Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In Perspective - The Only Most Eligible Bachelor I Know

By Rodney Hays

   Most of you know how infatuated I am with reality television. I could sit and watch most reality television for seconds and seconds.
That's a joke, of course. I can't even watch the commercials for most reality television -- except of course John and Kate Plus 8 re-runs.

   One of the more popular shows recently is the reality series "The Bachelor," where each season an eligible bachelor puts 30 young hotties with daddy issues through a grueling eight weeks of intense questioning, partying, mind games and sex. At the end of the series, The Bachelor hands one final contestant a red rose and professing his love before going on a national television campaign pretending to be engaged. Soon after that The Bachelor goes on to find true love on "I Want to Date Kate Gosselin And Become Her Permanent Nanny."

   Being a bachelor in real life is hard work.

   For many years, newspapers, magazines and now even websites have proclaimed The Most Eligible Bachelors. Some of America's Most Eligible Bachelors are heartthrobs George Clooney, Jamie Foxx and Rush Limbaugh. Now if Rush Limbaugh was on "The Bachelor," I might actually watch that for sheer entertainment.

   Some of those bachelors seem so far removed from the American public that we will never really get to know what makes them tick. Well, recently I got to meet one candidate for Most Eligible Bachelor. And his life is everything you would expect it to be.

   I don't know how my bachelor friend might stack up against George Clooney with the women folk, but I can guarantee you I would rather pay $9 to hang out with my friend than watch a Clooney movie -- and I'm a George Clooney fan. I'm not sure how he might stack up to Jamie Foxx either. Now with Rush Limbaugh, my bachelor friend would win hands down -- even Sarah Palin would tell her single friends about my bachelor friend before she would give them Rush's number.

   One of the interesting things about my friend David is his stories. He grew up in the same small town as I did. He graduated the year before I got there but the stories about his playing days on the football field became stuff of legends. He was a fireball on the field that brought fear into the hearts of opposing quarterbacks and running backs.

   Right after high school, David took a series of odd jobs from building ditches to selling cell phones. He eventually found his way into constructing cell phone towers. No matter what job he had, he worked 100 hours a week trying to be better than everybody else. It was just his nature. Along the way, he built his company up and sold it for a nice profit. He went into semi-retirement and now wakes up in the morning and asks an important question, "Where do I want to be today?"

   But it doesn't matter. He is still the same person he was 30 years ago in high school. He hasn't changed. He still loves life. He still works hard. He still can't sit still for more than about five minutes at a time. And he would still give anyone the shirt off his back if he thought they needed it.

   David spends a lot of time around the lake. He has a boat on the lake and most of the time in the summer it looks like something out of a Tom Vu infomercial. He will make you laugh until your face hurts with stories about women his meet along the way.

   But David, one of The Most Eligible Bachelors I know, wants what most people want.

   He wants to find love. All of us were created to find love. We can find that in friends, in a spouse, in a dog, or something else, but we need to be loved.

  The most eligible bachelor needs love too.

  He wants to be accepted. Too many times people try to get you to change to be more like them. And, I admit, some people need to change (I'm looking at you, Limbaugh). But too many times, we are trying to make people adapt and be just like us, when what we need to do is accept them for who they are. David wants people to accept him for what he is: a full-blown red neck -- his words, not mine.

   David needs relationships and friends. Like me, David likes to be around people. We were created that way. We need to have a group of people who will listen to our stories and laugh when we laugh and cry when we cry and hurt when we hurt. The Most Eligible Bachelor needs it just like married people and single people and Kate Gosselin.

   And we all want a purpose in life. Even The Most Eligible Bachelor wants to make a difference. I'm still searching for purpose. I think it changes almost daily. At one time, my purpose was to be the best dad I could be. My kids need that a little less now than they did when they were young. I'm still working on that. But every day I want to find out what I need to do that day to make a difference -- however small -- in the world.

   And maybe we're all the same. We all need love, acceptance, friends and a purpose.

   That's why shows like "The Bachelor" is so popular, it has all of those things. Well, except for the purpose part.

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