents the first eight weeks of marriage that concludes with a dramatic “do you want to stay married to this stranger or get a divorce?” episode that ends with all couples getting super drunk no matter the decision.
It’s the perfect show. You’re guaranteed a husband AND drama AND alienation from your disapproving family – what more could a girl want?!
Please picture me writing this application, typing at my computer with my hair up in a twist, eyeliner on fleek, mysterious black elbow-length gloves holding an almost-spilling glass of Merlot, like a fabulous divorcée getting ready to husband-hunt again after “Richard had his little accident”.
((As always, these are real questions from a real application. It’s also important to note that they call it “castings” as opposed to an application, so again, reality is a farce))
Emergency Contact: Should anything happen to me, please contact my legal husband in accordance to that one game of M*A*S*H I played when I was nine years old: that guy who played Human Casper in Casper the Friendly Ghost.
Current Occupation: I am bravely admitting on this blog post that should give it away by now that I am fun-employed. I spend my days gazing out windows thinking about things that could have been and eating. It’s either a fantastic or very sad life. Jury’s still out.
Current Weight: A girl my freshman year of college once told me that I look exactly like that “bigger background actor in Pitch Perfect”. I still don’t really know which Bella she was talking about but that’s what I now write in on all medical forms.
Current Living Situation: I live in what can only be described as the “spinster’s attic room” in my parent’s home in rural Sheridan, Indiana. It’s so remote that no provider offers Wifi so we all go to the local library 20 minutes away to try to download Netflix shows. I keep a go-bag stuffed in my closet just in case I accidentally get swept up in a sexy international crime ring and have to flee. It’s a very healthy way to live.
Ethnic or Cultural Background: From my maternal side, we shared an unfounded belief that we were probably Jewish before our ancestors immigrated to America. This generational delusion was so strong that my older brother signed up for the birthright trip to Israel. A quick DNA test proved that we are in fact pieces of Wonder bread with a little bit of whole-wheat but not enough for a free birthright trip anywhere. I still get sad every time I eat matzo ball soup, knowing it is no longer the food of my people, as I have no people. Is there a box for that?
Ethnicities I want to be matched with: handsome Asian men with bookish glasses and cardigans, Hispanic men with strong Catholic names, African-American frat guys who know how to step, Indian men whose mothers would inevitably hate me because I wouldn’t cook for or coddle their sons, white guys who look like they could be extras in Peaky Blinders. Who cares?
Dealbreakers: Anyone who has genuinely liked anything made by Seth McFarland, anyone who would identify as a “gamer” but roll their eyes if someone calls themselves a “feminist”, Rep****cans, pineapple-on-pizza-conversationalists ((I don’t care where you stand on the issue; let’s just not pretend that it’s worthy of its own debate)), someone who is in it for my money because they are obviously grossly mistaken, someone who lets their pet eat from their plate…..I could go on
Last relationship: Until about a year ago, it was myself. Despite making these joking blog posts, I had no actual desire to tie myself down to anything or anyone, choosing instead the path to become the kick-ass, single aunt who jet-sets around the world and knows how to style boots with skirts. Now I’m like some pathetic thing who wouldn’t mind someone who could check if I choked on my second glass of Frosé. It’s like I’m a reverse Ariana Grande.
Describe your dating life: According to the potential matches in rural Midwest Bumble…bleak
How important is physical attraction to you? My first college was in the Midwest, where everyone looked like giant, corn-fed handsome Hallmark movie leading men who run a hardware store and have forgotten the meaning of Christmas. My second college was on the East Coast where nerdy guys named Garrett or Chris had borderline vitamin D deficiency from a lack of sunlight. All of this to say that if you get bored enough, you can make a crush out of anything. Besides I don’t think I can really talk about standards of beauty as I wore turtlenecks with overalls for an entire winter and am looking forward to doing it again.
Top 5 non physical qualities you look for in a mate: Does he regularly talk to his mother? Did he vote in the mid-terms? Is he capable of putting away his pride to go back and steal me more free samples from the free sample lady at Trader Joe’s despite her multiple verbal warnings? Can he recite the movie Hook word for word? Does he reserve Sundays for church and Netflix bingeing of scary cult documentaries?
Why Married at First Sight? In the last season, a girl got married to a guy who was super fiscally responsible and paid off all of her school debt for her. At this point, it feels like a strategic financial decision.
I also think having a wedding as a meet-cute sounds hilarious and old-timey, like those brides who were sent out West to populate Oregon, or Jacob and Leah in the Bible. Whoops, now you’re stuck with me! The perfect romance story!
Do you know anyone who would be a good fit for Married at First Sight? This is such a weird question to ask because obviously I’m filling out this application because I’m the perfect candidate. But if they don’t pick me, they should pick another McMillan for some quality TV- my brother Aidan. He currently has curly hair longer than his shoulders but wears it pulled back like Jared Leto, believes in the shadow government, vapes, and thinks radio is too mainstream. He’s single, ladies.